10 Summer Challenges To Last You Every Week Through Labor Day

Illustration by Janet Sung.
Summer technically lasts a mere 93 days — a handful of which you’ll inevitably lose to rain, weddings, family events, and all those shows you just have to binge. Plus, we can all agree that it’s really over once Labor Day arrives and Summer Fridays are a thing of the past.
To help you make the most of your precious time this summer, we teamed up with Halo Top® to bring you 10 outside-the-box seasonal challenges to last you every week until Labor Day hits — from solo travel to an ice-cream potluck. Click through to get started ASAP.
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Illustration by Janet Sung.
Make a summer reading bucket list.

There was a time when the words “summer reading” inspired dread in the hearts of all young students. But now, you’re the boss. Get some friends to hold you accountable, and piece together a literary bucket list for the summer. Add some dense titles you keep meaning to pick your way through, treat yourself to some beach reads, and hit the middle mark with some of this year’s best new fiction and nonfiction. To mix it up, opt for all female authors or writers of color. It’s time to give your brain the summer workout it’s been craving and reclaim the “summer reading list” from nagging high-school English teachers once and for all.
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Illustration by Janet Sung.
Go screen-free for a full weekend day.

Commit yourself to one full weekend day spent screenless — no phones, no computers, no tablets, no TVs. Talk out loud to other human beings, breathe fresh air, soak up some sun, and rest assured that all the while, there will be nothing more interesting happening on your phone. Compete with friends to see how long you’ll last, be sure to make your plans ahead of time (how old-fashioned!), and see if your food tastes just as good without the Instagrams.
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Illustration by Janet Sung.
Throw an ice-cream potluck.

While a BBQ is a perfectly fine way to spend a summer afternoon, a full-on dessert party is far more fun. Challenge your friends to pull together as many Halo Top® flavors as possible (we’re talking 25 dairy options and 14 non-dairy options), stock up on some toppings, and see who can build the most outlandish sundae of them all. Be sure to lean into the seasonal flavors — Peaches and Cream won’t be around forever.
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Illustration by Janet Sung.
Make (and distribute) a single-page zine.

Handmade zines are a great way to express yourself creatively. Take a cue from some of the hippest self-published zines out there (Repro Rights Zine, Stranger Than Bushwick), pick something that inspires your crew, and get to it. Whether you choose to focus on a cause, a cultural phenomenon, or another creative pursuit, it’ll be a physical ode to a topic or an art form that inspires you. Write some copy, create some illustrations to match, and learn how to lay out and fold your mag on just a single page. Then make some photocopies, throw a zine-folding party, and get to work distributing your indie pub all over town.
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Illustration by Janet Sung.
Try a new outdoor activity.

Air conditioning is a beautiful thing — especially when the temperature outside is upwards of 90 — but that doesn’t mean you should squander your whole summer in front of it. Dedicate a week of summer (or more) to trying a new outdoor activity — whether it's surfing or axe throwing.
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Illustration by Janet Sung.
Try living waste free for a week.

It’s not easy to abstain from plastic packaging — your favorite iced tea, those cotton swabs, that salad container — but if you can swing it for even just a few days, the Earth will thank you profusely. It’s summer, so fresh produce is at its finest, meaning there’s no need to order in or snack on things that come in individually wrapped baggies. Stock up on tupperware and try your hand at meal prep, use one of your 96 tote bags for groceries, and drink from a reusable coffee mug. Keep a journal to help you stay on track.
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Illustration by Janet Sung.
Throw a seasonal produce party (with a fruit-print dress code).

Instate a BYO-produce rule for your next dinner party, and throw the most colorful event of all. Load your kitchen with fresh tomatoes, blueberries, cucumbers, and nectarines, and marvel at how beautiful it all looks arranged on a countertop. Roast veggies, toss salads, slice berries, and mix together fruity cocktails: It’ll be a healthy and indulgent feast, all at once. And to cap off the whole aesthetic, give your soiree a suggested dress code: fruit prints only.
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Illustration by Janet Sung.
Shoot and develop a full disposable camera over the course of a week.

With the aid of the mysterious, all-powerful cloud, your phone camera will never run out of memory — but what if you only had 26 pictures available to you throughout the course of a whole week? Carry a disposable camera around for seven full days and see what inspires you, whether you’re embarking on a multiday camping trip or just recording a series of daily activities. Take note of how much of your week you can capture with such a limited supply of film. Once your seven days are up, send it off to get developed. Reminiscing while you flip through actual photos will be way more satisfying than scrolling through a phone screen.
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Illustration by Janet Sung.
Master a new seasonal cocktail (and invite your friends over to drink it).

Save yourself the $18 craft cocktail fee, pick a seasonal recipe, and learn how to make it at home — bonus points if you can nail a cocktail shaker toss. Once you’ve mastered your drink, invite some friends over to watch you do your thang (and then drink your thang, of course).
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Illustration by Janet Sung.
Go on a spontaneous solo adventure.

Skip out on the complicated Venmo tabs and stressful scheduling that accompany traveling with friends, and book a last-minute train or bus to a nearby city you’ve always wanted to explore. Or, if you can’t make it that far, try out a new neighborhood on foot. Summer is all about refurbishing the social life you abandoned when it was cold out, but it’s important to take just a little bit of time for yourself along the way.

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