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The Ten Best Ways to Enjoy the Summer

classic cars

Cruisin' in a classic car in the summertime.

Cruisin' in a classic car in the summertime.

Go Cruisin' in a Classic Car

10. Let’s face it, any owner of a classic car avoids bringing his baby out in inclement weather. That means that the car stays cocooned safely in the garage until at least spring. Then, after the ‘hands on’ attention of checking its vitals, sprucing it up, and taking it for a test drive, it is ready to show once more.

There’s nothing like a street lined with people who are waiting for a parade of cars from the 50’s, 60’s and even as far back as the 20’s. When your passion is owning and operating a classic car, you want to show it off. One can do this by joining a car club or networking with other Classic car enthusiasts to find out where the next cruise is taking place.

One of the biggest, and best Classic Car Cruises is the Detroit, Michigan: Woodward Dream Cruise. It began as a fund raiser for the city of Ferndale trying to raise money to build a soccer field. It was so well received that it has been ongoing now since 1995. Today it boasts over a million participants in this one day event.

Although this spectacular event occurs on the third Saturday of August, volunteers and sponsors work year round preparing for a flawless festival. If you are a Classic Car owner who has never witnessed or participated in the Woodward Dream Cruise you must make a point to do so. This is a classy, world-wide event that draws cars from as far away as Australia.

Classic Car Poll

Enjoy Summer Gardens of all kinds

9. Admit it, you cannot grow cucumbers in the frozen ground, you have to wait for the spring fall and then the wonderful sun rays to bring out the best of your green thumb in the summer. Vegetable and flower gardens abound in the summertime. From big to small anyone can enjoy the benefits of a garden on a warm summer day.

Springtime brings the tractors out and the farmers earnestly prepare and plant. Summertime is the time to watch green growing taller with each passing week. Corn, butter beans, collards and watermelon are a few of the edible crops that grow abundantly in the south. But, if you don’t own a large parcel of land you can still enjoy the luxury of a garden.

Many people with apartments, condominiums that have garden restrictions, or have no yards to speak of have alternatives that can be just as productive. Two of the alternatives that I suggest are: container gardening or joining a community garden.

Bocce Ball and Croquet are great Outdoor Activities

8. Bocce Ball is a lawn game that originated in Italy. It’s one of our family favorites along with croquet. These are two of the activities that are played in the summertime. Other outdoor activities that are typically saved for summer are picnics, baseball, camping, rock climbing, roller blading, golf, tennis, horseback riding, bicycling, hiking…well, you get the picture. Oh, and if you are fortunate, don’t forget the local outdoor movies. These used to be called drive-ins, but now local cities have set up movies in the park.

I know that there are many of these activities that can also be done at other times of the year by merely vacationing to a warm climate, or moving it indoors, such as the tennis, or horseback riding. I used to ride in the winter in an indoor arena, but there is nothing like the feel of the sun and breeze on your skin as you enjoy your sports interest on a summer’s day. And, speaking of riding, summer is the Kingpin for Theme Park attendance. Ride those roller coasters, you crazy daredevils!

Freedom to vacation and have fun

7. Oh, just the delight to NOT have to go to school or work-to break from the routine that shackles our spirits. The sun smiles down and there are no obligations or schedules to keep-and every teacher who survives to the last day of school relishes this truth. This is what Europeans call ‘holiday’, and it is sheer bliss to go away to some ‘other’ place and unwind.

We can decide to stay up late, or go to bed early and get up with the crack of dawn to set off on a new adventure. We can dress down, don our sneakers, and focus our attention on what we want to accomplish-if anything, in the weeks of summer.

Festival Poll

Summertime brings Festivals, Fairs and Festivities

6. Advertised on billboards, radio stations, newspaper and television ads, one has to wonder if the winter fairies diligently devise new fun, family options the way Santa’s elves develop new toys to surprise children. Only, one doesn’t have to be a kid to enjoy all the cornucopia of summer events. Let’s name a few of the usual: State Fairs, Ethnic Festivals, Art Fairs, Jazz Festivals…the list goes on and on. There is so much to do on any weekend, and so little time to cram it all in.

