As a summer baby, I am so excited when July finally rolls around. While June is still kissed with cold, foggy mornings, July is undeniably summer with those hot, muggy evenings and humidity so thick you could swim in it.
To me, it all feels so…cozy. Every single summer memory has me reliving childhood experiences. It’s the epitome of hygge.
So many people think that you can only hygge in the wintertime, with hot chocolate, ultra decadent chocolate cakes, fires roaring in the oven, a good book, candles galore, and the company of your friends and family around you. But it’s just not true!
To recreate those traditions (or perhaps start creating your own), I rounded up what I thought were some of the best ways to Hygge in July.
12 Ideas for July Hygge
One of the most iconic moments in July is the firework display. Growing up in the US, I was able to enjoy the fireworks every single Independence day. But some years, we also got to buy our own fireworks and launch them from the backyard. I still remember lighting my first fireworks as a kid at my grandparent’s house!
If you’ve already seen or missed the big fireworks display, note that you can get a lot of fireworks discounted after the season. Even a box of sparklers helps to make an evening special, especially if you save it until wintertime around a bonfire.
It doesn’t matter if you’re vegetarian or a meat-eater, there’s something special about the smell of charcoal or the sound of the sizzling grill. Invite your family and friends over for a cookout. Bonus points if you do barbecue, potato casserole, and baked beans.
Get out your nice plates and set a table outside. Make it special. Have people slow down.
Melting Ice Cream
Though I’m a hard ice cream person, summer wouldn’t be summer without fleeting soft-served ice cream. I especially love the super hot days when ice cream ends up running off the side of the cone and down your arm. Messy but so much fun.
I am lucky to live inside a botanical garden with loads of flowers, and they always go crazy in the summertime! It’s something I look forward to every year.
If you have one close to you or a nature space, it makes a relaxing afternoon and a cute date to go walk among the flowers. If you don’t know much about flowers, botanical garden memberships are always great, because you can start spending more time with the plants and memorizing their labels. There are also local foraging and wildflower books that can help you learn to identify plants in your area; just be careful not to wildcraft or eat anything that you are not 100% sure is safe.
Camping / Hiking
I want to be under the stars with a fire cracking away and the taste of fresh s’mores in my mouth! Or in the woods, listening to the sound of the birds and the wind whispering through the trees in full leaf.
If it’s too hot where you are to go for a full camping experience, why not put your tent in your backyard and just sleep out there in the coolest part of the night?
Kayak Down the River
This is such a wonderful activity if you live in an area with a nice, flowing river (I miss you, Reno!). Nothing beats packing a cooler, slathering on sunscreen, and taking the kayak, paddleboard, or tubes out to the river.
It’s one of those activities that is awesome for your whole friend group. The athletic ones can paddle like crazy all day. The lazy ones can tie their tubes behind the kayaks and just float along. The birdwatchers can enjoy the scenery. And the revelers can have a few beers while they float. It’s the dream.
There’s something about water fights that makes the nervous giggles of childhood come barrelling out of your body. Get a super soaker, some water balloons (pick them up afterward for nature’s sake), or the hose if you’re feeling especially wicked. 🙂 Enjoy getting soaked!
I love sitting in the public pool, listening to the sounds of kids screaming and the lifeguards blowing their whistles. This can be an especially hygge experience with the smell of chlorine and sunscreen and the taste of frozen candy bars. Our childhood favorite was a frozen Zero bar, which we inherited from our dad. Even though he’s not here with us anymore, it still brings back memories of him and how he would throw up so high into the air above the swimming pool, with us crashing down with a splash.
It is small moments like that that help establish hygge into your life. Just start appreciating the little things, and it will come to you easily.
It doesn’t matter if it’s hot from a roadside stand, ice-cold from your freezer, or full of alcohol, watermelon is the bomb. It’s especially enjoyable when it is running down your arms and face as you sit in the humid summer night air and watch the fireflies. Put on some classic rock in the garage and listen to it in the distance as you chat with your best friends.
Escape the sweltering heat in the usually WAY too cold movie theater. Our city did free summer movies when we were kids, so this became a very important memory for us. Every Wednesday, we’d get up early to see the morning movie with our mom, and she would treat us to the kid’s box of popcorn and treats. And afterward, we’d head to the pool to splash around in the sunshine.
Find a large tree to sit under, spread out a threadbare blanket, pull out snacks from the ancient and impractical cooler you have, and linger longer than you think you should as the day ticks by. Make your friend a flower crown out of clover and place it upon their head.
(Did you know the flower meaning of clover is “Think of me?” How sweet is that?)
Tomatoes and Cucumbers Hot from the Vine
If you ask my mom, summer wouldn’t be summer without a hot cucumber straight off the vine. I’m more of a fresh tomato kind of girl–mostly because mom manages to pick all the cucumbers off when she waters the garden in the early morning! I’m not actually sure I’ve even had ONE of our cucumbers in the past few years. Hm…
I love the smell of the tomato plants when you water them in the morning or when you brush up against them. It’s even better if you grow too many and get to deliver them to people that you love. You could even host a tomato canning day with your friends and tell each other stories while you destroy the kitchen.
Sticky Hot Days in Hammocks
Finally, one of the best ways to enjoy July and the dog days of summer is to simply kick back in a hammock. The nice thing is that hammocks are usually hung from trees, so you can beat the heat in the shade while still feeling like you’re one with nature. It’s an added bonus if you take a favorite book and some iced tea with you to your hammock spot.
Speaking of iced tea, I think it’s time for me to go put a jar of sun tea out on the porch and get ready for an afternoon on the lake.
I hope this list brings you some inspiration for how to make summer a bit more memorable, how to live more slowly, how to bring more smiles into your life. I’d love to know what makes summer hygge for you, so leave me a comment below!