11 Summer Activity Ideas That Don’t Include Sand

When you think of summer, you ultimately think of the beach. And while the beach is certainly a lot of fun, there are a number of other summer activity ideas that can be enjoyed without getting sand glued to your body.

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1. Enjoy an outdoor picnic with an old-fashioned picnic basket (and don’t forget the wine)! Stock it with cheese, fruit, sandwiches, cold fried chicken, salads, really anything your heart desires!

2. Snip flowers from your garden or the roadside and create a carefree summer floral arrangement. Paint a mason jar white for a pretty, rustic look. Linda at the blog It All Started with Paint has a mason jar crafting book for kids that you can buy on Amazon.

Garden Flowers in a Mason Jar Painted White


3. Move your cactus plants outside! They’ll love the extra sunlight. Simply set the pots in a very sunny location and they’ll reward you with renewed health. I gave my cacti to my daughter but I’ve moved my dieffenbachia and hope philodendrons outside. They love the extra humidity and always flourish. If I lived in Arizona I’d fill my yard with a variety of cactus plants.

Traditional spanish finca house from Majorca, Spain with Cactus in the Garden


4. Add more flowers in the garden! Mid-summer is a great time to find some bargains on potted flowers and hanging baskets. Most people are done getting their flowers so prices have dropped. The inventory might not be as plentiful, but you can still find some beauties.

Flower Pots and Baskets in Small Garden


5. Visit a natural waterfall. This beauty is located at Starved Rock State Park just two hours from my house. And did you know that waterfalls release negative ions that are known to enhance your mood and lift your spirits? Not to mention the rocks and water create a cooler climate.

Do a Google search for “waterfalls near me” and I’ll bet you can find one within a day’s trip. Or you can add a waterfall in your backyard like I did with my garden pond.

LaSalle Canyon Waterfall in Starved Rock Park of  Illinois


6. Go river tubing and find your inner child. Why not add river tubing to your bucket list of summer activity outings? It requires no coordination like kayaking or canoeing, and it’s way more mellow than white rapids rafting. Again, you can Google “river tubing near me” to find a close location. I have yet to do this although my daughter goes every year. It’s on this year’s bucket list!

River Tube Rafting - Summer Activity


7. Be brave and take a glamping vacation. I think this would be so much fun. You can get intimate with nature while still enjoying a few creature comforts.

Glamping Trip for Summer Activity Idea


8. Hang a hummingbird feeder in the garden. It’s so fun to see these fairy-like birds come to visit. Sometimes they’ll fly pretty close to you!

Hummingbird Feeder in Garden


9. Make something with sweet summer strawberries – they always taste better this time of year. A couple years ago I shared a super yummy recipe for strawberry julius that’s so refreshing and easy to make.

Strawberry Tarts and Pies


10. Serve a summer charcuterie at your next social gathering. Add cheese, fruit, crackers, thin-sliced meats, olives, cherry tomatoes – really anything goes.

Summer Charcuterie Board


11. Take a yurt vacation. Add this one to your summer bucket list. Not everyone has stayed in a yurt. You can find one on Airbnb to rent out – which is what hubby and I did a few years ago. Read more about that mini vacation.

summer yurt vacation

I can think of many more summer activity ideas – this is just a sampling. Maybe I’ll do another summer ideas post in August.

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  1. This is such a wonderful list of things to do this summer! I didn’t know that about waterfalls. How fascinating! Have a wonderful time on your yurt vacation. That sounds like so much fun!!!

  2. First, thank you so much for sharing the link to my book!!! What a fun surprise! And I just love this list of things to do that don’t involve sand! Starved Rock is such a pretty location – a lush, mountainous oasis in the middle of our flat, flat state! And I agree a tubing trip is something I need to put on my bucket list. Oh, and your yurt vacation sounds amazing! 🙂 Linda

  3. Thank you for the wonderful list. I have never heard of a yurt vacation, but that looks amazing. Just FYI on the hummingbirds, you can order hummingbird hand-held feeders. They truly work. My husband videoed a hummingbird eating from my hand. They are amazing little creatures. I also want to thank you for all of your hard work in bringing us wonderful inspiration every day. Cheers, and Happy Fourth of July!