The 2024 Summer Fun List

It’s that time of year again! Memorial Day weekend is coming up, and so I’ve been working on my summer fun list. This is the list of things I want to do over the summer to make memories and make summer feel like summer. This is always a special season, and I don’t want to get to September and feel I missed out on warmer weather fun.

Here’s what’s on the list this year. (Interested in the historic record? See 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015)

Go to a baseball game. I enjoy drinking a beer outside, and baseball provides a good excuse to do that. Live baseball has also been made more enjoyable by the invention of the pitch clock, meaning games are no longer 3.5 hour ordeals. 2.5 hours is manageable! Anyway, I’d like to go to one (likely the Phillies as I don’t have a whole lot of travel plans but I am open to other possibilities). I’d also like to go to a beer garden — a frequent entry on my summer fun lists. Baseball isn’t always necessary as an excuse for outdoor beer drinking!

Bike. Solo for sure, but hopefully also with the family, or at least some members of the family. Getting six bikes and the Burley onto our cars is as much of an ordeal as a 3.5 hour baseball game but I hope to get people excited for it at least once.

Do some early AM runs. During the school year this doesn’t work well as I don’t want to wake up before 6:30 am. But in the summer, if camp starts around 9, no one will need to be up that early, so I can go run before the household is moving. I also hope to run in Central Park — I’m taking the 17-year-old to NYC for a few days (he asked for a trip for Christmas) and we’re staying very near the park by his request. So that should be a possibility.

Go in the hot tub at night. We opened the pool, but then the heater stopped working. It’s always something. But I do want to take advantage of this for some evening TOAD time when it’s fixed.

Go to the beach. We plan to do two weeks in August at the Jersey shore, and while there will do all our usual beach activities and traditions. Pinball! Ice cream! Cousins Maine Lobster! And running on the boardwalk. I’m thinking of maybe doing family photos while we’re there as the beach is always a good backdrop.

Go to a farmers market. It’s always possible to just go to the local one on Saturdays. I’d like to purchase some fun food items.

Do all my research for Big Time. I start writing in the fall, but that gives me the entire summer to do research and interviews. It feels so luxurious! Like I have…an abundance of time! I’m trying to keep up a pace of doing several interviews every week so I have a fascinating book when I’m done with this.

Write summer sonnets. I’m still on pace with writing a sonnet a week by writing two lines every day — a project I’ve been doing since January 2023. Since I write about what’s on my mind, they tend to be seasonal, so I will just embrace that and hopefully write at least 8-10 summer themed sonnets during the 14 weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day. (I will also listen to the Summer parts of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons…in addition to all my Bach).

Do something one-on-one with each kid. This is a frequent entry on this list too…It may not be a full Mommy Day…but at least lunch somewhere or a half-day activity is good to aim for as long as the kids keep being willing to hang out with me. (I’ll note that I’m doing the NYC trip…and I just did a Paris trip with my daughter…so it’s really only the other three kids that I’d still need to slot in.) One possibility that has been floated is going to an aquarium…

Try some nice restaurants with the older kids. My husband suggested this one — our older two boys can generally eat normal food, so we could eat at some of Philly’s better restaurants with them.

Look at the stars. I guess this is basically about being outside at night sometimes! In the extreme we go camping. In the less extreme…we just look up.

Buy some “alternatives to shorts.” OK, I’m already winning here! Thanks to my Lani shopping (plus some follow up ordering on my own) I now own six pairs of summer pants. Add in a few dresses and I should be good. I’m pairing these all with the Charix shoes I bought after being shown a million Instagram ads for them.

What’s on your summer fun list?


21 thoughts on “The 2024 Summer Fun List

  1. Are you going to show us your haul from the shopping trip with Lani? I know BOBW members are always looking for clothing ideas! And it’s fun to look at pretty clothes. Curious about your experience overall…would you hire a stylist again? I’ve toyed with the idea but not sure it’s for me/my budget.

