Silver Chips Online

Chips summer guide

Fun ideas to get your summer started

By Natasha Prados, Online Managing Editor
June 8, 2006
Sick of just doing "nothing" all summer? Now you don't have to! Stop twiddling your thumbs, jump up off the couch, and try out some of Chips' great ideas for a suuuuper summer!

1. Instead of just a regular beach trip, go camping! Grab a couple of friends, materials for s'mores (chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows), and hit the road. Just make sure you get reservations.

Assateague Island is a great option it's a national park right next to Ocean City, but without the crowding caused by all the tourist activity. A typical campsite is $40, plus $10 per car. Bring your own wood for a campfire, food, a tent, etc. The island is especially enchanting because of its wild pony population. Great fishing and crabbing spots are also bonuses, located about fifteen-minutes from the island. To get there, take I-495 E to US 50 E, and then merge onto US 113 S.

A favorite spot for youth groups is Calvert Cliffs, on the Chesapeake in Calvert County, where you can find fossils and shark teeth. There are fields and lots of trails for hiking, but unfortunately no flush toilets.

2. Deal with the excruciating heat and humidity by going inner-tubing. Work up a sweat hiking around Harper's Ferry, a picturesque locale where the state borders of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia meet, and then cool off floating down the Potomac. Trips usually cost about $20 per person, but most companies offer group discounts. To get there, take I-270 N to I-70 W, and then merge onto US 340.

3. Homestead Farms, at 15600 Sugarland Road in Poolesville, has delicious raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and peaches that you can pick by the pound. It's a fun activity you can do with family or friends, and there's a beautiful lake that is perfect for picnicking.

4. If you're looking for some fun a little closer to home, try reviving childhood pastimes or create your own. Football, soccer and basketball are obvious choices, but a few more original ideas are kickball, roller hockey, a bike ride, capture the flag, freeze tag, red-rover, water-balloon fighting, wrestling tournaments and paintball. Slip-`n-slides are awesome too, and only about $20 (try Target or Walmart).

5. Root, root, root for the home team! Go support DC United, currently (6-1-3) or the Nationals (22-32) at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium. Even if you don't usually follow soccer or baseball, games are a great opportunity for a fun outing with friends and doing something out of the ordinary. If you're willing to sit in the cheap seats, tickets are available for about $15 for either sport, and group discounts are also available. You might want to have a picnic beforehand, as you're not allowed to bring food inside, and stadium food costs enough to empty your bank account $4 for a bottled soda. For DC United information, call (202) 587-5000, or for the Nationals, visit their website .

6. If the picnic appeals to you, but not all the bustle of RFK, invite your friends over for a picnic or a backyard barbecue. To put a little twist on your event, make all your friends dress up, or pick a theme, like for the 4th of July.

These activities are perfect for students afflicted with summer boredom (after getting caught up on missed sleep, of course). Sometimes going to the pool for the billionth time just doesn't cut it.







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