Summer activity guide for Wichita-area teens

Amity Bruns, Beaver Crossing, Neb., rides her horse, Zip, along one of Kanopolis State Park’s 26 miles of equestrian trails.
Amity Bruns, Beaver Crossing, Neb., rides her horse, Zip, along one of Kanopolis State Park’s 26 miles of equestrian trails. File photo

It’s finally here: the time of year for sleeping in, lounging in your PJ’s all day, and kickin’ back in front of the TV.

But, let’s be honest, that gets boring pretty quickly. Tired of the same old same old? Here are suggestions from the Eagle’s TeenTalk board to keep you entertained this summer:

Get active

Ride a bike along the river – There’s a path that goes all the way along the river with no traffic interruptions for those of us who hate waiting on lights.

Go horseback riding – You may even know someone who would let you saddle up their pony, if not there are various places around the area to take lessons.

Go camping – At the lake or in your backyard. Dig out the old tent and sleeping bag and make an evening of it.

Hold a scavenger hunt – Make a list of odd places and things around town, print off a few copies and hand them out to your group of friends who have broken themselves up into teams. Have a prize for the team who completes the list first.

Get hungry

Have a picnic – With a partner or a group, plan a simple meal of sandwiches, fruit, and lemonade. Pack a blanket and plates, glasses and silverware and hike to the nearest green-and-grassy location for a meal under the summer sun.

Host a potluck, barbeque or luau – Invite your friends and their families to a potluck. You provide the location; they’ll help provide the courses, drinks, accessories and company.

Go restaurant hopping – Gather a group of friends and have each list a restaurant they want to try. Go to each of these restaurants, ordering a few items to share. This way, you get to try a lot of new places and dishes, while spending little and avoiding a full tummy too soon.

Make homemade desserts: Homemade ice cream is simply delightful. You can also try making brownies, pies and cakes from scratch. The Internet is the best place to find the latest and greatest recipes.

Get charitable

Volunteer – Check out local hospitals, churches and animal shelters. Talk to them about what it takes to become a volunteer and get into it.

Organize a carwash or lemonade stand for charity – Be sure to check with local officials about holding a larger event. Get the word out through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and give back to a local, worthy cause.

Donate blood – For those who aren’t afraid of needles and blood, and even those who are, consider donating blood this summer. This past winter has been filled with harsh weather that has canceled many blood drives, causing a shortage in stored blood. One donation can save up to three people’s lives.

Get exploratory

Documentaries – Available on Netflix or the Web, documentaries are an easy way to learn about a new topic.

Take a cooking class – Take a class at places like YMCA and learn new skills that may be helpful in the future. Wouldn’t it be a nice treat for your parents, too?

Binge watch a TV show – Find a new show on Netflix, HBO, or online, and watch it. All day. Hopefully, you’ll find it inspiring and interesting, or at least entertainingly bad. Next on my list is “Game of Thrones.”

Take an art class – Available at places such as The Art Park and Let’s Paint, art classes are a great way to discover or expand your skill, passion and technique. Create the next masterpiece, even if it’s just for your proud mom.

Start a book list – Go to Barnes & Noble and ask for book suggestions. Similar lists can be found, in infinite quantities, online. Create a list of to-reads, enjoy them, then keep track of them to share your suggestions with others.

Start a blog – And here’s where you can share all your summer adventures. You can also share your thoughts, insights and opinions on subjects; laugh at funny cat GIFs; or comment on the newest invention in the world of green housing.

Go stargazing – Grab a blanket and get away from the city lights in a nearby park. You can also download an app on your cellphone or tablet that shows you constellations as you point your device in all directions. Nothing’s more fun than realizing how finite and trivial your problems are compared to million-year-old stars that are still burning bright enough for you to see light years away.

Tie-dyeing – Head over to Hobby Lobby – they have a 40 percent discount on their app – and buy supplies for tie-dyeing. It’s extremely fun, but can be messy. Be sure to do it in the grass, wear old clothing that can get splattered and wear gloves.

So there are just a few ideas of what you can do one the days when you’re tired of doing the same old summer routine. No matter what, make the best of your summer and enjoy no school while you can.