How to Make the Most of Your Summer Coming to a Closing

Five Must-Dos Before Summer’s End
Home  |  Blog   |  How to Make the Most of Your Summer Coming to a Closing

How to Make the Most of Your Summer Coming to a Closing

Five Must-Dos Before Summer’s End 

Without fail, August rolls around and I catch myself wondering where my summer has gone. Wasn’t I just pulling out my shorts to wear on the first 20-degree day? Inevitably, panic sets in and I catch myself running through my mind’s list of activities to see if I’ve checked all the boxes that somehow determine whether I lived out my summer’s full potential. Below are five must-dos to add to your list to ensure you’ve made the most of your summer before it comes to a close! 

1. See a Movie at a Drive-In Theatre

The Hi-Way Drive-In was a staple of my childhood summers. At least once every summer, my parents would load my sister and me up and make the 45 minute drive north to an open field where other families in the area gathered for night time showings of two movies. The first would begin around dusk and I sometimes would make it to the ending of the second which would run well past midnight.

We’d take the family pickup and load the bed with pillows and blankets, and my mom would bring along our favourite candies and Ziploc baggies of microwave popcorn. It was always such a treat to stay up late and watch a movie outdoors. 


To this day, a premier at the drive-in is what my summer hangs on. I can’t welcome September without having enjoyed this bit of nostalgia from my childhood. I still make plans with my mom for us to go together and we still bring all of our favourite treats from home. Seeing a movie in theatres is typically such a cold-weather activity, so nothing celebrates a warm summer night more than watching the big screen from under a big starry sky. 

2. Visit a Farmers Market 

I moved to a new town in May and one of the sweetest parts of spending my first summer here has been living so close to a weekly farmers market. Every Wednesday morning booths pop up in a little parking lot along the main street and locals sell everything from honey and homemade bread to vegetables and fresh-cut flowers. 

If you buy nothing else from a farmers market, please treat yourself to some fresh-cut flowers. They’re usually more affordable than what you’d find at the florist or grocery store, and they bring a little beauty to your home over the next few days following your visit. 

While I don’t loathe grocery shopping, I still consider it an errand and it’s not something I usually enjoy at a slow meandering pace. However, it feels like that’s the only way to move from booth to booth at a farmers market. If your summer has felt hectic and busy, slow it down at a local farmers market, even if just for a single morning. 

3. Spend a Day at the Beach (& Build Sandcastles) 

Suggesting a beach day feels like such a given that you’re probably wondering why I bothered to include it here. Especially if you’re a Michigander like me, it’s almost impossible to get through a summer without visiting one of the Great Lakes’ shorelines. Hence why the most important part of this suggestion is to build sand castles. 

As an adult, beach days typically consist of soaking up some sun, reading a good book, and cooling off in the waves when the heat becomes overwhelming. To clarify, the beach is one of my favourite places to read so don’t think I’m shunning that option. But to best honor summer and its residual feelings of childhood, fill at least one beach day with play. 

Whether or not you have kids, gather up some family or friends to spend a day by the water and challenge each other to a sand castle competition. The best part is that as an adult, you have the ability to create a masterpiece of sand. Build windows and doors out of sticks and on one side a chimney or turret with stones. Put in a moat and just think of how much more water your grown-up hands can carry! 

Competition will be fierce, your swim bottoms will be sandy (like rinse-yourself-in-the-shallows-alongside-the-toddlers-in-floaties kind of sandy), and you’ll be smiling. Unless maybe you lost, and in that case, there’s always next summer!

4. Host an Outdoor Dinner Party

If you’re looking to make the most of summer as it’s ending, take advantage of those evening hours of light while the sun is still up past 5 o’clock. Afternoon cookouts are great, but this suggestion is for a small gathering of friends and family to sit around a patio table at 8 o’clock at night. 

Celebrate that the temperature is still in the mid-high 20s at dusk, and don’t go inside just because the sun finally does set. Set the mood for celebration so it doesn’t feel like just another weekly dinner. Your get-together doesn’t have to be expensive or outlandish to achieve this! 

Here are some creative suggestions for celebrating a summer evening with a dinner party:

  • Hang patio lights! What is it about twinkling lights that spruce up any space? They’re perfect to turn on when the last bit of daylight has finally gone. 
  • Light candles. Don’t even feel the need to run out and buy the floating votives or citronella ones! Simply grab ones throughout the house and spread them out on the table or across your deck area. 
  • Decorate with plants. Celebrate all the colour while it’s still here. Pull any of your potted plants from around the house or landscaping and stage them near your dining space. If you don’t have any, ask your guests to bring a plant for the evening or borrow from a neighbour. Buy some fresh flower bouquets from a local market (see list item no.3 above), or pick some flowering weeds from any ol’ roadside ditch. You wouldn’t believe how pretty they look in a vase! 
  • Use the good china. Does anyone really have good china anymore? The point of this suggestion is to try not using your everyday dinnerware. Set the table with the ornate, floral plates passed down from your mom or grandma, or run to your local thrift shop and buy a set of vintage green or blue glasses. 

5. Go Camping

Whether you head north for a long weekend and stay at a lakeside campground or pitch a tent in the backyard for the night, a starry campout needs to make your summer’s to-do list. The latter option is great if your weekends are booked, and bonus, the set up and tear down is a few quick trips from house to yard. 

However, if you’re feeling extravagant, opt for a glamping setup. Pass on the sleeping bags and set up an air mattress with all the fluffiest pillows and comforters from the house. Run an extension cord that allows you to plug in a reading lamp. Pair this set up with books, a charcuterie board, and glass of wine. Did this just turn into an overnight self-care retreat?

You could also make it a romantic camping date and skip the cost of a hotel, or if you have children and want to make it a family night, be sure to bring a flashlight for puppet shows and don’t forget the s’more ingredients for a little bonfire before bed! 

How are you making the most of what’s left of your summer? Share your ideas with us here

Taylor Stawecki is a 20-something Michigander with a love for the great outdoors and written word. She spends her weekdays working for a digital marketing company and as a freelance copywriter. In her free time, you can find her reading, writing poetry, running, watching a Grey’s Anatomy rerun, or spending time with her family and friends.  As an old soul, she enjoys collecting salt and pepper shakers and cuddling up in oversized sweaters.

Favorite Book: If I have to choose, The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball
Favorite Brunch Spot: Rochester Brunch House


Hello, Goodbye by Kate Stollenwerck (280 pages)


The Darkening by Sunya Mara (400 pages)