When July comes along, two thoughts immediately come to mind. First, I mentally complain about how hot it is already. Ugh. Second, I remember with amazement that we’re already halfway through the year! Alongside checking in on our 2023 vision boards and intentions, the sunshine seekers among us are out making the most of the longer days (when the temps dip down into double-digits, of course). When it comes to building a bucket list full of things to do in July, what resonates with one summer persona may not jive with another. Some of us are beach bums, others are adventurers, and plenty of us simply enjoy a refreshing beverage poolside. But you’re in luck, this list of things to do in July has something for everyone.
Featured image by Michelle Nash.
31 Things to Do in July to Make Every Day Count
Say it with me: I will not less this summer pass me by without a dip in the pool. Or ocean. Or any body of water you can find. (Slip and slides count!) Hiking, biking, and lazing about—however you choose to unwind, summer’s the season for it. And July’s the time to set the tone for the rest of the year to come.
So take this month day by day with the bucket list below. I have a feeling that by the time August comes around, we’ll all be riding our summertime groove.
1. Check in with your goals. Because we’re six months in and have six months to go of 2023, there’s never a better time to reflect on the goals you set at the beginning of the year. What still resonates? Are there intentions you can let go of? Reframe and reset—and take this second half by storm.
2. Invite friends over for a blind taste test. Y’all know we love a good blind taste test. We’ve tried everything from the best vanilla ice creams to pizza crusts to pancake mix. Now it’s your turn. Have some friends over, bake a few of your favorite sweets, and have everyone vote on their favorites. You can also do a blind taste test with something store-bought and something homemade to see if you can really taste a difference.
3. Cook a meal entirely outside. Even if you’re not a grill master, you can still cook a delicious dinner outside with these meals that were made for a picnic. If you can stand the heat and mosquitos long enough, set a pretty table and enjoy the meal outdoors as well.
4. Celebrate the Fourth of July. Hit up your town’s parade, have friends over for a casual (but celebratory) meal, or spend the day on the lake. Kick back, relax, and enjoy your day off.
5. Try out a new hairstyle. Summer is a great time to experiment with new looks. Try out Camille’s easy tricks to perfect her breezy, beachy waves.
6. Sleep. Use the month of July to catch up on rest before summer is over. Try taking naps, shoot for eight hours of sleep every night, and fill your fridge with these best foods for a restful night’s sleep.
7. Have an intentional date night. While we love putting on a show and having a cozy night in with our S.O., 2023 is all about experiencing more novelty. These 50 questions are designed to help you explore new questions and learn more about your partner.
8. Plan your outdoor space. Camille’s Mediterranean-style landscaping has inspired us all to make the most of the patio weather. Make your Pinterest dreams come true with these backyard landscaping ideas full of tips to fit any space.
9. Re-start your favorite book. While I’m all about picking up the best new read, sometimes there’s nothing more comforting than rereading your favorite books. There’s no pressure to focus too hard, no big commitments to make—just pure pleasure. Whatever book you can picture yourself curling up with for hours without pause, that’s the one to read. Head to the library, a bookstore, or your Libby app and make it happen.
10. Go night swimming. Some of my favorite childhood memories involve family night swims at the lake. Take the leap (literally) and night swim at home this July.
11. Get your steps in. During the pandemic, my daily walks during the workday were my saving grace. Now that I know the simple beauty of a couple of daily walks, I can’t get enough. Prioritize at least a stroll around your neighborhood. Who knows, when the weather’s nice, you’ll likely be tempted to keep going.
12. Plan a road trip. The best part about road trips is that you barely need to plan in advance, especially if you’re only taking a day trip, so you have no excuse not to. Follow these expert tips on planning the ultimate road trip.
14. Spruce up your garden (or start one). Gardening is a great way to spend some time in the sun. Plant something new if you already have a garden going, or finally start one if you haven’t yet. Camille has grown her green thumb and can’t get enough. Steal her gardening tips and get growing!
15. Go strawberry picking. Take advantage of strawberry season! There’s nothing better than getting up early, beating the crowds, and heading home with baskets of fresh fruit. And of course, you have to make a sweet strawberry treat with your pickings.
16. Celebrate National Ice Cream Day. What better way to cool down than with ice cream? Grab a few pints of the best vanilla ice creams, try out one of these healthy ice cream recipes, or just grab a spoon and a bowl and celebrate by yourself.
17. Stargaze. Go stargazing on vacation, while camping out, or in your backyard. Download a free app like SkyView Lite to identify all of the stars and constellations you find. Keep your eyes peeled for shooting stars, too.
18. Read up on cycle syncing. I’ve only just started learning about cycle syncing and I’m already blown away. Dive into the what and the why of eating to support all phases of your cycle, cycle-syncing workouts, and how to harness the power of cycle-syncing for your skin.
19. Visit an aquarium. When the weather’s hot, I’m either in a lake or staying cool somewhere that has AC. In the latter case, a museum or an aquarium will always win out. If there isn’t one in your area, explore the deep sea with this scrollable illustration. It’s seriously addicting.
20. Have a picnic. Prep and pack your favorite picnic recipes, whip up a pitcher of iced tea, and pick a spot that’s perfect for staying awhile. Is there any better way to spend a summer Thursday evening?
21. Go to an outdoor concert. Most cities and larger towns host outdoor music events throughout the summer. Do a little research, come out to support local bands, and bring the aforementioned picnic.
22. Attend a block party. Bring some food and stop by. There’s no better way to get to know your neighbors.
23. Clean out your closet. If you’re looking for productive things to do in July, try cleaning out your closet. You probably feel like you just finished spring cleaning, but now is the perfect time to sell or donate the summer clothes from last season you never ended up wearing. And you can always reorganize to make room for the upcoming summer sales.
24. Take a family bike ride. My family just bought two electric bikes and I could not be more excited to go home and try them out. Pack a picnic and stop somewhere scenic for lunch along the way. (That’s right, everything is just an excuse for a picnic.)
25. Make a seasonal bouquet. Whether you’re headed to Trader Joe’s or you visit your favorite local florist, pick a few different blooms and craft an arrangement that’ll brighten up your home. Bonus points if you make an extra one to share with a friend.
26. Find a local farmer’s market and cook dinner with what you buy. If you’re wondering what to do in July with all of summer’s finest foods, check out our guide to what’s in season. Support local vendors by visiting your nearest farmer’s market and making a meal with what you find.
27. Go to a baseball game. Nothing screams summer quite like baseball and hot dogs. I just went to a Cubs game and while I wouldn’t call myself the biggest baseball fan, I had the best time getting outside and feeling the energy of the game.
28. Get on the water. Grab a paddle board, take a surfing lesson, or head out on a boat. However, you enjoy the water, don’t be afraid to get your hair wet.
29. Have a 90s movie marathon when it’s too hot outside. Let’s face it: even though summers should be spent outside, sometimes it’s just too damn hot. Invite your friends over or cozy up in bed and have a 90s movie marathon to escape the heat and relax.
30. Go wine tasting. It’s the ultimate Sunday girls’ day. Gather a few friends or invite other couples if you’d like to go with your partner. And if there are no wineries nearby, visit a wine bar or local brewery and keep your tasting close to home.
31. Reflect on the month and make new goals for August. Look back on all that this month brought into your life. Did you meet new people? Experience new opportunities? Learn new things? In your journal, share what went well and what you would have liked to happen differently this month. Then, take that positive energy and channel it into an amazing August ahead.
This post was originally published on July 1, 2021, and has since been updated.