Summer is a magical time of year when we can slow down, relax, and take stock of our lives. It’s a time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished, learned, and want to achieve in the future. It’s also a great time to rejuvenate our bodies, minds, and spirits by spending time outdoors, connecting with loved ones, and engaging in fun summer activities that bring us joy. Finally, it’s a time to rejoice in the beauty of nature, the warmth of the sun, and the simple pleasures of life.
Fun Summer Activities
Here are ten fun, healthy summer activities for you and your family.
Hiking and Camping
Find a nearby park or nature reserve and enjoy a few days of hiking and camping. It’s a great way to disconnect from daily life’s stress and spend quality time in nature.
Here are three friendly campgrounds near Raleigh, NC:
- William B. Umstead State Park: Located just outside of Raleigh, this state park offers over 20 miles of hiking and biking trails, two lakes for fishing and boating, and several campsites for tent and RV camping. The park also has picnic areas, playgrounds, and a visitor center.
- Falls Lake State Recreation Area: Situated about 20 miles north of Raleigh, this recreation area offers over 300 campsites for tent and RV camping, hiking trails, fishing and boating opportunities, and a swim beach. The park also has picnic areas, playgrounds, and a visitor center.
- Jordan Lake State Recreation Area: Located 30 miles west of Raleigh, this recreation area offers over 1,000 campsites for tent and RV camping, hiking trails, fishing and boating opportunities, and a swim beach. The park also has picnic areas, playgrounds, and a visitor center. Jordan Lake is known for its abundant wildlife, including bald eagles and osprey.
Swimming is one of the best fun summer activities. So take advantage of our hot North Carolina summer weather by going for a refreshing, cool dip. Whether you hit up your local pool or head to a nearby lake or beach, swimming is a great way to stay active and cool off at the same time.
Falls Lake State Recreation Area: Situated about 20 miles north of Raleigh, this recreation area offers over 300 campsites for tent and RV camping, hiking trails, fishing and boating opportunities, and a swim beach. The park also has picnic areas, playgrounds, and a visitor center.
Falls Lake State Recreation Area is a collective of seven access areas scattered around the shoreline of this undeveloped, 12,000-acre reservoir. There are five swim beaches in the recreation area and several boating ramps, some reserved for paddlers and non-gasoline-powered boats.
Take your yoga practice outside and enjoy the beauty of nature. You can join a local yoga class or find a quiet spot in the park to practice independently.
There are several places in Raleigh, NC, where you can find outdoor yoga classes. Here are a few options:
- Raleigh City Farm: This urban farm in downtown Raleigh offers outdoor yoga classes on Sunday mornings during summer. Classes are donation-based, and all levels are welcome.
- Pullen Park: This popular park in Raleigh offers outdoor yoga classes on Saturday mornings during summer. Classes are donation-based, and all levels are welcome.
- North Carolina Museum of Art: The NCMA offers outdoor yoga classes on select Saturday mornings during the summer and fall. Certified yoga instructors lead classes and are suitable for all levels.
- Yoga in the Park: This organization hosts outdoor yoga classes at various parks throughout Raleigh and the Triangle area. Classes are donation-based, and all levels are welcome.
- Hillside Farm: This farm in Raleigh offers outdoor yoga classes on Wednesday evenings during summer. Certified yoga instructors lead classes and are suitable for all levels.
Rent a bike or bring your own and explore the Raleigh Greenway trail system. Biking is one of the best fun summer activities and is a healthy way to see new sights and get some exercise in the process.
Raleigh has several great rental options if you don’t own a bicycle. Here are a few you might consider:
- Oak City Cycling Project – This local bike shop offers bike rentals for $35 daily. They have a variety of bikes available, including road bikes, mountain bikes, and hybrid bikes. They also offer guided tours if you want a more structured ride.
- Cycle Logic – Another local bike shop offering bike rentals starting at $45 daily. They have a variety of bikes available, including road bikes, mountain bikes, and e-bikes. They also offer guided tours and a bike shuttle service if you want to explore outside Raleigh.
