As someone who’s nearing his 40’s, I’m no longer considering backyard ragers as a primary form of entertainment during the summer months. Those days are better left for a younger crowd. Now that summer is approaching, I’ve compiled a listed of other activities someone like myself can enjoy.
Up my Grilling Game
Grilling is no stranger once the weather heats up. Unless you hold up inside for the season you will likely find yourself at a backyard barbecue at some point. Chances are the responsibility host your own will fall on you at some point. I prefer to use the opportunity to expand my skills as a grill master!
I’m talking dry rubs, I’m talking marinades, and I’m talking gettin’ that smoke, baby! Seriously though, this is a trade any suburban male has to take pride in, and all eyes will be looking at you when it comes time to cook out. Get your skills sharp, and the crew will be eating good next time you light up the coals.
Attend a Baseball Game
A good way to spend your time during the warmer seasons is out at the ballpark, taking in a rousing game. The classic American pastime has been enjoyed for over 100 years now, and while the popularity has waned in favor of other sports, it’s still a summer staple.
I’m sure a lot of you might have rolled your eyes at this one. A common complaint I hear about the sport is that “it’s boring.” However most objections come from those who only watch the game on television. Most people don’t understand that attending a game in person is a completely different experience.
Find a shady spot in the bleachers to call your own for the next couple of hours and you’ll be set. Order a nice cold beer along with some fresh roasted in-shell peanuts and you’ll be ready for an afternoon of macho-building entertainment. Bring your kids along for some bonding time or call up your friends for a bit of camaraderie.
It doesn’t have to be a professional game either. I’ve often had more fun attending smaller, minor league games that heading to a big stadium. Whatever you decide, you’ll leave feeling like a new man.
Read a Book
Let’s face it: most of us don’t want to be outside when the thermometer hits 100 with humidity to match. The dog days of summer are the perfect excuse to stay inside, basking in the air conditioning while catching up on some much-needed reading.
A modern man is always willing to explore new ideas and be creative. I can’t think of any activity that will help more than reading a good book. If fiction isn’t your strong suit, I suggest picking up a book regarding a current topic that’s in the news. If all else fails, you can easily find inspiration in a how-to manual.
When you’re out with friends or clients, the opportunity for small-talk is ever present. You’ll be more prepared to tackle the uncomfortable silence with a new topic or opinion that might stir the conversation.
It can often be hard to pick up a book and dive in when you have so many outlets begging for your attention. Don’t get discouraged though and take time for yourself; the benefits of reading are well known. Find some time this season to sit down in your favorite chair and open up that copy of Moby Dick that’s been sitting on your shelf for the last decade.
If you live in the northern midwest like I do, the weather is only this nice for so long. That means your days for activities are numbered. Your schedule can often be filled with vacations, weddings, backyard cookouts and children’s activities while balancing your work life. But it’s good to remember to take some time for yourself. A great way to escape is to get out on the links.
Call up your friends to join and have everyone chip in on a bucket of beers. You’ll enjoy a bit of friendly competition while breathing in the smell of fresh cut grass and watching the wildlife. Personally, I’m horrible at the game. Ultimately though, it doesn’t matter. Having a good laugh at how poorly your group plays is all part of the fun.
Don’t let your lack of skill deter you, just get out there. Don’t worry about equipment either — just put on some comfortable clothes and rent a set of clubs once you reach the golf course. Stick to a quick nine holes just an hour at the driving range can make you feel rejuvenated. In the end, you might be surprised to find out you enjoy it.
See a Drive-In Movie
While it may not be the most practical, drive-in movies are a great way to appreciate the summer nights. The theaters are definitely not as popular as they once were, there are some still operating in most states.
At times, I find them to be better than most in-door movie theaters. It’s great to roll down your window to enjoy a cool breeze while enjoying the latest summer blockbuster. Some theaters will even let you pull out your lawn chairs if you prefer to stretch out a bit. You won’t have to worry about people around you talking or some kid kicking the back of your chair. You can still have the movie theater experience while keeping an intimate setting.
If you enjoy a unique experience coupled with a bit of nostalgia, I highly suggest finding a drive-in near you
Spend Time in the Yard
Something happens to most men when the reach a certain age. Apparently the lawn becomes one of the most important things about their house. I don’t know if I’m quite there myself, but damn do I appreciate time spent outside getting dirty.
Even if it’s just edging garden beds or a simple mowing of the lawn, get out there and breath in that pollen! Let your sweat drip into the grass (it makes it greener–true story). Plant some flowers or even a new sapling. By the end of the season you can kick back on your porch with a cocktail, take a deep breath, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.