Long summer days free from school (and work, if you’re lucky!) are great—you can go hang out at the beach, spend time with your friends, play sports . . . really, you can do whatever you want. But don’t forget about summer nights! You can escape from the heat (at least a little), get out from underneath the sun, and still be outside with these nighttime activities.
One of my favorite summertime activities—especially at night—is to go to concerts. Many cities have a free night concert series during the summer. Even if not, you’d be hard-pressed to find any urban or suburban area that doesn’t have an outdoor area that holds an occasional concert or two. You can find rock shows, country shows, orchestral performances . . . whatever you like to listen to, you can probably listen to it outside. Check out places like TicketMaster or city guides like CitySearch to find outdoor venues near you.
Another thing that’s a lot of fun, but not quite as organized, is hitting the beach after dark. Most public beaches are closed after sundown (and may be patrolled by cops), so it’s not a good idea to use these, but you probably know someone who lives outside of town that can recommend a private beach that you can go to after dark. Build a bonfire, make s’mores, grill hot dogs, go swimming . . . do everything you’d do during the day. For some reason, it’s just cooler at night!
If you’re looking for something a little more relaxing, find a local bar or restaurant that’s open late and get a table outside. Enjoy some appetizers or just a couple drinks and watch the comings and goings of the city around you. Exploring new places to eat and drink is a really fun activity for a summer night, and can quickly become a regularly planned event with a group of friends.
Depending on the city you live in (this is less suggestable in certain areas), going exploring can be another great summer night activity. Walk around the urban areas of the city you live in—you’ll see a lot of things that you’ve never noticed before! Even if most of the businesses are closed, you’ll still notice ones that you’ve never seen before. You’ll hear concerts coming from buildings that you thought were office buildings. You’ll see people going into a bar that you thought was a coffee shop. And you’ll see a lot of familiar things in a new light. The city can be very beautiful at night. Check it out!
No matter what you decide to do, make sure that you get out at night this summer and take advantage of the great weather during all different parts of the day. What’s your favorite thing to do on a summer night? Leave your comments below and help other people think of more fun things to do after the sun goes down.