    1. @Kat – I think a stylist is a good choice if you’re doing a major wardrobe overhaul – so starting a new job, different body for whatever reason, new season and you’re just hating all your clothes… We managed to buy ten things in about 3 total hours of looking at my closet plus shopping, and then I went and bought two more things online so a pretty major revamp of my summer stuff. If you are planning to buy a lot of stuff a stylist is probably efficient because you’ll be less likely to buy stuff you won’t wear.

  2. Our summer might look quite different from other years in that my daughter might be working at camp about half the break. It’s a volunteer, “leader-in-training” gig…but still. She could be away a significant portion of the summer. Her interview is tomorrow. I am not sad about this change in dynamics as I think it would make the summer more fun for her and a lot easier logistically for me.

    The thing I’m most anticipating about summer is an evening comedy show – Nate Bargatze – booked in with my husband in August. He’s our favourite comedian and it’s a relatively local event, some friends happen to be going to. I’m excited!

    Ice cream will likely feature prominently the next few months as well…

    1. @Elisabeth – working at the camp would be so exciting! I’m sure she’d have an amazing time. We’re going to have a few weeks this summer with fewer kids – two kids go away for three weeks or so, one kid goes for two weeks, one goes for one…so some of these overlap and we will have a different family dynamic. I’m not quite sure what we’ll be doing differently but it will be interesting for sure!

  3. Sounds like a fun summer & I love your list! Will you share the summer pants recs? I’ve been searching too.

  4. I’m also curious about your haul! I have debated working with a stylist and should just probably pull the trigger on it. I would like an in person experience like you had so they can look through my closet and then we can power shop together. I went with a friend when she went shopping with a stylist. I would stay behind and pay for the clothes (with cash from my friend) so they could move onto the next store. It was a really fun couple of hours and I say that as someone that doesn’t enjoy shopping.

    I want to get back into a routine of going to the farmers market with my boys on Sunday morning. It’s adjacent to a park so a perfect morning outing in the summer. We will spend a week at my parents lake home in August and will be up there for the 4th as well. I might try to squeeze another weekend in as well if the drive goes ok… it’s 3 hours and it has been unpleasant previous years but the toddler can be entertained by an iPad now!

  5. I love your seasonal fun lists! I am going to try to get my 10-year-old involved in making one. It seems to provide some good inspiration for those summer days when people suggest they are bored.

    1. @SK – I have been asking the kids…they’ve been somewhat more limited in their answers, but hey.

    1. @Elisa – ok, I’m writing from my Nic+Zoe receipt – I got the Liverpool Hannah Crop Flare Utility pants in sand, a pair of 26 inch (length) mid rise demi boot jeans, a 25 inch (length) all day wide leg jeans in paper white, and then the Liverpool charlie crop with rolled hem (medium wash). So a lot of ankle/crop type pants with a bit of a boot opening…so it works with flats and then a longer flowy type top.

  6. We’ve had torrential rain and flood alerts this week so it feels very unsummery, but we will get there. Only 7 weeks of school holidays but we try to start eating outside, and generally spending time outdoors as much as we can.

    Build a den – I’ve got the stuff for my secret squirrel den stuff (no one has noticed the pile of 6ft waste pipes) and now I need it to stop raining and everyone to leave my house. Love my husband, but this is a me project, it would grow legs if he was involved, and really we just need a frame we can throw a sunshade over.

    Go glamping – booked, prepitched tent with air mattresses, and a nice restaurant.

    Go to the Oceanarium in Lisbon – a yearly highlight

    Eating outside every day the weather permits. Our table is just outside the kitchen door so this is easy. And the birds / squirrels eat every crumb.

    Go to the pump track for a cycle.

    Visit some new beaches – we live on Scotland’s east coast and there are beaches within 30 minutes we haven’t visited yet. And go back to the one with the spectacular caves.

    I want to do a few long bike rides along the railway path.

    Sleep in a tent – at my parents’ house, which annoyingly has the most comfortable beds… why do I have to sleep outside?

    And some prebooked stuff, T and I will decamp to Portugal for a few weeks.

    1. @Coree- fascinated by your den! We shall see how that turns out. And I’m always a fan of visiting beaches.

