what to do this summer

Photo: Joyce Lee

4 of 7
15. Find Your Personal Polynesian Heaven (Rainy Day-Approved!)

Drinking rum and curaçao out of a mug-size Easter Island head is the reason warm weather was created, but tiki culture is becoming harder to find. Need a mai tai immediately? Visit critiki.com for a map of island-inspired bars and restaurants, each graded on drink quality, atmosphere, and essential "tikiness."

16. Win at the Cookout

No one does charred hot dogs and juicy hamburgers better than April Bloomfield, a James Beard Award–winning chef and co-owner of New York City's Salvation Burger. Here are her five tips for Grade A grilling.

17. Off-Load Yard Work

Behold Worx Landroid, a robot that mows your lawn for you. Let it go to work while you watch from the hammock. ($999; worx.com)

18. Welcome the Season

There's always one special moment when you know for sure that summer has arrived. While you wait for yours, we asked readers to share theirs:

"When the wild flowers bloom, the Southern California grass is no longer brown on the hillsides, and my kid suddenly seems three inches taller."
Deena DeBoer, Newbury Park, California

"The first day I don't have to wear a jacket. When I feel the warmth of the sun on my skin, I try to soak up as much vitamin D as possible."
Renayle Fink, Willowbrook, Illinois

"When my students begin to care less about prepositional phrases and more about gazing out the window."
Randi McCreary, Kansas City, Missouri

"When the grill comes out. Nothing better than grilled corn on the cob. No butter or salt needed."
Marilyn Jess, North Bennington, Vermont

"When I hear my grandchildren squealing like pigs and splashing like ducks in the pool!"
Billye Moutra, Missouri City, Texas

"When I have the irresistible urge to dip my feet in the ocean. The warm sand, the crashing of the waves—it makes me feel so alive."
Rebecca Hill, Los Angeles

19. Be a Cornhole Champion

Warning: While this surprisingly entertaining lawn game is pretty straightforward (you try to throw a bean bag through a hole), it can lead to intense backyard battles. Professional cornhole player Eric Hinerman, spokesman for the American Cornhole Organization (yes, it's a thing!), shares his secrets for winning:

Perfect your stroke. "Keep your elbow locked and your arm close to your body when you swing it forward," says Hinerman. "Release the bag at about eye level—most people make the mistake of shooting too low."

Don't chuck the bag. You want the bag to fly as flat as possible, so it lands—and stays—on the board instead of bouncing off.

Aim low. The rotation and momentum from your swing should be enough for the bag to slide the rest of the way and into the hole.

20. Let Your Frizz Flag Fly

"For those of us with frizzy hair, 'tis best to shrink from humid air." If that's not a saying, it should be. I've spent more than 40 years greeting every muggy morning with antihumectants, smoothing creams, flatirons, and, finally, baseball caps. But it's as stubborn as a toddler, my hair—and like every wise parent, I've realized I have to pick my battles. Life is short, and beach season is fleeting. There's no time for complaining when all I want is to exult in the gifts of warmth and sun. Here, then, is my best cure for summer frizzies: Let your hair be, and jump boldly into the water, come what may.
—Deborah Vlock, who's been fighting frizz since 1975

21. (Un-)Required Reading

Get swept away by one of these three juicy reads.