How to Enjoy Summer Even When You're Tied Down to Your Homestead

I can't believe it's already July and the year is more than half over.

It's been a strange year, hasn't it? Even now that summer is here, months after the need to hunker down and isolate ourselves, we are still making sacrifices and taking precautions.

Many homesteaders' lives haven't changed much this year in spite of all that's going on. We tend to be homebodies anyway, staying home to work on projects, and to feed our livestock and work in the garden. Summer is a hard time for us to get away even in the best and most normal years.

In fact, for many years the Chief and I would go visit our grandchildren at different times of the year so that one of us would be home to take care of the homestead and our animals.

You might wonder if it's even possible to go away for more than a day or maybe one night. I have some suggestions here: how to take a vacation from your homestead and, if you have goats, by milking once a day.

To get away, or not to go away

Some years though, it's just impossible to travel away from home. Whether it's homestead livestock that needs to be tended to, a garden that wouldn't survive the summer drought, or some other reason, sometimes we're just tied down.

This summer might be one of those times, when long-distance travel might even be restricted. Many people lost their jobs this spring; even if you didn't, finances are a concern for most of us this year.

You can still enjoy your summer though. You just need to be a bit more creative.

I've teamed up with three other bloggers to bring you some ideas for making this summer special, whether you're on the homestead or getting away from your homestead - or you're a household of one or two or a family with children or grandchildren.

Scroll down to find the links to all of the posts in this series.

Day trips

If you can only go away for one day, make a list of local attractions that you'd enjoy visiting. We usually visit a new museum every summer and we love trips to the zoo, but we've also discovered some lesser-known and just as fun attractions.

If you're limited to outdoor destinations this summer, look for parks (national parks, state parks and local parks), Civil War battlefields, and vendor fairs or antique shows. Local hikes and fishing holes can fill a day with fun.

As a child I spent summers with my grandparents, who lived in the hot interior of California and didn't have air conditioning. Often Grandmother would drive us up the road a mile or so in her old Buick where we'd park at the side of the road and spend the afternoon playing in the creek. Don't overlook "humble" outings like this; those hours spent in the creek are some of my favorite childhood memories.

The Chief and I are planning to take some fun summer drives this year. Route 66 is nearby and we plan to follow a bit of that historic road and take more pictures. Even if the local attractions such as the Round Barn and Pop's aren't open, it's still a fun drive.

Tied down to your gardens and livestock? You can still enjoy summer! Here are some inspiring ideas!

What local produce is raised near your home? Summer peaches are nearly ripe here so we'll take a road trip to visit some peach stands and bring home some juicy fruit to can.

If you have a local you-pick farm or orchard, see what their plans are this summer. While they might not be open for the usual fun day of picking fruit, many are selling ready-picked fruit instead and it will make awesome jelly or jam.

Make some fun new traditions

Whether you have a houseful or are a family of one or two, make some new traditions. Look up those "special holidays" like National Ice Cream Day (it's July 21 this year) and Watermelon Day (August 3rd), and celebrate them. National Cow Appreciation Day, anyone? (Yes, it's really a thing.)

Make up your own special days such as "Wear Red Day" or "Look for Insects Day."

Take pictures of the sunset every evening for a week or longer and post the best ones on social media.

Explore new recipes and new foods once a week. Make a different kind of cupcake every weekend, eat tacos on Tuesday and meatloaf on Thursday.

Paint rocks and leave them at parks or other places when you're running errands so others can find them.

Make staying at home fun

You can make staying at home fun too. Here are a few ideas that will hopefully help you get creative! You could do all of these in a long weekend "staycation" or you can spread them out over the entire summer.

  • Set aside a week or a long weekend and give yourself permission to do nothing or to try something new. Of course, you'll still need to water the garden or feed your chickens, but don't worry about the other chores and projects you think you "should" be doing, like fence-fixing and decluttering. You're on vacation!
    - Instead, binge-watch your favorite TV show or DVD's. Read the books you wish you had time to read. Spend the afternoon in a hammock. Pitch a tent in the backyard. Cook dinner outside in foil pouches (no clean up) or shishkabob-style.
    - Put the best sheets on the bed and pretend you're at a luxury hotel. Take a nap if you want to. No guilt allowed!
  • Eat popcorn for dinner - or eat dessert first. Use the good china and put candles and a vase of flowers on the table.
  • Have a picnic in the yard or in a far corner of the pasture.
  • Buy a stock tank (water trough) and fill with water for a do-it-yourself cheap pool. You can use pool chemicals to keep the algae down, or use a pool filter from the big box store. The sun will warm the water and by afternoon it will be warm and wonderfully relaxing.
  • Paint, crochet, quilt - revisit those hobbies you just haven't had time for.
  • Rearrange the furniture and give your living room that farmhouse look you're been craving. Your home can (and should be) a haven from the world, a place we're not in a hurry to get away from.

Tied down to your gardens and livestock? You can still enjoy summer! Here are some inspiring ideas!

A historic summer

This will be a historic summer, not in an epic, record-breaking way but probably in its minimalism. Let's treat it like the special time it is. Plan something fun or interesting or constructive each day or once a week, whichever fits your schedule.

The secret is to wake up with a purpose each day, with a goal of "having fun" or "make today special."

Let's make memories and have some stories to tell our family and friends when this is over.

Keep track of your memories, even the mundane and ordinary things you and your family do this summer. Journal in a notebook. Take lots of photos, because photos make activities and events feel special.

Take photos of your ordinary days too; they'll make awesome photo books, scrapbooks or memory booklets.

When summer is over, print your photos and make a memory booklet, add them to your journal, or design a photo book at, or another company. Most of these businesses will give you a special gift for signing up if you are a new customer.

Let's make some great summer memories!

A Summer to Remember

I've teamed up with several bloggers to bring you even more ideas for a summer to remember. Each of us is offering ideas and inspiration to help you Escape the Heat on a budget, accompanied by free printable downloads.

To help you make this a summer to remember, here is my set of free printables for you. You'll receive a Summer Bucket List to help you dream about the perfect summer, as well as a 3-month calendar to help you plan your summer activities or for meal planning, or however you'd like to use it.

Simply go here and sign up to receive your free printable packet. You'll also be subscribed to The Acorn, Oak Hill Homestead's weekly-ish newsletter where you'll find tips and hacks on gardening, simple living and so much more. And if you decide we're not a good match, you can unsubscribe at any time. No hard feelings!

Check out the other posts in our series to receive the rest of the downloadable printables:

Julie at The Farm Wife - Portable Summer Fun

Shawna at Homegrown Self-Reliance - Keep Cool on the Homestead

Annie at 15 Acre Homestead - Getaway Ideas for Adults to Escape the Homestead

Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead - How to Enjoy Summer Even When 
You're Tied Down to the Homestead

Related Posts:
Making Memories in Unexpected Ways

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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  1. I think we are all going to rediscover the gift of home this year.

    1. I think you are absolutely right, Michele!

  2. This is a such a sweet post for this time! I'm finding my kiddos saying they're really bored, even though we usually stay home anyways. Maybe I'll let them eat dessert first soon; they'd love that!

    Thanks for sharing this post with us on the Homestead Blog Hop!



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