Summer Survival Guide

Make a Bucket List

Summer camping illustration

There’s something about summer that brings up a man's spirit of adventure. Perhaps it's a holdover from the early days of childhood, when school would let out and a surge of freedom washed over you. The world—or at least your neighborhood—was your oyster. With ample time at your disposal, you'd inevitably make new friends, discover new things and probably get yourself in trouble a few times. But, in the end, it was a transformative experience.

Some of that wonderment gets lost as we get older. The idleness of childhood gets shelved as responsibilities accumulate. Summer is still full of hope, no matter how old you are, but we so rarely take full advantage. And if ever a year called for shedding the heaviness of the past few months, it's this one. So get outside, feel the sun's warmth on your face or take pleasure in the joy of night swimming.

Summer camping illustration

This is a time for diving into new pastimes and nostalgic traditions. But if you're not careful, the day-to-day duties will keep you busy enough to allow the whole season to slip by. So how to make sure you get out and have some fun? Do the adult thing and write it out. Make yourself a bucket list for the summer. Maybe ask your partner or family to do the same. Let that list be a guide to breaking away from the monotony, injecting some old school fun back into summer and creating new memories along the way. Your list has to reflect your own sensibilities and desires, but here are some classic summer suggestions to kickstart your list.

Map pin illustration
Map pin illustration


Take a road trip. To your favorite spot a few hours away, to visit friends who moved away or to someplace you’ve never been before. Find a new album and listen to it on repeat to create a memorable soundtrack.


Grill. As often as possible and with as many loved ones around you as you can gather. Invite friends over for a pot-luck barbecue and marvel at how much you can eat (and drink).


Buy some film (or a disposable camera) to document your adventures. Wait until the end of the summer to have the film developed to relive the experiences.

Fireworks illustration
Fireworks illustration


Set off some fireworks. It’s good, clean fun and fairly safe if you keep the drinking to a minimum. They’re not just for the Fourth of July. Light ‘em up all summer long.


Go fishing. Whether by yourself or with a group, it's a solid afternoon out in the fresh air. Your mind will wander and, if you’re lucky, you might come home with some fish.


Find a local fair. Spend the afternoon supporting local businesses by indulging in fried foods, fresh lemonade and old-timey rides. Try your hand at some games and listen to a little live music.


Go stargazing. The SkySafari astronomy app lets you hold your phone to the sky to identify planets, constellations, stars and satellites. Or just find the darkest spot in your area to lay in the grass and look up at the stars.

George Orwell 1984 cover illustration
George Orwell 1984 cover illustration


Pick a classic book you’ve always wanted to read and dig into it. If you can find a hammock to read in, make a whole afternoon of it.


Swim. Preferably in a natural body of water, but a pool will do nicely. Swim at night, swim in the nude and never pass up a water slide, rope swing or diving board.


Visit a museum. Maybe one you’ve never been to before. Take a break from the heat and stroll through galleries and exhibits. You’ll come out the other side brimming with inspiration.

Your Deadline

September 22 calendar icon

You’ve got until September to accomplish your bucket list. Labor Day (September 6th) is the unofficial end of summer, but the season doesn’t technically end until the Autumnal Equinox on September 22nd.