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Your End-Of-Summer Checklist: 21 Things To Do Before It’s Too Late

by Sammy Nickalls

Today’s Labor Day, the day that everyone associates with the end of summer.

But just because you (apparently) can’t wear white anymore doesn’t mean autumn is here! We still have a full three weeks to live up this beautiful weather before summer ends officially.

If you’re fretting because you didn’t get to live up your summer, don’t worry. You have until September 22 (at 10:29 P.M., to be exact) to fit in all of those healthy, happy summer activities before autumn officially begins.

Make sure to do one of these 21 things every day so you can really live it up before summer ends!

summer ends

How To Live Up The Rest Of Your Summer

1. Go swimming

Whether in the pool, in a lake, or in the ocean, swimming is a great way to get in some awesome exercise. And who doesn’t feel summery cannon-balling into the water?

2. Throw an outdoor party

Haven’t had the time to bond with your buds? Get the grill going, turn on some music, and invite your friends over. After all, friendship is super important to a healthy, happy lifestyle, so kick back with a cold one and do some catching up!

Related Article: Is Beer Good For You? The Answer May Surprise You…

3. Eat some (healthy!) summery foods

While you’ve got that grill going, go for a healthy but still-summery option: fish. Salmon and tilapia are some tasty ones that are great for you. Don’t forget to slice up a watermelon and make some ice-cold lemonade (with real lemons and natural sweeteners!).

4. Soak up the sun

Did you know that most people are deficient in vitamin D? And if you’ve been cooped up inside all summer long, you probably are, too. Grab a book and lounge outside. Let yourself have a few (keyword: few!) unprotected minutes in the sun before you slather on the SPF to really get that vitamin boost.

Related Article: 4 Ways To Love Your Skin This Summer

5. Do some gardening

Sounds a little late for gardening, but there are plenty of fall veggies and flowers you can plant if you get on it right now. Plus, gardening is very good for you. You get some good sun, and you can easily spend a whole afternoon moving around in ways you wouldn’t normally, which can really burn some good calories!

6. Go on a day trip

Didn’t get the chance to go to the beach this year? It’s not too late! Calculate where the nearest beach is to you and plan a day trip there one Saturday before summer ends. With plenty of swimming and sun opportunities, the beach is a healthy and very summery option.

Related: 7 Ways To Get Rid Of Stress And Feel Great This Summer

If the nearest beach is hours and hours away, try finding a beautiful little area that you associate with summer. Be creative!

7. Join an outdoor class

Learn something new, and soak up the sun while doing it! Take an outdoor class. I personally recommend yoga, a super healthy but relaxing activity that won’t make you sweat uncontrollably under the summer sun.

8. Make some “skinny sangria”

What’s more summery than sangria? Plus, if made right, it can be pretty darn healthy, with the red wine and fruits! Unfortunately, a lot of sangrias are jam-packed with added sugar. Try using a recipe like this one that will give you all the summer taste without the sugar.

Related: 8 Tips On How To Drink Alcohol, Guilt-Free (Almost)

9. Go camping

What better way to experience the summer than to live in nature for a night? There are even glamping options for those that don’t want to rough it in a tent on the ground. Grab the family or a few friends, a tent or two, and some essentials and relax under the stars. Camping with kids is a great way to save money on vacations. Don’t forget the bug spray!

10. Go hiking

Camping isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But who doesn’t love hiking? If you have one, take your dog along with you and enjoy the sites while giving your legs an awesome workout. If you want to go the distance, make sure to bring enough water with you. For a more light-weight option if you will be hiking alongside a stream or other moving water, pack in a water purifier so you don’t have to carry all the water weight. Here are the best travel water filters to choose from.

Related: 6 Ways To Start And Stick With A Spring Exercise Plan

11. Take a bike ride

Break out the old bike from the basement and give its wheels a bit of a turn. Biking is a really great way to get some exercise, especially for those with weaker joints. If your work or school is close by, try biking to work next time! Don’t worry, your car will still love you.

12. Open up your windows

Turn off the A/C and try opening up your windows to let the beautiful breeze in. This is especially wonderful at night, when you’re going to bed (unless it’s 90+ degrees out. Shut your darn window).

13. Have a bonfire

Invite a few friends over and have a bonfire! As an added bonus, prepare some healthy food options to cook over the fire. A few examples would be fruit, like peaches (yep, they’re delicious cooked) or a veggie kebob.

Related: 7 Healthy Food Choices For An Awesome Summer Cookout

14. Meditate in nature

Unplug for a few hours. Pack a blanket, a book, a notepad, a pen, a snack, and your phone (turned off – just for emergency reasons!) and let yourself just be alone for a while. Write down your thoughts, read, and eventually, meditate. It has a ton of health benefits, and you’ll be surprised how refreshed you’ll feel.

You won’t exactly be able to meditate as comfortably in the dead of winter!

15. Make yourself a tasty smoothie

Smoothies are such a summery, fun drink, and when made correctly, can be a super healthy meal alternative. Check out our favorite smoothie options.

Related: Simplify Your Diet: The Benefits Of Healthy Green Smoothies

16. Catch lightning bugs

I mean, come on. I don’t care how old you are—it’s not summer if you haven’t done this at least once this year.

17. Go on a jog outside

Why jog on a treadmill inside when you can enjoy the beautiful weather? Jogging is a great way to exercise and soak up the sun before summer ends.

18. Have a (nutritious) picnic

Pack up a picnic full of tasty, nutritious foods. Grab a blanket and a loved one, then go drive somewhere pretty. Ta da – you’ve got yourself a fabulous afternoon.

Related: 8 Things I Learned That Totally Changed The Way I Eat Food

19. Go to an amusement park

Have a blast with your family via screaming on roller coasters and winning stuffed animals. An added bonus: you walk all over the place during a day at the amusement park, so it’s super good for you (as long as you don’t load up on greasy theme park food!).

20. Volunteer

Many charities take advantage of the beautiful summer weather to entice people to come help out. Go find your favorite charity and see what events you can help out with in the next few weeks. You’ll feel awesome afterwards.

Related: The Kindness Cure: 4 Ways Being Nice Can Be Good For Your Health

21. Count your blessings

Come September 22nd, think about your past month. It’s been awesome, right? Take a minute to practice gratitude. Because when you think about it, life is pretty great.


sammy nickalls

Sammy Nickalls is the former content manager of and is a freelance writer for various sites, including HelloGiggles, YourTango, Quickbooks, and TWLOHA. Follow her on Twitter @sammynickalls.

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