5.4.3.2.1… Countdown to Sunshine

By Maddi Fink

As second semester comes to a close, students in every classroom begin to stir as they wait for their final day before summer. The workload within classes seems to slow, and exams approach. But instead of exams, many seem to focus on the three month long break from school and the time spent in the sun.

There are, of course, typical summer jobs and days at the beach, but the goal of this summer should be to try new and exciting things. The perfect aid to having an exciting summer is the well-known bucketlist. Whether you have money to spend over the summer or not, a bucket list will help you cure those moments of boredom that come with the repetitive beach days and Netflix nights.

For those who do not plan on spending their whole summer at work or are trying to save money, there are plenty of things around the Hampton Roads area that are free and fun.

  • At the beach, you can look for shells and make a necklace, build an insane sandcastle, or dig a hole deep enough to sit in.
  • To reminisce childhood,you can fly a kite, catch fireflies at night, have a pajama party with your friends, or bring back the prank calls that brought laughs to friends everywhere.
  • When the sun goes down, stargazing, bonfires, flashlight tag, and fireworks are always a good way to spend summer nights.
  • On the days where the heat is almost unbearable, you can cool down with a water gun war, water balloon fight, or gather all white clothes and have a paint war.
  • Gather some friends for a camping trip, even if it’s in your backyard.
  • If being unproductive and lazy begins to wear on you, you can learn a new instrument or sport, redecorate your room, read all the books that have been bought and not touched, conquer a fear, or spend time with your family.

The Hampton Roads area is a tourist destination, which means us locals have plenty of places to visit.

  • In Virginia Beach, the aquarium, the boardwalk, and Ocean Breeze Waterpark can occupy plenty of time during the summer.
  • You can visit the zoo, the Botanical Gardens, or the town of Ghent in Norfolk.
  • Williamsburg has many tourist attractions to visit and spend the day — or a few — in a different city. Only an hour away, you can go to Busch Gardens, Water Country USA, Colonial Williamsburg, Great Wolf Lodge, and the Williamsburg Outlet Mall.
  • Farther away, there is a larger amusement park, Kings Dominion, which is larger in size than the amusement parks that are closer to home.

For those who don’t plan on saving money, there are always more options; this year we should all strive for a more memorable summer. There are plenty of cities in a close enough vicinity to take day trips with friends: Washington D.C., Richmond, Williamsburg, Outer Banks, or Charlottesville.

Other ideas?

  • Have a lemonade stand in your driveway for those passing by on a hot day.
  • Starting a garden is a good stress reliever and a productive way to spend time in the sun — plus, who doesn’t love plants?
  • Tie-dye shirts with your bestfriends and wear them to a music festival, or to a concert for a band you’ve never heard of before.
  • Support the local music scene in your area.
  • Instead of just laying in the sand, rent a paddleboard or kayak to spend a day under the sun in a different way.
  • Visit a local farmer’s market and buy fresh food to try a new recipe.
  • On the humid, rainy days, the movies and mall are the usual go-to.
  • Do something different, or if you want to go the mall, you are never too old to make a Build-A-Bear.

Summer is a break from school so we can lay in the sun and relax. This year needs to be the year we all do something different — something fun. Create a summer bucket list and try something you’ve always wanted to do or want to do again this summer.

Make it count.

 

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