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23 Ways to Play this Summer!

Summer is made for pleasure and delight. There is no other season, like this one, that can entice you to stop and smell the roses, to appreciate your life fully, engage in some frisky fun, and enjoy the feminine delights! So with that in mind, here's 23 ways to get you started!

Woman in a dress walking in the water of a sunny beach with the words "23 ways to play in Summer" emblazoned over the image

I make no bones about it. Summer is my favorite season. And I am a doer. I love to make lists and get things done. There's just nothing quite as satisfying as crossing something off the to-do list, is there?

But as an adult in my forties, my "to-do" lists these days are often filled with work, and errands and family stuff. I bet yours is the same. ;)

But while to-do lists and the demands of ordinary living are a necessity, it's all too easy to forget to play. To engage in the other side of our life: pleasure, recreation, relaxing and fully taking in the marvelous life all around us.

So why not use our organizing skills to make a to-do list for summer fun? For pleasure? Here's mine, catered to the feminine, but it's only a starting place. Feel free to add on with your own lush, and fabulous ideas for a summer of fun!

1. Host a Big Girls Only Slumber Party

Ah, the slumber party of our youth. A bunch girls, some sleeping bags, loads of sugar, and a whole lot of sleepless giddy excitement, right? Well, why not bring the best parts of that scenario back?

Invite over the girls for a movie night. Dress code? Pajamas only. Put on your best girly-girl movie (Dirty Dancing anyone?).

Ask everyone to bring their favorite movie or party snack.

And when the movie's over, if ya'll wanna go home and sleep in your own beds? I would understand. ;) Your choice!

2. Sweet Like Summer Wine

There are wine tastings hidden all over this country, sometimes in the most surprising places. Like right next door. I've found wine tastings via a "wine bus" in a small city nearby, and wine country only three hours away from even my rural haunt in Idaho.

So if you want to have a little Girl's Weekend, a wine tour complete with your hired car and driver can be just the sort of grown up get away you're looking for!

But you could also host your own weekend wine tasting. Nothing tastes better in summer than switching up your usual glass for something ice cold and maybe even effervescent. Hold a wine tasting for you, or your besties, with a bottle of a sparkling wine from a brand you've never tried before!

3. Camp isn't just for kids anymore!

Why not take a weekend or even a week for yourself this summer, and send yourself to camp? A "camp" for women! What could be better?

Pick a place or an activity you've always wanted to explore, maybe surfing in Hawaii at an upscale camp for women only? What about a weekend yoga retreat at a monastery? How about a cooking adventure in Tuscany? Or a day trip to a nearby ranch for horseback riding lessons?

Summers are made for adventures that get you out of your routine and into a more alive and authentic you. So make the most of it!

4. Make way for Flower & Garden Power

Summer is when garden flowers are at their finest. So make time to go out and smell the roses this season. Find a Botanical Garden near you and spend an hour or two whiling away the afternoon.

Or create your own garden. Many a woman has found a sense of wonderment and solace in the garden, from Audrey Hepburn to Oprah. So go pick up some flowers and herbs at your local nursery and create your version of heaven on earth.

Alternatively, try your hand at flower arranging. There's nothing quite as joyous as gazing at something you made on your dining room or kitchen table. Trust me!

5. Get your Summer Spritz On

Learn how to make a signature summer cocktail, or mocktail, that represents you and your personality. Challenge your friends to do the same.

Then have a summery cocktail or pool party and see what everyone has come up with! Try to guess why they picked that particular cocktail to represent them!

Or consider going sophisticated and very, very French. Parisians often hold an aperitif hour, somewhere around 4 or 5pm on Fridays.

At this designated hour anyone can stop by to chat over a drink and a small snack of some sort!

6. Hit up a Drive-in movie theatre

There are still drive-in movie theatres all over the USA. Did you know that? What could be more retro and quirky (and fun) then seeing a classic in the comfort of your own vehicle, with blankets and a hand-packed hamper of special treats just for you and yours?

Try some truffle popcorn, or an array of gourmet sweets and savories. Bonus points if you theme your treats to go with the movie!