How will you find out where to go and when the events occur? Try these standard advertisers: your local Chamber of Commerce; a AAA magazine or office; the local newspaper; your local radio or television station. And, don't forget word of mouth. When your neighbor packs the car up for an evening of 'Music in the Park' get the scoop from her and mark your calendar for the next scheduled performance.

Summer is for Reunions

Family and friends gather to visit

Family and friends gather to visit

Kid pleasing food:  the 'Dog'

Kid pleasing food: the 'Dog'

Burger flipping-a dad's specialty...

Burger flipping-a dad's specialty...

Summer Grilling: Best BBQ's, Pig Pickin' Parties and Pool Parties happen in the summer

5. Speaking of good times, well there isn’t any comparison to the food that comes out in the summer. Although grilling is possible year round, when it comes to summer, BBQ is one of the first things that come to mind. So, for all of you gourmet chefs, sharpen your tools, pull out the ingredients for your best BBQ sauce, and watch for your opportunity to compete in a BBQ contest. Or, call over some company and show off your culinary skills.

But, summer isn’t all about BBQ. Don’t forget the ice cream. Yes, we can eat this dairy product anytime of the year, however, it is so much more delightful eating it on a hot summer’s day as it drips down your wrist, don’t you agree?

And, then there are the berries and other fruit. Summer brings out the lush taste of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, thimbleberries, and so many more that I have not mentioned. Eat them right fresh and whole, add them to your recipe for sauces or desserts, or bake them in a pie. Yum!

And, remember the gardens and fairs mentioned in #9 and #6? Don’t forget the food taste fairs and the wonderful farmers markets, along with your own vegetable gardens. Even young children can participate in their own planting of beans and carrots.

Summer weather is enjoyed whether its sunny or cloudy

2. I know I keep mentioning weather, like it is always perfect. I won’t mention the inclement weather that summer brings because this is about ten great things about summer. Who cares if it rains part of the day or part of the week-there’s no school! It’s fun to know that when the birds sing in the morning it is actually daylight-not dark out. Warm to hot, summer brings the sun, some clouds, a summer shower or two and then more sun. Enjoy it before Old Man Winter shows his grizzly face again.

If it gets too hot-jump in a pool of water or go see a movie in an air conditioned theatre, but be sure to stay well hydrated. Sunburn and Sun stroke are two seasonal ailments we can all avoid with some simple smart preparation.

If its rainy-take the kids to a museum or indoor arcade. Or, if it is a warm summer rain, let them splash out in the yard, as long as there are no thunder and lightening. Let them be a kid-they're only young once. Spontaneity is good for them, and for you as well. So, take your shoes off and go splash in a puddle along side of them.


4. What is summer without some form of water experience? When it’s hot, the water helps to cool us off. Swimming in a pool or lake is a sterling summer experience. Ever have a job as a lifeguard? Ever date a lifeguard? Ever feign drowning to meet a lifeguard? Well, whether you hang out at the local pool, a beach at a manmade lake, or have the exquisite opportunity to be seaside, summer is the absolute right time for water lounging.

Here are some water sports that are popular in the summer season: snorkeling, surfing, boating, deep sea fishing, jet skiing, water skiing, high diving, swimming, rafting, tubing, and water sliding.

Summer Music that Rocks

3. The joys of summertime were written in many songs. Think of some of the titles that have stood the test of time: Summertime by George Gershwin, In the Good Ole Summertime by Ren Shields and George Evans, and my personal favorite, In the Summertime by Mungo Jerry. For those who are curious about why this song is a favorite of mine, it is a lighthearted song that has a catchy, upbeat melody. Sometimes, when I hear a song, I envision scenes related to dance. In this song, I pictured giant black ants invading a picnic lunch and later actually did choreograph a dance number with this theme.

And, which group made beach music popular? When I think of summer music I think of the old Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon movies; or Elvis Presley and any number of his dream girl hits. Then, there were the songs by the Beach Boys…

Nothing compares to sitting on a hillside while listening to an outdoor music concert. The air is warm, the stars are out and the ambience is perfect with a nice bottle of wine to share with someone special. Outdoor concerts don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. In fact, this is one of the great economical entertainments within your own local city. Grab the kids, the blankets or lawn chairs and set them up for the FREE music in the park that comes with the season.

