Take a hike—no, really. With summer on the way, now’s the time to experience the world outside. Whether that means packing the perfect picnic basket, getting fit in the great outdoors or crafting your own lawn game, our latest weekend roundup brings you stories to help you get out there—and maybe even make it back bug bite-free.
Basket-Ready Picnic Recipes
Who says picnic fare has to be mayo-based and tupperware-bound? Southern Living is here to dispel the myth with this guide to gourmet meals that travel well and look amazing on a checkered blanket. With fresh, summer-inspired eats including ginger and lime marinated melon pops, fried chicken bites, and strawberry-rhubarb hand pies, every recipe on SL’s list packs easily into your basket, tastes delicious and requires only one hand to eat—for those games of corn hole that just won’t end.
Break a Sweat (Without Thinking About It)
Escape the gym this summer with these fun outdoor exercise activities care of Fitness Magazine. With insights on muscles to target and calories burned, FM’s guide is everything you need to get your cardio in without thinking about it. Take kayaking: with benefits for your arms, shoulders, back and core, the average paddling session burns almost 300 calories—and it’s about a million times more fun than doing a crunch.
Keeping Bugs at Bay
Like all things, being in nature is a balancing act—especially when it’s hot out. There’s the good: afternoon siestas on the lawn. The not so good: forgot-to-reapply sunburns. And the downright obnoxious: bug bites. Luckily, Reader’s Digest has these tips for keeping critters at bay as the weather warms. The gist? Stop swatting.
If you (like us) are thinking that’s easier said than done, there’s good news. You can also bypass bites by going perfume-free, or opting for an even less fragrant option—garlic. You might not be the most popular guest at the garden party, but infusing your meals with an extra clove or two will almost certainly make you least-chewed.
DIY Summer Party Games
Nothing completes a summer get together better than a crisp pitcher of lemonade and watching your least-sportsmanlike party guest bring a life-size Jenga tower tumbling to the grass. But if your lawn games have seen better days (and let’s face it, they spend their lives outside) Brit + Co has this list of 50 easy-to-make outdoor activities, from giant cardboard scrabble tiles to rock dominoes. Our personal favorite? The “popcorn drop.” Players dash across an obstacle course with a cup of popcorn tied to their shoe. The person with the most popcorn left at the end, wins. And gets to eat the leftover popcorn, we hope.
Looking for more reasons to get outdoors this summer? Try this guide for upping your outdoor and garden lighting game.