24 Ready-to-Enjoy Ideas for Healthy End-of-Summer Activities

beach walk

No Weekend plans?  Make some!

We’ve pulled together 24 of our favorite ready-to-enjoy activities for you to soak up the last few end-of-summer weekend vibes. Are any of these on your summer bucket list?

The most important thing is to find activities that you enjoy, and that will help you stay healthy and happy.  Research shows that when you are actively exploring new things in your life and pursuing your dreams-you feel better, your microbes thrive, your body thrives, and you thrive.

Instructions: Do whatever you want, really, but make it healthy. 

Go for a hike

Hiking is a great way to get exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and clear your head. Find a trail that is appropriate for your fitness level, and go for a hike that is long enough to challenge you but not too long that you'll get tired.

Science Says: 

Of course, you’ll get a great boost for your cardiovascular health with a 30-minute or more hike, but did you know that spending time outdoors can contribute to lower cortisol and blood pressure levels? It’s true! And you don’t even have to pack everything up for a week-long camping trip in the middle of the forest. Being outdoors in a green space with some grass or a few trees will help give you this effect.1 

Healthy Tip:

Stay Hydrated - Proper hydration is crucial while hiking, as it helps maintain your body's performance and prevents dehydration. Make sure you carry enough water with you and sip regularly, even if you aren’t thirsty. Check the temperature forecast for your hiking path before taking off for the day. If it’s warmer, your body may need more water. Adding electrolyte-rich snacks (like bananas, oranges, or trail mix with peanuts, almonds, and raisins) can also help replace minerals lost through sweat and keep your energy levels up.

Go listen to and enjoy live music

This is a great way to relax and de-stress. There are many different types of live music events available, so you can find one that you enjoy. You can also find events that are specifically designed for a certain genre of music.

Science Says:

The enjoyment and excitement of live music experiences are found to biologically trigger chemicals in the brain. Listening to music you love can release the neurotransmitter called dopamine, associated with pleasure and reward, giving you that feel-good feeling naturally.2 Additionally, the amped-up excitement and emotional engagement during more dynamic concerts can lead to the release of endorphins, the natural painkiller and mood enhancer brain chemical.3

Healthy Tip:

As with all events involving high-volume sound, use ear protection (foam and other in-ear plugs or dampening earmuffs both help lower the decibels your ears are exposed to), and maintain a safe distance from speakers and amplifiers. If you find the music so loud it becomes uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to step away from the speakers and avoid potential hearing damage.

Have a picnic

Pack a healthy lunch and enjoy it outdoors in a park or at the beach. This is a ‘delicious’ way to connect with nature and enjoy the fresh air.

Did you know:

The word "picnic" originally referred to a potluck meal where everyone contributed a dish, rather than a leisurely outdoor meal as it's commonly known today. The term "pique-nique" can be traced back to 17th-century France, referring to a group of people who brought their own wine and food, contributing to a communal meal. Over time, the meaning shifted to include outdoor meals enjoyed in a casual setting.

Healthy Tip:

Hot days can warm up your food to unsafe temperatures. Keep those cold dishes cold (40°F or below) by storing them in an insulated cooler with ice packs until everyone is ready to eat. Also consider serving up smaller portions on the serving table and replenishing as needed, instead of a large platter or bowl. This helps prevent food from sitting out for prolonged periods, while the remainder of your dish stays cold with the ice packs.

Go swimming

Swimming is a great way to cool off on a hot day and get a little exercise in at the same time. Find a pool or beach that is open and go for a swim.

Did you know: 

High tides (when the ocean is high up on the beach) and low tides (when the ocean recedes and exposes more of the beach) are primarily caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun on the oceans that covers the Earth. The pull causes the water to “bulge out” on both the side of the Earth closest to the moon and the side farthest from the moon. These bulges are where high tides are created. Low tides are where the lower points of water are not bulging out.

Healthy Tip:

Before starting an intense swimming session, it's a good idea to warm up your muscles with some light stretching and easy laps. This helps increase flexibility and blood flow to the muscles, improving performance and helping safeguard against injuries.

And just because you're surrounded by water doesn't mean you can skip staying hydrated. Dehydration can still occur while swimming, so make sure to drink water before and after your swim.

Take a cooking class 

Cooking classes are a great way to learn new recipes and techniques. They can also be a fun and social activity.

