Most people associate hygge with winter. They picture a roaring fire in the fireplace, wrapping up in cozy blankets, and sipping hot cocoa on a cold winter’s evening. Cozy, right? Would you believe me if I said that you can still hygge in summer?
Think about it! You can still be cozy in the summertime. Hygge is all about slowing down the hamster wheel and embracing those sweet little memory-making moments.
When I’m 80 years old and sitting on my front porch sipping sweet tea, I won’t be thinking about the days I spent working 16 straight hours hunched over my computer.
I’ll be thinking about that time my daughter and I sat huddled on the steps of the Paris Metro station before dawn, waiting for it to open, in the pouring rain, laughing our heads off at the absurdity of the situation. Now that’s hygge!
Disclosure: Some of the links in the 2020 Summer Reading List below are affiliate links provided for your convenience. This means
How to Hygge in Summer
Summer is right around the corner. The weather yesterday offered us a hint of it and it was glorious. Sure, this year, things might be a bit different, but that doesn’t mean that hygge isn’t possible. In fact, maybe it’s even more important than ever!
With physical distancing, wearing masks, and other safety precautions, we can still have some summer fun!
Go on a picnic.
I don’t understand why people don’t picnic more often. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Make an elaborate spread. Or don’t. Pick up some food from the ready to serve counter at your local grocery store. Go to KFC and grab a family meal. ANY food is more special when you eat it outside.
When my daughter was little, we kept a picnic basket in the trunk all spring and summer long. It had a blanket, plastic dishes, cutlery, cups, and paper towels in it. All we had to do was add food and go.
Some picnic items you might need:
PICNIC TIME Promenade Picnic Basket, CanvasPicniKing Extra Large Waterproof Picnic Blanket (78VonShef 4 Person Outdoor Picnic Backpack Bag Set with Insulated Cooler Compartment – Includes Picnic Blanket, Detachable Bottle Wine Holder, Flatware and Plates – Navy TartanZhongBan Extra Large PicnicPicnic Time Country Picnic Basket with Liner, Red/White GinghamPicnic Basket Tote Set with Table | Picnic Shoulder Bag Set | Stylish All-in-One Portable Set | 4 Person Table Service | Cooler Bag for Camping | Insulated Tote Bag | Cooler Bag Business Gift [Grey]ALLCAMP Large Size Picnic Basket Cooler portable Collapsible 22L Insulated Cooler Bag with Sewn in Frame (Gray)Simply Genius (6 pack) Large and Tall 17×17 Pop-Up Mesh Food Covers Tent Umbrella for Outdoors, Screen Tents, Parties Picnics, BBQs, Reusable and CollapsiblePicnic Time Piccadilly Willow Picnic Basket for Two People, with Plates, Wine Glasses, Cutlery, and Corkscrew – Red/White Plaid
Grow some flowers.
True confession – I really don’t like gardening. Oh, I love the act of planting. The digging in the dirt is a very Zen moment for me. But all of that weeding and constant care of the plants all summer long? Ugh. So, I go for easier alternatives. Window boxes or other types of container gardening are easy. There is no weeding. Simply keep them watered and you’re pretty much set.
Or I grow some flowering plants inside my house. Or I buy a cheap bouquet at the grocery store every couple of weeks. You could even go visit your local city gardens and revel in the work that someone who loves gardening has done. Just seeing colorful flowers somewhere in my world adds some joy to my day.
Some gardening items you might need:
Thick Kneeling Pad, Garden Kneeler for Gardening, Bath Kneeler for Baby Bath, Kneeling Mat for Exercise & Yoga, Knee Pad for Work, Floor Foam Pad, Extra Large (XL) 18 x 11 x 1.5 Inches, BlueFiskars Steel Bypass Pruning Shears (91095935J)Garden Genie Gloves, Waterproof Garden Gloves with Claw For Digging Planting, Best Gardening Gifts for Women and Men. (Purple)AOKIWO 40 PCS Garden Tools Set Heavy Duty Aluminum Manual Garden kit Outdoor Gardening Gifts Tools Set for Men WomenG & F 1852-3 Women Soft Jersey Garden Gloves, Women Work Gloves, 3-Pairs Green/Pink/Blue per Pack
Go to the farmer’s market.
Ours is open all year long but as soon as spring hits, they open up the outdoor market as well. There’s just something magical about it. Wandering through the stalls, taking in the sights and aromas in the open air –it’s just so relaxing. If you have more time, head out for a drive in the country.