Cheers to a Fun Summer!

Family Photo File

Family Photo File

Drum Roll Please...and Number 1 is:

Relaxation is the number one best thing about summer; the opportunity to relax. How will you do this is up to you. I just left you with nine different categories to seek fun and frolic…you do the rest!

Favorite Summertime Activity Poll:


Denise Handlon (author) from North Carolina on June 23, 2012:

Hi internpete-thanks for stopping by to read and comment. Down south BBQ is like the meal for the Queen Mother! hahaha

Peter V from At the Beach in Florida on June 23, 2012:

Yep, summer is meant to be enjoyed! I, too, love summer BBQ! Great list, voted up!

Denise Handlon (author) from North Carolina on April 25, 2012:

Thanks for reading alocsin-I'm with you- food is part of my 'joy', LOL

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on April 25, 2012:

A handy hub now that summer is coming. My favorite is the good food -- though I enjoy that activity year-round. Voting this Up and Useful.

Denise Handlon (author) from North Carolina on April 24, 2012:

Glad you enjoyed the hub, mts-my late husband, John, owned a corvette when I first met him. We had fun cruising around in it, but it was too small for a family. He gladly traded it in when the relationship got serious enough for me to introduce him to my two young daughters. He never looked back and eventually bought a classic car. By that time the girls were old enough to hang out with us or do their own thing. My favorite is the festivals and music-oh heck, it's all fun! LOL

mts1098 on April 24, 2012:

Thanks for putting me into a summer mood. Great list and you are correct on all of them. A couple of summer seasons ago, I went to a Corvette show and I don't even own one. The water in summer is fantastic like lounging around a bay or an ocean and my personal favorite is the grilling (I do this all year as the grill is in my man cave)...cheers and happy seasons

Denise Handlon (author) from North Carolina on April 12, 2012:

Hey Bill-nice to see you here. I've been busy reading your hubs. Your choice is frequently my first choice, (i.e. photo example at the end of the hub-a fondu party).

Thanks for your feedback.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 12, 2012:

A tough list to choose from if I were to pick my favorite but I do believe summertime food might top the list. Great list and I am happy to report I do nine of the longer have a classic car so that one is inaccessible. Oh well, nine out of ten ain't bad! Thanks for a fun hub!

Denise Handlon (author) from North Carolina on March 22, 2012:

Danette-I'm surprised-bocce ball-only once???? What is 'washers' LOL I know about WASHING machines and laundry, but haven't made it a game, haha Thanks for commenting and yes, you had better plan a trip up north.

Danette Watt from Illinois on March 21, 2012:

Summertime, and the livin' is easy! Ah, good food, fun, festivals. Would you believe I've only played bocce ball once but loved it. Ditto love playing croquet, washers and wiffle ball. Hope to get north this summer for a visit.

Denise Handlon (author) from North Carolina on March 19, 2012:

Freedom! Yes! Thanks for reading and commenting about how you handle your 'down' time, Carmen. :)

Carmen Beth on March 19, 2012:

Interesting hub, Denise! For me, the best part of summer is freedom. But I always try to put my free time to good use like learning something new so that the guilt of letting spare time pass away idly would not kick in: )

Denise Handlon (author) from North Carolina on March 16, 2012:

Hi Vellur-thanks for reading-get ready for summer! :)

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on March 16, 2012:

WOW a hub full of summer fun. Enjoyed reading. Great ways to enjoy. Voted up.

Denise Handlon (author) from North Carolina on March 16, 2012:

Tarajeyaram-thanks for reading and commenting. Summer is one of the best times of the year-so laid back.

Hello Samdackson, thanks for reading and commenting. Nice to meet you.

Hello Susan-get out the grill is right! Who wants to be stuck in a hot kitchen cooking when it is so much more pleasant to cook out. Be sure to check out all the great grilling recipes hubbers post. :) One of my favorite is to use the mesquite chips and grill a tuna steak. YUM!

Hi Stephanie-those drives on the beach with the music blasting were the bomb! :) Thanks for the flashback.

Hello Emily-LOL I like your way of thinking! Actually, the dog looks better in the picture. I can't recall the last hot dog I ate, although I still eat bratwurst, which aren't much healthier! Thanks for dropping by.