Healthy Tip:

If you are trying to eat healthier and aren’t an ace in the kitchen, a cooking class is a great place to pick up the fundamental skills that can open up a world of culinary delights for yourself. Learning how to make simple whole foods into delicious dishes with basic skills like sauteeing and braising will give you a lifetime of meals to enjoy as you move along your journey to better health. Want to know exactly which foods are best for your body and your microbiome right now? It’s easy with a Viome Intelligence Test. 

Random Fact:

The 5 skills that every chef should know are knife skills, sauteeing, roasting, blanching, and emulsification. If you don’t recognize a few of those terms and want to know more, look up a local (or even online) class and get cooking!

Go biking 

Biking is a fun and healthy way to get around. Find a bike trail or scenic route and go for a bike ride.

Did you know: 

The velocipede, or dandy horse, the first two-wheeled, human-powered transportation that is identifiable as a bicycle, was invented and manufactured by Baron Karl von Drais in 1817. 

The more modern design that we understand to be a bicycle with a chain-driven rear wheel and pedals was developed in the late 1800s, which led to the bicycle boom. An 1896 New York Times article helped stir the excitement by stating, “the bicycle promises a splendid extension of personal power and freedom, scarcely inferior to what wings would give.”

Healthy Tip:

As the saying goes, safety first: Always wear a helmet, inspect your bike to be sure it’s in good working condition, follow traffic rules if you’re riding on streets, and use hand signals to indicate your intentions to turn or stop. Have a great ride!

Go camping 

Camping is a great way to get away from it all and enjoy the outdoors. Find a campsite that is close to home or go on a camping trip to a more remote location.

Did you know: 

If you are not an overnight camper, there are plenty day-use camping sites where you can spend the day with friends and family completely outdoors. Pack a picnic, or cookout, play games, take a nature walk, or just enjoy the time in the sun with company.

Healthy Tip:

Campfires make camping extra special. But campfires also need a measure of safety. Make sure that you know your region’s fire risk before you break out the matches. Usually, there are notices posted in camp areas letting you know whether or not open fires are allowed at the moment. 

If you can have a log fire, be sure to use the metal ringed fire pit if supplied. Many campsites provide them, along with a picnic table for convenience. Never leave your fire unattended, and put your fire out completely before you retire for the evening. Soak the coals with water, as well as the ground around the coals. Sand and dirt also help smother the dying coals. Wait until all signs of flame, smoke, and embers have disappeared before going to sleep or leaving.  

Attend a street fair 

This is a great way to experience different cultures and try new foods. There are many different street fairs held throughout the year, so you can find one that is happening near you.

Did you know: 

Street fairs give local businesses a chance to showcase their products or services to thousands of local people as they walk up and down the partitioned-off street. They enjoy local food, art, crafts, and learn about services. This gives increased visibility and income to the local economy and fosters goodwill for the community at large between citizens and the businesses who invest in making the fair a successful event.

Random Fact:

There are famous street fairs that happen every year all over the world, including the Rio Carnival in Rio di Janeiro, Brazil, the Notting Hill Carnival in London, United Kingdom, the La Tomatina in Buñol, Spain, The Chiang Mai Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand, the San Gennaro Feast in New York City, USA, and the Diwali Festival in India and various other locations. 

Go fishing 

Fishing is a relaxing way to spend time outdoors and enjoy peace and quiet. Find a fishing spot that is appropriate for your skill level and go fishing for a few hours. 

Did you know: 

The practice of catch and release, where anglers catch fish and then release them back into the water, gained popularity as a conservation effort to help protect fish populations and ecosystems. It's now a common practice to ensure sustainable fishing, as is using single, barbless hooks to reduce fish handling harm and time.

Random Fact:

Fishing reels have undergone significant evolution over the years. The first known fishing pole was a simple hand line wrapped around a stick. Today, there are various types of reels, including spinning, baitcasting, spinning, and fly reels, each designed for specific fishing techniques.

Go thrifting 

Thrifting is a great way to find unique and affordable clothing and home goods. It's also a sustainable way to shop.

Did you know: 

Thrift stores were originally known as charity shops, secondhand or resale shops, and have their roots in 19th century Europe. The rise of charitable organizations like The Salvation Army is one of the earliest examples of an organization that sponsored and operated shops like this to support its social welfare programs. 

