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Think about a summer hike. Spending time in nature may help improve your mood. Not sure where to go? Find a forest near you with this map from the National Forest Foundation. Bike rides are a great option as well. Grab a pal and you might even be able to find a place that rents tandem bikes! If you’ve never tried it, consider an afternoon horseback ride. Or even just switch up your regular running route to jog through a local park! Of course, be sure to bring your allergy medication in case symptoms strike.
Look for local home tours that feature gardens, or take a gardening class at a nearby botanical or public garden. Most offer classes in everything from flower arrangement (ever tried the traditional Japanese art of ikebana?), to landscape design, to pickling and canning items grown in your very own backyard. You can also grow your own pizza garden! There’s nothing more satisfying (or fresher) than chowing down on some veggies that you grew yourself. Allergic to summertime pollen? Don’t forget your allergy meds so you are prepared in case symptoms strike!
A stroll through a nearby sculpture garden can be a great way to enjoy art in the warmer months. You can find them throughout the U.S., but check out this list to find one near you . Some botanical gardens sponsor art shows as well. If you like to make art, see if you can find a plein air (outdoor) painting class or even a landscape photography class. Inspiration shouldn’t be a problem with all the beautiful flowers and sunsets during summer!
Hit up the many outdoor music festivals happening each summer. Even if your favorite band isn’t playing, this is still a great opportunity to discover some new artists or listen to a different style of music altogether. Take up an instrument you can easily carry and play outdoors, like a harmonica. Or simply throw on some headphones, go for a walk, and experience local nature to the sounds of your personal soundtrack.
Build yourself a backyard fire pit to host gatherings and roast some s’mores. Maybe put together a birdhouse for some of your winged visitors. Or create art that helps bring more of the outside—in!. Summer is also the perfect time to finish any around-the-house work you may have put off. Imagine giving that table the new paint job it deserves—now’s the perfect time!
Wildlife preserves—many of which offer nature walks—can be found from cities to rural areas across the country. Depending on where you live, you can even check out wetlands, a canyon, or a desert! Find a nearby refuge here. Bird-watching can also be a cool way to get out and experience nature. Or brush up on your astronomy and watch the stars at night!
Whatever you like to do—it’s time to take it outside this summer and find what makes you happy.