Winning Ways to Wind Down the Season

The end of summer can be bittersweet. Thoughts of cooler weather, breaking out the fall wardrobe and the structure of kids returning to school (with the potential for more “me time”) can be inviting. But saying goodbye to carefree days of family vacations, longer daylight hours and breezy, warm evenings isn’t always easy.

But you don’t have to let the season just slip away. Here are some fun and simple ways to give summer a celebratory send-off:

Banish Bedtime

Kids tend to hit the sack a bit later during the summer, but getting to stay up several hours longer than their normal bedtime is always a treat. Visit an outdoor movie event at a local park. Go out for late-night ice cream. Set up camping tents and a small fire pit in the backyard, make s’mores and snooze under the stars.

Fair Game

Summer is prime time for fairs, so be sure to enjoy your local festivals before they pack it in for the season. Many of them are free, and offer great music, carnival rides, exhibitions and more. And no one goes to the fair to eat a salad, so be sure to try a few of the unique culinary offerings (anything on a stick pretty much covers it).

Chalk It Up

Break out the sidewalk chalk and give the kids’ (and adults’) creative mojo free reign! Create everything from colorful mandalas to nature scenes and cityscapes using chalk or washable sidewalk paint. Make it a party by serving cold drinks and light snacks.

Day Tripper

You don’t need an entire week to feel like you’ve gotten your vacation on. A short day trip to a nearby area you’ve wanted to explore can be incredibly refreshing and revitalizing. If you’re short on ideas, check in with your local visitors’ bureau or write down a few possible locales on slips of paper, draw one…and hit the road!

Break Out the Bikes

Before you pack away the cycles and riding gear in anticipation of cold, wet weather, take them out for one more good, long ride. Local bike shops are great sources of info when it comes to finding the best cycling routes or use one of the many apps available to plan your perfect ride. Pack plenty of water and energizing snacks to enjoy along the way.

Summer Scrapbook

You’ve spent the summer photographing all of the fun family activities, and now you’ve got a phone (and maybe several flash drives) filled with memories you want to keep. You can always go digital with one of the many scrapbooking programs available. But if you have younger children, it can be fun to let them experience working with colorful crafting supplies and physical photos. Once you’ve printed your favorite digital pics, give them to the kids along with 3-ring binders, stickers, paint, etc. and let them commemorate summer in their own special ways.

Give a few of these activities a try and you’ll segue out of summer in style!

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