bye-summer2AA

With summer winding down, we will soon have to start throwing on jackets and sweaters instead of shorts and tank-tops, trading refreshing beer and gin for comforting red wine and warming whiskies, and replacing take-out and salads with hearty home-cooked meals and, er, take-out. The skies will soon become gray and darkness will make itself known earlier than you can comprehend, so now is the time you must do they summer must dos that you haven’t gotten around to yet.

Food and Drink

Let’s face it, nobody wants to stand around in the rain and snow so food festivals are a summer staple. Touring ice cream festivals are a real thing and who are you to argue with such deliciously-flavored madness? Seaside states have their requisite seafood extravaganzas that you’d be crazy to miss. Likewise, BBQ especially goes down a treat on warm day with a cold beer and there are plenty of them traveling around the country with professionals and their big smokers and bigger flavors. Why not check out a winery, too? Just make sure you have a designated driver.

While sometimes there’s simply nothing better than a cold, refreshing beer, summer is also the time to experience with cocktails. Yes, they can be sweet and fruity, and, yes, they can be overly elaborate and complicated and have weird names that don’t sound at all appealing (for instance, who would want to order a cocktail with a name that references Hitler?). But there’s nothing quite like sipping on a cocktail – like, for instance, the Belmont Stakes, an intoxicating (in more ways than one) mix of bourbon, lemonade and pomegranate juice — at a rooftop bar overlooking an ocean of city lights where hopefully a cool breeze high above the city can cool you down from the pavement-sweltering heat below.

Speaking of roof-tops… well, those of you lucky enough to have access to a rooftop, that is. If you do, then you simply cannot let the season go by without inviting your friends over for a night of outdoor entertainment. It’s clichéd, but there’s something wonderfully enticing about stepping out onto a rooftop surrounded by good people, good food, some tacky but appealing string lights and, perhaps most importantly of all, a very extensive cart of alcoholic spirits. Just don’t go falling off, okay. That would not be good for anyone. Especially you.

See the Country

Driving in the rain and snow is dangerous. You know this. I know this. We all know this. And while it is a necessary burden we have to bear most of the time, it’s not one that we should be indulging in for large chunks at a time. So use these final sunny days to take that that trip — whether it’s just upstate or across the entire country. Stop by those blissfully nostalgic, often flamboyantly-odd attractions and diners while marveling at the beautiful countryside. Find a lake and go skinny-dipping or swing from a rope like a clichéd summer movie. Take super-soakers and have a water-fight. Buy delicious fruit and berries at roadside stalls. If you time it just right you might get to see it turn into the fall, which makes for one hell of an end to summer.

Maybe this road trip could take you to a part of the country where themes parks are open from Memorial Day to Labor Day outside the big city limits. Ride the ramshackle rides and eat the over-priced sugar-based foods while reliving your teenage youth. Even if you’re only experiencing it for the first time, there’s something quaintly entertaining about the old school charm of a theme park. Boardwalks are fine substitutes. Hell, even New York’s Coney Island with its mix of the old (The Cyclone) and the new (The Thunderbolt, which goes up and down at 90 degree angles) has its charms.

Mind and Body

Go have a picnic in the park. Just go. Even if your only company is a book and the sun (preferably so, even), you’ve probably forgotten how relaxing it is to just, well, relax and do nothing surrounded by nature. Better to do it now before that grass becomes brown and snow falls inches thick. Likewise, the beach is the sort of place that you only realize you miss after the weather gets too rough for a day of sand and waves. Again, bring a book and soak up the sun.

If you’ve ever had the desire to go bungee jumping, sky diving, rock climbing or hiking then now is the time. The views will be unbeatable and you won’t be feel quite as bad for having ignored your gym membership for the last few months. Speaking of which, if you haven’t already maybe your last summer goal could be to actually join a gym. It’s never too early to start getting into tip-top shape for next summer and why not start now? A year of hard work and you’ll never want to put on clothes in 9 months’ time.

Lastly, there can something be nothing quite as comforting as indulging your funny bones and checking out a movie. And in summer there are plenty of unique film-going experiences popping up all over the place, especially in a city like New York. Whether they’re in a park, by the waterfront, on a rooftop, in an old-fashioned drive-in or even abandoned factories. These alternative viewing places are ideal for summer with their cool movies and even and cooler drinks.