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End of Summer Activities to Add to Your Summer Must-Do List

Summer's still OFFICIALLY on till September 22 — make the most of it!

Margo Gothelf and Sarah Burns

summer bucket list activities


Is anyone else in disbelief that it’s almost the end of the summer already? While summer officially comes to an end September 22, there's still plenty of time to squeeze in some last-minute summertime activities. Use this end-of-summer must-do list to make sure you finish all of the best summertime activities before the leaves start to hit the ground. 

1. Indulge in Some S’mores

Smores Recipe Updates


S'mores are the unofficial dessert of the summer. Sure, you could eat the gooey treat any time of year, but something about eating them over a campfire just makes them taste so much better. Squeeze in as many campfires as you can before the school nights begin and see how many s'mores you can stomach. If you're tired of the classic campfire treat, switch it up and add grilled fruit, Oreos, or peanut butter into the mix

2. Transform Your T-Shirt Drawer (and Everything Else) With Tie-Dye

how to make tie dye designs


What's old is new again when you give your wardrobe a tie-dye makeover. Take advantage of the last remaining days of nice weather and head out into the backyard to turn all your boring white clothes into tie-dye masterpieces. Tie-dye shorts, t-shirts, socks, and even sweatpants for the winter. The more clothes you tie-dye, the more designs you can try out. Plus, you'll have some awesome new options to wear for the first day of school. 

3. Splash Around at a Pool Party

inflatable pools


What's better than a pool party? Not much, except maybe a pool party with great tunes. Invite your friends over for one last summer bash and throw a pool party. Whip out the giant inflatables, games, and tropical decorations to transform your pool into an oasis of fun. Don't stop the party when the sun goes down. Throw some glow sticks in the pool to keep the swimming going all night long. 

4. Get Soaked In the Backyard



August heat is no joke. With the end of summer approaching, you would think the days would get cooler, but they are just as hot as mid-July. Beat the heat and cool down with some backyard water games. Go with the classics and have a water balloon toss or switch it up and see how you can transform your backyard into a waterpark. No matter which route you choose to go, you are guaranteed to have a soaking wet good time. 

5. Have Ice Cream For Dinner

IMG 8255

The Baker Chick

Let's be real — rules in the summer tend to get a bit of a pass. But a little bit of rule-bending never hurt anyone! Bend the rules a little more and have some ice cream for dinner. Surprise your kids with a sundae from their favorite ice cream store, or bring the treats right into your home with a DIY sundae bar. Pile on the scoops and add in all of the extra toppings! Make this a summertime tradition that you'll want to repeat year after year. 

6. Hit the Road



Pile into the car with food, games, and entertainment and hit the open road. Your road trip doesn't even have to be far for it to count as an official road trip. Check out some local parks, beaches, or theme parks that are worth going the extra mile for in the car. Half the fun will just be getting there — especially with the right games, audiobooks, and snacks for road trips.

7. Stargaze All Night Long

ferrantraite / Getty Images

ferrantraite / Getty Images

Stay up late to watch the stars in action and dazzle your eyes. Go on constellation watch and see if you can spot The Big Dipper, The Little Dipper, or Orion's Belt. Maybe you'll even get lucky and see a few shooting stars. Want to make stargazing even more memorable? Name your very own star in the sky.

8. Have an Epic Beach Day

beach toys for kids of all ages


"Seas" the day and soak up the remaining days of summer with an epic trip to the beach. Start the day off strong and head right into the ocean for a morning full of body surfing, boogie boarding, and splashing around. When you've hit your water quota, hit the sand to build a few sandcastles. Take the rest of the day to relax by the water, collect seashells, or play a round of volleyball. Stay till the very end of the day and watch the sunset over the water — you'll see the sky transform into a real-life painting. 

9. Go for a Picnic

Indoor Picnic Platter

The Forked Spoon

Something about eating outside always makes the food taste better. Don't believe it? Try it out for yourself and make any meal into a picnic. Pack a big blanket and scope out a shady spot under a tree for the ultimate setup. Not sure what to pack? We've got you covered with the perfect picnic menu

10. Watch a Movie Outside

outdoor movie night


Sure, you could watch a movie inside on a beautiful summer night, or you could embrace that summer evening breeze and watch a movie outside in the comfort of your backyard. Set up the projector, get cozy with some blankets, and pop the popcorn. The most important decision of the night will be picking out what movie to watch! Go on an adventure with Raya and the Last Dragon or stick with the classics and hit play on Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

11. Take the Crafts Outside


East TN Family Fun

The best craft store around might just be in your backyard. Where else can you find leaves, flowers, and rocks and easily turn them into works of art? Explore nature's craft store and all it has to offer! Not only does crafting outside mean the supplies are better, but it also means the projects can get a bit messier. Use water blasters to create one-of-a-kind works on canvas or take flowers and sticks to make a natural paintbrush. When you're done creating, bring the artwork inside and hang it up to remind you of summer all winter long. 

12. Pick Fresh Veggies and Fruits

Kid Friendly Summer Veggie Recipes


Summer produce is always next level. This year, go straight to the source and experience food right off the vine. Head to your local farmer's market or go to a local farm or orchard to pick strawberries, cherries, or blueberries. Can't make it to the farm? Try some garden-friendly recipes starring all of summer's greatest hits.

13. Fill Up With a Summer Barbecue

Juneteenth Recipes


Nothing beats a hot dog straight off the grill. Or a hamburger. And a fresh piece of corn on the cob. With a side of coleslaw and potato salad. Don't forget the watermelon (are you drooling yet?)! Close out the summer and fill up your stomach with a summer barbecue. Fire up the grill and serve up a traditional feast. Don't stop with the main course either — impress your guests with grilled fruit cobbler, dessert skewers, or grilled donut ice cream sandwiches

14. Watch the Sun Rise or Set

Watch Sunset

Twice a day, nature goes to work and puts on a magic show with the sun. Experience the show for yourself and watch the sun rise or set (late risers — this will be something worth getting up for!). If you want to make the experience extra special, watch the sun by the beach, on a hike, or near an overlook. Even if you just watch it in your backyard or through a window, it will be something to remember.