68 Fun Summer Activities for Your Best Season Ever

Prepare for the most unforgettable summer to date, thanks to these recipes, craft projects, trips, and more.

summer activities
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Looking for fun things to do in the summer when the weather gets hot? We’ve got you covered. In the spirit of the season, we came up with a can’t-miss checklist of everything you must do for an unforgettable summer, be it a new recipe, craft project, or family trip. Get the kids outdoors, for example, by DIYing a stock tank swimming pool in your own backyard, or escape the grid for a weekend fishing getaway. Think outside the box and beat the heat with an ice cream social, a refreshing cocktail, or a backyard tea party with friends. But sometimes, the simplest summer pleasures just come from sitting in an outside after dinner. From barbecues to warm lazy days to cherry picking, there's no shortage of easygoing summer activities to keep you busy—and simply too much to love about this time of year. That's why we rounded up our favorite summer activities right here. See what creative ideas made the cut, and try to cross as many off your summer bucket list as possible.

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ice cream social summer activities
BRIAN WOODCOCK
Plan an Ice Cream Social

There's something so nostalgic about inviting your closest friends or neighbors over to enjoy a good old ice cream cone (with plenty of toppings, of course). Add a sweet assortment of themed wares to take the ice cream bar up a notch.

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fishing summer activity
Getty Images
Head to the Lake for a Fishing Trip

Sea, sun, and the thrill of the catch all await you. Make it a family affair or escape on the boat for the day to get some much-needed quiet time.

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cherry picking summer activities
Tara Donne
Go Cherry Picking

Find a working farm near you, fill a basket with the shiny red stems, then take stock of your juicy jubilee and bring a few fresh farm-to-table cherry recipes to life.

RELATED: 16 Sweet Cherry Recipes to Try This Summer

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watercolor art summer activity
ALEXANDRA SCHMITT
Paint a Summer Scene

Even if your drawing talent starts and ends with stick figures, it's impossible not to gain inspiration from nature. Armed with a canvas and watercolors, camp out in front of a scenic spot and see where your creative juices take you. You may surprise yourself with a hidden art affinity.

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walking through sunflower field summer activity
Getty Images
Take a Stroll Through a Sunflower Field

Just looking at these yellow beauties is enough to brighten anyone's mood. If you're lucky enough to live near one of prettiest sunflower fields in America, spend the day picking flowers, snapping pictures, and even lying down in the middle of it all.

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porch dinner date summer activities
Gridley and Graves
Set Up an Outdoor Dinner Date

Dreamy porch dinner for two, right this way. Aside from the outdoor view, set the mood with a table runner, flower centerpiece, and a bottle of your favorite vino (and avoid killing the mood by having bug spray nearby).

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ice cream sandwiches summer activity
BRIAN WOODCOCK
Try Out a New Dessert Recipe

One of the best ways to escape the heat? Homemade ice cream sandwiches. Make an afternoon out of it and enlist assistance from your favorite little helpers.

Get the recipe.

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tea party summer activities
Mary Britton Senseney
Host a Backyard Tea Party

There's nothing as timeless as a tea party, and you hardly need a special occasion to plan your own classy ladies luncheon. Come the next sunny day, raise your pinky and a porcelain tea cup with your best friends in tow.

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potting station summer activities
Helen Norman
Set Up a Backyard Potting Station

Meet your new favorite summer spot. To get the look, assemble two upside down metal trash cans beneath an old door. Flank the setup with metal stools and get to gardening!

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rv road trip summer activity
Getty Images
Hit the Road in an RV

Itching to get away for a few days without breaking the bank? Then say hello to an RV road trip. Map out your route before you go, then roll the windows down and set off to a few never-before-seen spots around the country.

RELATED: Going Car Camping? Here Are the 20 Best Tips, Tricks, and Ideas

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barn summer party
David Tsay
Host a Barn Bash

Invite friends, family—or even the whole town—over for a barn party to celebrate the season. Set up as bench seats, hang some , and make a bright statement by using to form your very own colorful garland.


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barn summer party
David Tsay
Throw a Rustic Dinner Party

Invite your friends over for a casual, country dinner before summer's over! Recreate this charming scene by lining your table with and straw bales for seating. Then serve up oven-roasted pulled pork, smashed buttermilk potato salad, and cabbage-and-collard green slaw for dinner, and finish the evening with a big ole skillet of apple-blackberry crumble.


