Summer is a season of extremes: extreme heat, extreme flavors, and extreme fun. It's known for its special pastimes, dotting childhood memories with baseball games, bike rides, beach days, and grilling in grassy backyards. This year, as you squeeze all you can out of the season, have fun giving these ideas a try. They can be shared with friends, enjoyed as a family, used to make your next date night extra special, or even become a way to reconnect with your neighborhood and community. Our summer bucket list is bound to get your wheels turning as we all put a fun new spin on the season of summer. So here's to grabbing that fishing pole, enjoying too many fireside s'mores, lingering a bit longer, and watching the stars. May you exhale a bit deeper and soak in the sweetness of summer with your favorite people around you.
Pick Summer Veggies - Summer berry season may be coming to an end, but fresh veggies are abounding! Enjoy harvesting your own freshly grown produce, then head back home and incorporate it into dinner. The wonder of experiencing food from farm to table is great for all ages. Check out Double Branches Farm and Produce Market.
Enjoy the Fireflies - Sometimes life flies by and the little things can get overlooked, like catching fireflies. Remember the wonder of seeing them light up at dusk? The thrill of chasing them, trying to locate them after a flash? This summer, gently catch a few (we recommend a net) and use a jar (with plenty of holes in the lid and a moist coffee filter or paper towel in the bottom) to watch them awhile by yourself or with the kids. Just please remember to release them at the end of the evening.
Pool Party - pool parties aren't just for kids. Pool floats have come a long way, so grab your favorite, a few refreshing drinks, and make a splash with your crew! Bonus: no "lights out" enforced. Wait till the sun goes down, grab some glow sticks, light the tiki torches, and enjoy the freedom!
Intimate Garden Party - One of the best parts of summer is the lushness of a garden. Find a favorite spot, set up a table and chairs, string lights, and create the tablescape. Prepare a special meal or invite your friends to each bring a dish, consider having a musician play in the background, and enjoy the luxury of summer in a whole new way.
Picnic by the Lake - Grab your hunny, your favorite basket, and set out for the lake! Order from your favorite caterer or specialty shop beforehand, and enjoy selecting your favorite wine together. Remember to chill the wine as needed, pack a blanket and ice, and spark something new this summer.
Catch the Fireworks - No matter where they're held this year, make it a point to stop and watch the fireworks! Grab a few drinks, break out the popsicles, don yourself with glow gear, and ooh and aah as you take in the beauty of the display alongside your favorite people.
Churn Your Own Ice Cream - Remember doing this way back when? Well this pastime has not gone out of style, and we must say that homestyle ice cream will always be the best. Go with the classic salty vanilla or add fresh fruit from the Saturday market. This is a great addition to any Independence Day party or any summer Saturday! Check out Beat the Heat to learn how to decorate your own bowls with the kids too.
Enjoy Local Waterways - Has the summer heat got you needing to cool down? Head to the water! Bring your own or rent kayaks from a local spot and jump on in. Columbia County has even put together the Serene 18 Paddle Trail for your exploration and enjoyment this summer. Meander down the Augusta Canal, discover Stallings Island, enjoy the scenery of Betty's Branch, and paddle through Clarks Hill Lake. And when you've completed the trails and collected all four stamps, you'll get major bragging rights and a sweet tee shirt! Check out VisitColumbiaCountyGa.com/Serene18-Paddle-Trail/ for more info and to request your free passport.
Movies in the Backyard - This activity has so many possibilities! Enjoy a romantic movie with your sweetheart under the stars, invite some friends and their kids over for a family movie night, or set up in a common area and enjoy a movie night with the whole neighborhood. At home, set up a theatre in your back yard using a projector and white surface. Choose the movie, the concessions, and comfy seating. Want a unique movie night? Watch from your pool float! For community-wide movies outdoors, be on the lookout for Movies on the Lawn at Evans Towne Center.