7. Try your hand at Glamping

Camping isn't just for the boys or couples anymore. You and your femme friends can now also head to the woods (as if that ever stopped you). Why not plan a girls weekend in some place crisp, cool and outdoorsy.

Reserve a cabin in Wyoming near a ranch, or rent out yurts in picturesque locales and rough it for a couple of days. Head to the woods. Reserve a cabin, or pack up your RV.

Or go big with your glamping and book a luxury Airstream suite all set up for you in California in the midst of the Russian Valley Vineyards!

8. Summer-ize your Brunch

Find a local Farmer's Market near you and go early with a friend or two. Peruse stalls brimming with local veggies, local goods and dozens upon dozens of flower bouquets.

Remember to take a cute bag with you for loading up on fresh strawberries or peaches to take home, and then head over the nearest brunch or breakfast place nearby. There's almost always someplace delicious near a market.

Sit, catch up, enjoy a mimosa or a latte as you chat and people watch. Farmer's Markets always have the most interesting people!

9. Take your Dog on a Date

He or she is probably your best friend, right? And they're always there for you, thick or thin. Doesn't that deserve a reward? Like a whole day at the beach, a car ride in the country and maybe a pit stop at the dog park?

It's not only a nice thing to do, but I have an ulterior motive in suggesting it, because if anyone can teach a girl to get in touch with her physical side, it's a dog having a good time.

Let your pet show you how to trust your animal instincts! Let their rough-housing and joy in their body inspire you to get in touch with yours and monkey around every once-in-awhile!

10. Check out local Fairs, Festivals and Carnivals

Take yourself or that special someone out on a date where you can both let your hair down and be a kid again. Like the Fair! Or maybe the carnival or any of those neighborhood festivals that happen all summer long!

Hold hands, win a stuffed bear, eat a funnel cake, kiss at the top of the Ferris Wheel! Or check out the prize chickens and tomatoes at the fair!

Or get cultured and check out that Japanese Festival that happens in the neighborhood over from yours! Eat gyoza, and watch Japanese drums and dancing!

11. Take a solo day of self-care

Book a day of maintenance just for you. Check into a hotel in your town or the neighboring one for a day to yourself. Book the spa and get that mani and pedi.

Spend the day with your book or favorite magazines and relax. Fall will soon be here and with it the holidays and mad rush. So take a moment in the lazy "month" of summer to rest and rejuvenate.

Go to a movie alone and grab a bite to eat solo at your favorite restaurant. Your family will live without you for a day or two, and you will be more happy to see them after some alone time. Worth it!

12. Meteors, Comets, and Stars, oh my!

The wonder of nature. Is there anything more humbling than gazing up at the heavens above?

And nothing could be more simple, or more affordable (i.e. free!). Just pick a clear night. You can try to find a spot away from the city lights, but you can just as easily use your own back yard if you don't have the time.

Then... look up! If you use Google you can look to see when meteor showers will be most visible in your location!

13. Come to your Senses

The Beach. The Coast. A Pool. The cool, cool River. Green grass & a sprinkler...

Summer landscapes invite us to drench ourselves in our 5 senses. So find one of those landscapes and...

Dig your toes in the sand. Let the waves lap your ankles. Feel the crinkly grass underfoot. Let the cool spray of water take your breath away.

14. Make the most of seasonal delights

— peaches, corn on the cob, homegrown tomatoes, watermelon and melons of all kind are all at their prime. They are never better than in summer.

So make the most of them. Make it a point to taste each and every one of them this season.

Here are two of my favorite peach recipes: a sweet Texas Peach Cobbler and a savory Peaches and Pork chops.

15. Give country a chance, y'all!

Get foot loose and fancy free with a little taste of the Country Life. As Alan Jackson sings "She's gone country, look at them boots. She's gone country, back to her roots."

But hey, you don't need a pair of boots or even country roots to enjoy the best the genre and the lifestyle have to offer. All you need is a willingness to be free, laugh and have fun!

So take some girlfriends with you and give a country Honky-Tonk a chance. Try your hand (and laugh your butt off) at Line Dancing, Square Dancing, or go check out a rodeo! Barring that you could even host your very own Hoedown! Plaid shirts and tight jeans required!

