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10 Throwback Ways to Enjoy Summer Fun

Rediscover the magic of simpler days from your childhood

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    Water Works

    Don’t worry about what the neighbors think — take a run through your lawn sprinkler to cool off. It’s not exactly the Slip’N Slide you careened down as a kid in the ’60s—although come to think of it, they’re still available for your grandkids,. Either way is a lot cheaper than today’s fancy waterparks, with slides so fast and high they’ll make you want to holler.

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    Flying High

    Experience the joy and freedom of running through a park or on the beach with a kite flapping behind you. Homemade versions — with construction paper, wooden sticks, glue and string — are inexpensive and work just fine. But they’re no match for aerodynamically engineered creations that can run to hundreds of dollars.

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    Let There Be Light

    Grab a jar, poke holes in the top, catch some fireflies and recapture the wonder and amusement you knew as a child. Also known as lightning bugs, these winged, nocturnal beetles boast 2,000 varieties.

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    Up for the Chase

    How about an impromptu game of tag? You could spend hours in pursuit and shouting, “Tag, you’re it!” Or put a spin on it with variations such as Freeze Tag or Duck, Duck, Goose. Maybe even go more high-tech — think laser tag and paintball.

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    Hoop It Up

    Get your swerve on with a Hula Hoop. Wham-O sold 20 million of the colorful plastic hoops for $1.98 each in six months after its late-’50s debut. Now fitness classes use hoop workouts to help blast belly fat. An hour will burn as many calories as running on a treadmill for that long.

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    Wild, Wild Wet

    Load up for a water gun fight. Those pint-size pistols from the neighborhood store were tons of fun for chasing friends and foes and dousing them with H2O. Imagine how much more damage — and fun — you could have had with today’s Super Soakers. They certainly would have cut down on trips for refills.

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    Swing Time

    Hit the playground and unleash your inner child on a swing. Pump those legs and fly high: Every hour you swing burns 200 calories.

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    Campy Fun

    Forget the RV and adult sleep-away camps. Pull out your sleeping bags and camp out under the stars in your own yard — or on your enclosed porch. Bonus: The conveniences of home are at hand if you need them. That’s a far cry from the “primitive” summer camps your parents hauled you off to.

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    Bubble Over

    Blow bubbles with abandon. Remember blowing through the little plastic wand dipped in a bottle of dime-store bubble solution? It was like magic. You’d work on perfecting the shape and size of each bubble. Now you can buy bubble machines to do the work, spitting out dozens at a time. What fun is that?

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    Show Time

    Return to a time when father knew best and laugh tracks were king. Watch your favorite retro shows — Leave It to Beaver, Gidget or The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. It’ll be a change from binge watching the sex, political intrigue, and blood and gore of The Affair, House of Cards and Game of Thrones.

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