There’s only about five more weeks left of summer (until Labor Day). How are you going to spend them? Here are a few ideas:
Go to a national park and do some hiking
Go rock climbing.
Take a sailing lesson.
Go zip lining.
Rent kayaks and spend the day on the water.
Clown around…seriously. Master juggling or the trapeze at circus school.
Rent a bike for the day and explore new terrain.
Take skateboard lessons.
Sign up for an affordable gym membership and get the bathing suit body you’ve always dreamed of.
Go whitewater rafting.
Take a surfing lesson.
Sign up for a mud run, obstacle race or color run (or all three!)
Rent jet skis.
Hire a personal trainer for a session or two.
Make an at-home gym with weights, yoga mats and exercise balls.
Get a day or season pass at your local pool.
Take a horse riding lesson.
Take a cycling class.
Be A Tourist In Your Own Town
Spend a day at an amusement park with family or friends.
Check out your local planetarium…
…or splurge on a telescope and host your own star-gazing party.
Go to a water park with family or friends…
…or turn your backyard into one.
Go to the circus.
Tap into your spiritual side: have your fortune read or try a session with a medium.
Take a trip to the zoo.
Go mini golfing with family or friends. From pirate courses to glow-in-the-dark golfing, the possibilities are endless.
Take yourself (or a friend) out to the ballgame and snack on foods that can only be found at baseball stadiums.
Go ghost hunting or on a haunted graveyard tour.
Take a date (or your family) to the county fair or carnival in your town.
Play laser tag with family or friends.
Challenge your friends to a paintball battle.
Check out the newest restaurant in town.
Treat your friends to a round of bowling, nachos and wings.
Start a garden in your backyard and reap the rewards all summer long.
Take a pottery class with a friend.
Climb to the top of the highest building in your town or city.
Have Fun With Your Family
Get professional photos taken of your family.
Take your little one to group classes like music or gymnastics.
Get a jogging stroller so you can get exercise even when you’re on baby watch.
Take your kids to a thrift store and get funny costumes or second-hand gowns and jewels for dress-up fun.
Create a summer 2014 scrapbook and have your family work on it, adding photos, ticket stubs and their own art throughout the season.
Host an interactive mystery party through The Mystery Shop (www.TheMysteryShop.com) for adults or kids
Get a ticket to a nearby music festival.
Catch a touring Broadway show when it passes through the nearest city.
Take a couple of lessons with certified guitar instructors.
Have a movie marathon — binge watch the best recent-releases on demand in the comfort of your living room.
Take someone you love out for a fancy meal.
Spend a night at the opera.
Go to your local orchestra’s next outdoor performance.
See a dance show.
Buy an entire book series, vow to read them all before the end of summer, and then actually do it.
Take an improv class with a friend.
Take a photography class so you can professionally capture the best summer moments with your friends and family.
Go see live comedy or any live theatre. Check out www.ChicagoPlays.com for a list of Chicagoland theatres.
Check out a film festival.
Buy a few box sets of your favorite shows for lazy summer nights.
Snag an all-access attraction pass for your city.
Get Cooking (And Eating)!
Make popsicles like kiwi, lime-honey or mango-parsley.
Take a cooking class.
Give someone you love a $150 gift card to their favorite coffee place–that’s roughly a month of coffee every morning, and they’ll think of you when they start their day!
Take a trip to one of the country’s best farmer’s markets and use your bounty for a farm-to-table dinner party.
Go on a food truck crawl in your city.
Become a certified barbecue judge.
Make gourmet snow cones.
Take colleagues who have gone the extra mile for you out for appetizers and drinks after work and pick up the check.
Make your own candy.
Take a baking class and learn how to make a fancy cake.
Buy a pressure canner and some mason jars and make your own jams or butters.
Make copycat versions of your favorite summertime restaurant dishes at home.
Take your parents or kids out to dinner–they deserve it!
Try juicing with a juicer.
Get creative with the barbecue and toss on watermelon, pizza, potatoes, and other fun foods you probably wouldn’t normally think to grill.
Have an at-home lobster bake
…or a crab feast…Maryland style…
…or a crawfish boil…New Orleans style…
…or a shrimp boil like they do in the South…
…or a fish fry!
Throw a make-your-own-sushi party.
Host a vintage-inspired ice cream social.
Have a grown-up s’mores making party with dark chocolate and made-from-scratch marshmallows.
Or, have a progressive dinner party where each attendee hosts a different course at their home.
Throw a deserving friend a surprise birthday party.
Have a luau!
Do It Yourself
Buy a Polaroid camera, capture summer moments, and make a polaroid poster at the end of the summer.
Take craft classes at a local art supply store.
Buy a basic white case for your phone and decorate it with sharpies, nail polish, gems and studs.
Buy a bunch of denim at a second-hand store, stock up on studs, bleach and thread and have a DIY denim day with friends.
Make grown-up friendship bracelets…
…or, host an afternoon of adult tie-dye!
Take a knitting class.
Get a bunch of your favorite photos printed and make a collage for your bedroom or living room.
Brighten a room in your house up by giving one wall a coat of colorful paint.
Buy a sewing machine and take a sewing class–then, wear your own designs!
Get Out of Town
Get a cheap flight and do a free home swap.
Book a house rental for a weekend with friends.
Go on a daytrip to a nearby outlet mall and score some great deals.
If you’re a city dweller: rent a car for the day and travel to a beach, lake or park.
If you’re country dweller: spend a day exploring the closest city.
Commit yourself to learning a new language.
Split a sailboat rental with friends.
Take a volunteering vacation.
Primp and Pamper
Buy summery nail polish in every color of the rainbow.
Change up your haircut or color.
Get a relaxing massage.
Get an over-the-top manicure.
Hire a makeup artist for a special night out or just because…
…or take makeup class so you can do it yourself!
Treat yourself and your best friend to a blow out.
Get a hot shave.
Go for a shoe shine.
Try a YouTube beauty or hair tutorial.
Get In The Game
Host an outdoor Sunday flag football game for your friends.
Buy a season pass to watch the local baseball team.
Stock up for the season on sports gear and rep your favorite team.
Host neighborhood Olympics.
Throw the ultimate fantasy football draft party.
Have a backyard game marathon and play KanJam, Corn Hole and Ladder Golf.
Take your favorite board games outdoors.
Shop ‘Til You Drop
Buy a ridiculously awesome pool float.
Get a streaming device to make binge watching TV even easier.
Download the best summer apps.
Stock up on summer beach reads.
Buy and name stars for your loved ones.
Get an ergonomic desk chair–your back will thank you.
Buy a picnic set.
Go bikini shopping.
Go on a thrift store or flea market shopping extravaganza.
Treat yourself to some high-quality headphones.
Restock your board game cabinet for casual nights with family and friends.
Upgrade your phone.
Get some designer shades for sunny days.
Donate money to a charity that means something to you.
Get high-quality razors delivered to your doorstep for a full year.
Improve Your Home
Summer-ify your backyard, porch or fire escape with fairy lights and lanterns.
Make over your bed with a new bedspread and pillows.
Install a swing on the front porch or in your backyard.
Build a bonfire.
Buy a nice piece of art for your place.
Put up a hammock in your backyard.
And, of course, book your interactive mystery party through The Mystery Shop!
10% off on any show performed by September 30!