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fun things to do in the summer craft
Brian Woodcock
Greet Guests With a Vintage Touch

Hang a pretty pastel watering can over your front door and fill with fresh flowers for an easy decor upgrade.

Check out our fun summer crafts ideas.

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fun things to do in he summer pool
Amazon
Transform a Stock Tank Into a Swimming Pool

No need to head to your public pool this summer! Use a stock tank for an affordable way to cool down right in your backyard.

Get the tutorial.

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Annie Schlechter
Find the Perfect Porch Furniture

There's something about finding a great swing or the most comfortable wicker furniture for your porch or patio that makes it truly feel like summer.

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Courtesy of Basil and Bubbly
Sip on Frosé

If you love both rosé and frozen cocktails, you have to try frosé. This popular wine cocktail that has quickly become a viral summer trend, is simple to make, and is the perfect summer drink.

Get the recipe at .

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COURTESY OF BUILD BASIC/ASHLEY LARGESSE PHOTOGRAPHY
Make a DIY Backyard Connect Four Board

While there are several outdoor games you can play with your kids this summer, they will love this life-size Connect Four game you can have in your yard all summer long.

Get the tutorial at .

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Courtesy of Little Vintage Nest
Brighten Your Front Door with a DIY Summer Wreath

Welcome guests with a personal message by crafting a DIY summer wreath for your front door.

Get the tutorial at .

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Courtesy of Life in the Lofthouse
Try a Foil Packet Recipe on the Grill

Perfect for grilling season, foil packet recipes are mess-free, making them great for serving guests at a backyard barbecue.

Get the recipe at .

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Gourmande in the Kitchen
Drink Lemonade On Your Porch

It wouldn't be summer without this refreshing and classic drink. As a summery thirst quencher or mixer, these fresh lemonade recipes will keep you cool all season long.

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Via Style Me Pretty Living
Host a Backyard Bash

We tend to think of barbecues and picnics as the only options when it comes to fuss-free outdoor dining, but it's totally possible to host an elegant, stress-free outdoor dinner. We tapped Abby Larson, founder and editor of , to share her top tips for throwing a .

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Miki Duisterhof
Drink a Cocktail with a DIY Drink Umbrella

These adorable accents add a punch of pretty to any summer drink—and are a cinch to make.

Get the tutorial.

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Max Kim-Bee
Hang String Lights Over Your Porch

Add some twinkle to family game night or a relaxing afternoon by hanging string lights (the ones shown here are from ) on your front porch.

RELATED: Dreamy Ways to Use Outdoor String Lights in Your Backyard

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Laura Moss
Spend a Lazy Afternoon in a Hammock

Let's get real here: Can you think of anything better than spending your day napping in a hammock like this one?

RELATED: Step Inside This Beautiful Tudor House and Garden in Alabama

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Staci Valentine
Pick a Signature Summer Cocktail

Good news: We already found the most refreshing cocktails you'll ever have. Your job? Pick one and make it your official drink of summer.

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Tina Rupp
Try a New Grilling Recipe

Aiming to impress at your next barbecue? Check out our favorite flavors and foods to start sizzling on the grill this summer.

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Getty Images
Take a Dip in a Swimming Hole

Forgo your local pool and check out to find an old-school swimming hole near you.

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Tasty Yummies
Make Your Own Salsa

There is no greater testament to a salsa's amazingness than its ability to make you eat an entire bag of tortilla chips. Whether it's tried-and-true pico de gallo or salsa fresca, or a more unique recipe with ingredients you have to look up, salsa can be relied upon to provide a light, summery counterbalance to salty fried dishes or accentuate the flavor of all manner of meats and vegetables.

RELATED: The Best Homemade Salsas to Make This Summer

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Buff Strickland
Visit a Ikaroo Fair

If you've never visited one of our Ikaroo Fairs, this is the summer to do it! Jam-packed with vendors, celebrity guests, artisan food sellers, and more, our Fair weekends in Nashville, Rhinebeck, Atlanta, and Columbus are must-visit events we look forward to the entire year.

Get the dates and buy your tickets.

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Alyssa Rosenheck
Decorate Your Home for the Fourth of July

Hang patriotic pleated fans from your front porch for the holiday.

RELATED: Cute and Inexpensive 4th of July Decorations

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