16. Find an old fashioned soda fountain

Summer screams for Ice cream. But you knew that already, I'm sure. But what about the joys of an old fashioned soda fountain?

Listen to Elvis on the jukebox and enjoy your malted triple chocolate milkshake with extra whip cream.

Or why not try a root beer float? Or an ice cream soda or even an egg cream?

As for finding yourself a soda fountain... My tip to you is to start your search in all those cute little quaint towns around you.

17. Put on your Pioneer Woman hat and Put Up some Preserves.

First, it's not as hard as it sounds to make some jam and freeze it. In fact, it's super easy. But more than that, it's delicious! And the summer abounds with fantastic fruit to make a stunning jam that will remind you of summer all winter long.

Apricots & strawberries are a delicious choice (and two of my favorite) but so are raspberries, peaches, and plums!

18. Plan a Summer Picnic

The beach is a great place for a summer picnic, but so is a park or just a lovely patch of some green grass.

Have fun packing your summer favorites. Lemonade and fried chicken anyone?

But you could also get creative and relaxed with it and simply pack some crusty bread, and a creamy soft cheese, a little summer sausage. Or create your own easy-peasy charcuterie board.

19. Go on a food Adventure

What's the most unusual or outrageous food in your neck of the woods? Do you have a wild fusion food truck in your town? Is there an offbeat ice cream place that makes crazy flavors? Or what about a local legend food-wise that you've yet to try?

It's your mission, should you choose to accept it, to find out! Do some google sleuthing, and send out an SOS to your network to find out what's out there.

Then make a plan to go out and taste it! It may be wildly good, or just terrible, but either way you'll probably end up with a great story.

20. Attend a Music Festival or Concert

Summer concerts are everywhere now a days, and it's a good thing they are!

You can find tiny ones all over, even in the most rural of states, if you keep your ears and eyes open.

Anything from a Bluegrass festival to an outdoor symphony concert. You can even tune into international ones online. French radio stations online often have Jazz festivals all summer long!

21. Host a Dinner Party with a Summery Theme

The feminine in all of us, loves to connect. And dinner parties are great way to do just that. And the summer season seems to insist that the vibe be far more relaxed.

So why not choose a theme around a summer food or a "hot" summery cuisine. Assign guests who are game with a course for the meal around the theme. So someone brings appetizers, another salad, you supply the entree and maybe another person brings dessert.

Challenge everyone to plan their course around a summer fruit, like watermelon, or pineapple and see what they come up with. Or ask them to bring their course from a summery cuisine like Columbian, Indian or Thai.

22. Perfect the sweet art of doing nothing.

The Italians know the joy of "dolce far niente" -- the sweetness of doing nothing --and summer heat and lazy weekends call to us to embrace their lifestyle aesthetic.

Set up a low-key solo "date" for you, that's centering around relaxing. Some ideas: Set up a hammock, or find a shady spot, and grab a juicy summer read. Perfect your ability to take an enjoyable mini cat nap and doze off to watching the neighborhood go by

Alternatively, find a good coffee shop for people watching, and take your book there. There's nothing like sipping some coffee and watching the world outside stroll by as you lazily read something delectable. Try it!

23. Set Up a Card Night

The days are longer in summer. Which makes them perfect for a retro monthly or bi-weekly (that's every other week) card game night. You could have a girls poker night, but I tend towards a throwbacking to the sixties and fifties: Pinochle.

But if retro isn't your game, you could even have it be something more modern, like "Cards Against Humanity," etc.

Keep the group fairly small and take turns hosting at everyone's place, and bringing snacks. Oh, and make sure to keep it friendly! No card sharks, please!


Again my loves, don't let my list be the end-all, be-all for you. Instead let it be a jumping off place for you to ask yourself the magical question... "What sounds summery and feminine to me?" In your answers you will your own unique adventures!

And as always, have fun. That’s the key to doing anything successfully.

I hope that helps and I will see you next week!

All my love,

Desirée Sommer


Desirée Sommer is a former Interior Designer, and a current Writer/Speaker who helps people just like you

Style, Beautify and make their lives Fun again!

She happily resides in the rural beauty of Idaho with her pet pooch Bree, where she gets to take epic hikes, and plot her next big adventure/road trip/travel destination.


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