For many (at least here in Canada), Labour Day weekend marks the (unofficial) end to summer. In a few short days, those sand castles and snow cones will be replaced by school books and lunch boxes – cue the waterworks.
While Labour Day may mark the end of summer for some, I prefer to linger in my denial much longer, opting to let the Autumnal Equinox be my guide. Doing so means that I have 19 days left of summer – that’s almost (sort of) a month! *she says in a triumphant tone*
I like to refer to these last few weeks of the season as summer’s final act, and as with most final acts, some of the most exciting and enjoyable moments are still yet to come! *she says once again, in that triumphant tone – denial is a powerful thing*
Maybe you have had it with summer, and are anxiously awaiting autumn. If that’s the case, grab your scarf, put on those riding boots and go away don’t read any further, because this post is for those who are not ready to let go of the season just yet. If you’re still here, then I offer you five ways to embrace summer’s final act:
Plan A Picnic
While picnics are a lovely way to celebrate a special occasion, like a birthday, I enjoy planning a picnic for no particular reason other than enjoying the summer season. Your picnic can be simple or elaborate, whatever suits your taste.
When planning a picnic, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Choose foods that travel well, and better still, limit the number of items that require refrigeration (to minimize the risk of foodborne illness)
- Prepare as much of the food prior to venturing out, so you aren’t chopping your vegetables on a rock somewhere
While my picnic tastes are on the more simplified end of the spectrum (i.e. a fresh baguette, a smattering of cheeses, some fruit and a nice, light rosé), if your tastes are more elaborate, then go for it.
In need of some picnic inspiration? Look no further than the home and living guru herself, Martha Stewart, who offers some fabulous picnic inspiration below:
One of my favourite ways to enjoy summer, especially late summer, is to dine alfresco. Whether it’s in your own backyard, or your favourite Italian restaurant, dining on a late summer’s eve is one of life’s most divine pleasures.
If you’re the designated chef, spend a little time planning your menu. Whatever your chosen entrée, pair it with a suitable wine and maybe a light desert. Add some soft jazz, light a few candles and bon appétit!
If you have decided to leave the cooking to someone else, choose a restaurant with a patio that offers live music, if that’s your thing, or one with a view of the lake or ocean.
Here in Canada, the alfresco season is quite limited, so this is one thing I take advantage of as much as possible during late summer.
For me, nothing says summer like food on the grill. As a Canadian girl (who also lives in a building that does not allow barbecues – cue the waterworks again), I love nothing more than some fresh asparagus or zucchini grilled on the barbecue along with a nice fillet of fish, chicken, or cut of steak.
The most wonderful part is that you don’t have to be a grill master to enjoy some delicious grilled food. If you need a little help to get started, I have gathered a few resources:
Take An Evening Stroll
Taking an evening stroll is something that has always brought me a great deal of enjoyment in the summer months, and this enjoyment is especially heightened in late summer. Likely a combination of the beautiful sunsets (that happen a little earlier each day) and the warm breeze, I find this time to be very calming. My husband and I typically take a walk following dinner – between 6:30 and 8:00 p.m. – and it is something that I look forward to daily.
With the recent addition of our little puppy Tinker Bell, we have been enjoying the evening strolls that much more, but even if you do not have a Tinker Bell to walk, I encourage you to take an evening stroll, alone or with a partner or friend. Take those few minutes to luxuriate in the quiet that comes with this time of day, and take notice of the beauty that abounds.
Go To The Fair
There is nothing that says summer’s final act, like a late summer fair. In Toronto, we are fortunate to have the Canadian National Exhibition that runs the last two weeks of August, ending on Labour Day Monday. The CNE has something for everyone – the midway, games, music and amazing food.
While you may not have something quite like the CNE in your backyard, I’ll bet there is some outdoor fair or event happening in your area, and I encourage you to seek that out. Visit your local tourism office in person or online, to see what activities are available.
However you choose to enjoy summer’s final act, I wish you warm evening strolls; and if you’re free, let’s meet on the patio for a drink!