Keep an eye out for roadside farm stands along the way. If you live in southern Ontario, I highly recommend the drive along Highway 3. It’s a lovely, charming drive and farm stands abound in the nice weather.
Otherwise, there are many cities with farmer’s markets in them, such as Covent Garden Market here in London.
Hang out in your backyard after dark.
Look up and see what constellations you can find. There are loads of star maps and stargazing apps available online to help you identify them. You don’t even need any special equipment for backyard stargazing.
Search for fireflies flitting about. They don’t seem as plentiful as when I was a kid so sometimes you have to be very still and look very carefully to notice them. It’s always worth it.
As you can probably tell so far, getting outside is a big part of hygge in summer. If you live in a colder environment like I do, you want to take advantage of the warm, sunny days as much as possible! If the weather is bad though, you can always set up your own planetarium inside.
Amazing astronomy items you might want to check out:
National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Night Sky, 2nd EditionCelestron – Cometron 7×50 Bincoulars – Beginner Astronomy Binoculars – Large 50mm Objective Lenses – Wide Field of View 7x MagnificationGuide to the StarsF70076TX Reflective Astronomical Telescope is Like a Suitcase HD high-Powered World for Astronomy JIAJIAFUDRSmithsonian Planetarium Projector with Bonus Sea Pack
Go to the drive-in.
I know, I know. This is not an option for many people and I am so lucky that the drive-in theatre of my childhood is still operating today. (Shout-out to Mustang Drive-In!) I have heard that some places are talking about bringing them back now and it seems like an ideal way to practice social distancing.
If you don’t have a drive-in nearby, you can find projectors for sale that will allow you to play movies from your TV or computer. You can create your own theatre right in your backyard. Let the kids set up a popcorn and lemonade stand!
Or check out your town for local outdoor movie showings in the park. These usually happen every summer here in London. I’m not sure if they will again this summer due to the concerns about crowds but perhaps some small groups will offer these with physical distancing and other safety protocols in place.
Items for hosting your own backyard movie night:
Epson VS250 SVGA 3,200 lumens color brightness (color light output) 3,200 lumens white brightness (white light output) HDMI 3LCD projectorVANKYO Leisure 430 (2020 Upgraded ) Projector, Mini Video Projector with 50,000 Hours LED Lamp Life, 236VANKYO Performance V630 Native 1080P Full HD Projector, 300
Go to a pick your own farm.
Our favourite when my daughter was little was always strawberry picking but since I’m now deathly allergic to them, that’s a no go for us. But there are so many other options! It feels good to pick your own produce and it’s a great lesson for the kids to see where their food really comes from.
I’ve heard of some of these farms opening up this spring while using social distancing guidelines so this could still be a good way to get some fresh air and sunshine!
If you want to be extra about it, go home and do some canning. Make some jam for those long cold winter months. They make fantastic Christmas gifts too. (I know, I know. I’m talking about Christmas and summer all in one post!). I’ve got some great canning recipes on my blog but you can also often find local canning classes in your area if you’d like some hands on help!
Have a watermelon seed spitting contest.
What??? You’ve never done this before? Oh well then, you must try it. No, I don’t really know why it’s so much fun but it is. First, you get to eat watermelon. Yum. Then you get to do one of those things that your mama always told you not to do. Spit. There’s some sort of rebellious summery fun magic going on here.
If you’re getting together with adults to do this, you could have a watermelon roast like we did in university in Arkansas. No we didn’t actually roast a watermelon. We’d drill a hole in the watermelon and pour alcohol in it. Then we’d sit around a campfire and eat pieces of boozy watermelon. Ahhhhh, memories.
What is summer without s’mores? No campfire – no problem! You can make them on your BBQ or oven. Of course, it’s more fun with a campfire but don’t let that little detail get in the way of enjoying this summertime classic. Gooey melted chocolate and marshmallows? Count me in. Here’s a great roundup of s’mores recipes.