Random Fact:

In recent decades, a growing concern for the environment and clothing waste has contributed to the popularity of thrifting. Purchasing secondhand items reduces the demand for new production and helps to decrease the overall environmental impact of the fashion and consumer goods industries. Now even online resale platforms have joined in the “secondhand” movement, making it easier to buy and sell items from your own living room couch.. 

Watch an outdoor movie 

This is a great way to enjoy a movie and spend time outdoors. Many parks and theaters offer outdoor movie screenings, so you can find one that is happening near you.

Did you know: 

The very first drive-in movie theater, called the Camden Drive-In, opened on June 6, 1933, in Pennsauken, New Jersey.

Random Facts:

The biggest outdoor movie screen ever created was 250 feet wide and 62.5 feet tall. It was set up in Beijing, China, during the 2008 Summer Olympics.

One of the largest outdoor movie screenings was in 2016 when over 175,000 people gathered at the Parc de la Villette in Paris to watch the movie "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly."

Relax on a beach 

This is a great way to de-stress and soak up the sun. Find a beach that you love and spend some time swimming, sunbathing, reading, or building sandcastles.

Science Says:

Being at the beach can be a truly relaxing experience. Listening to the waves crash rhythmically onto the beach activates your parasympathetic nervous system, kicking in the relaxation vibes.4 


Healthy Tip:

Be sure to protect yourself while you soak up that sun. Wear sunscreen at an SPF of 30 or higher that is water resistant or very water resistant. Follow the directions on the bottle for correct application and effectiveness. 

And even at the beach, be sure you have shade. Bring a beach umbrella with you so that you can get out of the sun after a couple of hours and give your skin a break! 

Go for a walk 

A walk is a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the fresh air. Go for a walk around your neighborhood, at a park, or along a trail.

Science Says:

Walking has been found to have positive effects on cognitive function. Research suggests that physical activity, including walking, increases blood flow to the brain, which can enhance cognitive abilities such as memory, creativity, and attention.5,6 

Healthy Tip:

If you're new to walking, make sure you have a good pair of athletic shoes, start at a comfortable pace, and gradually increase both your pace and distance. This helps prevent injury and builds your endurance over time.

Host a barbecue 

Have a barbecue with friends or family and enjoy some grilled food. This is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and connect with the people you care about.

Science Says:

Sharing a meal with friends can have positive effects on mental and emotional well-being. Studies have shown that socialization, including dining together, can reduce feelings of loneliness, and also contribute to better overall health.7 

Make it a regular occurrence with you, your family, and friends. Have a different person host a get-together every month or two. Select a fun theme, organize some delicious food, put together a cool playlist, and enjoy some company.

Healthy Tip:

A cookout with your friends or family doesn’t have to be a heavy lift for you, or anyone! Assign different food categories to everyone: protein/veggies for the grill, salads/fruit/sides, snacks/desserts, and drinks. Have everyone bring their own plates, utensils, and cups and you’re ready to go. Throw everything on the grill and enjoy!

Visit a botanical garden 

Botanical gardens are a great place to see flowers, plants, and trees from all over the world. They can also be a relaxing and peaceful place to spend a day.

Science Says:

Your immersion in nature, greenery, trees, and plants can be a panacea for the stress you’ve experienced during the week. Science finds that a safe, nature-rich environment, like a botanical garden, can help enhance immune system function, lower blood pressure, and stress hormones, boost self-esteem, improve your mood, and lower feelings of anxiousness.*8

Random Fact:

The largest botanical garden in the world is The Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England. The 300-acre garden boasts the world’s oldest potted plant, the smallest royal palace in the country, its own police force, and some of the most beautiful and diverse collections of living plants in the world.  

Go to a farmers market 

Farmers markets are a great place to buy fresh, local produce. It is a great opportunity to support your local farmers and eat well. They can also be a fun and vibrant place to spend a morning or afternoon.

Did you know: 

Many farmers' market vendors prioritize sustainable farming practices such as organic, biodynamic, and regenerative farming. By supporting these practices, buyers of their produce and products help contribute to healthier ecosystems. 

Random Fact:

In addition to fresh produce, many farmers' markets feature artisanal foods such as handmade cheeses, breads, jams, pickles, and more, often made by local producers. Yum.

Make a healthy meal 

Take some time to cook a healthy meal at home. This is a great way to mix in your Superfood Enjoy foods– the healthier the ingredients in your food, the healthier you will be.

