Four Ways to Gear up for Summer Fun

Prepare now so you can relax and enjoy the season.
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Summer is that time of year when everybody, regardless of age, is allowed to have just a little more fun. But if you have a family and house to look after, the change in seasons also involves some logistics – and taking care of them sooner will mean more porch and pool time later.

Here are four ways to set the stage for a glorious summer 2014.

Get the AC checked. To avoid waking up in blistering mid-July to a sudden lack of air conditioning, have your central air system or window units fully inspected by a service professional before the heat sets in. They will ensure functionality, change the air filters to avoid clogging, which could lead to costly repair bills, and, in a central air system, check for coolant leaks and replenish coolant if necessary. Your beauty sleep will benefit once that thermometer nears triple digits.

Stock up on sunscreen and bug spray. Once school lets out, the seven daylight hours your kids were spending in a classroom are going to be replaced by swimming and tennis lessons, summer camp and having no reason to come in early from playing in the backyard. Prepare for multiple reapplications of sunscreen and bug spray every day by buying both products in bulk now. You’ll save money and swap constant runs to the store for more actual playtime.

Have kids activities at the ready. Banish boredom during summer weekends and hours not spent in lessons or at camp by having a full set of outdoor games and crafts for your kids to choose from. Camille of Six Sisters’ Stuff suggests grabbing an old sheet and colorful paint to make art out on the lawn, playing Duck Duck goose with water, having a backyard bike and scooter wash and more. Plus, if you live in a suburban neighborhood, no summer is complete with a couple of lemonade stands!

Boredom can happen on vacations, too – and you may not have the same types of kids activity materials available away from home. Royal Caribbean International has parents covered with their Adventure Ocean Youth Program, available on all ships and cruise itineraries. Kids aged 3-11 can enjoy everything from crafts to science experiments to themed parties under staff supervision while you engage in “boring” spa treatments and poolside lounging before meeting up back up as a family for some rock climbing or a Broadway show. The only logistic necessary is booking the cruise!

Prep your grill and grilling techniques. Evening sunshine means grilling and dining outside any night of the week. This Old House provides a guide to getting your grill ready for barbecue season, including instructions for deep cleaning the cooker, prepping the propane and evening out heat. When you’re cooking your inaugural summer steak, test its doneness by doing a touch test instead of piercing it: rare should feel like the sport between your thumb and forefinger when your hand is relaxed while medium should feel like the center of your palm when you hold your hand flat. You’ll then be able to cater to your family’s and guests’ steak preferences at every barbecue.

If you take the time to get a few key components of your summer organized, the rest of the fun you’ve been waiting for will fall into place.