- Raleigh eBike – If you’re looking for an electric bike rental, Raleigh eBike offers a variety of options starting at $40 per day. They also offer guided tours and have a shuttle service to help you get around town.
- Lime – If you’re looking for a more casual ride, Lime offers dockless bike rentals starting at $1 per 30 minutes. You can find Lime bikes all over the city and unlock them using the Lime app on your phone.
Kayaking or Canoeing
Rent a kayak or canoe and spend the day paddling around. Boating is a great way to get some upper-body exercise while enjoying the beauty of the outdoors.
If you’re looking to rent a kayak or canoe for a boating adventure in Raleigh, here are a few places you might consider:
- Frog Hollow Outdoors – This outdoor adventure company offers kayak and canoe rentals starting at $40 for a half day. They have a variety of boats available, including sit-on-top kayaks, touring kayaks, and tandem canoes. They also offer guided tours and classes if you want a more structured experience.
- Capital City Kayak Adventures – This company offers kayak and paddleboard rentals starting at $25 for a two-hour rental. They have a variety of boats available, including sit-on-top kayaks, touring kayaks, and tandem kayaks. They also offer guided tours and have several locations throughout the Raleigh area.
- Lake Johnson Park – This city park offers kayak and canoe rentals on Lake Johnson starting at $5 per hour. They have a variety of boats available, including single kayaks, tandem kayaks, and canoes. The park is excellent for paddling and exploring the lake’s wildlife.
- Falls Lake State Recreation Area – This state park offers kayak and canoe rentals on Falls Lake starting at $7 per hour. They have a variety of boats available, including single kayaks, tandem kayaks, and canoes. The lake is excellent for paddling and exploring the park’s many coves and inlets.
Gather some friends and organize a volleyball, frisbee, or soccer game. These activities are fun, social, and great for increasing your heart rate. And remember, one of the fastest-growing fun summer activities is pickleball!
Raleigh has several public volleyball courts where you can play volleyball for free. Here are some of the public volleyball courts in Raleigh:
- Pullen Park – This city park has two sand volleyball courts available on a first-come, first-served basis. You can find the courts near the playground and Pullen Park Aquatic Center.
- Lake Johnson Park – This city park has two sand volleyball courts available on a first-come, first-served basis. The courts are near the boathouse and the lake’s swimming area.
- Optimist Park – This city park has one sand volleyball court available on a first-come, first-served basis. The court is near the baseball fields and the playground area.
- Brier Creek Community Center – One sand volleyball court is available for public use. The court is near the outdoor basketball court and the playground area.
- Anderson Point Park – This city park has one sand volleyball court available on a first-come, first-served basis. The court is near the boat launch and the park’s picnic area.
Spend a morning or afternoon browsing your local farmers market. Not only is this a great way to support local farmers and small businesses, but it’s also an opportunity to try new foods and stock up on healthy produce.
The State Farmers Market in Raleigh is a large farmers market that covers over 75 acres and offers a wide variety of fresh produce, meats, dairy products, seafood, and specialty items. Here are some details about the market:
- Location: The State Farmers Market resides at 1201 Agriculture St. in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is easily accessible from I-40 and I-440, and ample parking is available on-site.
- Hours: The market is open year-round, seven days a week. The hours vary depending on the season, but generally, the market is open from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. from April through October and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from November through March.
- Vendors: The market is home to over 30 vendors who sell a wide variety of products, including fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, cheeses, eggs, honey, flowers, plants, and handmade crafts. Many vendors are local farmers who grow and produce their products right here in North Carolina.
- Restaurants: Besides the vendors, the market is home to several restaurants serving delicious meals made with fresh, local ingredients. The restaurants include the State Farmers Market Restaurant, which serves Southern-style breakfast and lunch, and the Seafood Restaurant, which specializes in fresh seafood dishes.
- Events: The State Farmers Market hosts many events throughout the year, including a weekly farmers market on Saturdays, holiday craft fairs, and seasonal celebrations. There are also educational programs and cooking demonstrations held regularly at the market.
