Summer is now fully underway. For many of us, that means long hours spent sitting in boiling-hot offices waiting for the evening to roll around. So, when it does, it’s vital that we make the most of the time. After all, life’s too short not to!
But if you’re stuck for inspiration, then it’s easy to waste every night vegetating in front of the tv – or, worse yet, scrolling through your Instagram feed for hours on end. Let’s see if we can come up with some better suggestions!
Back in the day, most cinemas used to be outdoors. But now, the trend has well and truly returned. Just enter ‘outdoor cinema’ into Google and you’ll be confronted with dozens of local options – even if you’re a little off the beaten track. Sure, you’ll be a little limited in the choice of film, but it’s the experience that really counts. If you’re on the south coast (or planning to make a trip there), then there’s an open-air cinema right on Brighton beach.
A trip to the Zoo
Most zoos close their doors after the sun goes down. But a few offer special experiences designed to show the animals in an entirely different light (literally). Moreover, some sorts of animals (like bats) only come out after dark, and so you’ll need to go in the evening to see them at their best. London Zoo offers a special evening experience, but you’ve only got a bit of time left before it closes shop for the year!
Similarly, going to see some live music under the stars is a great way to spend a summer evening. You might be drawn to one of the larger festivals, but there are hundreds of smaller ones going on across the land. The music needn’t be of the popular variety, either – open air proms are being hosted at country estates everywhere!
Back in Shakespeare’s day, every performance took place under the stars (often by necessity). So, if you want the authentic experience, you’ll need to go to an open-air theatre. The Globe in London is an obvious candidate: they’re showing both parts of Henry IV from now until mid-October.
Of course, the more standard sort of theatre is also available, and easily reached from outside the capital. A train from Gatwick airport to London Victoria means you’ll be able to reach the Apollo Theatre and be out of the city (or, indeed, the country) in the same evening.
Getting a few friends over for a barbeque is the stuff that summer memories are really made from. You needn’t invite the entire neighbourhood – just a select few. And you needn’t strictly go for a barbeque: nowadays, outdoor cooking comes in dozens of different sorts, so you’ll be able to keep things fresh and interesting. If you’re really committed, you can set up an outdoor smoker and have it going all day long, and then enjoy the results after the sun’s gone down. On the other hand, you can always make life easy and go and visit that restaurant you’ve always fancied!