The 2023 Summer Fun List (plus a webinar)

The air was still chilly this morning, but the end-of-school-year events are coming fast and furious and my summer vibe is definitely starting. So I am posting this year’s Summer Fun List!

Longtime readers will remember these lists from the past several years (see 2022, and 2021, and 2020, and 2019, here’s 2018 and 2017… heck, 2016 and I guess in 2015 I called it a summer bucket list or something. Funny how similar some of these are!). I love summer and doing specific seasonal activities can create deep memories. So here’s what I want to do by September to make summer feel like summer to me.

Enjoy some outdoor music. My 16-year-old and I saw Taylor Swift last weekend, so I can already claim partial victory on this one. But I’ve also got tickets to see Phish in late July. I’m not a lifelong Phish fan but I know that they are supposed to be a really good touring/live band, and they’re playing at a venue that is 15 minutes from my house. So I decided to seize the opportunity for an experience.

Eat lobster in Maine. My 13-year-old and I will be traveling to Bar Harbor this summer (it is his Christmas present). We both love lobster and there will be lots of lobster involved in this trip. And Acadia, which is always gorgeous.

Meet up with SHU and do a BOBW meet-up. We’ll both be in Philly in early July and are planning to organize a get-together.

Take a writing retreat. I’ve been revising my novel this spring and by mid-summer I believe that it will be in a state where I can address it as a whole. I like to take a few days away from everything else to do that. I still haven’t figured out exactly where but probably somewhere within 2 hours of driving distance so I spend more time editing and less time traveling.

Go to a beer garden. A perennial item on this list! I can go to the one in Asbury Park when we’re in Ocean Grove, and I can go to the one at Longwood Gardens, but I’d like to add a new one to my repertoire. Speaking of Ocean Grove…

Spend two weeks at the beach. I love the beach, so this year I rented a house for two weeks. The last time I attempted this, back in 2014, was a total disaster, but I have high hopes that this time will be better as I won’t be pregnant, and four of my five kids will be older than any of my kids were then. While we’re there I plan to run on the boardwalk frequently, get (non-dairy) ice cream at Days, eat at Cousins Maine Lobster and just walk around with my Maine Root blueberry sodas, hit the Silverball arcade, and maybe eat breakfast at Toast again.

Do Mommy Days. With five kids who could all now expect their own days, this is starting to get to be a commitment. We shall see. Maybe Mommy half days. I do like spending one-on-one time with the kids, and summer is a good time to do that.

Ride my bike. I’m not sure family bike rides with all seven of us will happen again. But I can ride my own bike. And I will.

Run in the early AMs a few times. Camp tends not to start until 9, so I won’t have to get up as early as I do during the school year (6:30 a.m.). But if I do wake up at 6:30 a.m. two mornings a week I could get an hour-long run in while it’s still cool. I feel like adulthood has been one long battle with, and ultimately acceptance of, the idea that I just might not sleep in many more times in my life.

Enjoy my yard. Specifically, my hammock, and also the patio where we now have cafe lights and the Solo stove. It’s a nice place to sit at night. The kids can also enjoy regular TOAD time — Time Outside After Dinner.

Go fruit picking. Strawberries in early June, peaches in late July, apples in late August. I’d think that maybe only the little kids would do this, but everyone seemed to at least moderately enjoy picking tulips at Holland Ridge Farms in April. I think the participatory aspect of picking anything makes it more fun!

Refresh my summer wardrobe. Well, at least find something comfortable I want to wear that doesn’t look terrible. Is that so much to ask? I feel like this item has made my list several times too. What is it about summer clothes that’s so hard?

Travel internationally. We actually have two excursions on the itinerary, but I’ll write more about those when they happen. As usual with international travel with kids, my goal is to have a few enjoyable moments. With that as the bar, we should clear it, and such trips will definitely be adventurous!

What’s on your summer fun list?

In other news: Are you free at noon, eastern, today? I’ll be talking with Lori Mihalich-Levin (of Mindful Return) about Tranquility by Tuesday. You can register for this free webinar here.


7 thoughts on “The 2023 Summer Fun List (plus a webinar)

  1. Lots of bike rides, vegan ice cream, and reading books outside on the agenda here. We have two trips booked (with plans to eat our weight in stone fruit, which is terrible in the UK but delicious in Portugal), and theatre tickets during our local festival season.

  2. I’ve started summer early-in beautiful Portugal right now. My list:
    1. Complete our 6 week European trip-Portugal-Spain/Med. cruise-Italy. What you get to do when your kids are grown and you save up points, miles and a bit of cash for adventures.
    2. See Dead & Company in concert on what is supposedly their last tour.
    3. Take my toddler grandson to story time at the library. In all my years as a working mom, I never got to do this with my kids. I’m not missing this opportunity.
    4. Spend July 4th week at the beach in North Carolina with my husband, sister and brother in law.
    5. Meet up with a close friend from college and her husband and visit Burlington, Vermont for a few days in August.
    6. Get into a mad veggie planting rush when we get back from our 6 week trip and hope that there is enough time left of the summer to realize the fruits of my planting labors. Our beloved CSA died on the vine this year, so I’m hoping our own crops will make up for this loss.
    7. Spend a whole afternoon reading on the deck with homemade lemonade in hand.
    8. Hang out with my adult daughter who moved back home for a bit-we were away for Mothers Day, but she put together a wonderful brunch for my daughter in law and then they FaceTimed with us. I’m glad I raised thoughtful and kind humans.
    9. Keep on keeping on with post ankle surgery recovery-I have had a long road, but managed over 10,000 steps at 2 different hilly palace locations in Sintra, Portugal. This may not seem like much, but it was a huge victory for me.
    10. Plan a dinner at our house with friends. This will be a do-over of a planned late December dinner which I had to cancel because I broke my ankle while preparing said dinner.

    1. @Beth C – love this list. A whole afternoon on the deck! And yes, I think you should get a do-over on that dinner given how the first one turned out…

  3. Looks like a great list! I am a huge fan of t-shirt dresses for summer. I have $10 ones from Old Navy, $90 ones from Talbot’s and many others in between. They are easier than finding/putting together separates and look put together without being fussy or uncomfortable.

    1. @Natalie – I went to Old Navy yesterday but I was with my daughter so I didn’t really get much of a chance to look/try on. I agree at $10 it might be worth a shot. I saw a $3 tank top there – kind of crazy.

  4. Because I teach, the time I have available varies greatly depending on the season. Seasonal goals are much easier for me to attain than yearly goals. My daughter just graduated from college and is getting married out of state in July. Helping her make new life transitions is my primary goal. However, I do have a few little goals:
    1. Go kayaking
    2. Take a hike in the Wissahickon or at Kelly Run
    3. Take a picnic dinner with books and wine to Chanticleer garden
    4. Try a new rooftop bar in the city
    5. See the new Mary Cassatt exhibit at PMA

    1. @Deanne – I love these! The Cassatt exhibit looks awesome – I’m hoping to see that too.

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