10 end of summer rituals

With the summer weekends quickly fading into autumn, it seems we're grasping every last moment of the warm nights with clenched fists. Before giving way to the magic of autumn, we can score a few last memorable evenings watching the sun lick below the horizon line, and painting permanent memories to savour through the cooler months.

My one disclosure is that these 10 summer rituals are meant to be savoured with your soulmate or soul group - the cherished chosen family you prefer to surround yourself with. You just might have so much fun that your gathering becomes a new End of Summer Ritual.


1. Take a moon bath
Get your buns and bare legs to the water's edge, either leaping from a dock or running through the sand. When the sky is dark and the moon is high, gather your nearest and dearest for a late night, star-filled soak. Clothing is optional, but remember to bring a warm sweater to slip into after. The late August night's can sometimes be chilly.

2. Soak up a patio sunset
Either a romantic dinner for two, or sunset bevvies with besties, score an evening on a patio - bonus points if it's rooftop! - and watch the sun go down a little bit earlier than it did last month. The days are getting shorter and soon the darkness will fall shortly after supper. Savour the extra evening light!

3. Bring in the harvest
Apple season is from August to October, so some of the tasty fruit around you is ready for picking! I have apple trees in my yard, and its always a nice ritual to pick some ripe apples and bake a fresh apple crisp. If there aren't any apples around you, take a scan of your garden and bring in the last of your crop for eating, canning, preserving or drying.

4. Canoe for two
Why are canoe rides so romantic? I blame the Little Mermaid. Push a canoe into the water (you can rent canoes for super cheap and even ride a river in your city) and pack some snacks to munch on with your love. Enjoy the quiet time together reminiscing about all the great experiences you had over the summer. Bonus - you know those amazing Swell water bottles? They hold an entire bottle of wine. Just saying.

5. Host a bonfire
Whether you can have bonfires at home, or if you need to squeak out to the cabin, host your friends for a final bonfire (or a rooftop bonfire!), complete with homemade s'mores and themed punch to share. Have everyone bring a small bundle of firewood to keep the fun going all night long. PS: toss some sage into your fire to keep the bugs away.

6. Hit the highway
Roll down the windows, blare the classic rock, and have a serious highway sing-a-long with your best friend. It's not every day that you can let the warm wind whip your hair around while you drive, and there is something seriously magical about the catchy guitar riffs from pros like Guns 'n Roses, Queen, Bon Jovi and Twisted Sister. Clear your schedule and hit the open highway for an afternoon drive.

My top choices:
Tom Cochrane - Life is a highway
Summer of '69 - Bryan Adams
Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns 'n Roses
Wanted Dead or Alive - Bon Jovi
Livin' on the Edge - Aerosmith
Mustang Sally - Wilson Pickett
We're not gonna take it - Twisted Sister
Under Pressure - Queen + David Bowie
Cryin' - Aerosmith
Hot Child in the City - Nick Gilder
Wild Horses - Rolling Stones
Graceland - Paul Simon

7. Pack a picnic brunch
Who doesn't love brunch with the besties? Gather your best girls and head out to a lush park with your basket full of picnic food. Potluck-style makes it extra fun, and you can snack all morning and into the afternoon while catching some sunshine. Picnic lunch? Nah, picnic brunch is where it's at. I'll bring the mimosas.

8. Play ball!
Round up the gang for a softball game! Slow pitch afternoons are fun for everyone, and I'm sure you could impress a pal or two with your quick legs sprinting to home base. Or maybe you're a slugger or an out-field daisy picker! August to September is the perfect time for ball since the days aren't usually as hot. Colour coordinate your team colours and play ball!

9. Sleep under the stars
You don't need to book a campsite or haul out your camp gear - besides, all the campgrounds might be booked up by now! Squeak out into your backyard or drive out to the country where the city lights fade away. Pop open the trunk of your car, gather a few blankets and get cozy inside to stargaze until your eyelids get heavy. Bonus points for feel-good memorable convos.

10. Backyard dinner party
I'm a fan of eating, and I'm an even bigger fan of eating with pals. Cook a nice meal, BBQ, or ask your besties to participate in a potluck, and stream the white lights outside while you sprawl around a low table, bums in the grass. Create a Lana del Rey and Florence and the Machine playlist, pour the sangria, gather a fresh bouquet and bust out the games all night long.

What are some of your end of summer rituals that you swear by? Share them with me in the comments below, or tell me about one of your best summer memories. I love hearing what you have to say!