Denise Handlon (author) from North Carolina on March 16, 2012:

Fennelseed, thanks for reading and commenting. I hope you have a chance to visit the garden hub where the blackberry recipes are. They are delicious!

Hi Lesley-it was a fun question to answer. Who knew that a hub was waiting in the wings, LOL

FaithDream-glad you enjoyed it. My late husband, John was a classic car nut so I had to include that one! For him, that was what made summer. He almost missed my daughter's wedding because the big Woodward Dream cruise was scheduled that w/e. Fortunately, it was one day after her wedding, LOL

Denise Handlon (author) from North Carolina on March 16, 2012:

Hi Fennelseed-so sorry to hear of your disappointing summer weather. We have a hot spring started here already so I cannot imagine how summer will be-probably dry and parched! I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. The blackberries are from my youngest daughter's garden and you can read my hub about it here:

emilybee on March 16, 2012:

That hot dog looks good! The thing with summer is that you can eat unhealthy food like hotdogs more frequently, because it is too hot to cook in the house :) and then work it off the next day swimming :) Great hub, voted up!

Stephanie Henkel from USA on March 16, 2012:

You captured all the best of summer fun in this hub, Denise, and made me nostalgic for those drives to the beach in our 1957 Chevy convertible with the radio playing, "In the Good Ole Summertime!" No, it wasn't a classic car, yet, in 1959! :)

Loved this wonderful, well written hub! Voted up and shared!

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on March 16, 2012:

Bring on Summer! This year I'm looking forward to the beach, sunshine and cooking outside on the grill.

Great Hub!

samdackson from Colorado on March 16, 2012:

I really love summer and your giving tips are useful.

tarajeyaram from Wonderland on March 16, 2012:

Great hub. Love how you reminded us of the summer. You can do many fun things in the summer. You have listed many ways to enjoy summer. Voted up and across.

FaithDream from (Midwest) USA on March 16, 2012:

Love this summer fun hub, I am so ready for it. Living in the Midwest makes for some long winters. When the weather gets warm, everyone heads outdoors. Its my favorite time of the year.

My favorite activity you mentioned is the classic cars, love those events. Thanks for including that on your list. Great article!

Movie Master from United Kingdom on March 16, 2012:

10 wonderful things to do in the summer, what a lovely bright and cheerful hub!

Fun, relaxation and sunshine - fabulous!

Voting up thank you and sharing

Annie Fenn from Australia on March 16, 2012:

Love your list of ways to enjoy summer, Denise and so good to see you include 'freedom' and 'relaxation' as we tend to take these pleasures for granted without acknowledging the good that they do for us. Lovely, love summer. Unfortunately here down under we are moving into Autumn with barely a week of hot summer weather. I am feeling somewhat cheated as Summer is my favourite season. Thank you for bringing a little of it here for me to enjoy. (Did you grow those amazing blackberries?)

My votes to you Denise, and SHARING.

Denise Handlon (author) from North Carolina on March 15, 2012:

Hi randomcreative-Good point-one doesn't have to go far to find some summer fun. It's in their own backyard.

Ruby-that's funny! Thanks for your comments.

Hi pam-thanks for reading. I know I'm looking forward to summer, but so far, spring has been beautiful and warm! I can't complain.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 15, 2012:

Great suggestions and appreciated. We all look forward to summer.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on March 15, 2012:

You have written about my favorite time of the year. The hot dog made me hungry...HaHa.. Great hub full of timely tips for a fun and safe summer..

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 15, 2012:

Great suggestions all around. I love how many of these options can be applied to a number of different locations. There's something here for everyone.

Denise Handlon (author) from North Carolina on March 14, 2012:

Hi Gail and Sophie, so nice to see you ladies. Thanks for reading and I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. :)

Sophie on March 14, 2012:

Summer fun, can anything else be more pleasant that being out and having fun in summer? A lovely hub Denise.. I enjoyed reading it. Have a lovely day!

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on March 14, 2012:

Loved this fun summer hub with its bright photos that brought a smile to my face.

Am a huge fan of classic cars and festivals of all kinds.

The fruits of summer gardens pics you took were mouth watering!

Voted up across the board except for funny.

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