Photo courtesy of Hydrangea Hill Cottage

The season of summer Fridays and slow afternoons is here, and we are excited to finally get around to all of the “must try” activities that have piled up in our Notes app. We’ve created the ultimate summer bucket list, which is a must read for anyone seeking fresh inspiration, new experiences, and a little culture in between glasses of rosé this season. The best part about these activities is that most of them can be done just about anywhere, and they’re budget-friendly. 🙂 For those of you with kiddos, many of these are great for the whole family to enjoy. And if your kids are taking off to summer camp or participating in daytime activities, be sure to take a moment to enjoy summer by trying one of the solo or date adventures (rather than tackle your to-do list!). Read on below and join us as we make it an official summer goal to cross off everything on this list!

Photo by Nicole Franzen Photography on flickr

1. Take a Cooking Class

When it comes to the kitchen, we find ourselves making the same familiar, trusted recipes on repeat. It’s been on our list to take a cooking class, not only for new recipes, but also to learn helpful technical skills like using a chef’s knife and chopping vegetables the proper way. This is the perfect activity for date night, or for a group of girlfriends. Check out class schedules at your local grocery stores or Sur La Table. If you’re based in Houston, we highly recommend taking a class from our friend and very talented chef Marcia Smart, founder of Smart in the Kitchen.

Photo courtesy of The New

2. Visit a Local Craft Brewery

It’s not new news that the craft beer scene has taken off in almost every city. Houston has quite a few that we have been meaning to check out, like Baileson Brewing which has an outdoor patio and rotating food truck vendors. We’re not beer experts by any means, but it’s always nice to support local businesses, and we like that breweries are typically a casual hangout spot ideal for large groups of friends and family.

Photo courtesy of Prep Polo & Champagne Tumblr

3. Spend a Day Getting Lost at the Museum

The summer is the perfect time of year to spend a day wandering around a museum. You get to soak up culture while escaping the heat — win win! Plus, it’s always fun to feel like a tourist in your own city.  This activity can be done solo, with a friend, or with little ones, which makes it a great go-to for a Saturday with no plans.

Photo courtesy of We Heart It

4. See an Independent Film

Another fantastic AC-filled activity is to see an independent or foreign film. Indie flicks are typically shown at smaller theaters which tend to feel more relaxed and intimate than going to see the latest blockbuster movie. This is a great date night activity, or even one to try solo if you’re feeling like breaking out of your comfort zone.

Photo from our backyard garden party

5. Host an Al Fresco Dinner

We love few things more than a gathering of our friends in our own backyard. Hosting a dinner in the summertime is best done with a laid back, “less is more” approach. String some bistro lights, put on a great playlist, and encourage guests to pour their own cocktails.

Photo from our backyard garden party

6. Bake a Pie from Scratch

Spending a quiet afternoon in our kitchen baking something sweet while listening to a Parisian cafe playlist and sipping on wine sounds fabulous. The problem is finding the time, but now with summer Fridays, we’re excited to use our work-free afternoons to finally put our KitchenAid mixer to use.

Photo courtesy of Copy Cat Chic

7. Have a Staycation

We love traveling, but sometimes a staycation in our own city is exactly what we need. Whether it’s staying at a new hotel in your hometown, or creating a staycation at home, a little R&R without having to travel can feel very luxurious and refreshing. A staycation is the perfect excuse to indulge in simple things we don’t usually take time for — bubble baths, reading by a pool, watching back to back rom-coms, and having a spa day.

Photo courtesy of Belletrist

8. Start a Book Club

There are so many books we can’t wait to dive into this summer. We’ve decided to tackle our summer reading list with friends by starting a book club. Add rosé and a cheese board, and book club is the perfect girls’ night out activity.

Photo courtesy of Hydrangea Hill Cottage

9. Picnic in the Park

Houston is home to multiple public green spaces, and before it gets too hot, we plan to take advantage of them by getting friends together for a picnic. Picnics are the perfect family-friendly activity — kids can run around while the grown ups enjoy catching up, reading magazines, playing frisbee, etc.

Photo courtesy of Noah Sahady

12. Take a Road Trip

Road trips remind us of the good old days before Netflix and iPhones when we would bond with family members over “I Spy” and card games. We recently created a Texas summer travel bucket list, and we are so excited to hit the road and visit beautiful places in our own state.


Do you have a summer bucket list? Share what’s on yours in the comments below! xo

*Today’s post is by HoH team member Kathryn Worsham Humphries. After working in PR and marketing in New York for nearly 5 years, Kathryn followed her Texas roots home to Houston. As a House of Harper team member, Kathryn creates original content, facilitates brand partnerships, and works alongside Caroline to strategize the HoH marketing and editorial calendars. Outside of work she can be found decorating her Houston Heights bungalow house, practicing the art of hygge, and planning trips that revolve around food. She will happily create a dining itinerary for anyone traveling to either New York or Houston.