It’s been a long time since any of us had fun. And by that we mean the screen-free, spontaneous, uninhibited fun of the Before Times—the kind associated with blasting music with the car windows down, cannonballing into the hotel pool, or dancing with strangers until the sun rises. But with the ongoing vaccine rollout continuing across the U.S., the summer of 2021 is shaping up to be one packed with a renewed sense of hope, celebration, and, well, a good dose of normality. 

In anticipation of the months ahead, we’ve put together a list of 101 ways to have fun this summer—everything from trying out roller skating or taking up surf lessons for the first time, to glamping under the stars and using all those points and miles to finally leave the country in search of someplace new again. (One thing you won’t see? A single virtual event.) We hope it not only helps you feel even more inspired about planning your summer, but gives you license to get excited about the future once again.

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Spend as much time outside as possible

1. Plan elaborate park picnicsADVERTISEMENT

2. See live music again

3. Catch a movie at the drive-in 

101 Things We Want to Do This Summer Drive In
Drive-in theaters saw a renewed popularity last summer—and it shows no sign of waning. Thomas Hawk/Flickr

4. Host a backyard barbecue

5. Wear sunscreen everyday

6. Seek out the country’s best swimming holes

7. Get into bird watching

Eat and drink somewhere other than your kitchen

8. Experience a city through its food tours 

9. Dine inside one of the world’s best new restaurants

10. Support your local Chinatown

11. Discover—and celebrate—America’s many food cultures

B  G Oysters Seafood Restaurant Boston MA
One thing you probably didn’t eat in quarantine? Freshly shucked oysters. Brian Samuels

WATCHThis American Has Visited Every Country in the World

12. Feast on Texas barbecue

13. Hop on the tinned fish trend—the ultimate picnic staple

14. Attend a fabulous French dinner party

15. Book a vineyard tour in wine country

16. Drink a cold beer inside your favorite dive bar

17. Impress your friends by whipping up some Italian cocktails at your vacation rental

18. …Or order one from a trained bartender

19. Go to happy hour on a rooftop

20. Drink rum on the beach

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