If like me you've been dreaming of balmy Summer nights, make sure you soak up as much daylight as you can. Here are 15 fun ideas that you can do during the week to help you make the most of those long evenings. You'll create some lovely memories and they won't cost the earth either.
It's not the destination, but the journey...
1. Discover the train stops on your commute
If you commute to work, how about stopping off at one of the stops on your line? You may look at the signs every day but have you ever explored them...you may find a hidden gem! Do a little research beforehand and find a nice spot to eat dinner or take an even stroll. Just be sure to check you can make stops using your ticket or travel card.
2. Travel in tandem
An evening bike ride can help you de-stress from the day and get your appetite going for dinner. You can travel solo but if you're after something really fun and different from the norm, try out tandem biking. There are lots of cheap second-hand ones available from Gumtree and PreLoved. Rope in a friend or your partner - I guarantee they'll enjoy it!
Gardens are not just for BBQs.
3. Create a splash and slide in your garden
The children (and big kids) will love this one. Lay down some plastic tarp next to a slide in the garden and keep the hose running while they kids slip and slide their way down. Add a touch of washing liquid for hours of fun, guaranteed.
4. Build a swimming pool from bales of hay
Yes you read right...you can actually make your own pool with bales of hay and some plastic sheeting. If you're up for the challenge then make sure you check out Goods Home Design for all you need to know.
5. Make giant bubbles or bubbles that bounce
Eat, drink and then eat some more.
6. Plan a no-cook cheese party
Put your apron away and organise a no-fuss dinner event. Ask your guests to BYOCC (bring your own cheese and crackers), supply some drinks, crudities and bread to enjoy a low-prep and no-cook cheese party.
7. Do an American-style Pot Luck
Invite your friends to come over for a pot luck buffet. Everyone brings a secret dish with them so you won't know what you'll end up feasting on.Give it a twist by giving everyone an ingredient to use or a colour.
8. Make jam jar cocktails and teapot pitchers
Bars have now taken to serving cocktails in jars these days. Why pay an extortionate amount elsewhere when you can do your own home-style drinks? Make and serve your own cocktails in anything you can get your hands on! Jam jars, teacups and teapots will make for a fun cocktail evening with a twist. Check out Marie Claire's 50 Tastiest Summer Cocktails for inspiration.
The more the merrier as they say!
9. Host your own outdoor cinema festival
There are so many outdoor cinema events around the UK this Summer, but you can recreate your own for very little effort and cost. Hire a projector or simply move your tell outside (weather permitting of course) and set the mood by hanging up lanterns and scattering floor cushions, camping chairs and blankets on the floor.
You can also prepare some old school cinema snacks or go for a holiday feel with tapas. Organise your Summer schedule - 80s classics, chick flicks etc - and pop the invites through the door to your friends, family and neighbours.
10. Picnic with friends and eat al fresco
Picnics are not just for the day or the weekends. Pack a spread, invite your nearest and dearest then head to your favourite outdoor spot to enjoy an early dinner al fresco. You'll feel nice and relaxed, and the fresh air will help you get a good night's sleep.
11. Play boardgames or knit to your heart's content at local Meet-Ups
Whether your love to meditate, play boardgames or just meet new people, Meet-Up is a fantastic site where you can discover what's happening in your local area. It's free to join and attend so make sure you see what's going on near your home.
12. Organise a pet play-date
If you have a pet and know others who do too, host or organise your own doggy or pet play-date. Whether it's an after-dinner walk somewhere local or a picnic in the park - be sure to pack lots of dog treats and balls for the pets to play with.
13. Play rounders with your local community
Everyone loves rounders because the rules aren't complicated and it's quick and fun to play. Round up family, friends and neighbours one evening for a fun evening of sport. The kids will love this and it's a great way of everyone spending time together doing something active and free!
A little bit random but oh so fun..
14. Create your own Facebook page
Not keen on the great outdoors? Funnel your efforts into a new online project. You could create your own Facebook page or blog and fill it with things that interest you. Love taking photos and videos of your pet? Create your own page and let the world see how cute they are! Keen money-saver? Post all the best deals and offers you find on your page and spread the joy. It's very easy to do and you don't need to be tech savvy to create a page.
15. Tie-dye your old clothes
Tide-dye is back this Summer so why not round up the kids and have some fun tie-dying old clothes? With a bit of sewing you can even convert old t-shirts into book bags and laundry bags for your holidays. See this easy guide to tie dying a shirt by wikiHow.
Thanks for reading! If you have any fun ideas for Summer nights please leave a comment below!