Hot Fam Summer: 10 Summer Activities to do with your Chosen Family
ICONS like the CareBears, Dragon Tales, My Little Ponies, Digimon, Captain Planet and Sailor Moon are all powered by friendship 🌸🌟🥰😍😻🌈☀️🍓✨! Ever since I was collecting beanie babies I was obsessed with having thee best group of friends around. I was a extroverted and very social little gaybie. Also coming from a strict religious household, I was never really allowed to be alone with my friends or hang out with them without my parents or an adult. Whenever and wherever my friends and I could get some "just us" time, we took advantage. I have such vivid memories of making music videos, creating raps, taking pictures at the ice cream shop, writing stories, and creating fake parties and scenarios alllllll day with my friends at school, in basements, both under tight supervision and in our alone time.
Chosen family has always been my choice of family dynamic tbh. Little Tay knew. No one should feel "stuck" with anyone. Friends are the family we choose. They then become the ones who really work to make the difference in your life! Especially for folks like me with complicated relationships to biological family. It's important to develop all of your relationships especially your non romantic ones. Friends are the ones I call when I am in trouble or when I just need a listening ear. The ones who I feel like I can have the most fun with and who I take "family vacations" with.
Now this is FIRST on my list because I loved going to Pride when I was straight - deadass! It's always somewhere in the Summer and has a very inclusive line up of events. (Depending on where you live events are different.) No matter your friends all are welcome at Pride Festivals and often have a variety of adult, child, or family centered events for you and your chosen family to choose from. The beautiful part of Pride is anyone can live their fantasy! Love yourself in the skin you're in! Wear something that makes you feel beautiful, fully realized - think of yourself at 100%, what would you look like? Celebrate your identities and what makes your friendship so unique, so loving, so real.
2) Themed Movie Night
I love a theme. Tik Tok, Instagram, and Pinterest really work as great search engines for examples, ideas, and instructions on themed movie nights as well as parties. One trend I have been seeing more is a group of friends each dressing as a liquor brand and matching their outfit to the aesthetic of the liquor bottle. Ideas like this allow each friend to bring their uniqueness to their outfit, tailor drink choices according to their likes, and make everyone feel equal parts unique and part of a group. In terms of finances everyone can agree on a price to spend on drinks, activities, and outfits so it is a cheaper way to come together and have a good time. Instead of theming outfits around drinks pick your favorite movies or shows and center that in your gathering. If you want to take things outside of the house my friends and I LOVED heading to the $1 movies and sneaking in snacks. Pack a sandwich, some cookies, and a Ziploc of popcorn - it's time to binge.
3) Porch/Living Room Party
Got a porch or a living room? Well you HAVE a party! Focusing the party on one room in your home de escalates the amount of money and supplies needed to have a full on house party. I had a stoop Summer get together with a bunch of friends as a way to meet while cases were on the rise. We were able to mask, chill, watch TV on my stoop and eat food! It was super cute and really open with some people walking up and down the street, taking photos in the street, and even playing with the neighborhood kids in the street. Offer a variety of activities that can be done like cards, board games, bubbles, hula hoops! It's fun! If you have pets that is always a plus!
4) Road Trip
Ok. Pick somewhere reasonable. I always go for someplace within 3 hours of where we all live. Once you all have finally settled on a destination go ahead and pllllaaaannn. The planning for a road trip (to me) is the most fun part. Everyone looking up places to go, cities, landmarks, museums, and weird quirks to check out. Make sure you pick places and stops on the way that relate to the needs of your chosen fam. You don't want to be on a trip where everyone's overlooks your views and ideas so - keep it cute. Pack up everyone's favorite snacks; make a collaborative playlist; and have LOTS of podcasts, movies, and juicy conversation to keep everyone awake. In the past my friends and I have gone to a beach, random Amish country, Vegas, and lots of trips to concerts right outside our state.
5) Self Care Days/Afternoons
This idea is one that I institute with the gwurls at minimum once a month. Plan a day where everyone can come over and bring over their favorite pampering products and just have a relaxing ass day. It's giving face masks, seltzer water, nail polish, hair maintenance, and even dying hair! If you're that close and have experience add some pimple pops and waxing to the list. Talk about intimacy.
6) Weekday Check In Mixer
It's like Happy Hour - at the damn house. The purpose is not to network or generate anything but mores allow time to vent about their week and just blowing off steam! Have the fam pick up takeout or fast food on the way in and eat dinner together. Talk about how the week has gone so far, where you hope it can go, ask questions, and just laugh! If time allows play a card or a board game. I love a check in get together so I can get all the good gossip, tea, and updates during the week.
7) Art Party
Pick an art project and tell everyone to come with their own supplies! Put on some reality TV in the background or take turns putting on everyone's favorite music videos. In the past, I have done candle/oil making, vision boards, and tie dying. The last one I hosted we made vision boards, watched TV, and ate takeout. It was v cute.
Go halfsies (or sixies) on a local rental home or hotel. Pick a fun nighttime and daytime activity that everyone can participate in. Everyone can split the costs for food to be delivered or groceries to cook up a feast. Additional points to the chosen families that match or coordinate outfits and pajamas.
9) House Party
Celebrate something babe. Someone's promotion, a personal goal you know your friend met, or y'alls own holiday. Create a playlist or if you have the pull get a DJ (y'all deserve it)! Party hard. Dance all night! Let loose!
10) Group Class
GROUPON GAYS STAND UP! Sit back on the couch and look up classes offered for groups in your area on Yelp, GroupOn, and Instagram! Make sure to keep it affordable and accessible and fun! Some ideas would be yoga, cooking, crafting, and art workshops. For example, ask everyone in your group what "blowing off steam" means for them and survey the answers.