Sure, there are plenty of grown-up summer activities all over the Bay area to fill up the hot days and humid nights. From bars and clubs to museums, beaches, boating and more, there’s a lot of adulting to do.
But adulting gets old after a while. Why should the kids have all the cheap, carefree fun? When you’ve reached the point where all of the 21-and-up stuff sounds too exhausting, expensive or been-there-done-that, it’s time to look to the children for some ideas regarding summer fun. After all — they are the future.
Throw the world’s smallest pool party. Who needs a high-priced backyard wonderland? Less than $50 will get you everything you need (including booze, probably) to make your own splashy fun. If you just want to chill, the standard kiddie pool is the way to go, but feel free to get creative with some cheap sprinklers, rolls of plastic garbage bags and whatever else you’ve got lying around to think like a kid and create the most dangerous low-budget water park ever.
Set up a lemonade stand. If you’re short the little bit of scratch you might need for some of these activities, take a cue from the neighborhood kids and earn it the old-fashioned way — by giving everybody on the block diabetes. Do as much or as little as you want: offer cold, watered-down yellow stuff to the guys cutting grass across the street, or whip up some fruity frozen goodness (including a little something special from under the counter for your best customers, perhaps). It’s a great way to meet your neighbors while indulging your inner scamp.
Create an all-in-one arcade. If you’ve got a computer, you’ve got access to pretty much every video game you’ve owned since childhood through the magic of the internet. Hobbyists around the world have created emulators that allow a PC to mimic older gaming systems, and archived games for posterity. There’s a bit of debate about the ethics of downloading and playing these games for free, but most folks seem to think it’s fine if you’ve ever paid for the game in the past. A quick web search will turn up easy instructions, and you can be battling it out old-school in air-conditioned comfort —and even streaming the action to your biggest TV — in no time.
Crash a kid-friendly business. Who says you’ve gotta stay home to enjoy some regression? Activities aimed at kids or families are often less expensive than, say, a meal and a bar tab; stretch your buck and relive your past glory days down at the local go-cart track, paintball/laser-tag emporium, skatepark or mini-golf course. You’ll not only exercise muscles and memories you haven’t used in years, but also show those kids in attendance that you never really have to grow up if you don’t want to. (Just don’t show up at a Chuck E. Cheese — that’s downright creepy.)