These items can make making s’mores so much easier:
Catalina Creations 29BALI OUTDOORS Wood Burning Fire Pit, 32 Inch Outdoor Backyard Patio Fire Pit with 18.7 Inch Cooking Grill Grate, BlackFunwares Spinmallow Motorized Spinning Skewer for Marshmallows – 27 Inch Rotating S’More StickHigherHuman Safety S’Mores – Safest Smores Roasting Stick – Kid Friendly Campfires Skewers for Roasting Marshmallows and Hotdogs (4)MalloMe Marshmallow Roasting Smores Sticks – Camping Accessories for Campfire Fire Pit Cooking Set of 5S’mores Kit Makes 18 S’moresSterno 70277 Smores Maker, Junior, BlackNostalgia SMM200 Indoor Electric Stainless Steel S’mores Maker with 4 Compartment Trays for Graham Crackers, Chocolate, Marshmallows and 2 Roasting Forks,Brown
Or just walking on the beach. Or lie down on a blanket on the beach and read a good summer novel (once beaches are open for more than just walking again). Dig your toes into the sand. Let the waves lap up over your feet. Search for sea glass or shells or pretty stones. If you can, be there in time to watch the sunset over the water.
Drink some homemade lemonade.
Is there anything more refreshing than a cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day? Make up a big batch (get the kids to help!) – you’ll want a second glass.
In my family, we highly recommend sweet tea too. It’s even better if you can sip one of these while lounging in a hammock or on the porch swing.
Perfect accessories for making perfect lemonade:
Glass Water Pitcher with Diamond Pattern and TIGHT Lid 72 ounces, THICKER Heat Resistant Borosilicate Glass Carafe with FREE Brush (in Christmas Ready Packaging) by PykalProdyne FI-3 Fruit Infusion Flavor Pitcher, 2.9 qt clear, 93 ozHiware 68 Ounces Glass Pitcher with Lid and Spout – High Heat Resistance Stovetop Safe Pitcher for Hot/Cold Water & Iced TeaHiware 64 Ounces Glass Pitcher with Stainless Steel Lid / Water Carafe with Handle – Good Beverage Pitcher for Homemade Juice & Iced Tea, Cleaning Brush IncludedBormioli Rocco Hermetic Seal Glass Pitcher With Lid and Spout [68 Ounce] Great for Homemade Juice & Iced Tea or for Glass Milk BottlesGoodCook 1 Gallon Plastic Pitcher with Vacuum Suction Seal Lid, juice, water, mixed drinks, Clear and RedCucisina Lemon Squeezer / Lime Juicer / Citrus Press – Commercial Grade Aluminum (Red)Top Rated Bellemain Premium Quality Stainless Steel Lemon Squeezer with Silicone HandlesOXO Good Grips 2-in-1 Citrus JuicerROVSUN Commercial Grade Citrus Juicer Hand Press Manual Fruit Juicer Juice Squeezer Citrus Orange Lemon Pomegranate (Black)
Hang your clothes out to dry.
This one comes with a caveat. I do love the smell of laundry coming in off the clothesline BUT it’s terrible for my allergies. I also like it for things like bed sheets and blankets but I don’t care for how stiff it makes my clothing and towels feel.
Still, it reminds me of my childhood and long summer days playing outside followed by snuggling under cool cotton sheets that smelled oh so fresh and clean.
Pro tip: Think back to the summers of your childhood. What made them so special? That’s hygge in summer. Bring back some of that to your life now!
Smart Design All Purpose Weather Resistant Clothesline – Flexible Braided Cord – for Hanging, Drying, Clothing, Linens – Home Organization (1 Line x 50 Feet) [White]Strata Clothesline Kit Super Heavy DutyMinky Homecare Outdoor Retractable Clothesline, 2x 49 Feet, GrayBrabantia Lift-O-Matic Rotary Dryer Clothes Line – 196 feet, 311048AmazonBasics Foldable Clothes Drying Laundry Rack – ChromeLabara Sturdy Natural Wood Clothespins 1 3/4Mini Clothespins Clothes Pins Colored – Small Clothespins for Crafts Photos Wooden Paper Picture Clips Colorful Tiny Decorative Little Clothes Pins for Hanging Pictures Baby Clothes Line Clip – 100PCSClorox Plastic Non-Slip Clothespins – Pack of 24 | Soft Touch Rubber Grip Ends | Wide Open Sturdy Clips for Line Drying Laundry and Securing Snack Bags, 24 PackHoney-Can-Do Round Wooden Clothespins, 100 Pack
Would it surprise you to know I have enough bubble liquid in my basement to last the entire season? When my grandson was too little to actually take part in this, he still loved just sitting there watching us blow bubbles for him.
