Uplift Your Fall: 8 Ways to Make Every Saturday a Summer Saturday
For most people, the start of a new school year signals the end of summer, but who says it has to be this way? We think of summer more as a state of mind than a season that comes to a close in September. Relaxing and spending time with your family, going on special trips, and all the best parts of summer can be done year round. We’ve come up with 8 great tips to make every Saturday this year a Summer Saturday!
1. Camping at Home
It’s not cheap to go camping. At the very minimum, you must have tents, sleeping bags, lanterns, and gigantic marshmallows. That doesn’t include the gas it takes to get to the great outdoors, the money to set up camp there, and buying those items you forgot to pack. All that means you probably didn’t get many chances to go camping this summer, but don’t shelve that camping gear just yet. You can have a great time camping at your house. One Saturday, take the tent outside and spend a night with the family under the stars. If going outside is out of the question, get creative inside and turn the living room into a campsite. Just don’t forget the smores.
2. International Day
With the kids back in school, that trip to Mexico, Japan, or Ethiopia will probably have to wait, but don’t let that keep you from the many cultural opportunities you can experience here at home. Spend a Saturday taking a tour of the world. Start the day off with a breakfast burrito or huevos rancheros. After spending the morning swinging at a pinata, get rid of the chairs and bring out the chopsticks for a Japanese style lunch. Try your hand at making some origami or come up with your own haikus. For dinner, throw the silverware and the chopsticks out because Ethiopian food is all about eating with your hands. When your belly is full of injera (traditional Ethiopian bread) and tibs (sauteed meat with vegetables), you’ll be glad the trip to your own bed is just a few steps away.
3. Silent Retreat
These days technology can make it difficult to connect with our families. Everyone keeps their eyes focused on their cell phones or computers. It can get to the point where you wind up seeing your family more on Facebook than you do in real life. If that’s the case, carve out a weekend for a family reunion. Leave the electronics behind and break out the board games or go for a walk in a nearby park. If you have trouble getting the kids to let go of their technology, try a family movie day where everyone has a chance to share and talk about their favorite film. Face to face beats Facebook any day of the week.
4. A Meal to Remember
Let’s face it, dinner can get boring. The cooks in the house only know so many recipes, and there’s not a whole lot of variety with delivery either. If meatloaf and mashed potatoes wind up on your plate for the thirtieth time this year, you can either stare them down or add a bit of creativity to the meal. (We suggest you get creative because no one’s ever won a staring contest against a spoonful of mashed potatoes.) When the menu becomes predictable, switch up the order to keep your family guessing. No one’s going to be late to the table if you start the meal off with ice cream. Or try a staple of late night diners: breakfast for dinner. If you’re really feeling adventurous, loosen the restrictions on playing with food at the table. We bet macaroni art looks even better with cheese.
5. Family Olympics
Somehow there’s always one person in every family who’s the best at everything. If you can run a mile in 10 minutes, they can run it in 9. Did you make a B+ on your term paper? They got an A- when they took the class. It’s funny how they’re quick to say things like that, but they never get around to showing you any proof. With a Family Olympics Saturday, you can put their claims to the test. Can they really climb to the top of that tree in the backyard? How many grapes can they actually fit in their mouth? There are tons of great contests where the entire family can be champions.
6. Visit a Fire Station
The best and the worst thing about the summer is the heat. It’s great when you can cool off at the beach or a pool, but a completely different thing when you’re burning up on the long, hot walk back to your car. So to get you back in the summer spirit, why not pay a visit to some folks that really know about heat? A fire fighter’s life is a real life summer blockbuster. Burning buildings, explosions, and wildfires are just part of the job description. Take a day to get in on the excitement. In the process, you might learn some fire safety tips that can help keep your house from over heating.
7. Day at the Zoo
If you’re looking for a bargain, it’s hard to beat the zoo. Just think of all the countries you’d have to visit to see the same animals. There’s Australia for the kangaroo, China for the panda, and Kenya for the lion. That’s already a trip around the world, and we’re only at 3 animals. Save your money and your time on all that plane travel by spending a day at the zoo. Don’t think your day will just be spent looking at animals through caged bars. Most zoos have interactive exhibits where you can get up close to a variety of animals except the tigers. We’re thankful for cages when it comes to tigers.
8. Plant a Family Garden
It’s hard to imagine summer without thinking of flowers and lush, green plants. So when everything in your yard has shed its leaves, it can be almost impossible to get in the summer spirit. But your yard doesn’t have to be barren during the fall and winter months. Take a visit to a local greenhouse and let your family choose a plant to get them thinking of summer. There are plenty of shrubs and bushes that stay green all year round. For instance, the walking fern can bring back that touch of vivid green to your house. Of course, the family doesn’t all have to pick an evergreen. There’s also plenty of time to plan a garden to make summer even brighter next year.