Did you know: 

Eating out frequently can be expensive. Cooking at home is generally more cost-effective, as you can buy ingredients in bulk, take advantage of sales, and avoid the additional costs associated with dining out, such as tips and transportation.

Healthy Tip:

Cooking at home not only allows you to get in more of your personal Superfoods and Enjoy foods, but you also become more aware of the nutritional value of the food you eat and how to create more balanced meals. And you also know exactly what is in your meals, which you can never quite know when eating restaurant or packaged meals.

Spend a day at a museum 

Museums are a great place to learn about history, art, and culture. They can also be a fun and educational way to spend a day.

Did you know: 

Some of the best museums in the world are free, including the Smithsonian Museums in Washington D.C., The Getty Center in Los Angeles, the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Cleveland Museum of Art, The Alamo in San Antonio, TX, The National Gallery in London, Museo del Prado in Madrid and Nicholson Museum, in Sydney, Australia.

Science Says:

Viewing art can actually increase the blood flow to your brain. The more time you spend analyzing a piece of art, the more your conscious and unconscious mind is stimulated, which can help your problem-solving skills in day-to-day life.9 

Go antique shopping 

Antique shopping is a great way to find unique and vintage items. It can also be a fun and possibly lucrative hobby.

Did you know: 

Before you head out to the flea market or antique shop, do a little research on what you’d like to find. Be able to verify the authenticity of anything you are looking for with specific markings, signatures, or characteristics. Some wear and tear is to be expected, but extreme damage can affect your find’s value. Feel free to bargain, but do it with a measure of respect. 

Random Fact:

The Antiques Roadshow was first broadcast on the BBC in February of 1979.

Go to a cultural festival 

This is a great way to celebrate your community and learn about its history and culture. There are many different festivals held throughout the year, so you can find one that interests you.

Did you know: 

You can visit the wonders of the world right in your hometown by attending a local cultural festival. Talk to the locals, enjoy a national dish, watch a traditional dance, listen to storytelling, observe art from another part of the globe, and never set foot on an airplane. Do a search online to find out what cultures are celebrating their heritage throughout the year - it may even be your own.  

Random Fact:

From festivals celebrating hot air balloons to Hispanic cultures, cranes, the Gathering of Nations Pow Wows, international folk art, hatch chiles, and even space aliens, the state of New Mexico hosts a bursting variety of beautiful, wondrous, sacred, curious, and delicious heritages that should be experienced. 

Go to the library 

Libraries are a great place to borrow books, movies, and music. They also offer a variety of programs and events for all ages.

Did you know: 

Libraries often have programming for children and teens, including group storytime sessions, educational workshops, study spaces, and activities and events tailored to the interests and needs of kids within different age groups. 

Random Fact:

Most public libraries now offer easy access to e-books, audiobooks, digital magazines, streaming entertainment, and online databases, allowing patrons to access content remotely.

Take a mind-body class 

Meditation, yoga, and breathwork are great ways to relax and de-stress. There are many different types of mind-body classes, so you can find one that is right for you.

Did you know: 

Yes, there’s an app for that. Search iOS or Android platforms for a simple guided meditation or breathwork app if you are short on time and would like to get a little mindfulness practice in between work and the rest of your day.

Science Says:

Meditation is a fantastic way to wipe away the stress of your day, and bring a little inner peace. Try guided meditation, mantra, mindful meditation, or even practices with movement like taichi and yoga.10

Take a painting, pottery, or art class 

This is a great way to be creative and express yourself. There are many different types of art classes available, so you can find one that is right for you. You can also find classes that are specifically designed for beginners.

Science Says:

Recent studies have shown that creating visual art improves the interaction between parts of the brain, also possibly delaying the age-related decline of certain brain functions.11 

Random Fact:

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life," Pablo Picasso once proclaimed on the effects of creativity.

Visit a national park 

National parks are a great place to enjoy the outdoors and learn about nature. There are many different national parks to choose from, so you can find one that is close to home or that you have always wanted to visit.

Did you know: 

John Muir was a Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher, and early advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States. He played a significant role in the conservation movement and is often referred to as “John of the Mountains” and "Father of the National Parks." Muir's efforts were instrumental in the establishment of several national parks that included campsites, and the development of the idea of preserving natural areas for public enjoyment and scientific study.

Random Fact:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, is the most visited national park in the United States, with more than 12 million visitors annually.


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