After a long, very unusual school year (to put it mildly) and getting through final exams and projects, you’re probably ready for a breather. Now it’s time to rest up and recharge!

Need ideas on how to spend your free time over the next couple of months? Here are six fun ways to enjoy this summer while also renewing your motivation in preparation for fall semester:

1. Get Outside

Colorado offers plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, and we all know that vitamin D is proven to be good for you. So take up an outdoor exercise habit while the weather is nice.

Start walking, jogging or biking. Or go for a regular swim at an outdoor pool. Or you could paddle on a local lake. And here’s another idea: Plan weekly hikes to one of the beautiful options all along the Front Range. (Check out 5280’s list or peruse AllTrails for ideas).

2. Adopt a (Social) Reading Habit

You probably haven’t had much time for fun reading lately, have you? Without all that homework, pick up a few summer reads—and take a little time to immerse yourself in a good book.

Check out Barnes & Noble’s reading lists or Goodreads for recommendations. FRCC’s library—or your local branch—has lots of great options, too. And librarians can always make excellent recommendations, so don’t hesitate to ask them.

Make your reading social by inviting a few friends to do a summer book club together. Aim to finish a book every few weeks (or so) and plan a potluck dinner at the end of each.

3. Take Up a New Activity

Frisbee golfer

If you’ve been wanting to start a new hobby, summer is a great time for trying new games—and many of the easy-entry sports are done outdoors.

What about tennis or pickle ball? Or you might give frisbee golf (also known as disc golf) a try. Anyone can play, it’s easy to learn and most courses are free to use. Or if traditional golf is more your cup of tea, start aby visiting your local driving range, which is an inexpensive way to dip a toe into the sport.

How about buying a spikeball net and getting a few friends together in the park? (What’s spikeball? It’s sometimes described as a hybrid of volleyball and foursquare. Picture a circular, trampoline-like net with four people standing around it, playing against each other in teams of two.)

Whatever sport you choose, don’t take yourself too seriously—whether you win or lose, a lot of the fun comes from just being outside with friends.

4. Create an Outdoor Hangout Hideaway

If you have a yard, porch or other outdoor space at home, invest a little in creating an open-air sanctuary where you can spend time visiting with a friend or two, eating meals or reading. And don’t worry—it doesn’t cost a lot of money to do this.

Browse yard sales for free or inexpensive patio furniture, or just buy a couple of stackable plastic chairs (whatever you have room for). Furnish your small haven with potted or faux plants, and even a few solar-powered lights. You’ll find yourself spending more time enjoying the fresh air while the weather is nice!

5. Explore Your State

If a plane ticket isn’t in the budget for this summer’s getaway, that’s OK. You live in a beautiful place, and there are many fun things to do right here in Colorado.

In addition to hiking, you can choose a few mountain towns for day trips throughout the summer. (Think Winter Park, Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mountain—all of which are reachable in 1.5-2.5 hours).

Check out Colorado campgrounds for a last-minute camping trip. Go rafting on the Colorado or another river (see this list of recommendations from TripAdvisor).

Hike to Horsetooth Falls near Fort Collins or climb the Manitou Incline near Colorado Springs. Need more ideas for great hikes? Check out these trail websites:

6. Soul Search for What YOU Want to Do


What sounds fun or relaxing to you? What do you enjoy doing but have pushed aside during the school year?  Intentionally set aside some time for yourself to truly reflect on what makes you happy—and then make sure you find time for those things this summer.

This will look different for different people. It might mean seeing family and friends more regularly. It might mean cooking more, exercising more often—or picking up knitting, journaling or writing stories.

Whatever fills your soul, don’t let summer pass you by. This is your opportunity to enjoy some downtime. Rest and relax so that come August, you’ll be ready for classes again.

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