Now, I bought him a bubble mower. He loves pushing it around the backyard and sending out a trail of bubbles behind him!
And let’s be honest, blowing bubbles is a lovely relaxing thing to do no matter what your age. Forget about the outside world. Just watch the bubbles float and bounce and drift away along with your cares.
IngleJoy Bubble Wands Set Big 24 Pack 15’’ (2 Dozen) – Bubbles for Kids Parties Wedding Baby Showers Indoor/Outdoor Summer ToysJOYIN 2 Bubble Guns with 2 Bottles Bubble Refill Solution (10 oz Total) for Kids, Bubble Blower for Bubble Blaster Party Favors, Summer Toy, Outdoors Activity, Easter, Birthday GiftLittle Kids Fubbles No-Spill Tumbler Includes 4oz Bubble Solution and Bubble Wand (Tumbler Colors May Vary)Big Bubble Bottle 12 Pack – 4oz Blow Bubbles Solution Novelty Summer Toy – Activity Party Favor Assorted Colors SetJOYIN 24 Pack 14’’ Big Bubble Wands Bulk (2 Dozen) for Summer Toy, Outdoor / Indoor Activity Use, Easter, Bubbles Party Favors Supplies for KidsArtCreativity Windmill Bubble Wand, 15.5 Inch Bubble Blower and Pinwheel Spinner for Kids with Solution in Handle, Outdoor Activity for Summer and Backyard Fun, Best Gift for Boys and GirlsWOWMAZING Giant Bubble Wands Kit: (3-Piece Set) | Incl. Wand, Big Bubble Concentrate and Tips & Trick Booklet | Outdoor Toy for Kids, Boys, Girls | Bubbles Made in The USA (Kit)Sunny Days Entertainment Bubble-N-Go Deluxe Toy Lawn Mower with 4 oz Bubble Solution – Maxx BubblesNeliblu Bulk Bubble Wand Set – Bubbles for Kids – Bubbles Wand Assortment – Party Favor Set of 11 Assorted Shapes and Colors Plus a Convenient Bubble Solution Tray
Go for a walk.
Make it a scavenger hunt and challenge your family to find certain items. Or a photo scavenger hunt. You can look for shapes or colours or actual items. Or just wander with no plan at all. If you find something beautiful along the way, bring it home for your “beautiful table”.
(Be sure this is not something that could hurt the local environment! No taking things that are habitats to wildlife, no stripping bark from trees, and no picking plants for example).
Our beautiful table tradition comes from my teaching days. Each classroom had what we called our beautiful table. In a sense, it was a classroom altar but it was a wonderful way to encourage children to recognize and appreciate all kinds of beauty around them.
Make a fairy garden.
Or a dinosaur garden. Or whatever kind of fun fantasy world you and your family want to create. We’re big believers in fairies and elves and have already started laying the foundation for ours.
Spritely Gardens Deluxe 14-Piece Fairy Garden Kit with AccessoriesPlayMonster My Fairy Garden – Lily Pond, 3651Advanced Play Fairy Garden Kit Kids Gardening Set Indoor Outdoor Play Activity Gardening Tool Set Toys Kids Toddlers Girls Boys Ages 3Creativity for Kids Enchanted Fairy Garden Craft Kit – Fairy Crafts for KidsMy Fairy Garden Nature Cottage – Grow & Play Set
Run through the sprinkler on a hot day.
Not just the kids. YOU too! It’s not only refreshing but it just simply feels so freeing. Water balloon or water squirter fights are a great way to be a kid again too!
Melnor 65118-AMZ XT Metal Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler with QuickConnect Product Adapter Amazon Bundle, 4000 sq. ft. CoverageMilemont Garden Sprinkler Lawn Irrigation System 360 Degree Rotating Lawn Sprinkler Automatic Garden Water SprinklersKadaon Garden Sprinkler, 360 Degree Rotating Lawn Sprinkler with Up to 3,000 Sq. Ft Coverage – Adjustable, Weighted Gardening Watering SystemHoovy Super Giant Water Slip and Slide 192Tobeape Upgraded Sprinkler Splash Pad for Kids, Inflatable Outdoor Water Mat Toys Wading Swimming Pool, 68MOZOOSON Splash Pad Sprinkler for Kids in Garden Outdoor Inflatable Water Toys for Toddler Kids ab 1 Year Old, Slip n Slide for Girls Boys Dogs 0.5mm Thickness,Outside Wading Pool for Learning Toys
Read under the shade of a tree.
