As the summer winds down and the kids prepare for a new school year, everyone could use some extra fun and summertime celebration. From weird, yet delicious food holidays, to super creative family outings, to International Beer Day (yes, it definitely needed its own shout-out), there are so many ways to celebrate during the month of August. Just don’t forget about the kids’ required summer reading between all the festivities!
Check out these 31 extra reasons to smile in August and get celebrating.
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August 1 – National Girlfriends Day
Many of us would be completely and utterly lost without our closest girlfriends. Who would we turn to for sage career advice? Who would offer guidance on our personal and work relationships? Who would tell us, no, we actually can’t pull off that highly daring fashion risk? Today, show your girlfriends how much they really mean to you with a small gift, homemade meal, or even a sweet, handmade card. After years of judgment-free advice, hilarious jokes, and fun times, they've certainly earned it.
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It turns out there is a way to make ice cream even better—you just have to smash it between two soft, gooey cookies. Whether you prefer your ice cream sandwiches homemade or store-bought, plain with chocolate cookies or a little bit more inventive (cereal cookie ice cream sandwiches, anyone?), we say today’s a pretty good day to indulge. It is a national holiday, after all.
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From a 5,400 year old brew discovered in the mountains of Iran, to today’s super interesting, creative craft beers, beer has had a long—and varied—history all over the world. So go ahead and cheers to the world’s favorite beverage with a classic German Spaten or Kolsch, sample a new-to-you brew from a local brewery, or try brewing your own beer at home. No matter how you celebrate International Beer Day, we’re sure it’ll be, ahem, festive.
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Had a little too much fun on International Beer Day, huh? No judgment here. We say, take advantage and have a lazy day. Do not put on pants with a button, post up on the couch, order the greasiest, most delicious pizza you can imagine, and log a few hours of Netflix. Oh, and you also might want to try a few hangover remedies that actually work.Continue to 5 of 31 below.
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August 5 – Friendship Day
These days, we could all use a little extra love, kindness, and unity. Whether your friends are near or far, let them know how much you appreciate their friendship with a phone call, handmade gift, or home cooked dinner. We all get by with a little help from our friends, after all!
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August 6 – National Root Beer Float Day
Today, take a time machine back to your childhood and sip (and scoop) on a tall glass of root beer topped with vanilla ice cream. Looking for a grown-up twist on this classic treat? Combine a few ounces of Galliano, vanilla-flavored vodka, whipped cream, and root beer in a frosted pint class. This adults-only root beer float is dangerously delicious (and you can barely taste the booze), so try not to overdo it!
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August 8 – International Cat Day
If you’re a cat owner, you know every day with your feline friend is basically International Cat Day. Sometimes cats can be fussy and sometimes they poop in the wrong places, but the joy of cat ownership makes it all worth it. Give your kitty a little extra love today (as if it's even possible!) and treat her with a new toy, a little bit of catnip, or some tasty treats.Continue to 9 of 31 below.
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August 9 – National Rice Pudding Day
Yep, the world’s most polarizing pudding has its very own holiday. Love it or hate it, rice pudding has graced grannies’ pantries since its very beginnings. Next time you indulge in some rice pudding, try topping it with lemon zest and vanilla, or sample a few variations of rice pudding from Turkey or Portugal.
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It isn’t summertime without s’mores… or a few cases of poison ivy. But we digress. This campfire classic is perfectly delicious in its original form—graham crackers, milk chocolate, and toasted marshmallows—but there are tons of tasty twists out there, too. Try adding sliced strawberries, bananas, or raspberries, or go all out with a smear of Nutella. You'll thank us later.
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August 11 – Son and Daughter Day
Even if your kids are old enough to think (ahem, know) it's totally uncool, give them a nice, big bear hug today. You may drive each other bananas at times, but there’s nothing more important than family. And, we promise, the stubborn teenage years will go by quickly. Why not spend the day bonding over your favorite childhood board game, or make and play a new game together.
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August 12 – Baseball Fans Day
No sport says “summer” like baseball, but with busy schedules and expensive game admission, it can be tough to get the whole family to the stadium. The good news is, you can create your own stadium experience at home—complete with hot dogs, freshly popped popcorn, and ice cold beer. Whether you paint your face with the team’s colors is totally your call.Continue to 13 of 31 below.
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August 13 – National Filet Mignon Day
If you’ve never prepped filet mignon before, today’s the day to learn! Preparing filet mignon is much easier than you might think—and it’s ridiculously good when served up with sides of potatoes and green beans. Check out this guide to cooking the perfect filet mignon, don your “World’s Best Grill Master” apron, and get grilling.
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August 15 – National Relaxation Day
Between a busy work schedule, your kids’ summertime sports and extracurricular activities, and everyday household chores, it’s really, really hard to get some much needed me time. Today, make it a point to give yourself a few moments of utter relaxation. Listen to your favorite song (and maybe even drop a few dance moves), apply a homemade face mask, take a luxurious bath, or treat yourself to a massage at a local spa—whatever it takes to disconnect and chill out for a little while!
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August 16 – National Bratwurst Day
Say hallo to your new favorite grillers! Bratwurst, or German sausages that are commonly made with pork, beef, or veal, aren’t just easy to cook, but they can be prepared in a number of different ways, too. Try a classic grilling recipe and top them with your favorite hot dog fixings, simmer them in beer for a truly German treat, or slice cooked bratwurst into homemade spaetzle for a delicious side dish.Continue to 17 of 31 below.
