June 21 is right around the corner, the Summer Solstice, meaning the official start of the summer season. During the Summer Solstice, the sun reaches its highest and northernmost points in the sky and offers us a day with the longest period of sunlight. Here are seven wonderful ways you can welcome the summer season.
#1 Arrange a Beach Day or Pool Day
For many of us, the summer season means endless hours spent at the beach or the pool. Grab your flippy floppies, and sunnies, then slather on the sunscreen for a day spent as a beach bum or poolside. Be sure to pack a good book for some summer reading, delicious snacks to enjoy with family and friends, and plenty of towels. My Life in France, by Julia Child is on Heather’s summer reading list!
#2 Attend an Outdoor Workout
If you are beginning to believe again in physical health and its benefits, you are in luck. During the summer months, many boutique gyms and local yoga studios host outdoor workouts. Check their websites or make a call and see what workouts are available in your community.
Some local studios even host specific classes meant to greet and welcome in the Summer Solstice, so check it out and see what you find. You can also reference your local park district’s website to see if they offer any community outdoor classes during the summer season.
#3 Go Berry Picking
The summer months also usher in the berry picking season and depending on your geographic location in the country that means blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are all waiting for you.
Call family and friends, grab a basket then head out to the local berry farm to pick a bushel or two of fresh berries, which just so happen to pair perfectly with a scoop of Vanilla Bean or My O’MY Vanilla (how deliciously convenient).
If you do not have access to a local berry farm, check out the community farmers’ market for some fresh summer picks.
#4 Host a Backyard BBQ, Cookout, or Picnic
One of the most delicious ways to welcome the summer season is by attending or hosting a backyard BBQ, cookout, or picnic. One of Morgan’s favorite summer salad recipes is this Citrus and Endive with Walnut Gremolata from Bon Appetit! And Julie loves to whip up this fresh summer corn and tomato salad and serve it at her cookouts.
Fresh Summer Corn and Tomato Salad
6-8 ears of fresh corn
1 cup of ice cubes
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tsp sea salt, divided
¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
10-15 grape tomatoes, halved
½ cup diced red onion
¼ cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
Remove corn kernels from cobs. Add corn and 1 ½ tsp salt to 4 quart pot and cover with water. Bring to a gentle boil and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and add ice cubes and cold water to pot to quickly cool corn. Stir and let set until ice melts. Drain.
Combine lemon juice, remaining 1 ½ tsp salt and pepper in glass bowl. While whisking, add the oil in a steady stream until completely mixed. Add to the corn and gently toss. Add tomatoes, red onion and basil. Toss until well coated.
Prep tip: When making ahead of time, add basil just before serving.
Grab your favorite cookbook for some fun recipe ideas. Whether you make the entire menu yourself or decide to give potluck style a try, be sure to include some juicy seasonal fruit topped with a spoonful of O’MY!
#5 Plan an Ice Cream Social
You know what they say, I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream, which is why another great way to celebrate the start of the summer months is to set up an ice cream social.
Choose from a selection of deliciously addictive flavors, and be sure to include lower-sugar options, so all of your guests can have their ice cream and eat it too even if they live with dietary restrictions or food allergies.
Then, set up a variety of fun toppings such as, whipped topping, chocolate sauce, coconut chips, lots of sprinkles, and fresh fruit. Extra berries from berry picking? Include them in your DIY cream bar.
#6 Take a Hike
One of the easiest ways to celebrate the Summer Solstice is to head outside into Mother Nature and enjoy a hike or walk in the great outdoors. If you have a usual hiking trail or walking path, take some time to truly soak in the sights and enjoy the beauty of the summer season that you may otherwise miss at other times of the year.
#7 Soak in the Summer Sunrise
Do not miss a moment of the Summer Solstice. Set your alarm clocks and wake up extra early to greet the morning sun as you soak in the morning sunrise. You can even welcome the day, and the start of the summer season, with some sun salutations yoga style.
The summer season brings with it more sunshine and more opportunities to soak in the fun activities summertime offers. What are you waiting for? Grab a spoon and dig into summer and take a bite out of the season.