1. Take a trip.
It’s really hard to convince me to leave Chicago during the summer. I mean the good life does indeed feel like summer time Chi, as Kanye said. But summer is also a less busy time of year for a lot of people and I am one of those people. And if you are too, take the time to visit a friend in another part of the country or world. Or go on a road trip just for the heck of it. A lot of cities really come to life during the summer and it’s worth it to indulge. Of course if you’d like, you could go to somewhere where it’s winter. Whatever floats your boat.
2. Get sporty.
I am obviously biased to running and the best thing about summer are the fun, free, races. Usually the races support or promote organizations, many of which are doing fun or altruistic things. Plus you get to meet a ton of people. But I understand that not everyone is a runner so maybe you could look for dances, bike races, swim meets or triathlons in your city. Or maybe even join a summer sports team – volleyball, softball, soccer, etc. My personal favorite fun run in Chicago is the 312 run sponsored by 312. I, for one, will run almost any race that rewards me with an ice cold beer upon finishing.
3. Get to know your city better.
Every time people come and visit me in Chicago, I am reminded how much the city actually has to offer. When you live in a big-enough city, tourist attractions are generally not something you think about doing. So maybe rather than complaining about how annoying tourists can be, join them? You’ll probably appreciate where you live more than you do now. And let’s face it, most of us do not appreciate where we live nearly enough.
Summer is a great time to do some outdoor volunteering. I don’t know about you, but volunteering outdoors during winter or I guess even most other seasons in Chicago, just usually leaves me feeling like a bad person. Why? Because I’m occupied with the fact that I am freezing. Now that the weather is warmer, there is probably a wider range of ways to get involved in your community. Maybe get involved with health and sports related programs for children. Or maybe even start some sort of mentorship program for college students. I don’t know, get creative!
5. Learn something new.
Summer time is an opportune time to learn something new and yes, it might be something that involves getting outside. (Clearly, I’m big on the GET OUTSIDE movement.) On the list of things I want to learn this summer is how to play volleyball. Being athletic, a runner, and well, Black; people tend to think I can play most major sports well. It’s quite untrue. You shout see me attempt to shoot a basket – it’s utter comedy. But I think I’d be decent at volleyball; I just never really learned how to play. I was thinking I might try some fun things too like a bartending class, and maybe some new dance classes. One of my life goals is to be able to move like Shakira.
6. Party like it’s 1999.
For the record, you do not have to drink to the point of inebriation to have a good time. Even more surprising, you don’t have to drink at all. All the same, beach parties, patio parties, and roof top parties are only possible when the weather is warm and you can take advantage of all them this summer. So put your best dress on, get your dancing shoes, and find out how many party people you still know in your city.