For high school and college students, summertime is associated with jobs and internships, extra classes and test preparation, as everyone scrambles to get ahead of the curve. As we grow older, we often forget the magic of summer, where no school meant hours of free time to explore your surroundings and enjoy everything that life has to offer. Here are some fun, quintessentially summer activities you can indulge in in between working a 9-5 and studying for the LSAT:
Catch an outdoor movie
During the sweltering summer months, everyone flocks to the movie theater for the chance to sit in a dark, air-conditioned room for a couple hours. Instead, avoid the crowds and catch your favorite flick once the sun goes down at an outdoor screening. Rooftop Cinema Club screens fan favorites atop skyscrapers in Hollywood and downtown L.A.; Street Food Cinema brings together food trucks and classic movies. Or, if you’re looking for more of an old-timey experience, Paramount Drive-In Theatres or Vineland Drive-In allow you to munch on popcorn and cuddle while watching a film in the comfort of your own car.
Hitting the beach and playing in the waves is fun, until a particularly large one knocks you over and you have to drag yourself, sputtering, out of the water with seaweed in your hair. Instead, go exploring during the low tide and discover the sea creatures that lurk just beneath the surface. Poke a sea anemone and watch its tentacles unfurl in, or let a tiny hermit crab scuttle across your palm — you never know what you might find. Leo Carrillo State Park in Malibu, Calif. and Golden Cove Beach in Palos Verdes, Calif. are home to stunning ocean life.
Pick your own fruit
There’s nothing like biting into a ripe, juicy strawberry freshly plucked off the vine — and then bringing home a whole basketful for later. Summer is a time of abundance, as strawberries, raspberries, cherries, watermelons and more all come into season. Hitch a wagon ride through the fields at Tanaka Farms in Irvine, Calif., or give the “olallieberry,” a blackberry-raspberry hybrid, a try at Underwood Family Farms in Ventura County.
Have fun at the fair
County fairs are a summertime staple; there’s nothing like trying your luck at the rigged ring toss at the carnival to characterize the adolescent experience. Feel free to indulge in a plate of funnel cake, but only after you’ve ridden the rollercoaster. The Orange County Fair runs from Jul. 13 to Aug. 12. and the Los Angeles County Fair takes place between Aug. 31 and Sept. 23.