Summer is just around the corner, and the best time to plan fun summer activities with your friends is now, rather than trying to plan group activities last minute. You’ve likely been thinking about how you want to spend your summer, and you probably want to spend lots of time with your friends.
In the last couple of years, we’ve had to keep our circles smaller, but summer 2022 is the perfect time to catch up with friends from your friend group that you might not have been able to socialize with for a while. Instead of limiting your social gatherings to just a few people, let’s put this summer to better use this year, by bringing back more group summer activities.
Not only does more friends joining an activity make it more fun, but polls have also suggested that having many friends may be better for your health than having a smaller circle.
Socializing is great for mental health, and when you plan unique summer activities, you’re making special memories with your friends that will last a lifetime.
Spending time with friends makes us feel more connected, less alone, and less isolated, and can help ward off feelings associated with depression, even if we have a genetic predisposition to depression (which can you learn more about after reading the results of your CircleDNA test) you’ll find that social activities help combat these symptoms of mood disorders.
Below are some fun summer activities to start planning with your friend group:
Summer Activities on the Road: Plan a Road Trip
Decide on a destination (or destinations), load up the car (or cars), and hit the road for 3, 5, or 7 days; maybe even longer! Take the time to plan out your route together, and break the drive up by stopping at hot spots like restaurants, waterfalls or viewpoints along the way.
Go On a Picnic
A picnic only gets better with more people invited because it just means there are more delicious things to eat. Bring a portable grill to your local park or beach and have everyone make something to share.
Picnics are summer activities best enjoyed potluck style. Have everyone bring something to share, and coordinate so that everyone brings something different. Someone will also have to be responsible for wine, of course, and the picnic blanket.
Rent a Boat
If you live near the water, having a day out on a boat is a great way to see your city from a different perspective. If no one in your friend group knows how to drive a boat, consider renting one for a day cruise. Boat tours are surprisingly affordable when the cost is split between a group of friends. The boat tour company will take care of assigning you a boat driver, and this is one of the most fun summer activities to plan and enjoy.
Go on a Winery Tour
Wineries, microbreweries and local distilleries are very popular, and some bars even make their own alcohol in house. Many vineyards are absolutely beautiful, and wine tours can be the perfect mix of delicious wine and beautiful scenery. Book a group wine tour with your friends, and explore what your area has to offer.
Have you ever seen the view of your city from the top of a vantage point? Is there a national park within driving distance? Hiking is a fun and relaxing way to get some exercise and is safer when done in a group. Plan a day hike or, if you can, consider spending the night in the wilderness and hiking out in the morning.
If bush camping isn’t your style, why not try tenting at a semi-serviced campsite? Most campgrounds have options for the kinds of campsite amenities available like electricity and showers, so even the most inexperienced campers can have a good time.
Camping is one of the most bonding summer activities for friends to get closer. Deep conversations around the campfire, and stargazing together at night leave you feeling closer as a group.
Go See a Band at a Summer Music Festival
Concerts and festivals are finally making a post-pandemic comeback, so now is the perfect time to get outside and dance to some live music. Check and see if there is a concert or music festival happening nearby, or make a road trip out of it as a group, if you need to travel to it.
If you’re lucky enough to have space for a garden plot in your yard, ask your friends if they would be interested in helping you work it in exchange for your fresh, organic produce all summer. You can also host a garden party if you find the time to set up your garden. You can hang a canopy of string lights, and get some cute outdoor furniture.
Be a Local Tourist
How well do you really know your city? When we’ve lived somewhere long enough, we often take for granted what’s easily accessible. Gather your friends and have everyone name one local attraction they’ve never been to – then make a day out of exploring your town through the eyes of a tourist.
Check out an Amusement Park or Fair
As we get older, we take fewer risks and do less of what we’re afraid of, but stepping outside of our comfort zone when we’re part of a group is easier because being in a group prompts us to conform. Feeling like we’re accepted members of a group makes us feel braver because we believe the group will take care of us. So, if you’ve never been on a roller coaster or a Ferris wheel because of your fear of heights, this summer might be the perfect opportunity. Bring your friends for moral support, and then get some cotton candy when it’s over.
Pick Fresh Produce and Cook a Meal
Some farms let customers pick their produce right out of the field and charge by weight. This is a great way to spend less on fresh, local produce while also supporting your local farmers. If a U-pick style farm isn’t for you, then go shopping at the local farmer’s market, then come home and cook a huge meal with your friends.
Cooking together is a fun way to spend time together, and you’ll also get to enjoy a huge feast together.
Make an At-Home Waterpark
Sure, you could probably head to a water park for a day of fun, if your idea of fun is standing in line for 20 minutes to go down a water slide once. Beat the crowds by creating an at-home water park using Slip N’ Slides, wading pools, and sprinklers. Up the ante by declaring a water balloon or water gun war.
In a boat or off the dock, fishing is a relaxing way to start the day, since the best fishing happens early in the morning. Just be sure to look up your local fishing bylaw rules before you cast your rod. If you’re lucky enough to live near the ocean, consider chartering a vessel and trying your hand at deep-sea fishing.
White Water Rafting
Few group activities are as exhilarating as white water rafting. One of the most memorable summer activities out there, white water rafting is a fun, safe and exciting sport that’s a perfect challenge to take on with a group of friends. You will be guided by a professional who has plenty of experience handling the rapids and you can learn a lot about yourself and what you’re capable of after giving it a try. Even if you’re a little bit afraid, doing this with your friend group will make you feel much more comfortable.
A little friendly competition never hurt anyone. Panic rooms have become immensely popular among friends groups, but if it’s summertime, do you really want to be inside? Instead, get out in the sunshine by planning a race or scavenger hunt through the city. For those rainy days, try holding a bake or cook-off.
Play Ultimate Frisbee, Disc Golf or Spike Ball
If you’re after a bit more active competition, set up Spike Ball at the beach, join an ultimate frisbee league, or throw together a disc golf tournament.
These summer activities are a great way to get outside, enjoy the sunshine with your friends, and bond as you learn a new skill together.
Take a Canoe Trip Down a River
This one requires a bit more planning and preparedness, but if you have friends who know how to navigate, and understand river safety, take a gentle canoe ride down a quiet river. Pack a picnic for a mid-afternoon break.
Host a Bonfire
You’re going to want to check with your local bylaws before getting started, and this activity might be better suited on a private acreage, but in any case, hosting a bonfire always brings people together. Roast hotdogs and marshmallows as you tell stories and sing songs around the campfire. You could even make s’mores.
Plan a Wilderness Retreat or LakehouseGetaway
A quick Google search can let you know of any wilderness retreat centers nearby, and they can be a fun and intimate way of reconnecting with your friends without the distraction of phones, social media, jobs, the news, or whatever else. If there are none nearby that appeal to you, simply look into renting a cabin or lakehouse with your friends and spend some time together, unplugged.