Illustration by Ramisha Sattar.

Illustration by Ramisha Sattar.

Summer is here, y’all! [AIR HOOORN] Cue any and every anthem that makes you feel free, and CRANK. IT. Wave ’bye to as much stress/responsibility as possible, and prepare yourself to enjoy loooong stretches of time that is ALL YOURS. What you do with it is entirely your call. But: If you find yourself facing a day with uncertainty as to how you’ll fill it, we have a list of mostly free, action-packed, maximum-fun ideas for you.

  1. Host a fairy tea party and invite your closest friends over for an afternoon of apple juice and Oreos. Dress code: mega-whimsical.
  2. Learn the choreography to the historic dance scene in Napoleon Dynamite:

    Pop out this routine at a party, and jaws will drop for you. Just. You.

  3. Make a very sugary smoothie. Find all the edible sweets in your kitchen, put them in a blender (you’ll want to add some milk), give it a little shaky-shake, then chug.
  4. Start an Instagram account for your pet, launching them into insta-stardom through cute ’n’ candid pics.
  5. Watch as many movies that your celebrity crush stars in as you can, within the span of a single day.
  6. Stop by a thrift/vintage shop with a friend and take pictures of yourselves posing in bonkers outfits that you wouldn’t dare wear in public. (Bonus points for buying one of the outfits and…WEARING IT IN PUBLIC!)
  7. Throw your own little rave-themed party. All you need are: Flashlights, all things neon, and some loud dance music (loud to an extent, if you have neighbors).
  8. Visit a fine art museum with a friend. If photography is allowed, take pics of each other imitating the art—especially they’re old-time-y portraits!
  9. Go to your local library and play Matilda. Grab a bunch of random books that catch your eye. Skim the first pages or chapters, then make a super-quick decision about the ones you want to check out. Try to go home with more than four books! Just don’t forget to bring them back to the library on time :)
  10. Escape reality (i.e., school + social stress). Play pretend with a group of friends or your pet or whomever! Possible scenarios: Dress up like carefree fairies and go for a walk or as secret double agents cracking cases in suburbia.
  11. Set your phone on the windowsill, facing outside, and leave its camera set to time-lapse or hyperlapse. Go out for a few hours. Come back, then watch your masterpiece! If you can’t leave your phone at home, set it up on the dashboard of a car or out the bus window and record the ride to your destination.
  12. Get your hands on a canvas and some paint. Paint along with Bob Ross on Netflix. Don’t stress about making your painting similar to or “as good” as his. Put your own spin on it.
  13. Write a letter to a tree. It could be a love letter about its beautiful height and bark, or a diary entry venting your frustrations to nature. Leave the letter in the dirt by the roots of the tree.
  14. Teach a friend or younger sibling how to roller skate—or learn yourself! Go to your local roller rink at night, when they light up the disco ball.
  15. Make a little zine in a week. Fill it with pressed flowers, Polaroids, diary entries, or other little mementoes from the week. Give it to someone or keep it for the memories.
  16. Invite some friends over and make rainbow pancakes, ’cause they’re an A+ way to celebrate any time of year. If you’re feeling ambitious, try your hand at pancake art!
  17. Pick up a few old-fashioned magazines from a thrift store, pick a photo, get inspired, and recreate the image with your friends. This works best with avant-garde images—we recommend Tim Walker for maximum inspo! Be brave and make some cool pictures.
  18. Come up with a fun scavenger hunt. Grab some friends, split into teams, and go!
  19. Make a moodboard and go thrifting for your new capital S, capital L Summer Look. (This might be a good starter for your moodboard…just sayin’.)
  21. Walk around your backyard, pick some leaves and flowers, and catalog them on a poster or in a notebook/zine!
  22. Make a playlist of all of your favorite songs from elementary school (this would probably be #1 on ours, tbh) and have a dance party with your pals!
  23. Whip up a bunch of food (we’re very into crêpes and this Taylor Swift-inspired cake!) and have a picnic with pals! Be sure to take lots of photos to document your hard work.
  24. Have a karaoke party. Blast your favorite songs and belt your heart out.
  25. Turn your room into your own mini-paradise. Maybe even install a cool hammock like this one!
  26. Go geocaching. Geocaching is a way of looking for hidden treasures using GPS coordinates that are posted online. There are also apps you can use to help you find geocaches in your area—just be sure to stick to places you know and to always bring someone with you!
  27. Take a day trip with friends! Find a lake, beach, quarry, national park, swimming hole, forest, et cetera and explore.
  28. Scope out a local event—like a carnival, art fair, or concert. And if your town doesn’t have events, host your own! Try throwing a poetry slam or movie screening in your own backyard.
  29. Make a summer beverage buffet. We’re talking watermelon lemonade, ginger iced tea, and milk shakes of all sorts. Get creative!
  30. GO OUTSIDE. Going outside is so fun! No matter where you live, there’s always an outside somewhere. You don’t even really have to use your muscles to fully experience the outdoors—you can just sit and enjoy breathing the air: COOL! You can also pick flowers and keep them in jars, look at bugs, smell plants, jump up and down, bury your feet in dirt, or go for a walk.
  31. Adorn yourself. Try getting really good at painting your nails, or grow EVEN FONDER of body glitter. Our hope for your summer is that it is full glitter. Everywhere. In all aspects of life.
  32. Try out a new art material or medium. If you usually paint or draw, for example, branch out and take pictures with your phone or a disposable camera!
  33. Borrow an instrument or buy one on the cheap, then learn how to play! What better time to train for your future as the Queen of Shred than summer?
  34. Start a collection. Amass artifacts that will remind you of your fantastic summer adventures when you’re back in school next winter and there is no light or hope whatsoever and you need a little VITAMIN D FOR YOUR SOUL!!!

Lightning Round! Search (respectfully, of course) for famous people in your town/city (even if you’re 99.9 percent sure you won’t really spot any celebs) • Go swimming in a lake • Paddle board • For a whole day, only listen to bands you’ve never heard before • Worship Beyoncé • Go outside and draw what you see • Send someone a letter or package • Take a class about something you don’t know a lot about • Eat a food you’ve never tried • Change your hairstyle • Call somebody you haven’t seen or talked to in a while • Get a fish if you’re able to take care of one, or maybe some tadpoles if you can take care of those, too.


Contributions from: Isabella Acosta, 1–8; Lola Nova, 9–15; Savana Ogburn, 16–23; Patrick Ferris, 24–29; Lucia S., 30–34 and the Lightning Round.