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Even though Memorial Day was weeks ago and temperatures have been pretty high lately, today is the official first day of summer. If you’re looking for ways to celebrate the start of the warmest, most sun-filled season of the year, try any of these five ways to celebrate the first day of summer (and if you’re stuck at work today, then tomorrow or Sunday aren’t too late to enjoy the season’s start).
1. Go to the beach (or the pool)
The beach is probably the first thing that most people think of when they decide what to do on a warm summer day. An hour or two spent driving to the beach is almost always worth the time, especially on days with few clouds, low winds, no traffic, and boiling hot temperatures. If you don’t live that close to a beach, hop in a nearby pool, whether a public pool or one in a friend’s backyard. No matter which option you go with, don’t forget to wear sunscreen!
2. Go on a hike
A hike isn’t just your ordinary walk around the block. Many parks, especially state and national parks, feature long, gorgeous hiking paths with inclines and declines that add an exciting challenge to the everyday activity of walking. Science has shown that hiking causes your muscles, joints, and heart to perform differently than regular walking does. Gather a group of friends (and plenty of snacks of water) and commit to hitting the trail for a few hours of your day, if not longer. You might be sore the next day, but your body will thank you in the long run.
3. Have a picnic
If traveling to a park with a hiking trail isn’t an option, take advantage of a small, local park instead. Invite some friends to bask in the sun over a picnic. Get a big blanket (and, if it’s windy, something with which to ground the blanket) for everyone to sit on, bring some snacks and maybe some board or card games, and enjoy a relaxing but entertaining day not too far from where you live. Bonus points if you or a friend bring a frisbee, football, or something else to toss around.
4. Walk, jog, or bike along the water
Many streams, rivers, and other bodies of water have paths or trails spanning them. Unlike with hiking, walking these paths is often at most minimally strenuous, and like hiking, the views you’ll see throughout are often gorgeous. If you’re a jogger, these paths also make great new roads to run, because you’ll see some amazing sights while squeezing in plenty of exercise. Biking these paths might be an especially exciting way to welcome summer, because you’ll likely cover more of the trail without becoming exhausted as quickly as with jogging.
5. Stay home, but get out
If your home has a porch, backyard, patio, balcony, or deck, or if your apartment complex has a common outdoor area, you can enjoy the calendar day with the largest number of sunlight hours without ever leaving home. Whether alone or with friends, your outdoor space is a calming (and free!) space for enjoying the arrival of summer. Plus, since it’s your living space, you can get away with doing pretty much anything that doesn’t disturb or offend your neighbors or housemates.
How are you planning to celebrate the first day of summer? Sound off in the comments!