Oh, summer. With so much (perceived) free time, we are quick to fill it up with all the fun stuff. The backyard hangs, gatherings with friends and family, and lots of pool days. But the urge to be out and about often pulls us away from our hobbies and creative outlets. As a result, when the range of plans begins to wane, our list of things to do in the summer may feel strangely limited, and our old pillars – ie. Netflix and chill – far less inspiring.
Whether you work in a creative field or not, it can be difficult to find the opportunity to tense your creativity muscles. As kids, most of us tried new things and picked up hobbies (even if it was just stone collection) much more frequently. But as we get older, our free time somehow becomes more filled with commitments, both personal and professional. It can be easy to get into a decline in creativity, which is why we have put together 30 new things to do in the summer.
And while there is nothing wrong with planting out every now and then, there are so many other ways to expand your world!
There is no time like summer to take advantage of the long nights and extra energy that all that sunshine brings. So here is to intellectual pursuit, volunteering, going outdoors and getting active. If you are not sure where to start, these hobbies provide plenty of healthy, creative and relaxing inspiration. Good hobby!
Selected image of Melissa Gidney for Jenni Kayne.
Read on for 30 new things to do in the summer!
Get into personality types
Come outside with pencil and notebook and draw what you see!! Even better, go on a fun hike and explore a new place. It does not have to be good, just expressive!
Discover new hiking spots
Take advantage of this sunny sky and fresh air, and enjoy the great outdoors!
Become one pro to grill and grill
Barbecue is not just for the boys!
Try paddleboard yoga (or just plain yoga)
There is nothing like the challenge of a downhill dog on a moving board! Whether on land or on the water, summer is the perfect time to get bent over!
Learn some new makeup techniques
Thanks to YouTube and Instagram, it is actually possible for even the most unskilled among us to get some serious makeup skills. If you want to hone your skills or practice some fun, new summer makeup looks, check it out Katie Jane Hughes, Cher Webb, Taylor Anis, Lisa Eldridgeand Patrick Ta. Do you have recommendations for more artists we missed? Share them in the comments – we are always looking for more inspiration!
Sign up for an art class
Get messy and learn a new creative skill! There is also plenty of teaching right now that can be done both virtually or in person.
Play with flowers
Is there anything more inspiring than working with nature? Countless flowers come in season all year round, and there is nothing better than letting their colors take shape in any composition you create. One of my favorite, accessible ways to free up your inner florist is to go to the store (Trader Joe’s is a great option if you have one nearby!), Collect a few different kinds of flowers, and arrange them at home. You get fresh, beautiful flowers that you can enjoy all week!
Become an expert on a new topic
Lifelong students, unite! I am a student at heart, and it does not take a classroom or a lecture hall to make me really nerd and dive deep into something new. Spend some time reading, browsing or just consciously looking for inspiration. When you come across something that clicks – whether it’s a person, a place, a movement, a cultural moment or something like that – gather all the material you can find and get excited to learn more.
Make it the most zen summer ever.
Make your own jewelry
DIY jewelry has a great moment – and for good reason. It’s an easy and affordable way to incorporate sustainable, unique pieces into your accessory arsenal. Grab a set, browse through some do-it-yourself projects, and start tinkering. Once you’ve gotten really good at it, you can even start designing while watching your favorite show or listening to your go-to podcast you must not miss.
Pamper your green thumb
… .Even if you do not have one! It can certainly mean going all-in on a backyard, but it can also look like investing in a small container garden on your apartment’s patio. And do not forget it indoors! These are our favorites can not kill plants which are perfect for beginners.
Dive into fiber art
Knitting, crochet, weaving – the list goes on! Although I’m partially faced with the first option on the list, there’s no end to all the casual fun you can have. Download a book, watch a YouTube guide (in my experience this has been a great resource for getting started and even learning new stitches and techniques as you go!), Or sign up for a course at your local store. Bonus: It’s a great way to few friends!!
Design your own clothes
This is thrift on the next level. Dust off the old sewing machine that your mother gave you years ago and start inventing your most creative designs! Lots of patterns can be purchased online and there is * literally * nothing better than spending a weekend afternoon browsing a local fabric store. Fill your loved ones, sustainably.
Feeling like climbing? Join a local bouldering group or strike out on your own.
Sure, this could have been called into a lot of other ideas on this list, however I would argue that craftsmanship can be its own thing altogether. Whether you are undertaking a do-it-yourself project for spice up your spacehave fun with paper, or have fun and make all that (six months in advance) Christmas decorations – is just as much when you make! Collective Gen. is one of my favorite sites to all the cunning inspo. Honestly, even just finding your next do-it-yourselfer is half the fun.
Learn how to cut your own hair
Promise it easier than it looks. Then again, try at your own risk!
Grow your own herbs or produce
Make your hands dirty!
Start a wine tasting association
I mean is there a better hobby? Be sure to wear masks and social spacing, or you can do them on Zoom with friends too!
Start a dog club
Friends, puppies, the great outdoors. Do I need to say more?
Make your own candles
Smart, will make your home smell great, and doubles as amazing, creative gifts!
Become a cocktail pro
No time like now to become financially savvy!
Gather a camera
Ask any photographer how they learned their craft, and 9 out of 10 times they will probably respond with some variations on: I just bought a camera and have started shooting! Of course, you can also do wonders with just one phone. Whether it’s food, lifestyle, landscape or any topic of your choice – start composing your image and let the documentation begin.
Embrace your inner artist
Although I will never consider myself “good” at either drawing or painting, I have learned that this is not really the intention. Stop by your local art store, pick up some supplies, and just put a brush on the paper. Of course, you are always welcome to take a class, whether online or in person, but I have discovered that there is infinite joy to be found by simply exploring what your mind can create on its own, no technique is required.
Start your journal journey
Journalism has been hailed as a well-being practice that is top notch. I’m not saying it’s magic, but beautiful, it’s very close. Writing down your gratitude and keeping track of your thoughts may take a little getting used to at first, but believe me once you have built a habit, you will not stop. Get started with this guide and let these record keeping prompts inspire your way. It might just change your life.
Come in tie-dying
Eat your way through a new cookbook
Throw on Julie and Julia for a little inspo, choose a new one Cook Book and make a few new recipes a week.
Start a two-person book club
Book clubs can be full of complications or drama, which is why it can be easier and a little more comfortable just to keep it small! Grab a partner, friend, colleague or sibling and decide on one Order to read together.
Become your own barista
You drink coffee every morning – why not make it taste good amazing? Get your fingers in some coffee-centric reading material and start your research! Choose a preparation that works best for you (pour-over, Chemex, Aeropress, etc.) and work it down to a science. Your taste buds will thank you.
This entry was originally posted on June 22, 2020 and has been updated since.