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Things to Do on Summer Break

School’s out and it’s finally summer break! At long last you have your coveted free time again, so how are you going to spend it?

Maybe you have plans to go backpacking with friends, or tan at the beach, but that still leaves a lot of time in between. Picking up an old hobby, or trying your hand at a new one, are two of the many ways to fulfill your summer break.

For months now, you’ve probably been eyeing the growing resurgence of gorgeous hand-embroidery, so why not take a stab at it yourself? It doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it sounds—brands like Oh Sew Bootiful and Kiriki Press make kits with pre-printed patterns and step-by-step instructions to get you started. Or if you want to go back to the basics, Dropcloth Samplers offers a Beginner Embroidery Stitch Sampler that will walk you through the different types of correct stitches involved in hand-embroidery.

Once you’ve got that covered, you can get to work on the adorable Fox Embroidery Kit—adorable and plush—or the Hot Air Balloon Embroidery Kit, which is absolutely dreamy.

Few things are lovelier than painting en plein air, so why not channel your inner Monet this summer and try it out yourself? Whether you’re a long-time painter or just starting out, watercolor is one of the best mediums for capturing landscapes and fleeting, picturesque moments. The idea of carrying art supplies might seem like a hassle, but brands like Viviva Colorsheets and Caran d’Ache make the experience of a traveling painter not only easy, but a pleasure.

As portable as a cell phone, Viviva Colorsheets are an assortment of 16 transparent watercolors packaged into one small booklet. To get started, you just have to wet your brush and run it over the chosen color. Easy peasy! (And if you get the Sketcher Set, your brush is already included.)

If you’re looking to add to your watercolor experience, or perhaps just try something new, look into trying the Fancolor Gouache Tablets by Caran d’Ache. Painting in gouache is like having the swiftness of watercolor, but with more opaque pigment. (The effect is great for adding details over your watercolor sketches!) These 15 gouache paints come in tablet form and include 14 colors, one tube of white, and a paintbrush. Not to mention the set comes in a gorgeous metal case that will make outdoor painting adventures a breeze.

Maybe your summer is so jam-packed you’ll lack the inspiration to practice the creative pursuits—so instead, how about investing in your downtime? If you’re spending evenings with family and friends, bringing a new game to the table can be a fun experience for everyone.

Just when you think jigsaw puzzles are over and done with, Nervous System swoops in to change the game. This innovative company uses a computer simulation to produce Geode Jigsaw Puzzles that are not only stunning in color and detail, but also individually unique. Once you and your pals have mastered its intricate puzzle pieces, you’ll be sure to frame this unique beauty.

If you’re hanging out with a younger crowd—babysitting or seeing some family relatives—picking up a Blockitecture City is a surefire way for both adults and children to have fun. As fun as LEGOs, but made of lovely, New Zealand Pine Wood, Blockitecture allows you to build different bustling metropolises with the option of combining them to create new designs and cities.

We hope some of these products will enrich your summer break!