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bigstock-Shadow-Of-Ferris-Wheel-fairgr-254773570With fall looming in the distance and signs of Back to School sales in abundance, it seems like we blinked our eyes and summer is quickly coming to an end. Fortunately, there are still several weeks left of sunshine, long days, warm nights, and fun-filled activities. Make the most of the rest of the Dog Days of Summer and check some items off your summer bucket list before breaking out the sweaters and snow boots. Have a last hurrah, get out of the gym and get your exercise in while spending time with your friends and family. Here are some fun and active ways to make the most of the rest of your summer.

Visit local amusement parks

With Six Flags, Adventure Park USA, Kings Dominion, Hershey Park, Busch Gardens, Sesame Place, and Dutch Wonderland all within a three-hour drive from Baltimore, the possibilities are endless. Take a day trip to one of these destinations or turn it into a mini getaway by staying over for a night or two. Once in the park, you’ll be sure to hit 10,000 steps in no time. Hate standing in line for the rides? Do some squats, lunges, and stretches to make the time fly by.

Turn your local park into a party

Grab your friends, family, coolers, a speaker, games, etc. and turn the neighborhood park into your next party central. Make it a pot-luck picnic where everyone brings their own dish and beverages. Pack a few games for the kiddos, blast some tunes, and enjoy the sunshine and company for a fraction of the price of going out. Plan to do some relay races and set up a mini obstacle course to get in a full-body workout between the eating and socializing.

Cool off in one of Maryland’s local swimming holes

The Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay with its plethora of inlets throughout the state are all just a short drive away. Pack the car with snacks and sunscreen and check out the following local swimming areas: Deep Creek Lake, Cunningham Falls State Park, Sandy Point State Park, Kilgore Falls, Cascade Lake, Elk Neck State Park, Gunpowder Falls State Park, or Terrapin Beach Park. Take a long walk or jog on the sand to warm-up your muscles and then hop into the water for an invigorating and heart-pumping swim session. Spend the rest of the day building sandcastles, frolicking in the water, and making memories that will last all the way till next summer.

Plan a staycation weekend

It’s always fun to act like a tourist and explore the city you call home. Check out Little Italy’s open-air film festival, or an outdoor screening under the stars at the American Visionary Art Museum’s “Flicks on the Hill”. Consider renting a boat at the Inner Harbor or heading to one of Baltimore’s iconic attractions: the Maryland Zoo, the National Aquarium, the Maryland Science Center, Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, or one of the myriad of museums (Port Discovery Children’s Museum, B & O Railroad Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art, The Walter’s Art Museum, etc.). Bike or walk from place to place to save money on cabs, Ubers, and parking. You can get your heart pumping as you discover hidden treasures close to home.

Get your festival and fair on

The 10 best days of summer is almost upon us. Check out the Maryland State Fair at the Timonium Fairgrounds August 22nd through September 2nd for thrilling rides, tasty treats, concerts, demonstrations, games, and all-around fun for the whole family! More into dressing up as a fair maiden, wench, or knight? Check out the Maryland Renaissance Festival that opens at the end of August and runs on weekends through the end of October. Want to stay closer to home? August is filled with local carnivals and fairs to explore with the family. With any of these options, you will certainly offset the treats you consume with the walking and laughter of the rides, games, shows, and attractions.

Although the pools will sadly close their doors soon after Labor Day arrives, which signals the end of the season, there is still plenty of warm-weather fun to be had. Whatever you decide, don’t let the last of the summer days go to waste. Squeeze out all the fun this season has to offer because before you know it, there will be snow on the grass and fun in the sun will be a distant memory.