UNITED STATES—Summer does not officially kick off until June 21, but its warm enough in most parts of the country and the amount of sunlight is stretching beyond 9 p.m. in most parts of the United States. With that being said, many people are spending way more time outside, and that means it’s time to start thinking about summer activities to keep the kiddies, the teens, adults, pets and the elderly active.

The one thing that has always been a treat for me is when you have the town and city carnivals that arrive. There is nothing like carnival food; it’s the best. While it’s not good for you, the idea of having cotton candy, a corn dog, deep fried Oreos, candy apples, funnel cakes and so many other gluttonous foods is what summer is all about.

I had the pleasure of taking my nieces to the carnival and realized while it may be fun, the games, the price of tickets and food alone is so much, I would have been better going to an amusement park. I mean jeez, the price to play a single game is unbelievable, not to mention the fact that you are not guaranteed a prize if you play these games. I think I spent $40 bucks on games alone, another $30 on food and another $30 on tickets.

Yeah, $100, and we were only there about 2 hours America. While the carnival put a dent in my wallet, I must admit I had fun. It reminded me when I was a kid, and how me and my siblings would go to the carnival every year and just indulge in the crazy rides, fun games and amazing food. That outing spurred other fun things to do in the summer like going to the zoo.

When I was a kid, my mother made it a yearly tradition for us to go to the zoo. I actually miss it greatly now that ‘m so older. Here’s the problem I have about the zoo. The prices continue to rise, but it’s the summer weather. I love seeing the animals, but I hate the notion of spending the day walking in the excessive heat. While summer brings plenty of fun, I’m not a fan of it because I hate the heat. When the weather gets beyond 70 degrees, I get cranky, annoyed, and restless; the list goes on. I hate when it’s muggy, and I sweat excessively.

And for most zoos, there rarely are places where you can gather shade. I mean most of the time we feel sorry for humans, we need to feel sorry for the animals that have to do all in their power to find a spot that gives them a bit of relief from the steamy outdoors. I guess that is the great thing about penguins and polar bears; they can always take a dip in the cool water.

If the zoo and the carnival are not your cup of tea, you have picnics, you have amusement parks, you have the playground, the water park, there is just so much to do outdoors in summer. You just have to be willing to get out of the house and explore all the options available to you.

Written By Kelsey Thomas