Ugh! It is just too hot outside! The mosquitoes are biting! The humidity is killing me! I don't want to put on any more sunscreen! No matter what your excuse might be for staying indoors this summer, there is no need to be bored, and there is no need to be wired to tech gadgets twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, either. Believe it or not, you can still have a lot of fun vacationing indoors, even without television, the Internet, or other outside entertainment or gadgets. All you need is this handy list, a little ingenuity, and a lot of enthusiasm, since most of these activities are free! You can turn that summer down time into a fabulous positive experience for yourself, your family, and your friends. So fire up your enthusiasm, and get started!

Ramp up your skills -- Now is the time to try out those new recipes, learn to sew, try a new craft, learn to play a musical instrument, learn a language, or any one of a number of activities. If you have always wanted to dance, there is no better time than summer to get out there on the floor and learn! You can not only try out a variety of activities, but you can even find a new hobby, retirement career, or a new home-based business, simply by trying a range of activities to find what suits you. No matter what you try, you'll have more fun if you go into it with a positive mindset. And you might even find that you discover a passion that will materially contribute to the well being of your household, simply by trying out a number of activities. Try home improvement stores, the library, the local continuing education center, or a community college to get ideas for activities to try.

The Lacemaker
Credit: Johannes Vermeer

Catch up -- Take some time to write letters, read books, organize photos, or whatever will suit those lazy hours in summer. Get together with friends, read the latest novel, or even just nap and catch up on your sleep. You'll be amazed at what a little bit of time each day will accomplish. Now is also the time for other family members to go through old schoolwork, magazines, clip recipes, or scour those unread periodicals for interesting articles to save (and recycle the rest). Your house will be ready for autumn and the upcoming holiday season and you will have crossed a bunch of items off your to-do list! Decluttering is also a popular activity for down times, and will have many positive effects on clearing out your living space and making room for new things to come into your life.

Put on a play -- In the old days, this was one of the best forms of entertainment. Whether you act the parts out yourself, or assign them to puppets; whether you write your own play from scratch, or read plays, find one you like, and act it out; or just take turns sitting around in the evenings and reading the parts (if you're by yourself, read them in different voices), you can have all the fun of the theatre without leaving home. Regardless if your taste runs to Shakespeare or something more modern (or ancient), there is a play to suit everyone, from the tiniest tots on up to the most sophisticated theatre lover. If you have time and energy enough, put it on for your friends and neighbours, and recruit them for parts, too!

Play around -- Drag out all those dusty old board games. Try them all out, and see how you like them. If you find a game boring, how can you make it more interesting by changing the rules? If there is no way to change the rules, put the game in a pile to give to neighbours or charity and declutter your life. On the other hand, hot afternoons spent playing Scrabble (for just a few people) or Apples to Apples (for a lot of people) or similar board games will be entertaining, and perhaps even enlightening. If board games are not your thing, dust off that pack of cards you have tucked away, and try some of the games you've never heard of in Hoyle. You may even find an enthusiasm for games like Speculation, Whist, and Euchre!

Hoyle Puzzle and Board Games - 60+ Classic Games
Amazon Price: $19.99 $14.55 Buy Now
(price as of May 20, 2015)
This is great to have laying around for a rainy day or a lazy afternoon, and you are sure to find something on the software to please everyone!

Dig around -- Start your fall garden. Get out your seed packets, and either get some starter pots or make them yourself out of old egg cartons. By the time your baby plants are ready to transplant outside, the weather will have cooled off enough for you to be able to work outdoors without killing yourself. Remember that cooler weather is coming, and think about cool-season crops such as peas, lettuces and other greens, perennials that tend to bolt in hot weather, and herbs, which can survive cold temperatures well. Your dinner table will thank you in just a few short weeks!

Parterre Herb GardenCredit: Public Domain


Talk -- Bring your family together by having old-fashioned conversations. Whether you have a salon-style gathering where you all agree to talk about a single topic (such as a book or a current event), or whether you engage in story telling or just plain reminiscing about times gone by, or you want to talk about future plans, conversation is a way to feel closer to your family and friends. Try to stay away from too controversial topics, as you want this to be fun, not frustrating. You will find that talking to each other pays off in your relationships. (If you need a good topic, pick something improbable, such as "If we were going to cover the car in something, what would it be?" or "Where should we travel if we became millionaires?")

By engaging in a variety of activities indoors you can be sure to beat the heat, avoid the perils of poison ivy, avoid the mosquitoes, keep from being lobsterized, and still learn to enjoy your summer. Of course, in the evenings, you can still go outside, right? Whether you need down time or a group activity, there is sure to be some fun activity to keep you engaged, and still allow you the time you need to relax and take a break. With this list handy, you ought to have lots of ideas for mostly free indoor summer fun, and be able to enjoy your summer.