The ultimate end-of-summer cottage bucket list

End of summer bucket list

It’s that inevitable time of year again. You’ve tried to ignore it, but the days are still getting shorter and the nights are getting chilly. Sooner or later, you’re going to have to face it: the end of summer is here. This year, instead living in denial or suffering through the August blues, celebrate the final days of summer by checking these to-dos off your list and facing fall with no regrets. And once you’re done, you’ll have all the more reason to kick back in your Muskoka chair and enjoy a Corona.

Spend an afternoon reading in a hammock

Summer is a time for relaxation—in theory. But as your cottage chores pile up and you pack your weekends full of activities, opportunities for lazing around slip by. Do yourself a favour and set aside some time to grab a good book, stretch out under the trees, and let everything else go.

Have a campfire sing-along

Build a roaring fire and invite all your friends over for a summer swan song. Break out the guitar and warm everyone up with some classic camp ditties and accessible folk songs. Then, when everyone’s really feeling the music, pass out the beers and power through some serious drinking songs.

Take the perfect sunset photo

You’ve taken those incredible views for granted all summer, but now it’s time to pull out the camera and capture the moment. You’ll need an inspiring screensaver to stare at while you’re stuck in the office all winter.  

Experiment with a new barbecue sauce

It won’t be long before the cover goes back on the barbecue, and you’re slaving over the stovetop, staring longingly at the deck. So while you still have the chance to play, slather your meat with something new. Try infusing your sauce with summer fruit or adding the flavours of your favourite beer.

Complete one last DIY project

Don’t head into winter wishing you’d finally put that chair together or moping about the area you never finished landscaping. Roll up your sleeves and finish that one project that’s been in the back of your mind all summer. The satisfaction of a job well done will carry you through the fall with pride.

Visit a small-town ice cream shop

Ice cream cones are the ultimate symbol of summer, and they always taste better when they’re scooped from behind the counter of a mom-and-pop shop. Mix your favourite flavour with a scoop of something new, and soak up the small-town experience one lick at a time.

Take one last hike in the woods

Lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails to get the blood pumping one last time. Make the most of your final outing by shaking up your routine—bring along a dog, try a challenging uphill climb, or check out a new location.

Have brunch on the deck

On one of the last lazy Sundays of summer, sleep in, skip breakfast, and cook up all your favourite brunch recipes. Turn your outdoor feast into a social event and break bacon with your neighbours from across the lake.

Appreciate the local critters

Wildlife will be harder to spot when winter rolls in, so take a moment to marvel at the creatures in your own backyard. Watch the chipmunks frolic, try to spot a rare bird species, or catch and release some fireflies.