Pack a cooler with healthy snacks and sunscreen, and spend the day at the beach. Walking in the sand is a great lower-body workout, and swimming in the ocean is a fun way to cool off.
There are several great beaches within a few hours’ drive of Raleigh. Here are five of the best beaches for you to explore:
- Wrightsville Beach: Located in Wilmington, North Carolina, Wrightsville Beach is a popular destination known for its crystal-clear waters and wide, sandy beaches. The beach offers a variety of activities, including surfing, kayaking, and fishing, as well as plenty of restaurants and shops.
- Carolina Beach: Also located in Wilmington, Carolina Beach is a family-friendly beach with a boardwalk, amusement park, and plenty of restaurants and shops. The beach is known for its wide, sandy shoreline and shallow waters, making it an excellent place for swimming and sunbathing.
- Atlantic Beach: Located on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina, Atlantic Beach is a small, laid-back beach town with a long, sandy beach and a pier. The town is home to several seafood restaurants and shops, and there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, including fishing, boating, and kayaking.
- Emerald Isle: Located on Bogue Banks, Emerald Isle is a quiet, family-friendly beach town with a wide, sandy beach and plenty of outdoor activities. The town is known for its fishing pier and beachfront parks, with several seafood restaurants and shops to explore.
- Topsail Beach: Located on Topsail Island, Topsail Beach is a quiet, laid-back beach town with a wide, sandy beach and plenty of outdoor activities. The village is known for its fishing pier and surf shops, with several restaurants and shops to explore.
Find an outdoor concert and plan a night out with friends or family. Dancing and singing along to your favorite tunes is a great way to have fun, shed stress, and burn some calories.
Here’s a link to outdoor concerts in Raleigh this summer: https://triangleonthecheap.com/free-outdoor-summer-concerts-triangle/
Outdoor Movie Night
Fun summer activities should always include movies! So set up a projector in your backyard and invite friends for an outdoor movie night. Pack some snacks and enjoy a movie under the stars.
Here are eight fun movies to watch this summer:
- “The Suicide Squad”: This superhero film is a sequel/reboot of the 2016 movie “Suicide Squad” and follows a team of villains recruited by the government for a mission. It’s a fun, action-packed film with plenty of humor and exciting set pieces.
- “Free Guy”: This action-comedy stars Ryan Reynolds as a non-playable character in a video game who becomes self-aware and decides to take control of his destiny. It’s a fun, inventive movie with plenty of humor and heart.
- “Cruella”: This live-action Disney movie is a prequel to the classic “101 Dalmatians” story, following the early life of the villainous Cruella de Vil. It’s a stylish, fun movie with great performances and plenty of surprises.
- “Black Widow”: This superhero movie follows Natasha Romanoff (played by Scarlett Johansson) as she confronts her past and tries to take down a dangerous conspiracy. It’s a fun, action-packed movie with great performances and plenty of surprises.
- “Luca”: This Pixar movie tells the story of two young sea monsters who explore a small Italian town and learn about the joys of friendship, food, and freedom. It’s a charming, heartwarming movie with beautiful animation and a great message.
- “In the Heights”: This musical film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway show celebrates the vibrant culture and community of Washington Heights, New York. It’s a joyful, energetic movie with catchy songs and great performances.
- “Space Jam: A New Legacy”: This long-awaited sequel to the 1996 classic “Space Jam” stars LeBron James as he teams up with the Looney Tunes to save his son and win a high-stakes basketball game. It’s a fun, nostalgic movie with plenty of humor and excitement.
- “The Tomorrow War”: This sci-fi action movie stars Chris Pratt as a high school teacher drafted to fight a future war against alien invaders. It’s a thrilling, epic movie with great action and special effects.
Summer is a time to rediscover what matters in our lives, whether it’s our relationships, our passions, or our sense of purpose. So let’s take advantage of this special season to slow down, recharge, and rediscover the joys of living. Make sure to engage in fun summer activities throughout June, July, and August. Before you know it, Labor Day will be here. So enjoy the joys of summer to the fullest.
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