03/25/2013 06:23 EDT | Updated 03/25/2013 06:24 EDT

Reasons To Celebrate The Summer

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Despite your best intentions, remember how you spent last summer vegging out in your living room in front of the fan and some Oprah re-runs? Yeah, that was lame. Don’t let the warm weather pass you by this year – summer is the perfect time to get your party on and make some epic memories with your friends, family, neighbours or co-workers. You don’t need a reason to throw a party but in case you want one, we’ve come up with some great reasons to host a backyard bash this season.


Reasons To Celebrate The Summer

Graduation Season - May

Most university students finishing up their degree will enjoy sweet freedom and start the next phase of their lives by May, so it’s the perfect time to throw a party that freshmen students will be talking about for years to come. Who cares if you already graduated back when cassette tapes and Walkmans were the norm? If that's the case, it’s high time you celebrated the anniversary of the last time you felt that amazing, unparalleled “Wow, I actually passed” feeling. Happy 12 years since you last wrote final exams! Now have some chips and dip and kick back.

Victoria Day Long Weekend – May

The unofficial start to summer, the Victoria Day long weekend is a quintessentially Canadian reason to celebrate. Whether you’re opening the cottage or cabin, or gathering with friends or family close to home, this is a great weekend to kick off a season of fun in the sun. Honour Queen Victoria with a delightful spring brunch, wheel the barbecue out for the inaugural backyard session and end the weekend with some fireworks – doesn’t get much better than this.

Last day of School – June

Have kids? You can bet they’ll be in the mood to celebrate as the bell at their school clangs for one last time, signalling their freedom for two glorious months. Consider throwing them a backyard bash to get their summer started off right – a water fight involving Super Soakers and water balloons is a great way for them to blow off steam. Don’t have kids? Who cares? A water fight is good clean fun for a grown-up party too.

Summer Solstice – June 21st

June 21st marks the longest day of the year, so enjoy the extra hours of sunlight by holding an outdoor barbecue or party. Do something fun and different – you could hold a croquet tournament or set up a ping pong table in your backyard, for instance. Just make sure that this party is one for the record books – June 21st also marks the beginning of the end, as the days will slowly start getting shorter after this point and before you know it, we’ll be in the middle of winter again. Bottom line: whatever you do, enjoy it.

Canada Day – July 1st

Is there any better reason to host a party than the birthday of our glorious and wonderful nation? Canada Day is a day where all Canadians come together to celebrate the place they call home, so it’s a great day to gather everyone you know for food, beverages, dancing and general merriment. Lucky enough to have a cabin or cottage? Canada Day is the perfect holiday to assemble all your VIPs out in the middle of nowhere – host a barbecue and set off some fireworks (safely, of course) after the sun sets. Staying in town for the event? Set up some patio lanterns, pick up some classic Canadian eats and beverages and rock out to some awesome Canadian bands like Arcade Fire, Our Lady Peace and The Tragically Hip.

August Long Weekend – August 5th

The August Holiday is known by different names across Canada, so the sky’s the limit – you can pick any theme you want as long as it jives with the summer vibe. Just make sure you do something ... summer is quickly running out so it’s important to seize the day. Your friends will thank you for it.

Labour Day – September 2nd

Isn't Labour Day such a bittersweet holiday? On one hand, you're grateful to have the day off but on the other, you know that this day symbolizes the end to another glorious summer. Still, look at the positives – it’s a long weekend, it’s probably gorgeous outside, and if you’re a parent, your kids are either back in school already or are on their way there shortly. Give the summer of 2013 the send-off it deserves by having a legendary good time this Labour day with the people closest to you. Host a picnic at a lake or simply set up a backyard bonfire – whatever you do, just make sure you get outdoors while you still can.