24 Things to Do Before Summer Ends

Summer Camp at the Best Private Schools

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As summer draws to an end, it can mean the end of school vacations and seasonal changes in the weather. This is not the time for being a couch potato–make a list of all those summer-centric things you've wanted to do and get out there and do them!

Whether it's that camping trip, beach party, a picnic lunch as a family, or just riding your bike through the streets, now's the time. When fall makes its crisp arrival, you'll be satisfied with all the fun you had. If you are looking for inspiration for your adventures, check out this list of things to do before summer ends.

  • 01 of 24

    Drive-in Movie Theater

    Silhouetted view of attractive young couple, boy and girl embracing at a drive in movie

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    Nothing says nostalgia like pulling up your car to a parking spot at the good old drive-in, but how many of us have actually attended? Drive-in movie theaters are seeing a resurgence in popularity, meaning there's a good chance that there is one near you. Popcorn, a soda, and some candy with a flick under the stars is a great way to round out your end of summer fun. 

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  • 02 of 24

    Baseball Game

    @get_your_guzz_on / Twenty20

    Baseball is often referred to as America's favorite pastime! Why not buy some cheap seats and enjoy a few beers with your friends in the bleachers?

    It's a great way to spend time with friends and fellow fans, and what's not to love about a pitchside hot dog!

    Infamous major league baseball rivalries like the New York Mets vs Yankees and Chicago Cubs vs White Sox are especially entertaining if you live in a big city and can access these special sporting events where they compete.

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  • 03 of 24

    County Fair

    County Fair
    Wikimedia Commons

    Find the nearest county fair, pile on the fried food, and maybe even ride a roller coaster or two. A county fair only happens once a year, and it's full of nostalgia, magic, and happy summer memories with friends and family.

    Usually a place for families, it can be sweet to visit your old stomping grounds as an adult and reminisce. If you moved far away, find an adoptive town and take on their county fairs as your own. A visit to the nearest county fair can be a bittersweet farewell to summer days.

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  • 04 of 24

    Read a Book

    Jayme Burrows / Stocksy United

    Summer is for reading, and it's even better if you can read while enjoying some beach or park time. Turn off your phone and pick up a book or eReader for at least 30 mins a day. Even if it's only a weekend ritual, you will feel so accomplished by the end of summer. If you are already midway through the season and have not picked up one book yet, it's not too late. Head to your nearest library or bookstore to end the summer on a high note.

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  • 05 of 24

    Neighborhood Ice Cream Truck

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    The notorious musical notes of the summer ice cream truck are synonymous with some of the best memories of summer. Ice cream after every meal is not something you should indulge in year-round, but it might be considered necessary in the dog days of summer.

    Lucky for you, there is a truck that swings by about three times a day in the summer to make sure you get your fix. Make sure you are saving your nickels and dimes—you will want to be prepared when the ice cream van hits your block.

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  • 06 of 24

    BBQ Everything

    Bourbon BBQ Sauce
    DebbiSmirnoff / Getty Images

    BBQ everything—yes, please! Meat is less fatty and more flavorsome grilled, and veggies retain their nutritional goodness. Summer is the sweetest with a plate of the messy good stuff for dinner. Add some sides like grilled corn, coleslaw, and cornbread to balance your meal, of course. Be sure to invite all your friends and family to a backyard BBQ for one last summer hurrah!

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  • 07 of 24

    Seafood Feast

    Darren Muir / Stocksy United

    Get your hands on some fresh lobster, crab, and shrimp before summer's up. This is the time to binge on all your seafood favorites. Prices are usually just right, and the fish quality is exceptional, especially if you find yourself coastal. A big juicy lobster roll will evoke feelings of summer and be just the kind of feasting you will love to celebrate the close of a season.

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  • 08 of 24

    Swim in a Lake

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    It's probably very near impossible that you will feel 'beached out' this summer, but if you are looking for a change of scenery, a weekend lake escape could be just what you are looking for. A visit to a lake can be a great family activity or for groups of friends, and at times, it can be more affordable than planning an elaborate beach vacation.

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  • 09 of 24

    Sleep in a Hammock

    Melanie Riccardi / Stocksy United

    A daily siesta outdoors in a hammock is the quintessential relaxation spot. The sweet summer breeze, the smell of the greenery surrounding you, and the natural running creek nearby don't hurt in helping you get some quality outdoor snoozing in before the temps drop.

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  • 10 of 24


    Mickey Wiswedel / Stocksy United

    Get out of the city, find the nearest spot with the clearest skies and admire the beautiful constellations and stars. You might even want to invest in a telescope to give your kids a clearer view. Lying on a blanket under the stars is the perfect option for a romantic summer date too.

