Five Ways to Spark Summer Lovin’

It’s summertime and a great opportunity to get up and out to explore the world. Summer naturally tends to lead to more mobility and motivation for people, if for no other reason than they have time off. As the temperatures rise, now is the time to spread a little of that sunshine to your relationships.

As an adult who has completed all of my educational endeavors, I miss the excitement that summer breaks once had. Now it’s a season that tends to blend in with the rest of the year whereas it used to be the freedom you yearned for all year long. While I may not get that long period of relaxation built into my year anymore, I am not giving up on summer fun. In fact, as I find myself craving the excitement of summers past, I have decided to be intentional about making the current sunshine season unforgettably amusing, and I would encourage you to do the same through the five following ideas for summer lovin’.

1. Camping

Camping is the perfect way to enjoy the benefits of summer without the distractions of life. My husband and I went camping a couple of summers ago, and we loved every second of it. While I cherish the comforts of my home, there was something very exciting and invigorating about going outside of our comfort zone to enjoy a weekend under the stars. Between the nightly campfires complete with s’mores and guitar serenades from my husband, hikes along the beach, and star-gazing while talking about anything and everything, it was a delightful trip that we will never forget.

I am well aware that not everyone is cut out for camping, but it is still an activity I would highly recommend everyone try at least once. If you still aren’t convinced, then I do have another option for the less outdoorsy person: cash in your tent for a hotel room. Commit to shutting off the TV, computers, and phones. Unplug completely. If you have a balcony, use it for some of the same starry night allure of a campsite. Bring along some of the same fare you would have camping like hot dogs, s’mores, and hamburgers. It’s definitely cheating, but something is better than nothing.

2. Trip

Nothing says summer like a little trip somewhere fun. If you can, take a weeklong vacation somewhere you and your spouse have been talking about going to. If you are a little low on vacation time or funding, opt for a mini-vacation for the weekend. Pick somewhere close by that you’ve neglected visiting because it’s so close. Pretend that you are from out of town and came a long way to visit that particular spot. Wherever you choose to go, make it a fun getaway from the craziness of life.

Trips can be the perfect way to refuel from the daily grind and rekindle the love and romance between you and your spouse. Make sure you choose a place that you both want to go to, and no matter where it is, choose at least one splurge for the weekend as a special treat for the two of you. That could mean you go out for an extra nice dinner, or it could be a spa day for two. Just enjoy one another’s company in a new and exciting place.

3. Walks

Looking for a more affordable way to bask in the summer glow? Take a walk. Walks are the ultimate way to get some quality time with your special someone while enjoying the warmth of a summer day or night. Plus, there is always the added health benefit of a walk.

Walks are the most underrated activity if you ask me. They are the perfect combination of being outside, enjoying God’s creation, getting some exercise, and benefiting from some undistracted quality time with your guest of honor. If that’s not enough, it’s the ideal opportunity to walk hand-in-hand with your honey. Take a stroll around your neighborhood, find a local park, or hop on a scenic trail nearby. Walking is something you can do anywhere and anytime, so make sure to take advantage of it this summer with your sweetheart.

4. Ice Cream Run

I scream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream.

It’s hot outside, and an ice cream run is the perfect (and necessary) way to cool down. Unlock your inner child, or pretend you’re living in the 50’s when soda fountains were the place to be. Wherever your imagination runs to, have some fun with your ice cream run.

Watching your weight? I feel ya. Instead of an ice cream run, go for a frozen yogurt run. Frozen yogurt is the fat-free, low calorie option that will leave you with less guilt and allow you to savor your frozen indulgence. Another option is to combine a walk with the ice cream run. Work off a few calories, and then reward yourself with a sweet treat. It’s a win/win.

5. Picnic

Picnics are such a simple and inexpensive way to seize summer moments. Whip up a couple of sandwiches, pack some fruit, grab a few drinks, take a few basic utensils and necessities, and voila – you have a picnic. While you’re at it, bring a blanket with you to sit on. You can picnic in your backyard, a park, the beach, or just a patch of grass you saw somewhere around town.

Turn your phones on silent, and relish some quality time with your other half on a blanket in the sun with some nibbles to taste. Effortless, scenic, and romantic, it’s the great way to spend a day in the sun with the one you love.

Summer is such a spectacular season. Its long days and warm nights are ideal for squeezing out some extra time to plan various special excursions, activities, and moments with the people you love. Its sunshine beckons you to envelope yourself in its warmth. Its starry nights command your attention. It’s unique, idyllic, and a great way to inspire you to step out of your ordinary routine and benefit from all it has to offer.

Do you have any fun summer plans or ideas?


Ashley McIlwain, M.A., is a Marriage and Family Therapist, speaker, and writer. She is the founder and C.E.O. of the non-profit organization, Foundation Restoration, and blog, which are comprehensive resources committed to restoring the very foundation of society - marriage. She is committed to and passionate about helping relationships thrive. Ashley holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Palm Beach Atlantic University and a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy from Azusa Pacific University. Ashley previously served as Managing Editor for where she helped launch and develop the website into a hub for premarital preparation. Currently she and her husband, Steve, reside in Southern California.

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