I’ve done a version of this post for both fall and winter and initially wanted to do one for spring and one for summer, but I mean, it’s mid-May and by this point there’s not much difference between the spring and the summer weather. The crux of these posts was simply that I really like to find weekend-type activities that are fun, reasonably priced and, if possible. something you could do with a group of friends as both a social gathering and something that helps keep you in shape (as opposed to simply just going on a run or hitting the gym-fine for the weekday but not on a weekend getaway or a really nice day). Here’s five ideas for spring/summer, which hopefully don’t cost a lot, are relatively convenient and can be done with a group of friends.
1) Bike Tour:
I recently did a Philly Bike Tour and had a great time. Not only did I learn a lot about the city but I got to see it from a different viewpoint and got some great exercise in the process This particular tour had me going 11 miles, which I didn’t realize until the end. I did a Beer Tour (which you could read about in more depth here) but the company offers a bevy of other options.
I also found a couple of tours of Pittsburgh you could check out here via Golden Triangle Bicycle Rentals and here via Venture Outdoors (who also do a great job supplying Pittsburgh with kayaks). Gettysburg has a biking the battlefields tour that’s probably really cool and Lake Country Bikes near Erie offers a wine and bike tour.
2) Stand Up Paddle Board:
Stand Up Paddle Boarding (or SUP) is one of the trendier ways to work out if that matters to you (so trendy in fact, that my mother has heard of it and would like to try). I go paddle boarding a couple of times a year at Marsh Creek State Park near West Chester and really enjoy it. It’s a real good workout, paddling and chatting with one another is easy, and you could jump off and get back on much easier than say, kayaking, which is why I prefer paddle boarding on a really hot day.
When I first started this blog 2 years ago there were hardly any places in PA that offered paddle boarding. I was shocked how many places there are now and think I’m going to devote a post to solely this in the upcoming weeks. You could find additional Paddle Boarding rentals in Pittsburgh, NEPA and the Poconos.
Stick with me here. Almost every town, no matter where you’re at, has a baseball field in some capacity, whether it be little league, a high school, or a public park that’s pretty much falling apart. Grab a couple of people (you really don’t need more than 10 if you don’t mind running some and you’re not taking it that seriously) find a ball (I’m sure someone has one laying around, or else go to the local dollar store) and get a game going on a real field, if only for an hour or so. You may be thinking, why can’t I just do this in a backyard? Well, you can. But having the actual bases and dugouts makes it feel like more of a thing and might get more people wanting to actually participate. If you know someone with a big enough backyard, where hitting windows won’t be an issue, then by all means do it there and then feel free to add some libations.
I feel like tennis is my warm weather equivalent to cross country skiing. in that once you purchase the equipment and learn the basics it’s super cheap and a great workout, but for some reason everyone wants to downhill ski and golf and neither of these get any love. Like baseball fields, most decent sized towns probably have tennis courts either at the local high school or park that can be used for free (a lot of colleges also have easy access to their tennis courts) and it’s a hell of a workout. I tried to make it my mission over the winter to make people give cross country skiing a chance and I think I’m going to make it my mission this summer to do the same with tennis.
I sort of fought golfing for years. It’s not a sport, I argued. It’s more akin to bowling. I’ve come around a little bit since. I absolutely love going to the driving range and find it very relaxing and pretty much kick ass at mini-golf (aka: putting). It’s the stuff in between that trips me up and while I don’t think I’ll ever have the patience to play 18 holes, I find playing nine with a group of friends who don’t take it so seriously to be enjoyable. The caveat here, if you want to actually get a workout, is that you need to walk.