10 ways to spend Summer Fridays

Summer is here, and many office workers are enjoying their free time on Friday afternoons!

Kate Mulcrone

By Kate Mulcrone

a picnic on a sunny summer day

Summer is here, and Friday comes but once a week. Are you wondering about how to make the most of your Summer Fridays?

Many office workers are now enjoying the traditional “summer schedule” and get every Friday or alternate Fridays to spend as they see fit. Don’t let your mini-vacation turn into logging into work on your off hours!

The key to work-life balance is knowing your limits and celebrating your successes — especially on the weekend.

hanging out at the beach with a book

Here are some of our tips for designing the perfect Summer Friday. (And if your 9 to 5 doesn’t offer summer Fridays, these ideas are just as easy to follow on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.)

1. Make alcoholic popsicles

All you really need to make an iced boozy treat is alcohol, club soda, fresh fruit, and a little time. This simple recipe from Parade is an excellent blueprint. Want to make it a party? Grill up an easy vegetarian menu on your next Summer Friday and invite a friend over to partake in a late lunch and boozy snack session.

2. Plan an outdoor belated group birthday party

Does your whole crew get to leave early on Fridays? Arrange a picnic to honor your friends who had winter or spring birthdays! Find a park near you and show up a little bit early to stake out enough space for everyone, or plan a rooftop get-together. Bonus points for baking a batch of cupcakes in your own kitchen or picking some up at a bakery just before the gathering.

3. Take a mental health half day

In a perfect world you would use a Summer Friday to soak up the sun, but it can also be an opportunity to destress from the week. Schedule a date with yourself, and make sure it’s something that you will enjoy. You can take a long walk or head to a studio for a yoga class. Would you rather stay indoors? Watch your favorite movie or indulge in a long bath at your apartment.

4. Work on your side hustle

A summer afternoon is the perfect time to perfect your B-game. (Especially if you’re a creative or an entrepreneur). If you’re already in the middle of a project, it will feel great to wrap it up before the official start of the weekend. You can also use this time window to take an online course or research networking events near you.

5. Organize a potluck BBQ

This idea requires a little bit of planning ahead, but it’s well worth it. Pick an upcoming Summer Friday and send out an email to your pals inviting them to convene at your apartment or a nearby park. Pro tip: don’t tell people they can “bring whatever they want.” When people RSVP, ask them to choose a category for their contribution. Make sure that there’s at least one person bringing an appetizer, main course, dessert, and drinks.

6. Connect with nature

Spending just two hours a week in natural settings can dramatically boost your wellbeing. Find a woodland near you, whether it’s a park or a state or national forest, and settle down in a secluded spot with a good book. If you want to spend even more time in the great outdoors, consider a day trip to a beauty spot near you.

7. Host a clothing exchange

Have you possibly put on a few pounds over the last year and a half? Don’t worry, you’re far from alone in this. You could hit the mall and shop for a new wardrobe a size or two larger, but that could potentially break the bank. Invite a few friends over for a clothing exchange on your next Summer Friday instead. Each person contributes two to five pieces of clothing that they would otherwise donate or sell, then everyone has the opportunity to try on clothes from the common stock.

A group of five friends sitting around a table at a restaurant eating and drinking and smiling together. There are lots of plates and glasses on the table

8. Have lunch outdoors

Even if you don’t want to go big, you should never let your Summer Friday go to waste. The absolute minimum you can do for yourself is an impromptu picnic. If you’re at the office, find a colleague and head to a takeout spot or just pick up a sandwich and eat it in the park. If you’re working remotely, call up a friend or go solo to a scenic spot near your apartment or coworking space.

9. Go for a hike

A half-day hike is good exercise in addition to being good for your soul. Even if you’re living smack in the middle of a big city, there’s sure to be an urban park with walking trails where you can hit your steps. You could also hop a train or rent a car from Hertz or Getaround to enjoy a beauty spot that’s a little farther out. We’ve rounded up some great hiking experiences near some of Blueground’s cities.

10. Learn a new skill

A Summer Friday is the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill — preferably something fun. Sign up for a half-day pottery workshop or a cooking class. If you’re not feeling social, search YouTube for a skill-building video. It only takes a few hours to learn to juggle, for example. MasterClass is another great option in this arena. They have short video classes on everything from cooking to negotiation to wilderness survival.

We hope these ideas will inspire a self-care adventure! At Blueground, we want you to make the most of your free time. A simple way to do this is by cutting down the time and hassle you spend searching for an apartment and then purchasing furniture and setting up utilities by opting for a short-term rental. Our turnkey furnished apartments are beautiful and practical — and best of all, you won’t be tied to a yearly lease.

Kate Mulcrone

Kate Mulcrone

Kate Mulcrone has more than 10 years’ experience writing about travel, tech, and the workplace for a variety of publications.