Pop Culture

10 movie-inspired things to do before Labor Day

June 29, 2013 at 9:07 AM ET

You look forward to summer all year, and by the time it comes around, you don't want to do anything but lie in the sun and nap. Time to break the routine! This summer, make sure you have some stories to tell come fall.

Here are 10 activities, inspired by the greatest summer-vacation movies, to jump-start your summer to-do list.

1. Take a family road trip.

Inspiration: National Lampoon's Vacation

It may not be the most comfortable way to travel, it may take three times as long as flying, and the dog may pee on your sandwiches. Still, nothing guarantees great family vacation stories like a long road trip. Surely, you have your own Wally World, someplace you've always wanted to go? Maybe it's time to throw the kids in the car and do it. (Just make sure it's going to be open when you get there.)

2. Visit an amusement park. 

Inspiration: Adventureland


There's nothing quite like the seedy, retro charm of a good carnival ride. Why not take one for a spin this summer? Even though the Kristen Stewart comedy takes place in 1987, we bet your local amusement park still looks a whole lot like Adventureland.

3. Invite the neighbors over. 

Inspiration: The Seven Year Itch


You've been meaning to get to know your neighbors, but it's hard to find the time. Meanwhile, Marilyn Monroe might have moved in, and you wouldn't even know it! At least, that's what happens to Tom Ewell in The Seven Year Itch. Even if your neighbors aren't quite so glamorous, summer is still a good excuse to invite them over for champagne and potato chips.

4. Spend time at a resort. 

Inspiration: Dirty Dancing


The heyday of the Catskills resorts is long past, but you can still capture some of that magic that Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze experienced at Kellermans. You can even spend the night at "the real Kellermans," Virginia's Mountain Lake Lodge, where the film was shot. Of course, if you just want to practice your lifts, all you need is some water and a good partner.

5. Play backyard baseball.

Inspiration: The Sandlot


Throwing a baseball around is a time-honored tradition, and as the boys in this coming-of-age comedy discovered, it can lead to lifelong friendships. If you don't have a suitable backyard, maybe it's time to find your own sandlot.

6. Try some nature therapy.

Inspiration: What About Bob

Even in the lazy days of summer, it's tough to shake off the stress of work. The solution: get back to nature. Bill Murray in What About Bob is as neurotic as they come, and even he managed to enjoy some time on the lake, right?

7. Steal an ice cream kiss.

Inspiration: The Notebook


Ideally, you'd want to do this with Ryan Gosling. If he's not available, however, we trust you to find a worthy substitute.

8. Party on the beach. 

Inspiration: Gidget

More than 50 years have passed since this scene was filmed, and it still has everything the ideal beach party needs: tiki torches, live music, cold drinks and cute surfers. Can you blame the guests for breaking into song?

9. Catch your favorite band on tour. 

Inspiration: Almost Famous

Not everyone can get as close to their favorite band as Patrick Fugit gets to Stillwater in Almost Famous. That's no excuse to skip out on a great summer concert. Dress like Penny Lane and you may even be able to talk your way backstage.

10. Reunite with old friends.

Inspiration: Indian Summer

How amazing would it be to re-live just one day of your childhood summer camp? Unless you get a call from Alan Arkin, like the characters in this movie, it's not likely. But you could certainly start a Facebook group to swap old canoeing photos. And who knows? Maybe the old gang could catch up over s'mores.

A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.


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