Spread out a blanket, grab yourself something cool to drink, and get lost in a great summer read. Or grab the whole family and a family friendly book to read aloud.
What is about being outside that makes everything a little more special? Sometimes when I’m dragging around and avoiding my yoga, getting outside in the fresh air and sunshine can make all the difference.
Letsfit Resistance Bands for Legs and Butts, Exercise Booty Bands for Home Fitness, Pilates, Yoga, Stretching and More, Wide Anti Slip Hip BandsGolds Gym Fitness Workout Hand Weights Exercise Dumbbell Set with Storage TrayBalanceFrom BF-D358 Dumbbell Set with Stand, 32 lbTOPLUS Yoga Mat, 1/4 inch Pro Yoga Mat TPE Eco Friendly Non Slip Fitness Exercise Mat with Carrying Strap-Workout Mat for Yoga, Pilates and Floor Exercises(Blue)BalanceFrom GoYoga+ All-Purpose 1/2-Inch Extra Thick High Density Anti-Tear Exercise Yoga Mat and Knee Pad with Carrying Strap (Black)
Go out for ice cream.
I think it’s all the better if it’s a spur of the moment thing – it just adds to the experience! I used to get my daughter out of bed on a steamy summer Saturday evening and announce that it was ice cream time.
We’d head down to the local ice cream drive through (her still in her pajamas), put the top down on the convertible, and giggle while we had our favourite flavours.
You can also make some yummy summer treats at home!
Host a summer festival.
Most summer festivals, fairs, and concerts have been cancelled. If they aren’t already, they probably will be. So why not host a fun night for your family in the backyard?
You could set up a bunch of backyard activities and spend the day having a great time together. In fact, you could even let the kids (or the whole family!) put on their own show – a puppet show, a concert, or acting out a play.
PicassoTiles [Upgrade Version] KC102 12×10 Foot Inflatable Bouncer Jumping Bouncing House, Jump Slide, Dunk Playhouse w/ Basketball Rim, 4 Sports Balls, Full-Size Entry, 580W ETL Certified BlowerCostzon Inflatable Water Slide, 5-in-1 Pool Bouncer w/ Climbing Wall, Basketball Hoop, Pouring Sink, Water Cannon, Including Oxford Carry Bag, Repairing Kit, Stakes, Hose (Without Blower)JOYMOR Bounce House Inflatable Jumping Castle Splash Pool, Water Slide Bouncer Indoor/Outdoor Playhouse for Kids Party Gift w/ Air Blower ( Tank )Intex Dinosaur Inflatable Play Center, 98in X 75in X 43in, for Ages 2+
Some campgrounds are opening up again. If they’re following proper safety rules and you feel comfortable there, this could be a great way to have a summer vacation.
I’ll be honest. I’m still a bit uncomfortable with this idea (we’re high risk here so have to be extra cautious) but I do think there are some places with camping available that are spread out enough to be able to make it a safe experience if everyone follows the rules.
If you’re feeling uncomfortable about it too, then how about some backyard camping? Setting up a campsite in your own backyard may seem silly, but it really can be a lot of fun and truly feel like a getaway.
Camping essentials you might need:
Stansport Enamel Camping Tableware Set, 24-Piece, BlueColeman Camping Chair with 4 Can Cooler | Chair with Built In 4 Can Cooler, BlackColeman Camping Cot, Air Mattress & Pump Combo | Folding Cot with Side Tables, Air Bed & Battery Pump, QueenSleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad – Mat, (Large), Ultralight 14.5 OZ, Best Sleeping Pads for Backpacking, Hiking Air Mattress – Lightweight, Inflatable & Compact, Camp Sleep PadColeman Gas Camping Stove | Classic Propane Stove, 2 BurnerColeman 4-Person Cabin Tent with Instant Setup | Cabin Tent for Camping Sets Up in 60 SecondsColeman Camping Cot | Trailhead II Folding CotColeman 8-Person Tent for Camping | Montana Tent with Easy SetupAmazonBasics Waterproof Camping Tarp – 10 x 12 Feet, Dark GreenTiawudi 2 Pack Collapsible Sink with 2.25 Gal / 8.5L Each Wash Basin for Washing Dishes, Camping, Hiking and Home
So, how are you going to get your hygge on this summer?