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August 18 – National Fajita Day
Sometimes they’re topped with cheese, sometimes they’re spicy, and sometimes they’re packed with inventive ingredients (cactus fajitas, anyone?), but one thing’s for certain: Fajitas are always delicious. Serve them up with refried beans and rice, fresh tortillas, and sour cream for a totally filling (and easy to prep!) dinner.
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August 19 – National Hot and Spicy Food Day
For some people, hot and spicy might mean mild salsa, and for others, it might mean raw ghost chili peppers. Whatever your definition of spicy may be, grab a tall glass of milk and embrace the heat with your favorite hot and spicy foods. Just don’t touch your eyes!
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Whether you serve it alongside eggs and hash browns, layered on top of an avocado, tomato, and lettuce sandwich on fresh bread, or as a flavor fusion in your favorite vodka (yes, really), today, there’s no wrong way to eat bacon. But before you go on your bacon bender, learn how to cook the world’s crispiest, most perfect bacon with our easy recipe.Continue to 21 of 31 below.
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August 21 – National Spumoni Day
Spumoni is one of those desserts we’ve all heard of, but don’t actually know what it contains—so a national holiday seems like a pretty good day to get educated! Spumoni is a traditional dessert that contains gelato, whipped cream, candied fruit, and nuts, so, needless to say, it’s pretty darn tasty. Want to give it a try? Make your own spumoni or leave it to the pros and pick one up at your local Italian bakery.
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Bao, otherwise known as baozi, is a meat- or veggie-filled steamed bun that’s common in Chinese cuisines—but, unlike a dumpling, bao has a thick, chewy, almost bread-like wrapper. In other words? Bao are basically little pockets of heaven filled with your favorite Chinese meats and veggies. We recommend getting to your local Chinese eatery and ordering some bao (or making your own bao at home!) as soon as possible.
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Fresh corn on the cob is a quintessential summer dish. There’s only one thing that can make it better: Butter. Lots and lots of butter. (This butter rule applies to 99 percent of other foods, too.) Pair it with your favorite barbecued meats and some potato salad for a dinner that screams “summertime.”
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Believe it or not, waffles can be incorporated into every. Single. Meal. Of course, there’s the obvious waffles with butter and syrup for breakfast, but have you considered chicken and waffles for lunch? Or a burger with all the fixings sandwiched between two waffles for dinner? Or making an ice cream sandwich with—you guessed it—homemade waffles? There’s no better time to try some more inventive waffle concoctions than today!Continue to 25 of 31 below.
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If you want to feel like a cool, mid-century modern kind of cat, we recommend sipping on a whisky sour. This classic cocktail contains bourbon, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and a whole lot of Don Draper-esque swagger. Serve it over ice with an orange wheel and Maraschino cherry for a deliciously vintage cocktail hour.
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August 26 – National Dog Day
Dog owners truly consider their four-legged friends as members of the family. Sure, having a dog can be a lot of work, but the love, affection, and loyalty our doggies give back makes it all worth it—one thousand times over! Give your pooch a little extra pampering today, whether that means an extra long walk, a fun, new toy, or a tasty treat. She deserves it!
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This may be a bit controversial, but we’re just going to come out and say it: Bananas don’t get the recognition they deserve. You can use them in literally thousands of recipes (from smoothies, to ice cream sundaes, to homemade pancakes), they make an excellent, vegan-friendly egg replacer in baking recipes, they contain a ton of heart-healthy potassium, and they’re ridiculously cheap—even the organic ones! Okay, banana rant over.
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August 28 – Red Wine Day
Not only has red wine been proven to reduce stress and lower blood pressure, but it also contains healthy antioxidants that can reduce the buildup of plaque in the arteries, reduce cholesterol, and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. That’s quite enough from us already—so, where’s your wine glass?Continue to 29 of 31 below.
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August 29 – Lemon Juice Day
Unlike orange juice, you probably don’t want to drink a tall glass of lemon juice in the morning. Without lemon juice, however, many of our favorite foods and drinks would be totally bland—and preserving food would be much, much more difficult. Lemon juice can add brightness to any dish (from a salad to a lemon cake), it can add depth and dimension to cocktails (many bartenders believe fresh lemon is the most important ingredient to have in your bar!), and, when you’re finished prepping food with it, you can use lemon juice as an eco-friendly home cleaner.
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August 30 – National Toasted Marshmallow Day
If you didn’t indulge in enough toasted marshmallows on National S’mores Day earlier this month, now’s your chance to catch up! Whip up a batch of marshmallow-y fudge, add toasted marshmallows to a peanut butter sandwich for a totally nostalgic (albeit, unhealthy) lunch, or just eat your toasted marshmallows straight off the stick. We bet by the end of this month you’ll be all ‘mallowed out, though.
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August 31 – Eat Outside Day
Al fresco dining season is almost over, so you must take advantage of every nice evening and eat outside for the rest of the summer—but especially today. String up the twinkly lights, gather your shatterproof wine glasses, and hit the patio with your freshly prepped filet mignon, grilled veggies, and hot, buttered corn.