June 15, 2021
Summer’s here, and the world is opening up again. However, not everyone feels comfortable traveling just yet. And that’s fine—there’s lots of fun to be found in every area. Here are some ideas to help you and your family have an enjoyable summer close to home.
Stargaze—You don’t need a telescope to watch the stars; some advance research, a pair of binoculars, a free astronomy or NASA app, and time for your eyes to adjust to darkness will help you see stars. Grab some pillows and blankets, turn off or get away from all the lights you can, and lie back to identify constellations or look for the space station.
Create a garden—If you don’t have the room or the inclination for vegetables or flowers, create a wondrous fairy garden in a corner of your yard or a yummy herb garden in a planter. Playing in dirt is always fun, and if you include little ones in the process, it’s a great chance for them to enjoy fresh summer air and learn more about nature.
Visit local outdoor attractions—It’s likely the outdoor museums and zoos in your area will be open with appropriate safeguards this year. Whether you have kids or not, why not get out and visit these places? They’ll be thrilled to see more patrons, and you’ll have the chance to reconnect with local attractions you may not have visited in years.
Go geocaching—If you’re not familiar with this activity, geocaching.com defines it as: “A real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.” It’s popular, fun and easy to get started with information you can find online. There’s a whole community and unending adventures just waiting for you.
Take a scenic drive—Pack up the car with snacks and drinks, hop in, turn up the music and get outta town. You don’t have to go far; just drive out to the country or to the next town, take the kids on a tour of family landmarks, or stop at a local metropark for a picnic and to let everyone stretch their legs. You’ll be surprised how good a change of scenery feels.
Other ideas include mapping out a walking tour of your town, shopping at local farmers’ markets (summer produce is the best!), or enjoying an old-fashioned backyard water balloon fight when the summer heat and humidity climb. No matter your age and no matter how many people in your circle, have fun like a kid again and enjoy everything your area has to offer.
We buy pets as holiday gifts with the best of intentions. Haven’t decades of commercials shown us that there’s nothing more adorable than a cute little ball of fluff jumping out of a gift-wrapped box into its new owners’ welcoming arms?
While most of us look forward to the holiday season, it can also be a major source of stress. We’ve borrowed several fast and easy mindfulness techniques you can use to help reduce stress when your “Ho-Ho-Ho!” turns into “Oh-No-No.”
When is the last time you thought about what you’re most thankful for? If you’re like most of us, it was probably last Thanksgiving. But even crazy and chaotic years have their points of light, so here’s a handy list to help prepare yourself in case you’re put on the spot at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. By the way, It’s also a good reminder of just how much we have to be thankful for.