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7 Simple Ways to Kick Good Ol’ Summertime Favorites Up a Notch

Summer is in full swing, and that means it’s time to get outside and enjoy the sun.

But what to do if you’re feeling stuck in a summer rut? If your barbecue is feeling stale? If your pool party isn’t hoppin’? Sometimes summertime favorites just need to be kicked up a notch. Here’s how.

1. Pool party

Night swimming
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Need to amp up your summer pool party? Instead of scheduling a daytime dip, move the party to after dark. Swimming under the stars is enough to take a pool party from played out to played up, but to really up the fun factor, get creative with the lighting. Disco lights, Christmas lights, lasers if you’ve got ’em — anything will look rad on the water at night. And if you can work a movie screen in there for a little film night action, well, that’s perfection.

More: The 5 Best Lake Vacations for Summer

2. Iced tea

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Ah, the summertime staple: Cooling off with a good old fashioned glass of iced tea. There’s nothing like an iced cold glass of tea to amp up the nostalgia and make you feel young again — but it is actually possible to take this classic to the next level when you try a new-school flavored tea. We’re in love with NESTEA Peach Flavored Tea, a total summer classic.

3. Day at the beach

Beach yoga
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Once upon a time, we were all about laying still to soak up those rays — but now that we’ve entered the internet age, just posting up on the beach feels a little bit like wasted time. Instead, put that beach towel to good use with a shoreside yoga sesh. The water will provide an extra-calming atmosphere so you can focus on nailing that Half-Moon pose. You’ll feel like you’re being productive and you’ll give your racing brain a break. Two birds, one stone.

4. Weekend camping trip

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It’s 2017, and it’s OK to admit that traditional camping has its downfalls. Yeah, it’s calming AF to commune with nature for a weekend. But it’s even better to commune with nature from a comfy couch with a drink in hand, right? This summer, give glamping a try. It takes all the good things about camping and mixes them with all the good things about civilization, and the result is a creature comfort-filled escape from the hectic nature of day-to-day life.

5. Backyard games

water balloon fight
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If kids are part of your summer plans, there’s not much better than playing backyard games like T-ball, volleyball and soccer. On hot days, give backyard games an exciting and heat-beating twist by playing them with water balloons. Trust when we say going in for a spike at the net and having the ball explode makes volleyball so much more lit.

6. Picnic

Night picnic
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Picnics are one of the best parts of summer — they give you a chance to enjoy great weather, plus there’s food. But when the summer sun gets high in the sky and the heat is a little too much to handle, here’s a way to chill out your picnic game. Host a post-sundown dessert picnic. Combine it with some stargazing and you’ve got yourself a night to remember.

More: 5 Pool Safety Tips for a Stress-Free Summer

7. Barbecue

Vegetarian barbecue
Image: Paper Boat Creative/Getty Images

Barbecues might be the No. 1 summer staple, but all that red meat is bound to leave you feeling sluggish in the summer heat. So upgrade your barbecue by going meat-free. Grilled veggies and fruit kabobs are a delicious and healthy alternative to burgers and hot dogs, and they still take on those Instagrammable grill marks, no problem. Win-win, right?

This post is sponsored by NESTEA.

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