Summer hobbies for everyone under the sun

Take advantage of the season by getting active, gardening and more

Gardening is a fun, money-saving hobby to take up during the summer.
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While summer means an increase in free time without your typical academic and extracurricular obligations, it can be challenging to decide how to best spend your days. Here are a few hobbies to consider picking up over the next few months so you can take full advantage of the (almost) stress-free season.

Pick up a new instrument

If you’re interested in learning to play an instrument this summer, check out local music stores to find options for renting instruments or buying used ones at affordable prices. 

The Joe Chithalen Memorial Musical Instrument Lending Library in the Tett Centre is an amazing resource for anyone staying in Kingston this summer. The non-profit has hundreds of instruments available for rental and there are no charges or fees to borrow one.  

For those who want to play the keyboard, there’s also one available to students in Stauffer Library, room 236.

Once you have an instrument to practice on, all you need to do is check out some YouTube tutorials or call up a musically-gifted friend. 

Get active!

Warm weather and a decreased workload makes summer the perfect time to get active—while having fun.

The City of Kingston offers fitness programs in July and August, with spaces still available for beach volleyball and badminton. If neither of those appeal to you, the Kingston Sport and Social Club runs classes for paddle boarding, kayaking, flag football, and more.

If you’re hoping to pursue something less competitive, consider taking up dance or yoga.  The Kingston School of Dance, located in the Tett Centre, has drop-in dance classes for adults, with dance styles ranging from ballet to street jazz.  There’s also no shortage of yoga studios in Kingston—Samatva Yoga and Studio 330 are closest to campus, and both are located on Princess St.

Try your hand at gardening

One great thing about gardening is that it’s an outdoor hobby, which means you can take advantage of the summer sun while trying your hand at it.  You may choose to start small by growing an indoor plant to keep you company or by planting some flowers to spruce up your front garden.

You can even grow vegetables and reward yourself with fresh food and a lower grocery bill.  While many vegetables need to be planted during the spring in order to thrive, a variety of them thrive when planted in late summer, like carrots, radishes, onions, eggplants, and spinach.  These can all grow during the final months of summer and be ready for harvest come early autumn.

If you don’t want to commit to growing vegetables, try some low-maintenance plants that can still be used to spice up your cooking, such as oregano, basil, mint, thyme, or sage.

Learn to sew, knit, or crochet

Sewing, knitting, and crocheting aren’t just enjoyable hobbies—they can also prove useful. If you’re looking to spruce up your wardrobe, you can explore your style by making clothes and bags tailored to your taste. Even if you’re not into fashion, these are practical skills that can help you make basic items like scarves, mitts, and headbands.

You can also buy cheap clothes from a thrift store and personalize them by cropping them, adding beads or lace, or embroidering small details. If you practice enough, you can also save money by repairing or altering your clothes instead of taking them to a sew shop or replacing them.

Knit Stitch Sew is a fibre arts store on Princess St. offering drop-in classes for beginners, which would be a good place to start. 

Declutter your space

If you have a lot of free time on your hands, consider channelling your inner Marie Kondo, Netflix’s favourite organizational guru. Revamp your space by getting rid of things you don’t need. This can help you transition to a more minimalist lifestyle or make room for new possessions.

Decluttering can also free up valuable space, increase your mental and physical organization, and make your place easier to clean, helping you to feel less stressed out.

If you decide to clean out your room or home, research a charity that inspires you to donate your used clothes and household items. Otherwise, you can use the opportunity to make some cash by hosting a yard sale or selling the items online. 

Whether you turn decluttering into a summer-long project by gradually making your way through your whole house or you decide to just tidy up your bedroom, the results can help you feel more comfortable in your own home. 

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