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13 Ways to Enjoy Some Fun in the Sun June 12, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Happiness, Nature.

If you’re ready to Kick Back and Relax for Father’s Day, July 4th, or Just Because, here are 13 Ways to Enjoy Some Fun in the Sun:

1. Plan a Weekend Get-A-Way.   One or two night stays at Historic Hotels offer a change of scenery, pace, and place without breaking the bank.

A few years ago, we stayed at The Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport Maine for two nights and took full advantage of the on site amenities ~ including the gorgeous views.  The Colony Hotel, a National Historic Landmark, also happens to be Maine’s first Environmentally Responsible Hotel:

The Colony Hotel is spectacularly situated amid glorious and manicured gardens on a rocky promontory above the Atlantic Ocean. The white wooden structure was built in 1914 and spans a full 300 feet, topped by a cupola and the weather vane of a large ship. The wrap-around Ocean Porch and the gazebo offer views of the ocean and river. The Colony became Maine’s first environmentally responsible hotel in 1994.

If you live in the US, visit the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Historic Hotels of America for ideas on where to stay near you.  To be selected for this program, the hotel must be at least 50 years old, listed or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, or recognized locally as having historical significance.   Members of the National Trust are eligible to receive a 10% discount off the best available rate.  For details:  National Trust Travel & Sites.

2.  Toss a frisbee or play catch.  Round up the kids for some fresh air and exercise.   Toss a Frisbee.  Play Catch, Monkey in the Middle, Tag, Dodge Ball, Kick Ball, Hide & Seek, Croquet, Simon Says, Bocce Ball, Hula Hoop, Duck Duck Goose,  Badminton, Mother May I?, Hopscotch, Jump Rope, or Volleyball.

3.  Make Ice Cream Floats.   Fill tall glasses with vanilla ice cream.  Pour Root Beer, Coke, or Orange Soda over the ice cream.  Add a straw and enjoy a fizzy delight while swinging in the hammock.

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4.  Pack a Picnic for the Park.  Grab a cooler and fill it with picnic favorites and essentials ~ sandwiches, salads, chips, sodas, cookies, and brownies.  Toss some blankets and folding chairs into the car.  Head to a local lake, beach, park, playground, or historic site to have lunch in the great outdoors.   After lunch, hit the playground and swing on the swings, hang from the Monkey Bars, and slide down the slides.

5.  Visit a local Farmer’s Market.  If you live in the northern hemisphere, this is the perfect time of year to eat locally and sustainably grown fruits and veggies.  For example, The Afternoon Market

6.  Check out local art and artists.   With a bit of research, you can add some culture to your day trips by visiting museums, galleries, or local artist enclaves ~ like Village of the Arts in Bradenton, Florida.

7.  Ready . . . Aim . . . Shoot!  Enter the NWF Annual Photo Contest and win up to $5,000!  The 7 Photo Categories include:  Baby Animals, Backyard Habitat, Birds, Connecting People & Nature, Landscapes and Plant Life, Mammals, and Other Wildlife.  Final date to submit ~ July 14, 2011.   Contest Details.

8.  Have a Talent Show!  Give everyone in the family a chance to showcase their special gifts, interests, and abilities ~ singing, dancing, clowning around, telling jokes, playing musical instruments, juggling, reading Shakespeare or poetry, acting in short skits, or performing magic.  Use your video-camera (if you have one) to record the fun.


9.  Visit a National, State, or Local Park.  Admission at US National Parks is FREE on June 21 to celebrate the first day of summer.  For more ideas, check out Outdoor Fun for the Whole Family.

10.  Camp out under the Stars.  Not Fun in the Sun, but camping out is a great way to connect kids with the wonders of wildlife.  Check out Great American Backyard Campout at NWF.

11.  Go for a Nature Walk or Bike Ride.  Enjoy the beauty of your own backyard.  Take a stroll around your yard, neighborhood, or a local park or preserve.  Stop along the way to discuss any interesting sights or sounds.  Ask lots of questions.  Listen to the answers.  Turn your walk or ride into a Photo Scavenger Hunt and see how many interesting shots you can find.   If you capture any stellar shots . . . see idea #7.


12.  Plan a House Swap to enjoy a Destination Vacation.  Swapping houses is a wonderful way to enjoy an extended stay in another area of the country (or the world) without being cramped into a hotel room.  For more on the topic, check out Angela Barton’s post, Frugal Summer Vacations.

13.  Host the Summer Olympics in your yard or at the park.  Events might include:  Three-Legged Race, Water Balloon Toss, Mad Hatter’s Mad Dash, Wheelbarrow Race, Long Jump, High Jump, Egg~Spoon Race, or Frisbee Golf.  Keep track of winners for each event ~ awarding Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals (which your kids can make earlier in the week out of construction paper, glitter, and glue).

Life is short . . . laugh when you can.

No rules.  Just write!

What about you?  How does your family enjoy Fun in the Sun?


1. Piglet in Portugal - June 12, 2011

I wish we could be with our family on Fathers Day – it would be the perfect day whatever we did 🙂 Special days like this make me feel so sad we now all live in different countries 😦

I love your suggestions though 🙂

nrhatch - June 12, 2011

Our families are spread out too.

