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24 Ways to Finally (Finally!) Relax This Summer

Check off these indulgences as you unwind the Colorado way.

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Sure, come late September, it feels great to say you crossed another 10 fourteeners off your list—but do you ever find yourself secretly wishing you’d indulged in more simple, quintessential warm-weather pleasures? If so, this is your year: Between the stress and restrictions (social, monetary, travel) brought on by COVID-19, you have plenty of excuses to make this your most relaxing summer yet. We even created a find-your-local-Zen checklist to give you a sense of accomplishment, albeit via the most laid-back to-do list there is.

  1. Have a backyard campout complete with Parker-born Mountain Mallow’s cookies-and-cream marshmallows tucked inside your s’mores. $14 for 18,
  2. Cozy up your patio furniture with pillows sheathed in Denver artist Kate Kellogg’s hand block-printed Cardamom Designs covers. From $24
  3. Follow @cheesmanbark on Instagram for a remote dose of puppy cuteness.
  4. Read “Monumental Beauty” to fuel daydreams about a future trip to Colorado National Monument.
  5. Show your offspring what children did for fun before TikTok with a sparkly hula hoop from Colorado Springs’ MissHoopsALot. From $43
  6. Combat pandemic-induced anxiety by streaming a calming class from nonprofit Kadampa Meditation Center Colorado. $12 per week for unlimited sessions
  7. Roll a bit of calming lavender- and chamomile-scented oil from Alpine Essence in Berthoud on your wrists before snoozing with your windows open. $8
  8. Activate childhood nostalgia with push-up ice cream pops (try the orange cream) from Steuben’s in Uptown. $4
  9. Groove to There Will Come Soft Rains, Colorado crooner Esmé Patterson’s dreamy March album, while grilling in your backyard. Buy from Twist & Shout or Amazon
  10. Keep your rosé chilled (yes, all day) in a $35 Winesulator from Denver’s Brümate. Buy from Brümate or Amazon
  11. Sprawl out with a book in a nearby park on Gili Gear’s waterproof Earth Mat, an upcycled vinyl mesh blanket handmade in Vail and Denver. From $40
  12. Have your partner massage Don’t Be Sore muscle rub from Lafayette’s Little Herbal Apothecary onto your achy-from-summer-runs limbs. $16
  13. Catch a midafternoon nap with your honey in a nylon double hammock from Boulder’s Trek Light Gear. $70
  14. Try disc golf (we like Cam-enisch Park’s Badlands Disc Golf Course), the cheaper and more leisurely—but equally social distance friendly—cousin to Tiger Woods’ sport of choice.
  15. Blend produce from your CSA share and a 20-milligram packet of Denver-based Caliper CBD’s powder into a nourishing smoothie. $25 per 10-pack
  16. Bike to Huckleberry Roasters in Sunnyside for a cold brew (and a side of toilet paper, if necessary). $5.50 plus $2.50 per roll of TP
  17. Record your “summer in the time of COVID-19” musings in Cold Mountain Craft’s Aspen-made leather journal with a handy shoulder strap. From $109
  18. Busy your art-camp-less young Monet with a Paint & Plant pottery-decorating kit from Green Lady Gardens on Santa Fe Drive. From $35
  19. Score the best seat in the driveway at your neighborhood happy hour thanks to Steamboat Springs–based Big Agnes’ new cupholder-equipped Big Six Armchair. $200 Buy from Big Agnes or Amazon 
  20. Reward yourself for mowing the lawn (again) with new booze-infused kombucha from Boulder’s Mortal Kombucha. $6
  21. Suffuse a post-yardwork rinse with aromas of more tropical flora courtesy of a Hawaiian Dreams shower bomb from Fort Collins’ Salus. $2.65
  22. Breathe easy when you go out in one of Weave and Gather’s masks, handmade by Boulderite Rachel Relin Haswell. $24
  23. Light Jannu & Me’s citrus-infused Black Cliff candle with beachy sea salt, hand-poured in Boulder. $24
  24. Enhance backyard stargazing—see if your kids can spot extra-bright Deneb, Vega, and Altair—with a telescope from Lakewood’s Mile High Astronomy. From $130

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