Simple Ways to Enjoy the Rest of Summer Without Going on Vacation

Simple Ways to Enjoy the Rest of Summer Without Going on Vacation

Given the recent chaos in the airports and with flight bookings, it might be worth our while to stay in our own cities and towns for the rest of summer. Although I had plans to visit the US this summer, I’ve opted instead to spend most of my summer here, in Calgary, Alberta.

Despite being known for dry summers, there are a number of exciting things that can make your summer eventful without traveling far.  Here’s some of my favorite summer things to do:

Host a barbecue:

Having a barbecue with friends and family is a great way to enjoy the outdoors in the comfort of your home (or someone else’s home).  Barbecues are easier to prepare than other dinner gatherings I’ve hosted, mainly because the biggest challenge is ensuring your proteins are prepared well and there’s no food poisoning.  Other than being creative with salads and sides, your main dish is practically ready to go out on the grill.  My last barbecue featured my signature punch made of fresh pineapple, sparkling water, and a generous amount of alcohol.  The summer doesn’t have to be that dry, after all.  If you’re feeling more adventurous, hosting a barbecue in a provincial or national park makes the experience even more memorable.

Explore a new neighborhood:

Despite having lived in Edmonton most of my life, I was surprised to find there are still many neighborhoods I have not ventured into.  As for Calgary, I’ve only recently made the move to this Southernmost major city in Alberta and everything is fairly new and fresh.  New neighborhoods usually have their own shopping centers, fast-food and sit-down restaurants with their unique flares that are worth checking out.  I loved even just walking around new neighborhoods to check out newly built houses and developments

Pick berries:

One of my favorite activities in the summer as a child was picking berries at farms not too far from the city.  Even at half an hour outside of the city you can hit some local farms that entertain guests with a “pick your own [blank]” option.  It’s a chance to learn more about local produce.  I find that learning where my food comes from has a huge impact on waste.  Whether you’re doing this with an entire family or just a friend or significant other, it is a great option to stock your fridge with fresh produce.

Rent a boat:

There’s nothing quite as peaceful as rowing a boat down the river in the summer.  For my city, there’s a significant river flowing through the heart of the city.  Every summer, raft rental companies have rentals that let you experience floating down the river.  It’s a serene experience that’s great with friends.  The best part is that there’s usually a great view to go along with it.

Have a picnic:

This is another activity that is exclusive to our precious Canadian summers.  It’s an easy way to stay entertained and not break the budget.  I personally love charcuterie boards for picnics and a bottle of wine.  It makes a great date night activity but also an excellent family activity as well.