Outdoor activities for a summer evening
Start and maintain a garden
While a garden really needs a lot of sunlight during the day to thrive, one of the best times to care for a garden is during the cooler evening hours. When the sun goes down low in the sky, it’s a great time to pull weeds, search for pests, water your plants, and cut flowers.
You will also find that the local wildlife tend to be more active in the evening, so you may see visitors to the garden like lizards, birds, and even deer! If you don’t have a garden yet, here’s a great guide that will help you think about the most important things to get started: what do you want to grow, where should you grow it, and how do you take care of it properly? If you don’t have a yard or space for permanent garden plants, a container garden is a great alternative; you can plant flowers as well as vegetables and have them all easily accessible on your back porch!
Visit the botanical gardens and local parks
Even if you have your own garden to maintain (and especially if you don’t), visiting the botanical gardens and local parks is a wonderful nighttime activity in the summer. These gardens tend to have paved and / or well-maintained walkways, making them easy to navigate in the dim light. Many places have specific evening hours and events in the summer and display festive lights to brighten up the surroundings.
Pack a small picnic snack and portable chairs so you can sit back and enjoy the view halfway through your tour. A trip to the Botanical Garden is also a great way to spend time with friends and family away from home in a lovely setting, and grandchildren will love being able to run in the great outdoors! If you’re unfamiliar with the places in your area, check out this comprehensive list of gardens and arboretums in California, and don’t forget our very own Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden. Be sure to check the opening hours before planning a visit.
Host a game night in the backyard
If you’re looking for an evening activity a little closer to home, host a backyard game night with your friends and family. You can offer a full range of traditional barbecue dishes or opt for a themed party and have a classic ice cream party!
When everyone has finished eating, the games can begin. Depending on your guest list, backyard games can be quiet and low-key or louder! Classic games like cornhole are great for guests of all ages, and you can even play sitting down; some cornhole sets have built-in lights, so a late night game doesn’t have to end early. Other games to include are giant court-sized versions of popular tabletop games such as Checkers, Yahtzee, and a backyard version of Bingo.
Join an evening walking club
It can be almost impossible to find a comfortable time for outdoor walks during the hot summer months. For much-needed exercise and time in nature, join an evening walking club in your area (or start one if you can’t find an established group!). A walking club is a great way to have fun and empower yourself while making fitness part of your routine.
For an evening stroll, be sure to plot the route in advance during daylight hours. Look for loose stretches of sidewalk or blind spots and try to plan your route around them. Walking with headlamps and reflective vests is good safety practice, even if you are in a large group. As you become more comfortable walking in the evening, you will begin to notice that the sights and sounds of your neighborhood at dusk are unique.
Whether you want to venture away from home or spend some time on your back porch, enjoying summer nights with your friends and family is a great way to enjoy the season!
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