We firmly believe the first official day of summer is worth celebrating in a big, big way. And since the summer solstice also marks the longest day of the year (where daylight is concerned), we've been cooking up more than a few next-level ways to celebrate-ones that don't involve the 28-day sundances of yore (although, if you're up for it, we're in full support).
By Stephanie Lynn
Soak in the summertime with a seafood feast served up outside. A crab boil is a community-centric event that combines huge portions of food, classic Cajun flavors and as many friends and family as you can gather. No idea how to host a crab boil? Count on Stephanie Lynn's crab feast how-to to help you out.
Erica's Sweet Tooth
We may not plan to dance around a fire for days on end to mark the solstice, but we sure love summertime campfires-and s'mores. Lots of 'em. Don't have a pit? Check out these DIY ideas to make your own fire pit. Oh, and because it's a special occasion, we highly recommend you take your s'more game up a notch.
Whether it's seaside or lakeside, find the nearest body of water, pack a picnic and enjoy the extra daylight with a dip in the water and tanning on the shore. This year, the solstice falls on a Sunday (Father's Day, in fact), so it's the perfect day to get up early and camp out by the water.
One Good Thing
Invite all the neighborhood kids over and host a set of next-level outdoor games. Celebrate the sun by staying outside to play lawn twister or make an outdoor chalkboard for the ultimate game of Pictionary.
For a more low-key sun celebration, we suggest a stroll through a botanical garden. Go alone or bring your friends for a peaceful afternoon enjoying the bucolic qualities of fresh air, blooming flowers and buzzing bees.
The Garden Glove
There's no better end to a day spent in the sun than a movie. The sun may set a little later on the solstice, but we still think it's the perfect day to cozy up in the backyard and watch a movie with friends and family. Here's a DIY to set up the perfect movie night.
As the sun stays out longer, we know it's time to invest in our grilling game. For the first day of summer, take it up a notch with new BBQ shrimp skewers or these gourmet burgers. For more ideas, check out this list of grilling go-tos.
How Does She
Suns out, guns out, right? Get that swimsuit on and get ready for the perfect hot weather celebrations. Take the slip 'n' slide to the next level with the slip 'n' slide toss; get your competitive side going with water balloon dodgeball, and if you're facing some serious heat, try the hilarious frozen T-shirt game.
For those wanting a peaceful, quiet way to enjoy the impending summer months, we suggest a flower arranging workshop. There are few things as relaxing or rejuvenating as working close to nature and learning to take what's available and turn it into something even more beautiful. It's an ideal way to prep for the bounty that's on its way.
If you can swing it, start your celebrations a couple of days early and take off for a weekend full of sunshine, long drives and adventure. At a loss for where to go? Check out these road trip destinations across America.
There's no better way to enjoy the benefits of sunnier days than to go out and harvest some of its fruits! Once you and your companion have buckets full of berries (or cucumbers, or tomatoes), why not try baking a pie or making some berry-studded summer ice creams.
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