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  • 11 of 24

    Work From the Beach

    Work from the Beach

    How many times have you been to the beach this summer so far? How many excuses have you made not to go and convinced yourself that you had work to do instead? If you live in a seasonal climate, summer is short and precious. Working from the beach can leave you feeling refreshed. Make sure to find a wi-fi accessible beach spot when planning your day away from the office, and you may need a sun cover for your computer screen.

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  • 12 of 24

    Make Lemonade

    Easy Rosemary Lemonade with Tequila Cocktail Recipe
    Lisa Romerein / The Image Bank / Getty Images

    If you are looking for the best way to quench your thirst in the last of the summer heat, make a pitcher of homemade lemonade. The mixture of tart and sweet is a refreshing way to hydrate.

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  • 13 of 24

    Outdoor Concerts

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    Most towns and cities have a ton of free outdoor summer concerts—find the one closest to you and indulge. Make sure you come prepared with a blanket, snacks, sunscreen, and some bug spray.

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  • 14 of 24

    Make Sangria

    strawberry rhubarb sangria
    Leah Maroney

    If summer is coming to a close and you haven't had a cool glass of Sangria yet, something is wrong. Stop and get together your favorite fruits and berries to mix a summer beverage adults love.

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  • 15 of 24

    Jump in a Pool

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    Community pools can have a bad reputation, but a well-run one is perfect for visiting for a day trip, especially if you don't live near the beach. Head to the pool early and on a weekday to avoid the crowds and to claim your favorite spot.

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  • 16 of 24

    Picnic in the Park

    Wine, fruit, cheese and bread at picnic
    Getty Images/David Buffington

    A picnic in the park is an easy, affordable way to enjoy being outside. You can spend quality time with loved ones, enjoy some delicious summer-inspired food, and soak up the sun and fresh air while relaxing on a picnic blanket.

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  • 17 of 24

    Go Camping

    The best camping ice chest keeps ice cold for days.
    Paul Bradbury / Getty Images

    Camping is another wonderful summertime escape before the temperatures start to drop and some campsites close. From kayaking to hikes and swimming holes, the summer fun that camping has to offer is endless. For a perfect camping treat after long days of activities, do not forget the summer s'mores!

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  • 18 of 24

    Watch a Thunderstorm

    Thunderstorm over the river at night
    Anton Petrus / Getty Images

    There is something so unique and romantic about a perfect summer storm. If you can find a great spot, take a moment to enjoy the rain, sounds, and sights of a beautiful summer storm. The air always feels so much clearer after too.

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  • 19 of 24

    Splurge on Pool Accessories

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    If you are lucky enough to have a pool in your backyard, why not invest in some inflatable accessories? There is nothing more relaxing than floating in the pool, your legs trailing in the water while reading a book. Plus, they are great fun for the kids and can help build their confidence. Have you seen the floating flamingos and swans? Floaties made for royalty!

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  • 20 of 24

    Catch Fireflies

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    Feel like a kid again catching fireflies in an open field or large yard. Don't forget a jar to collect the beauties and see them all illuminate the enclosed space together before releasing them again.

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  • 21 of 24

    Visit a Farmer's Market

    Kansas Farmers Market
    Matthew Palmer / Getty Images

    Collect a bounty of summer fruits, vegetables, and provisions at your neighborhood farmer's market. To get the best of what's being offered, make sure you are one of the first visitors. End of summer dinners with fresh, local ingredients from a summer market are unbeatable.

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  • 22 of 24

    Rent a Convertible

    Shot of a vintage car parked on the side of a mountain

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    If you want to treat yourself, why not rent a convertible and go on a mini road trip. Nothing beats experiencing a summer breeze with the top down while discovering new places on your travels.

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  • 23 of 24

    Head to a Sunflower Field for Some Great Photos

    Girl Enjoying a view at Sunflower Field

    Djordje Boskovic / Getty Images


    Iconic Sunflowers make everyone think of long summer days. Why not head to a field of these beautiful, tall, yellow blooms to get some photos that are sure to give you a boost if you revisit them during the long winter months.

    Don't forget to be respectful and don't trespass where you shouldn't. Some farms actually allow people to visit and pick some of these beautiful flowers for making a beautiful late summer floral arrangement.

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  • 24 of 24

    Go Fishing to Appreciate a Slower Pace

    Rear view of a father and son freshwater fishing

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    Whether you use it as an excuse for some quiet quality time with the kids, or you want to rent a boat to head out on the lake for some contemplative peace, fishing is a great summer activity. Always take the proper safety precautions if you are going out on open water and check you have permission to fish in the area you select.