Your Bucket List for Summer Fun

It’s summer! The kids are home from school and schedules change from homework help to summer camps. Even if you don’t have kids, there’s something about summer that makes us want to break away, take a vacation or try something new. Here are some fun ways to celebrate summer simply right here in South Florida.

 

Make a Sidewalk Chalk Mural

Chalk is cheap. Grab it any grocery or craft store and pick out a smooth spot of sidewalk or driveway to decorate. If you wet the chalk before you use it, the colors dry more thick and intense.

 

Host a “Dive-In” Movie

Up your movie night experience by moving it to the pool. Grab your TV and extensions cords or a projector and set it up by your pool, away from the water. Take a rectangular bucket, cut up a noodle and tape the pieces to the four sides of the bucket so your snacks float. After you put in your favorite movie, grab your swimsuit and inner tubes and jump in.

 

See the Sunrise & Sunset in One Day

Start the morning early and head over to Miami Beach to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic. After that head west on Tamiami Trail. I-75 is an option, but it’s a toll road, typically crowded and lacks wildlife viewing opportunities. After about two and a half hours you’ll reach Naples and be able to watch the sun set behind the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Make Homemade Popsicles

Summer is peak watermelon season, so make sure you take advantage of these fruits. For a frozen treat grab a small seedless watermelon, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup, 2 teaspoons of grated ginger, and a pinch of salt. Puree all the ingredients in a blender and pour them evenly into molds. Freeze for about four hours. (Recipe via realsimple.com)

 

Visit a Farmer’s Market

Florida is riddled with fresh farmer’s markets ripe with the fruits and vegetables of the season. Visit www.southfloridafoodandwine.com/2015/10/green-marketsfarmers-markets-from-palm-beach-to-south-beach.html for an extensive list of farmer’s markets, as well as their hours, addresses and contact information near you.

 

Learn How to Surf

As Florida’s summer storms roll in South Florida’s surf begins to pick up. Head over to the closest board rental place and grab a board. Certain places like Island Water Sports have lessons as well. If the water is flat, as Florida’s oceans often are, try your hand at paddle boarding.

Read a Book

As summer schedules lighten up, don’t let it slip by without reading a few of the books you’ve been meaning to read. Florida’s beaches and poolsides make for relaxing reading spots.

 

Get Baseball Tickets

Summer season means baseball season. Supporting the Marlin’s throughout the heat of summer is a Florida tradition. Get your tickets here miami.marlins.mlb.com/ticketing.

 

Host a Theme Party

While summer luaus are a classic, try thinking outside the box. Host a party based around a color or TV show. Checkout the dollar store or online for napkins, plates, tablecloths, etc based around the theme.

 

Do Something Educational

Set a goal to complete something academic. During commutes or road trips pop in a CD and begin to learn a new language. Buy a Rubik’s cube, watch YouTube tutorials, and see how long it takes to complete it. Memorize digits of pi, the possibilities are endless.

 

Find a New Dining Experience

Florida is full of fun and exciting dining options. Try Dining in the Dark, www.market17.net/darkdining.htm. This restaurant has a special room where they serve their food in the dark so its customers can focus on the flavor and texture of the food. Head down to Miami and visit Wynwood. While widely known for its art, Wynwood offers an excellent dining experience as well, www.theartexperiences.com.

 

Start a Workout Routine

Get in shape before the business of fall starts. Join a gym or find a new running path. As the summer heat grows, remember to keep hydrated and consider running before the sun rises or after it sets.

 

Start or Finish a House Project

Take this time to complete any yard work or house work that needs to be done. Re-mulch the yard or re-paint that room that’s needed it.

 

Go on a Riverboat Cruise

Take advantage of Florida’s various waterways and enjoy a night on a river cruise. The Jungle Queen near Las Olas is the most well known, but there are many other cruises in the Fort Lauderdale and Miami areas.

 

Work on a Puzzle

If there are puzzles sitting around barely used, challenge yourself and your family to complete one by the end of the month.

 

Foster an Animal

Fostering animals allows you to provide a home for a pet without permanent commitment. If you’re considering buying a pet, use the summer as a trial run. Enter your zip code in petfinder.com to find the closest local shelter.

 

Collect Shells

Florida’s beaches and reefs offer a plethora of shells. After cleaning the collected shells, fill a pretty jar or bottle with them or design a wreath to decorate your door with.

 

Go Thrifting

Save money and patronize Goodwill or Faith Farm. They’re full of deals and hidden treasures. Don’t forget the American Thrift store

 

Start a Healthy Diet

Take the time to clean up your food choices over the summer. Local farmers markets are a promising place to find fresh, local and unique produce, or Trader Joe’s offers healthy food for cheap prices.

 

Volunteer

Whether it’s at your church or favorite charity, take this extra time this summer to give back. If you’re in high school make sure to get a signed sheet of hours from your supervisor.

 

Visit a National Park

There are several national parks in Florida. Visit www.nps.gov/state/fl/index.htm to plan your trip.

 

Start a New Devotional

Don’t let the summer pass by without starting a new devotional.

 

Paint Pottery

There are plenty of pottery painting studios across South Florida. They serve as great party venues or as a fun activity with friends when the summer heat grows tiresome.

 

Bird Watch

South Florida, especially the Everglades, is full of beautiful, native birds. Pick a bird you’ve never seen before and try to get a picture of it before the summer ends.

Start a Terrarium

Instead of gardening away in the humid sunshine, start a terrarium. Grab an open-topped bowl, jar, or vase. Then pile in rocks, then soil. Plant assorted succulents and cacti, about one plant per square inch. Then add a thin layer of sand around them.

 

Discover a New Park

Most families have a typical park that they frequent. This summer branch out and try some new parks on these pretty summer days. Visit www.discovertheforest.org for information.

 

Gabriella Morris is a home school student and writer at Good News. She can be reached at gabriellam@goodnewsfl.org

Gabriella Morris :