How to eke out more summer

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Don’t say goodbye to the season just yet. Late summer can be the best time to get outside.

American culture seems to treat Labor Day as the official end of summer. It isn’t, really, as the Summer season ends at sunset on Sept. 20. While it’s common to treat the beginning of the school semester as the start of Fall, you can eke out some more summer experiences with the family in these next few weeks. Keeping up with a few summer standards will help everyone transition into the new routines.

The best part of late summer is the less-intense heat. Temperatures in most eastern seaboard areas wane a bit in September, making outdoor activities a lot more accessible and enjoyable. Talk to an expert about keeping your pool ready-to-go after Labor Day, because after-school and early evening swims are great stress-busters. No pool? No problem: sprinklers and slides are great fun, too. The hottest part of the day is 3 p.m., right around when school lets out. Make sure the sprinklers and water toys are within easy reach for kids and caregivers. You’ll want them to take advantage of that sun as we’ll be “falling back” before you know it. Take advantage of the beginning of the school year when homework is still light.

Your patio, outdoor kitchen and Hardscape will also get a lot more use if you make a habit of moving activities to outdoor rooms. We’ve spent the summer in air conditioning, but it is time to switch scenes and sit outside. Getting a wifi-booster for your outdoor rooms will ease this endeavor, especially for those with teens.

Family activities on the weekends oftentimes revolve around sports, but if you get a day with nothing on the schedule, late summer is when apple picking starts in some areas. If you aren’t by orchards, check out farmers markets, flea markets or find a restaurant with outdoor seating for Sunday brunch. Or host a brunch on the patio; Get a box of coffee and supplies from your local doughnut shop or cafe and have everyone bring a dish.

Outdoor concerts continue into September. Small local music events are relaxing ways to get outside and support the arts in your community. Bigger venues with lawn seating book summer music festivals until summer’s end and beyond. What’s more “summer” than chilling on a blanket, listening to live music? Outdoor movies are another way to enjoy the summer nights.

Any shore denizens will tell you - September is the best time at the beach. The water and weather is still warm but the beaches are clear of the typical summer tourists. Think about a weekend jaunt if you find a weekend clear of obligations.

No need to pack up the season just yet. Late summer still offers lots of fun in the sun. Get out there and enjoy.