  7. Here’s my list:
    1. Visit 2 long time friends this summer. Already planned. We traveled a ton on long trios this winter and early spring. While I’m looking forward to being home more over the summer, I know that spending a couple of long weekends with some of my favorite people will fill my soul.
    2. Pick strawberries. Already done. This has been on my list for a few years, but I always wake up and think about it too late in the season. The strawberry place is around the corner from me, so I put it on the calendar for the first time this year and got there in time.
    3. Get to the beach at least 5 times. We spent today at a sometimes light rainy Long Beach Island, NJ beach today. Had a free night certificate from IHG in my husband’s account so we booked a Holiday Inn not far from the LBI causeway. We’re only an hour from home, but we had a great meal at a little restaurant nearby (Mud City Crab House) and I got to walk the beach today.
    4. Go to some events with a Meetup group that I joined. It’s called the Novel Tourist Book Club-they are Philadelphia-based. They pick several suggestions of books to read and pair meetups that are tied to the theme of the book. I’ll be reading a lot in June, since I will be going out for lunch at an Indian restaurant and reading a novel set in India, visiting the largest Indian temple on the East Coast after reading Indian folk tales, and attending a performance of “Our Town” and then discussing Ann Patchett’s “Tom Lake.” This will help me fulfill my desire to explore more things in the Philadelphia area while feeding my voracious reading appetite.
    5. Take a tour with the Central Park Conservancy in New York. This has been on my wish list for years. I will be doing this with my sister and niece in June.
    6 Go to the Mary Cassatt Exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and attend the Friday night cocktail event at the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia with my adult daughter. I’ve been to the Rodin Museum in Paris multiple times, but never visited the one in my own area.
    7. Go to my 20th Major League Baseball stadium (Washington Nationals) and take in a game. My husband and I are on a mission to visit every major league stadium. We knocked off the 3 SoCal teams on a recent trip, so I’m excited that we’ll be 2/3 done with our quest. Of course, I’m not as excited about the prospect of planning future trips to Houston, Dallas and Atlanta in the heat of the summer….
    8. Explore one or more new to us ice cream places in our area. My family enthusiastically supports this one!
    9. Go to an outdoor concert.
    10. Walk outdoors more. We have a trip to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone planned around Labor Day, so I know that we’ll walk a lot then.

    1. @BethC- I love these! Nice work on 20 ballparks – that is a fun project to complete that set. And also nice work on getting the strawberries on the calendar. There were definitely some years I didn’t think about it until late June and that just…doesn’t work.

  8. Some similar items as mentioned: eating outside at restaurants and home, visiting brewery patios, listening to music outdoors (purchased tickets or local Mpls/St. Paul parks put on frequent free events). Other additions: kayaking with one of the kids, camping and doing a glow stick pool party. We did one last year and it is a definite repeat summer fun list item now.

    1. @Megan — ooh, the glow stick pool party sounds fun! I might get some glow sticks for that 🙂 I’m tempted by the camping one, it sounds cool in theory and I’ve done camping at other stages of my life but…we shall see.

  9. My summer fun list includes visiting 3 botanical gardens (I have a list of 15 to choose from, mostly regional though one in Rochester, NY, where I’m visiting next week.

    DEATH and a Sandwich lunch event in a historic cemetery in my city. You listen to a docent and lounge around on your blanket, eating your lunch and sipping wine or beverage of choice.

    Go on at least one long hike. Train for said long hike.

    Day trip to a fun fishing community.

    Picnic in a State Park.

    Enjoy our patio after two summers which fell apart due to family and health issues (not mine).

    Explore our state capitol where spending 4-5 days the beginning of July.

    My husband and me to get together with two friend couples we don’t see that often. Not at one time.

    August week on the shore in Door County (WI).

    Pick fruit

    And the usual eat outdoors, listen to music outdoors, basically BE OUTDOORS!

    1. @Holly- great list! And yes, basically being outdoors is a big goal of mine this summer. Love the idea of death and a sandwich…

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