Of All the Things to Do on a Summer Evening
Are you one of those people who has their satisfying dinner and then hits the couch for the rest of the evening? Or are you more active after you’ve had a good meal? Neither one is better than the other, and we all have different daily schedules and levels of activity which may necessitate more or less rest in the evening.
Summer evenings, in particular, lend themselves to dreams of relaxation – reading, watching TV, solving crossword puzzles on your balcony – and simply enjoying life in its summery beauty. However, shaking up your Summer routine can benefit your mental and physical well-being. Switching up things can help you stay fit and sharp. Even if you’re a great fan of structured evening routines, you can spice up your life with some of the ideas we have for you.
Summer Evening Activities
Doing things in the evening does not have to be strenuous – we are talking about relaxing evenings (that’s what Summers are for). But it needn’t be boring either. Check out some of these ideas:
- Take a walk in nature. Local fields, parks, beaches, or lakes – wherever you live, there is at least some greenery to enjoy. Spending time in nature has calming effects and can help you feel grounded and appreciate small things.
- Go people-watching. If you’re a true city-slicker, you can go downtown and enjoy some innocent people-watching. I said innocent – no judging! Walk down your favorite streets or have a refreshing drink in a cozy café and observe people in their endearing antics.
- Do a workout. I did say that Summer evening activities don’t necessarily mean too much energy expenditure, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be active. If you have no time to exercise during the day, evenings are a good time to make up for it – be it Summer or not.
- Have a picnic. Like in those old cartoons – with a chequered blanket and a basket. Of course, a backpack and a regular blanket will do too. Bring some snacks, cool drinks, and a pack of playing cards, and enjoy yourself (alone or with friends or family) in the nearby park.
- Go to a carnival. Summers are all about fairs and carnivals – check out what you can find. From caramelized apples to neck-breaking roller-coasters, the burst of colors is bound to lift your spirits.
- Go to a drive-in cinema. Another nostalgic feature of Summer is those parking-lot projections. If they’re playing old movies, all the better.
- Dance. Take a dancing class, or blast some Summer music and freestyle your way through it. Dancing is known to boost your mood and reduce stress, and how could it not when it’s so fun! If you’ve always wanted to learn how to tango, treat yourself to a course!
- Go to a game. Support your local team and take in the sense of being in a very excited crowd, especially if a big game is happening.
- Go wine-tasting. Book a tour in a distillery and learn a bit about wine-making. Enjoy some of the most prized drinks, and don’t forget to have some delicious cheese with it.
- Start an art project. Art is always a good idea – that new drawing that has been nagging at you? Get it going. Want to write a novel? Now’s the time to start. Music instruments? What are you waiting for?
Whatever you choose, make sure you’re doing it because you want to! From binge-watching Sandman on Netflix to knitting to taking care of your plants, make this Summer’s evenings about you and your needs. 😊
Summer Evening Dinner Ideas
You know what else is great about Summer? Yes, that’s right, Summer parties! Barbecue with friends, someone’s overexcited puppy running around, negotiating with two highly intelligent cats about getting your steak back, lots of laughter, and, of course, great food. What more could anyone wish for?
The good thing about hosting Summer parties is that most of the time, the drill is pretty much the same. There is food to prepare, drinks to buy, and good times to be had. We’ll get to the food in a second, but let’s start with the good times. Try out some of these fun Summer activities when you’re hosting an evening party:
- Going swimming. Summer afternoons and early evenings are just as warm as days. You and your friends can meet up earlier and go swimming somewhere. The more exciting the place, the better. For instance, there may be a local lake or river you can swim in if the beach is too far. You can go surfing or try stand-up paddling (which seems to be very popular this Summer).
- Board games. After you’ve all been fed, you can crack several rounds of Mystics. From Cards Against Humanity to friendship-crushing Uno, board games are an excellent bonding activity.
- Model-building. My partner and his brother spend hours building miniature planes and Warhammer figurines.
- Have a jam session. If some of you play instruments, it’s not the time to be shy about it – give everyone nostalgic vibes with everyone’s favorite four-chord songs 😉.
