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Let Loose and Have Fun!

Try these 36 ideas for a summertime connection.

1. Make a list of all the fun things that come to your mind. Think of things you've already done and really enjoyed. There are probably plenty of times when you've both said, "Someday I'd like to do that." Write them down and keep your list handy. When you discover something new, add it. Then at the beginning of each month, pull out your list and schedule a time to do at least one thing before the end of the month.

2. Take a walk in the rain. Stomp in the puddles.

3. Make a gingerbread house. Decorate it—and then eat it.

4. Design your dream vacation. If money and time were no obstacle, where would you go? Okay, if money and time are an obstacle, where could you still go? Grab an atlas and plan your routes and stops.

5. Put on some Frank Sinatra—or Devo!—and dance the night away. Or check out a library book such as The Complete Book of Ballroom Dancing, an accompanying CD, and learn to foxtrot, rumba, or waltz.

6. Have a water fight with your neighbors.

7. Serve dinner backward. Start with dessert.

8. Have a watermelon seed-spitting contest. The loser has to clean up!

9. Lie on the grass and look at the clouds. Make up a story about each formation.

10. Sit under a tree and compose poems to each other.

11. Return to the site of your first date. If you don't live in the same area as you did then, recreate some of the most memorable parts.

12. Enjoy live theater—affordably—by attending a local high school, community college, or university performance.

13. Rent (or borrow from the library) a movie that promises to be truly awful (as in a bad script, bad acting, or bad special effects) and make fun of it together. Or make it a contest to see who can choose the worst movie.

14. Go somewhere local you've never been. Everyone's hometown or area has an interesting site or attraction most locals never take time to see. So experience your area's "main attraction." For instance, one university has a walking tour of the many kinds of trees planted on campus.

15. Experience "The Taste of Your Town." Plan a trip to some of your area's unique restaurants, but order only the least expensive item on each menu. For example, order the cheapest appetizer at your first stop, the cheapest salad at the next, and top it all off with a kid's scoop of ice cream at the local ice cream shop.

16. Bake a batch of cookies together and take them to friends or neighbors.

17. Hold your own "American Idol" or "American Inventor" competition.

18. Begin a new hobby together—one neither of you have done. Try bird watching, pottery, or photography. Or if you want to keep it free, start a collection: matchbooks, rocks, shells, leaves, spare change.

19. Take in a free concert. Check with university music departments for student recitals or church calendars for concerts and cantatas.

20. Find a free lecture, book or poetry reading, or live music at a local bookstore. Many larger bookstores schedule regular jazz music or author appearances (usually on Fridays or Saturdays); share a cup of coffee or tea, sit back, and enjoy.

21. Live like the other half. Visit the fanciest hotel in your area. Tour its public places. Enjoy the harpist in the lobby. Soak up the ambiance. Pretend you're rich.

22. Take a "Magical Mystery Tour." All you need is a car and a coin. Each time you come to an intersection, flip the coin. Heads, you turn right; tails, you turn left. See where you end up, then have fun finding your way back.

23. Play Frisbee Golf together. Anyone can play; all you need are a couple Frisbees. Some parks and universities have Frisbee Golf courses. Or create your own course (check out the Professional Disc Golf Association at www.pdga.com).

24. Play your favorite childhood game(s) together—Hide 'n' seek, Parcheesi, hopscotch, Candy Land, Clue, or Twister. As you do, spend some time sharing playtime memories with each other.

25. Go to church. No, really! Seize an opportunity to go to a midweek or Saturday night service at a church you've never attended.

26. Get some auction action. Check your local newspaper for auctions in your area. You don't have to buy—or even bid on—anything.

27. Swing and slide. Go to a playground and push each other on the swings. Walk barefoot in the sand pile. Slide down the slide. Hang upside down from the jungle gym. Exchange stories about your earliest or best child-hood memories.

28. Have a "Question Night." Each of you write 10 questions, put them in a hat, mix them up, then draw out the questions and take turns answering them. Be careful what you ask however; you might have to answer it.

29. Go fly a kite! Buy a simple kite (or better yet, make your own) and go to an open area on a windy day.

30. Row, row, row your boat. Go to a lake and launch out together. You might even take along a picnic lunch to eat in the boat. Some places rent paddle boats so you can have paddle boat races.

31. Grab a bag of saltines or oyster crackers from your cupboard and go to the lake to feed the ducks.

32. Stroll through an old cemetery. It may seem creepy, but some cemeteries are beautifully landscaped, and many old headstones bear fascinating inscriptions. Make up stories of the people there. If you sneak in at night, tell ghost stories and have fun scaring each other.

33. Take in a game. Keep an eye out for the busiest and most competitive little league or softball diamonds, soccer fields, or hockey rink in your area. Then pack a couple chairs or cushions and pick a team to root for.

34. Find a farmer or gardener with a raspberry or strawberry patch. Pick a few pints and make a pie or cobbler together. Or take the "fruits of your labor" to an elderly neighbor.

35. Go to your state or county fair. Make sure to check out the 4H and animal exhibits!

36. Have a bonfire at a local campground and roast marshmallows to make s'mores.

Bob Hostetler, a pastor and freelance author, lives in Ohio.

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

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Fun; Marriage; Play
Today's Christian Woman, Summer, 2006
Posted September 12, 2008

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