Millennial Adventures: The insider's guide to summer

The only saving graces of summer are its overabundance of fresh fruits and vegetables and the fact that my birthday is this month.

Seriously, though. It’s too hot outside to do anything before 6 p.m., the ACs are cranked so high inside that I have to wear a sweater, there’s too much reckless beach traffic on the roads (and in the parking garage), and I have to bathe in sunscreen if I want to do anything more than hang out a load of laundry or walk to the library on my lunch break.

(I’m not exaggerating on that last point. I watered our vegetable garden and various flower patches around the yard the weekend before the Fourth of July and got sunburnt from being outside from about 10:30-10:45 a.m.)

Spring and fall bring so many possibilities for activities, like reading outside under a tree, going for a scenic walk or having a cheese-themed campfire with friends, which I highly recommend. Even winter has the option of sitting under a pile of blankets with a favorite book or movie, especially if it’s snowing out.

Summer’s main activity, however, is the beach, which means I would have to deal with sunscreen, a bathing suit, sand and people under the influence. No, thank you.

So what’s a girl to do? Here are my fallbacks.

  • Working! This is partly a joke and partly a legitimate answer. During the day Monday through Friday, I’m avoiding the outside by working hard to deliver you the best hyperlocal microcontent every week. And I do enjoy playing the Tetris game of layout, talking to the cool people in our stories, and of course our My Pet Pal segment. (We’re running out, so send us more!)
  • Libraries! Between all the local libraries and the online interlibrary loan system, I typically cycle through periods of “Oh no, I took out too many books at once” and “Oh no, I finished all my books.” I’ve borrowed CDs from them, plus many have DVDs, board games and other fun things to check out, both literally and figuratively. They also have air conditioning that is kept at more reasonable temperatures than other places. Related: support your local bookstores.
  • Tabletop gaming! Drinking and Dragons, a local RPG group I’ve written about in the past, doesn’t have another meetup until October (and only if they can find a suitable space, so if you have leads, let them know), but most of the local game stores have occasional get-togethers. You can also support said local game stores and buy your own so you can host game night at your house.
  • Sports! My roller derby alma mater, Shoreline, doesn’t have any more home games scheduled for the rest of the season, but there are a bunch of others within a two-hour drive; I ref for some of them, so you might see me there. The Connecticut Sun play at Mohegan through the beginning of September, and even though baseball is outside, usually Norwich is cool enough by the time the Connecticut Tigers games start at 7:05 p.m.
  • Fair(e)s! Again, not inside, but most have morning and evening hours so you can avoid the worst of the summer weather. Check out CTAgFairs.org for a list of traditional agricultural fairs – even Washington County’s fair in Rhode Island isn’t that far – or if animals aren’t your thing, the Connecticut Renaissance Faire starts Aug. 31. Just watch out for caterpillars.
  • Road trips! This is a bit of a catch-all, but you can avoid some of the summer sun/heat by driving (somewhere other than the beach). It can be as involved as a weekend in central New York to visit family or as casual as the Icelandic tradition of ísbíltúr, which is a road trip specifically for ice cream. Please note that road trips are not guaranteed to be sunburn-free, depending on which side of the car the sun is on; again, I’m speaking from experience here.
  • Lying in bed in front of the fan! Sometimes simplicity is best.

Amanda Hutchinson is the assistant community editor for The Times.

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