Living in close proximity to extended family has pluses and minuses ~ sometimes it’s hard to live your “own life” with family looking over your shoulder and commenting on every choice you make. 😉

Piglet in Portugal - June 12, 2011

Tis true Nancy, but as the say “absence makes the heart grow fonder” 🙂

nrhatch - June 12, 2011

I’d like to be able to get together with “the whole clan” a few times of the year . . . without having to “report” for Sunday dinner every week. 😀

2. Tilly Bud - June 12, 2011

Some good suggestions. I particularly like ‘pack a picnic for the park’ as I sit here, watching the torrential rainfall we’re having 🙂

nrhatch - June 12, 2011

Sounds like a Not-So-Sunny Sunday, Tilly . . .

I know! A movie marathon, buried under the covers, munching maltesers!

3. kateshrewsday - June 12, 2011

Some great ideas, Nancy 🙂

nrhatch - June 12, 2011

Thanks, Kate. Your outings in England always seem like splendid FUN without requiring application for a second mortgage to cover the cost.

4. SuziCate - June 12, 2011

This year we are going riverside for ten days…no cells, no internet, just nature…Ok we do have electricity! Playing on the river and hiking, ah bliss! We haven’t done this for a whole week for a few years, am soooo looking forward to it!

nrhatch - June 12, 2011

Awesome, Suzi! Hope you and the Dirt Man have a blast!

Don’t forget the S’Mores! Toasting marshmallows is one of the best parts of sitting fireside.

SuziCate - June 12, 2011

Absolutely! I’m going to have to start making my list so I won’t forget anything…I have a couple of weeks….bliss starts July1 and ends on my bday the 10th! But I plan to be back, as long as I don’t get eaten by the bears, snakes, mosquitos, or gnats!!!!

nrhatch - June 12, 2011

Oh, your birthday is just 3 days before mine! 😀

5. Angela@MyYearWithoutSpending - June 12, 2011

Thanks for the mention Nancy! This is a great post!

I was just making a list of activities to do with our niece and nephew when they visit – hike to water hole, make pizza, make up and record a song with my husband’s equipment – and now I’m going to add camping in the backyard!

And thanks for the heads up on the photo contest- I’m passing that along to my photographer brother. He takes great animal photos.

nrhatch - June 12, 2011

You’re welcome, Angela. After reading your post on House Swaps and Frugal Summer Vacations, I recommended it to Paula, who had mentioned wanting to do a House Swap. While putting this post together, I decided it had to be included. 😀

You sound like me . . . I’m big on making lists of FUN activities when nieces and nephews are due for a visit. Hope you enjoy your campout.

Glad that the Photo Contest sounds like something that might interest your brother.

6. therealsharon - June 12, 2011

Lots of fun ideas! 🙂

nrhatch - June 12, 2011

It’s a Big World out there . . . with lots to offer us! As long as we keep our eyes and ears open. 😀

7. Maggie - June 12, 2011

Nature walks rule! Just don’t forget to apply bug spray. 🙂

nrhatch - June 12, 2011

Good tip, Maggie. I should have mentioned bug spray, sunscreen, and plenty of water to stay hydrated. Plus a flashlight for wandering around after dark. 😉

8. Tokeloshe - June 12, 2011

Some great ideas !

We like camping.

nrhatch - June 12, 2011

I enjoy your camping posts . . .

We enjoyed sitting around the campfire, staring into the flames, and roasting/toasting marshmallows. 😉

9. Christine Grote - June 12, 2011

We stayed in a nice B&B in Kennebunkport several years ago. I loved the lobster bisque I had for lunch there, but I discovered I was allergic to clams after lunch at the clam shack the 2nd day. Even tho, it was a nice get-away.

nrhatch - June 12, 2011

Glad you enjoyed the trip despite learning of a seafood allergy. Getting sick on vacation is never fun.

When my grandparents took us to Kennebunkport as kids, we stayed at Cabot Cove Cottages and ate at the Clam Shack many times. I have many fond memories of the Maine coast.

10. ElizOF - June 13, 2011

I like the summer Olympics idea best and then the others would be great too.. 🙂

nrhatch - June 13, 2011

Wouldn’t that be a fun thing to organize with some Wee Ones. In 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, we had field days with many of those events.

Such a FUN way to end the year ~ unless you got egg on your face. 😳

11. flyinggma - June 13, 2011

Wonderful ideas Nancy. Especially the nature walks or bike ride. I would like to visit a state park we haven’t been to yet for the day.

nrhatch - June 13, 2011

When we go someplace we haven’t been before, we are more inclined to remain in the moment ~ we tend to keep our eyes and ears open (instead of putting them on auto pilot). 🙂

12. Samyak - June 13, 2011

Great ideas for fun. wondering why a promanade on a beach and a good swim not in the list Nancy!

nrhatch - June 13, 2011

They should be, shouldn’t they? 😉

I omitted them in part because people often think of pools and beaches in the summer, but not necessary about things that can be done “on dry land.”

I also didn’t include golfing, fishing, and boating for the same reason. People interested in those pursuits already have them on their calendars.

13. On Blogging: Something To Think About This Summer | Mirth and Motivation - June 14, 2011

[…] world – Bhutan. You may also find comfort in the wonderful summer tips offered by Nancy at NRHatch.  Stop by later for more things to think about […]

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