7 nostalgic activities to try with your besties this summer

May 15 2019, 12:59 am

Growing up, summer meant days spent outside with friends, playing games and rolling down hillsides. School-free months stretched out ahead of you, forcing you to use your imagination to fill them with fun. Those days might have consisted of touring the neighbourhood on bikes or making a quick Slurpee run to your local 7-Eleven.

Summertime in Toronto means there are so many things to do right in your own backyard. As an added bonus, most childhood summer pastimes won’t cost you a dime. The best things in life are free, or next to free, right?

Here are seven fun activities that will take you and your best pal back in time to those sweet summer days.

Go for a bike ride


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Give the Foodora cyclists a rest and form your own best friend cycle gang. Fill a backpack with snacks, and maybe a ball or frisbee, then hop on your bikes and head out to get a load of some natural beauty.

Cycle through High Park, one of the largest green spaces in the city. Find a nice place to set up for a picnic. Enjoy the view waterside by Grenadier Pond, along with the ducks and geese that like to hang out there. You might even catch a glimpse of some cranes swooping overhead.

Make a backyard slip ‘n slide

Water sports and grass don’t seem like they would mix, and yet a favourite Canadian pastime consists of hurling yourself down a soapy stretch of plastic laneway on your lawn.

Slip ‘n slides are a great way to cool off and show off your best moves. Throw some music on, fill a cooler full of beer and slide into your new role as king of the backyard. You might want to create a soft landing site at the end of the line, though — you and your pals may not be as used to tumbling on the ground anymore.

Go for a Slurpee run


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Summer and Slurpee drinks go together like peanut butter and jelly. From hanging out at the beach, to sitting on the porch with a good book, to staying up all night watching movies with pals, a Slurpee is the perfect summer bevvy for every occasion. Plus, 7-Eleven is introducing two new nostalgia-inducing flavours this season: Ghostbusters, a deliciously tart green apple watermelon flavour made with real juice, and Strawberry Blast, a sweet red treat that tastes like candy in a cup.

If you and your bestie bring in your own cup on May 17 or 18, you can take part in the legendary Slurpee fan favorite event, Bring Your Own Cup Day. Fill your craziest cup full of Slurpee for just $2 to kick off your summer.

Build a sandcastle

Bring your buckets, shovels and architectural eye to the beach with you this summer. If your supplies are hidden away in a parent’s crawlspace or attic somewhere, you may want to treat yourself to some new tools at the dollar store. Build a best friend fortress out of sand, or construct competing castles for a third-party judge.

Now that beach season has arrived in Toronto, you have some great options for lounging lakeside and building an epic castle. Head over to Woodbine Park or make a day of it and ferry over to Centre Island Park.

Organize a massive capture the flag game


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I double dog dare you to knock on all of your friends’ doors and ask them to come play outside. What stirs up sentimental childhood feels better than fierce competition?

If it’s been awhile, we’ll refresh your memory. Capture the flag is a strategy game where teams protect their own flag while attempting to steal their opponents’. Play for glory, or if you want to raise the stakes, declare that the losing team owes the winners a Slurpee.

Swim in a wave pool

Kick back on a pool floatie and wait for the thrill of hearing the buzzer that signals a new round of waves. The faint smell of chlorine is another quintessential summer experience, and a dip in the wave pool is the perfect way to beat the heat.

Make daisy chains in the park


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Maybe you’re making flower crowns for your next festival trip, or maybe you’re just killing time on a hazy summer afternoon. Find a patch of daisies or dandelions, then transform these so-called weeds into treasures.

Craft yourselves a new pair of friendship bracelets and rings or challenge each other to see who can make the longest chain. Leave with some beautiful new flower jewellery, grass stains on your jeans and some new/old memories with your fave person.

You don’t have to do all your favourite activities old school, though. Foodora and Uber Eats will deliver an order of Slurpee drinks or snacks from participating 7-Eleven stores, so you can revel in some nostalgia while nailing your time management. From bike rides to cups filled to the brim with Slurpee, capture the magic of childhood friendship in the summer with these sweet bonding activities.

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