Last-minute Summer Activity Ideas

In Brief:

  • Keep the summer fun going well into the fall semester!

  • Start a new hobby and continue it all year long.

Blog Post

As summer winds down, thoughts of starting the fall semester fill the minds of higher education students. Summer fun doesn’t have to stop just because classes are starting again, however. Here’s a list of ten enjoyable, last-minute summer activities to keep the feeling of summer excitement going well into the new school year.

Visit a national park

The continental United States has over 60 national parks. These are protected areas of natural beauty and provide access to recreational opportunities and educational programs. Get out there and explore what the National Parks System has to offer. Some of the most popular national parks to visit include Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and Zion.

Plan a road trip

Road trips are an excellent way to unwind and stop thinking about everyday stresses. They can take you places you wouldn’t normally go, and help you discover things you never even knew existed. You’ll have the opportunity to explore new communities and natural wonders. Road trips give you freedom and flexibility, too. Since you’re traveling by car, you’re in charge of the destination.

Enjoy a staycation

If traveling away from home seems like too much, consider a staycation. With a staycation, there is no travel time, little to no cost, and less stress than planning a big vacation. Use your staycation to explore where you live. Go to your usual hangouts or seek out new museums or restaurants you keep meaning to visit. You can make your staycation special by staying at a local hotel or hosting an at home dinner with friends.

Take in a play

From Broadway to regional theatre to community theatre, summer is a great time to see a play. It’s a fun way to fill an afternoon or evening, and lets you disconnect from daily life and be swept away in a performance. The audience brings energy to the performers and vice versa. Seeing live theater can energize you and make you appreciate a play and its characters even more. Plus, it’s a great way to brush up on your Shakespeare.

Read a new book

Reading is an easy and inexpensive way to be entertained and relaxed at the same time. Studies have shown that adults who read just 30 minutes a week are 20 percent more likely to report greater life satisfaction. Reading can increase knowledge and improve your vocabulary and focus. Additionally, reading can improve your quality of sleep, reduce stress, and sharpen mental acuity. So, pick up that latest best-seller and start reading!

Try a new workout routine

Summer can mean having a lot of free time not filled with school responsibilities. It’s also a great time to start a new workout routine. It’s important to mix up your workouts so you don’t overuse muscles and joints, and you give them a chance to recover. Changing up your routine can make working out more interesting as it’s not predictable. It’s a chance to learn something new and to incorporate any new moves into your usual routine to make working out more enjoyable.

Attend a music festival

Music festivals are an important and unique event to experience. People from all walks of life come together to celebrate the art of music. They provide a great opportunity to see and hear your favorite bands and even discover someone new. There is a sense of freedom when attending a music festival as you can put your phone down and disconnect for a few hours. The best part about a music festival, whether you enjoyed it or not, is the countless memories you’ll make.

Learn an instrument

When you’re not busy learning in school this summer, keep your mind active by learning an instrument. It not only sustains your brain, but also improves many cognitive and physical aspects of your body. Studies have shown that learning an instrument improves memory. It’s also a great way to build confidence. Once you start becoming comfortable and familiar with your new task, you’ll feel more confident in completing what you started.

Host a back-to-school BBQ

Instead of being down about summer coming to an end, make it a celebration and host a back-to-school barbeque. Even the smallest of budgets can still host a great party. Keep the food and decorations simple and ask everyone to bring something like a side dish, dessert, or drinks. By having the event at your home, or a location that is familiar to your guests, people will feel more comfortable and will enjoy the occasion.

Make a school year ‘Must-Do’ list

The fun ideas you have for the end of summer don’t have to stop just because the fall semester is starting. Make a school year ‘Must-Do’ list to get yourself excited for all the things you want to accomplish before the end of the school year. Your ideas can be fun, like attending a sporting event or formal dance, binge watching a series with new friends, or making plans on how to decorate your dorm room. They can also be more goal driven, like applying for a dream internship or researching graduate schools. Whatever it may be, keep the free-spirited fun of summer going all year long.

Author: Natalie Schwarz

Natalie Schwarz is a Content Marketing Writer for Nelnet Campus Commerce. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing and has over a decade of professional writing experience. When she’s not crafting content for blogs, case studies, and social media, you can find her enjoying the outdoors with her husband and their twin boys or relaxing with an embroidery project and a podcast.

View all posts by Natalie Schwarz