Make this your best summer ever by planning fun things to do with your friends and family. We’ve mapped out the top 10 bucket list items every food-loving family needs to complete this summer. Share your outdoor activities using the hashtag #howipamperedchef on Facebook and Instagram. Try one activity a week and by the end of the summer you’ll have 10 amazing memories.
1. Make s’mores at your backyard camp out. Kick off summer with a firepit—it’s officially s’mores season! Get your family together, put up the tent, and get a campfire started. Take classic s’mores to a new level with a few different combinations, or turn them into a sharable dessert dip. Then bring on the ghost stories!
2. Have a cookout. Good weather calls for grilling. Change up your menu and add grilled pizzas to the mix. You can customize them by adding your favorite seasonal veggies or fruits as toppings. If you’ve never grilled pizza, start with one of these easy flatbread recipes using a fool-proof pizza dough that takes five minutes to make.
3. Turn your backyard into a restaurant. If you can’t make it to a rooftop bistro, bring the outdoor restaurant vibe home to your yard. Make outdoor dining into a big event with printed menus, a tablecloth, some candles, and music. Get the kids involved and let them play host and waiter for the evening. Then see what silliness happens next.
4. Have a picnic. Hanging by the kiddie pool this summer or heading to the beach? Pack some portable snacks for everyone to enjoy and you can turn any outing into a reason to picnic. Even if you’re planning to stay in the backyard all day, prepping a picnic ahead of time means you won’t have leave the outdoor activities to make lunch or dinner.
5. Throw a pool party. You might have a huge inground pool, or maybe just a sprinkler, but it’s easy to turn water activities into an all-out party. Add squirt guns, a bubble machine, or water balloons into the mix for extra fun. Send the kids on a treasure hunt. They can dive for trinkets in a pool or hunt around the yard. Then make a few tropical-themed snacks and serve up Berry Lemonade Quicksicles for a refreshing and fruity treat. These ice pop also make a great adults-only treat!
6. Make a garden-to-table meal. For a fun way to lighten up weekday dinners, start a small vegetable garden and you’ll have a few fresh ingredients ready to go. Summer is the best time for fruits and veggies: When they’re fresh they’re even more flavorful. Try this one-pot pasta primavera. This recipe would be so delicious with fresh parsley and tomatoes from a simple patio garden.
7. Have a movie night. You can’t go wrong with a movie night. You can watch movies at home all year, but during the summer, your backyard can become the venue. Project a family favorite or newly released movie onto a large, white sheet or the side of your garage, add homemade popcorn, and make summertime memories.
8. Create your own summer camp. Take a whole day to recreate classic camp memories. Sing silly songs, go on nature hike around the neighborhood, make tie-dye t-shirts, play dodgeball or hold a relay race. End the day with a build-your-own sundae bar with your family’s favorite toppings, so everyone can make their own unique desserts.
9. Take brunch outside. Summer is a great time to reconnect with friends. Plan a fun, relaxing event and add favorites like Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Braid or Crostini With Lemon-Basil Ricotta Spread to the menu.
10. Let the kids cook dinner. Before school starts again, have a family cooking night. Let your kids plan the menu and make most of the recipes themselves. It’s a great way to teach them cooking skills while making memories together. Then take the meal outside and enjoy your deck, patio, or porch.
Make this your bucket list and share your activities with us using #howipamperedchef.
This post has been updated since it was originally posted in May 2018.