We’ve updated our 2018 summer guide just in time to make sure that you have your best summer holidays ever! We’d love to hear how many of these activities you manage to tick off over the next few weeks.
1. Swim outdoors
The perfect activity for hot weather! Don’t forget rivers and lakes as well as the seaside – this site has loads of inspiration as well as some vital safety advice. You may also be lucky enough to live near an outdoor swimming pool – London alone has several, listed here, and there are some spectacular pools around the country as well.
2. Listen to live music
There’s something magical about live music, especially on a summer’s evening. As well as festivals of all kinds, and concerts up and down the country, you might well find free live music sessions in your local park or in the garden of your local pub. If you like classical music, or think you’d like to give it a try, you can’t beat the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London; you can hear world-class performances on a “promming ticket” for only £6.
3. Make something
Away from the demands of term-time, you can really get stuck into a big art or craft project. You could try:
- painting a big canvas for your room (blank canvases aren’t too expensive here)
- making a collage – from magazine scraps, fabric, photos, or a mixture!
- sewing a simple skirt or dress for yourself
4. Go somewhere new with a friend
Exploring new places – countryside, towns, cities, seaside – is the perfect summer activity, and doing it with a friend makes it much more fun. You could walk or cycle to nearby places, or explore further afield by bus or train. Take a picnic and some water and see what you can discover! We’ve got practical advice on travelling around the UK here. Keep yourself safe with our tips here.
5. Earn some money
It’s very satisfying to earn your own money, and it’s even better if you can find a job you like; browse our suggestions for part-time and holiday jobs here and see what you can find locally. Even if you don’t want a regular job, or can’t find one, you could perhaps:
- see if family or friends would be happy to pay you for particular tasks that they don’t have time to do themselves (cleaning or decorating perhaps)
- sell some of your art, craft or cooking at a local craft fair or fete.
6. Cook a meal for your family
It’s very satisfying if you can put a whole meal on the table for your family, and whoever normally cooks will really appreciate the break. Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated, especially in the summer – try a pasta dish with salad or a simple curry. We’ve got all the help and information you need on our cooking pages, including a guide to meal planning here.
7. Try a new sport
See if your local park or sports centre has any summer taster sessions or courses – some might even be free like these. Many parks have free-to-use tennis courts and you can find free tennis sessions here. Find a free-to-use table tennis table here. You could try intensive ice-skating lessons at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham or canoeing or golf around the country. If you don’t want to do anything too organised, just round up some friends and some cheap equipment and try football, cricket, French cricket, rounders or badminton in your local park.
8. Get a different hairstyle
You don’t have to do anything radical, but time away from school gives you the chance to experiment with a different look. See if you’re tempted by any of Elle Magazine’s 2019 trends.
9. Spend a night camping
Camping can be as simple or elaborate as you like – you can even camp in your back garden if you have one, with a basic 2-person tent for around £20 from Argos . If you’re venturing further afield – best with family or friends to begin with – you might find this camping beginner’s guide useful. You can make it easier for yourself by camping in sites where the tents have already been set up for you! The YHA has a range of options in some beautiful locations.
10. Join your local library
If you’re not already a member of your local library, now’s the time to put that right. Find your local library here. As well as giving you free access to as many books as you want, of whatever kind, all summer long, your library is a great place to find out about other activities and events happening in your area over the summer.
11. Watch a film
As well as the new blockbusters at your local cinema, see if there are any open-air screenings of classics near you – they’ve become much more popular over recent years and can be a really fun way to spend a summer evening. The two new films that have caught our imagination are:
- Toy Story 4 (U) The series just gets better and better. Funny and full of heart. Out now.
- The Lion King (PG). The live action remake – opening on 19 July. Spectacular scenery, great music and one of the most powerful Disney stories of recent years.
12. Give your bedroom a makeover
For rainy days or when you’ve had enough sun. Get rid of clutter (paperwork, clothes you don’t wear any more, all the random bits and pieces that seem to collect everywhere); rearrange the furniture; give the walls a lick of paint; reorganise your storage; display your remaining possessions in whatever way pleases you most. See our page on managing your possessions for more suggestions.
13. Walk a dog (not necessarily your own)
Dog-walking in the summer is pure pleasure, as you’ll know if you’re lucky enough to have a dog of your own. If you don’t, see if you can walk a friend or neighbour’s dog one day; make sure the dog is safe with other people first and check if there’s anything particular you should do or avoid on your walk. You could also see if your local kennels need help over the summer, or volunteer to walk dogs for elderly or terminally ill people through the Cinnamon Trust.
14. Go on a course or workshop
Summer holidays give you the chance to learn more about the things that interest you, or to try out something you’ve never tried before. There are all sorts of workshops and courses around the country, on all sorts of subjects; some are very expensive, some very cheap (or even free), and most somewhere in between. Try:
- Science-based workshops at the Royal Institution in London. Many are already sold-out but there are still some opportunities for 16-18 year olds.
- Drama workshops at the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon
- FREE cyber-security residential courses for teenagers around the country – an amazing opportunity for UK nationals.
- FREE art workshops for 14-21 year olds at the National Portrait Gallery in London
15. Visit a relation on your own
Sometimes it’s fun to switch up the family dynamics and visit your favourite relations without a big crowd of siblings or parents. You’ll be surprised how much you discover about each other, and it’s a good way to start becoming more independent. Don’t forget to make sure that your visit is convenient for everyone involved, and plan your travel carefully – see here for further help and advice.
16. Eat breakfast outside
When the weather’s good, and you don’t have to hurry off to school or college, eating breakfast outside is the best way to start your day. Take time to make yourself something you really like – cereal with fruit, scrambled eggs, something nice on on toast – and enjoy the sights and sounds around you.
17. Pick your own fruit
There aren’t so many pick-your-own fruit farms as there used to be, but it’s a great summer tradition to try if you can – find inspiration here and see if there’s a farm near you here . And wherever you live, it won’t be long until you can pick blackberries for free.
18. Go to a fair
Because nothing says summer like a fair. There will almost certainly be one near you this summer!
19. Save the world
Environmental awareness is the big story of 2019. Be part of the story and do one thing or make one change to improve the environment for yourself and future generations. See some suggestions on our post here.
Don’t forget to follow Agnes on Twitter, where we’ll be retweeting all the exciting summer events and opportunities that we can find.
And whatever you do, we hope you have a summer to remember!