What to Do This Summer
June 21, 2017

“And it was summer–warm, beautiful summer.”
Hans Christian Andersen

Making a household today often calls for being intentional. By being ‘intentional’ I mean making a conscious and regular effort to deliberate about how best to achieve an end. In an age when good customs embodied a passed-on wisdom, parents did not need to be so intentional about various aspects of the good life in the home. They could at least somewhat ‘go with the flow,’ as it were.

By and large it is not so today. One area where this is especially apparent is that of quality communal activities. As we enter the summer months it is worth considering what kind of activities are especially conducive to enhancing personal presence and personal relationships in the household.

The place of different kinds of work is one essential part of this consideration. But I am interested in focusing right now on recreational activities. Of course summer is a time when many of us go on vacation, which is comprised especially of such activities. But even apart from vacation as such, summer lends itself to more regular recreational activities, whether on a weekday or weekend.

Summer weather often invites our being outside and enjoying the natural world. Further, children tend to be free of academic concerns and to be looking for, and often needing something to engage them. It is a time to get out and finally do some of those things we tend to daydream about, and that children will later look back on, and remember fondly.

There is no set list of such activities. What is perhaps most important is that we nonetheless make a list for ourselves: so that we actually do them. And we can consider and weigh the activities, both from our own viewpoint and from that of our children. It is important that we all enjoy them; though at the same time we all can stand to develop and deepen our tastes.

Over the next few weeks I am going to offer a few examples of summer activities that might be worth special consideration: the kind that looking back we, and our children, will be especially glad we made the time to do.

Image: Winslow Homer (1836-1910), Boys in a Pasture

Leave a Reply


  1. Looking forward to your suggestions

    1. Thank you!

  2. Elizabeth O'Toole


    Thank you, again, for a timely subject to consider. My husband and I have been discussing the ways to enjoy the precious little time that is left with our teenagers. We want to make memories they won’t forget, but in a way where they feel a closeness to the family and not necessarily for a particular type of trip or event. We look forward to your future posts.

    God bless.

    1. Elizabeth, I certainly understand. I am sure that God will bless your efforts…
      With all best wishes,

  3. I would give my children (separate) reading lists of books that were enjoyable and mind-expanding as well as semi-educational (The Red Badge of Courage, for my son, comes to mind). Toward the end of summer, when their list was complete, I would take each child on a separate “prize” outing, just the 2 of us, to a museum, the zoo, lunch at a restaurant, etc.

    1. I like that idea very much. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I can’t wait to hear your ideas. We are finally beginning to have nice weather in the PNW. We have to take advantage of it when we have it!

    1. Perhaps that makes you appreciate even more the short time you have! I’m sure it is beautiful.