Ideas to maximize summer

Joe Carlson, Staff Writer

June is finally here and the long-awaited summer vacation is quickly approaching. Every high school student is looking for something fun or productive to do during the summertime. So what is there to do to make the summer of 2016 an unforgettable vacation?


  • Join a local swim club


It’s going to be a hot summer and everybody needs a way to cool off.  Not everyone has access to a pool in their backyards, but luckily there is a swim club located in Washington Township, as well as one in Westwood. Anyone can join and relax in the water or along the pool deck and even enjoy food, snacks, ice cream and drinks at the snack stand.

  1. Join a swim team

For those looking for a way to stay active but avoid sweating in the hot sun and humid air of New Jersey in the summer, joining a swim team is your answer. There are plenty of clubs and teams of varying skill levels to join all over New Jersey, the closest being the Washington Township competition team.

  1. Pick-Up Games

There are fields of grass and turf and basketball courts to be found everywhere in Westwood or Washington Township. Enjoy a pickup game of baseball on the field or an intense basketball game on the courts at Gardner Field in Washington Township or Westvale Park in Westwood. Football can be played on the turf at Westwood Regional High School. With a few friends and a ball, anyone can stay active and enjoy the good weather and freedom of the summer months.

  1. Jersey Shore

Less than two hours away is one of the most popular vacation areas on the East Coast: the Jersey Shore.  Student Aidan Vella said, “The shore is definitely a great place to take a quick trip to. The shore is so close, anyone can make the drive there and back in one day, my friends and I already went last weekend.” There’s plenty to do at the shore and it’s not always possible to do everything in a single day trip, so if you’re looking to experience everything the shore has to offer you should consider looking through the variety of hotels to stay at or houses to rent.

  1.  Learn how to surf

This is a tough challenge for the summer, but even if you can’t manage to stand up on the board you’ll still have fun trying. Learning from your mistakes and focusing all your attention and energy on the task immerses you in your surroundings and brings you even closer to the ocean. The feeling of standing on the board riding a wave is an indescribable sensation and it’s certainly one you won’t forget.

  1. Go on a Cruise

The only people who are afraid of going on a cruise ship on the open water are those who have never been on one. A cruise ship is designed for relaxation and entertainment. There are endless possibilities onboard when the boat isn’t docked on a gorgeous tropical island and the passengers are not enjoying the crystal blue Caribbean ocean. Waterslides, spas, buffets, rock-wall climbs, arcades, and almost anything you can imagine are all featured on the latest Carnival or Royal Caribbean ships. Looking for a more scenic trip? Take a cruise to the glacial Alaska or the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. Cruising is the best way to see the world in two weeks or less.

  1. Experience the Caribbean

The Caribbean holds some of the most unique tropical islands in the world. See the vibrant Saint Maarten towns or the Spanish castles of Puerto Rico when you’re not snorkelling, surfing, or wading in the warmest and clearest water the Western Hemisphere has to offer. The lively music, people, food and culture of the islands are bound to make this summer memorable.

  1. Harriman State Park

At 47,527 acres and only thirty minutes away, Harriman State Park is a beautiful place to take a day trip to. Fishing, hiking, swimming and climbing in the lively green vegetation and the flowing mountain water is a stunning experience and makes Harriman State Park a great spot to take a day trip to.

  1. Go Fishing

Catch-and-release fishing is a great way to spend a sunny or even overcast and rainy day. There are plenty of places around Westwood and New Jersey to fish, such as Schlegel Lake in Washington Township as well as small ponds, rivers and streams in Hillsdale, Westwood and Washington Township. All you need is a line, some bait, and a few friends and you might just catch something!

  1. Go for a Bike Ride

Alone or with a friend, a bike ride is a relaxing way to get out of the house and exercise. Plan out a path before going or take familiar roads around your area or set a destination like a park, store or restaurant and ride to it.