10 ways to make the most of what’s left of summer

Camping at night

It’s time to face the mildly depressing reality: we’re quickly approaching the end of summer. Have you ticked off all the items on your must-do checklist of summertime activities yet? If you haven’t, it’s time to get on it, and if you don’t have a list, here are some suggestions for making the most of these last few weeks of warm weather.

1. Take up SUP

Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is an ideal summer sport for the cottage, and now’s the time to try it if you haven’t yet (here’s why). It’s perfect for the calm waters of a lake, and it’s an enjoyable way to sneak in some exercise without it feeling like an intense workout.

2. Spend time in a hammock

On the opposite end of the to-do spectrum, make sure you’ve scheduled some hammock time for yourself, where you can settle in and relax with a good book. Better still, summer’s the perfect time to squeeze in an afternoon nap—studies say there are actually health benefits to snoozing.

3. Cook over an open fire

Few things are more satisfying than making and eating your own meals outside. There’s just something primordial about cooking over an open fire. These tips and recipes should make it a cinch, and impress guests, too.

4. Indulge in a banana boat

Yes, s’mores are delicious, but have you tried a banana boat? This other campfire dessert staple is just as fun to assemble and eat, and it’s arguably healthier.

5. Make the ultimate ice cream sandwich

Another sweet summertime treat is the ice cream sandwich. Step up your ice-cream-sandwich-making game by getting creative with ingredients and flavour combinations. (Here’s some inspiration.)

6. Hike a forest trail

Reconnect with Mother Earth and go on a walk through the woods on a nature trail, where you’ll be rewarded with scenic views and possibly spot some wildlife as well. As an added bonus, you may even feel happier afterwards.

7. Go technology-free

Disconnect from the rest of the world for a while (if possible, for a weekend, or even an entire week) and take a tech break. This means turning off the TV and powering down the computer, tablet, and smartphone for a full tech detox. Set an automatic out-of-office/vacation reply for emails and rediscover what life was like before we were constantly plugged in.

8. Complete a DIY project

Set aside some free time to finish up that outdoor DIY project you’ve been meaning to tackle for a while. Is there anything better than making something with your own two hands? (For DIY ideas, look here.)

9. Watch the sunrise or sunset over a lake

Whether from a dock or a beach, taking in a sunrise or sunset over the water can be a magical thing, and summer is the loveliest time to do it.

10. Sleep under the stars

Speaking of magical things, getting as far away from the city as possible and sleeping under a gazillion twinkling lights in the sky is a wonderful way to regain perspective on life and a quintessential summertime experience. Here’s where to get the best views in the country.