Written by Amy Scalia

With its warm rays and longer days, sweet summer is finally here. It’s a time we gravitate outdoors to enjoy the fresh air and adventurous activities during the day, and to linger under the stars at night. As many opt to chill at home more often this year, here are a few ways to create some mid-summer retreats from the comfort of your back yard.

Outdoor Reading Nook
Whether it’s hanging a new, relaxing hammock, or adding pillows and a matching throw to your patio swing, create a cozy nook to breeze through your summer reading list. This can also be a space to do a little writing of your own. Find a journal that inspires you to reflect on your day and jot down all the dreams you have for tomorrow.

Om at Home
While we love yoga studios and yogi friends, it can be even more calming and restorative to create a space for your yoga and meditation practice at home. One that’s outdoors is even better. Keep it simple with a place for your yoga mat (the thicker and grippier the better), recycled yoga block, comfy meditation pouf, calming candle and cleansing crystals or stones. Here are even more ide-as for getting piece of mind in the great outdoors.

Game On
Outdoor games are fun for kids and kids-at-heart alike. Get a game set like corn hole, bocce ball, croquet, lawn bowling, or ladder golf. Or opt for a DIY approach with activities like washable paint circles in the yard for Twister, sidewalk chalk Tic Tac Toe, or a nature scavenger hunt. Dress for a win with clothes that are breathable and ready for action, like THE Bike Short, paired with a tank, tee or sweatshirt.

Movie Night
Transform your back yard to a personal outdoor cinema. Set up a sheet or screen with some comfy pillows, blankets and reclining outdoor chairs. Mobile projector attachments make it a breeze to turn your smartphone or tablet into a hi-def entertainment center to watch movies or binge watch your favorite TV series from the great outdoors.

A backyard camping adventure can conjure up childhood joys of stargazing and summer sleepo-vers, and glamping adds all the comforts of home that spark joy as an adult. Add-in some soft seat-ing with a woven floor pouf, wrap yourself in coziness with a super soft throw, and breathe in calming essential oil aromatherapy from a USB-powered diffuser.

Summertime Sips
Hydrate and relax with some summertime sips. Consider setting up a bar cart to help you mix up some lemonade - or something spirited - all from your outdoor space. Stock a multi-tiered cart with drinkware, stainless steel straws, beverage napkins and garnishes. Then, put some fruit-infused waters, pre-made punches and artisanal cocktails from the Shake. Stir. Sip. Book on ice so everyone can easily serve up their favorite refreshments throughout the day.

Beautiful Bites
Make serving up your summertime favorites fun, easy and adventurous with the Platters and Boards Book or California Living & Eating Book. Dive deeper and learn how to get that summer glow from within as you try new Beauty Chef Book recipes. From alfresco date nights and dinner parties, to mid-day snacks and nighttime nibbles, these resourceful reads will have you savoring summer one beautiful bite at a time.

Fireside Fun
Fireplaces and fire pits provide a warm and welcoming place to extend your time outside during those crisp, starry nights of summer. Slip on your fireside fleece hoodie, jogger pants and moccasins to enjoy your evenings filled with fireside chats, cozy cuddles and roasted marshmallows.

Light It Up
Lighting can also extend your time outside. Add some twinkle to your outdoor space by hanging string lights on your front porch, deck or trellis. Give ambiance to your alfresco meals and outdoor table settings with a Dinner Party Candle. And light walkways with lanterns or luminarias.

No matter the activity, embrace the silver lining of this softer, slower, calmer summer. Turn up the chillest music you can find, wrap yourself in something cozy and enjoy the extra time with those closest to you. There’s so much comfort to be found in this pause, simplicity and realization that we don’t have to travel far (or at all) for fun and adventure.