Summer is a time of bright colors, cookouts, and outdoor fun. Children are out of school, resulting in altered work schedules or extended vacations for many people. Beaches fill with colorful umbrellas, national parks fill with outdoorsy tourists, and grills are fired up for cookouts all across the nation. However, all good things must come to an end. Although the children will have to go back to school and the days will begin to get shorter, there is no reason to give up everything you love about summer all at once. Consider these four ways to hold on to the sunny, carefree feeling of summer.

Entertain Outdoors

Night may be falling earlier and earlier, but that doesn’t mean you have to go inside. Cooler nights are a perfect excuse to light a fire. Make sure your outdoor space is well lit so that gatherings can go on even after the sun goes down. Use tiki torches to provide light and keep mosquitos away, or build a fire pit to serve as a centerpiece for your group—not only do they provide warmth and light, but they’re also a great place to roast marshmallows. As long as your yard is lit, you can continue with those fun summer activities like bocce ball and croquet.

Eat Like It’s Summer

a jug and glass of lemonadeAs long as you can get your hands on them, certain foods will always bring to mind the warmest season. Whether it’s refreshing summer drinks made with real fruit or delicious, saucy barbecue right off the grill, the foods you consume can bring back memories of the best parts of summer. Look to farmers’ markets for fresh fruits and vegetables directly from local growers, or better yet, plant your own garden. Foods you’ve enjoyed all summer long, like tomatoes and cucumbers, will grow well into the fall, and you can begin planting hardier vegetables for the cooler months as well. Reference the Old Farmer’s Almanac or check out our infographic to learn what to plant in the fall.

Plant for Longevity

Planting for a beautiful show of flowers in your garden at the beginning of the summer is common, but did you know that there are flowers that bloom in the later part of the summer? Extend your garden’s gorgeous colors by investigating late-blooming annuals in your region. Some perennials will bloom continually if maintained well, such as lilacs and rose bushes. With the right combination of flowers, your garden will continue blooming into the fall, maintaining those vibrant colors so often associated with summer.

Book One Last Vacation

a tropical beach landscapeSummer may be ending where you are, but in some parts of the world, the heat and sunshine are year round. Consider booking a tropical vacation or a cruise to somewhere warm and sunny when your own hometown’s climate has lost those summery traits. Take a road trip south on either US coast, and you’ll find sandy beaches and rolling waves. Bargain hunters can even find great deals on cruise fares to get a relaxing trip to the Caribbean before the winter sets in.