- Have a book-club discussion. Agree on a book you’ll all read and enjoy a good round of trashing it over dinner.
- Watch a game. Wash the dinner down with some beer and a game.
You can also try to oust shyness from your friend group and have a karaoke-dance party (Shrek style or not), or otherwise, sit down and talk, catch up, and exchange gossip.
Hey, What about Feeding the Guests? Summer Evening Recipes
Before you get too carried away in awesome group activities, you should be a good host and offer your friends some food. As cooking on hot days is the last thing anyone wants to do, I’m leaving a few easy crowd-pleasers that won’t require too much work on your part.
Not all pasta needs to be warm (sorry Italians). Put a pot of water with a generous amount of salt to boil. Cook pasta according to the instructions on the packaging (if you wish to make pasta from scratch, take a look at this recipe). In another pot (or pan even), cook green peas, corn, beans, and cherry tomatoes (frankly, any vegetables you like). Mix the veggies with pasta and add as many peanuts as you like. Do check with your friends whether someone has allergies! Add cream cheese and herbs to the mix and stir until combined. Keep refrigerated until it’s dinner time.
This combination may sound odd, but it tastes like a bomb! Cook gnocchi according to the package instructions, drain, and set to cool. Add some oil into a big frying pan, and cook several thinly sliced onions and garlic until translucent. Add gyros meat (or vegan substitute) and fry until cooked. Season with herbs and mix with the cooked gnocchi. If you want, you can cook a creamy, cheesy sauce to spice it all up. Heat a few spoonfuls of butter. When the butter starts sizzling, sprinkle some flour in it and mix until you get gravy-like consistency. Pour milk into the mixture and cook until it thickens. Add as much cheese as you like (cheese is measured with your heart). Mix until it’s fully melted.
You will need chicken tenders cut into stripes, halloumi cheese, lentils, peas, kale or salad leaves, one lemon, and two oranges. Cook lentils, drain, and set aside. Fry chicken tenders in a bit of oil, seasoning them with salt and pepper to your liking. Add cubed halloumi, kale, and peas and stir on low heat. Add lentils to the mix. Peel and slice the oranges and cut them into smaller chunks, then add them to the mix. Finish everything by squeezing lemon juice and adding some basil. *Chef’s kiss!*
Korean Sweetcorn Salad
Cook several corn cobs. Once soft, brush them with Korean gochujang paste (careful, it’s spicy) and fry up in a pan until the color starts to stick. Cut the kernels off the cobs and set them aside. Mix thin watermelon wedges, add rucola, baby salad leaves, mint leaves, shredded Chinese cabbage, and the prepared corn in a big bowl. You can even fry some shrimp and add them to this equally spicy and refreshing mix.
Cheat: Burrito Buffet
Not all dishes need to be complicated. Some don’t even have to be prepared. All you need to do is supply tortillas, beans, corn, rice, minced meat (well, I lied, you should cook this), and enough cheese. Line the ingredients along the big table and let people mix and match. Even better if everyone brings a little something along. Additional ingredients include salsa dip, mushrooms, sausage, and various spices.
PS Don’t forget to add some finger foods to your Summer party!
When Partying is Done. Should You Look for Summer Evening Jobs?
Having an evening job is a great way to save money and afford simple (or not so simple) pleasures in life or make your life easier once you go back to university. Summer evening jobs should not be too taxing – think of jobs you can do while listening to audiobooks or music.
Typical Summer evening jobs include being a delivery driver, delivering newspapers, or call center worker. It’s common to work in various warehouses, packaging goods or preparing them for shipment. Check out this website to find a suitable position for yourself, or join LinkedIn and apply to companies directly. We also have some fantastic student jobs at Vaia!
Make Your Summer Evenings Worthwhile
The thing is – we are always overworked and underpaid. Instead of sloughing it from burnout to burnout, make this Summer about you. Find time to rest and allow yourself to recover from the stress of the previous months, especially in the evening.
Whether you’re hosting a dinner party, going to a carnival, or just doing absolutely nothing, enjoy every second of it! Happy Summer vacation!