Tag Archives: summer activities

10 Last Minute Labor Day Weekend Getaways

10 Last-Minute Labor Day Weekend “Getaways”

Labor Day weekend is the last hurrah of the summer season before we settle into fall. It seems that on September first — regardless of the weather — everyone is wearing boots and scarves and sipping fall-spiced coffee.

Every long weekend has a popularized way to spend those three days. Since Labor Day weekend is about savoring the last lazy days of summer, many people opt for a beachside getaway. If a 4-day weekend isn’t in your forecast, don’t feel bad! You can still “get away” without a getaway. Check out our tips for a restorative summer staycation, plan to stay local, and get inspired by these ideas.

The Cat's Pajamas Aloha Pima Cotton Set

Sometimes the best plan is no plan. Aloha Pima Cotton Set from The Cat’s Pajamas

Relaxing Labor Day Weekend Activities

1. Local Beach

You don’t need to travel far and wide to enjoy a beach vacation. If you’re near the coast, travel to one of your local beaches for a getaway that’s close to home. Think outside the box: lakes and rivers have beaches too! Opt for lesser known destinations if you can. Fewer crowds means more relaxation.

2. Cultural Weekend

Instead of going to a new exotic locale, why not be a tourist in your own backyard? We often overlook sites and attractions that are closest to us. Discover museums, historic sites, and art galleries that are near to you and see your hometown from the eyes of a visitor.

3. Picnic

It’s a bit old fashioned, but classics never go out of style. Pack a picnic and plan to spend a lazy afternoon in a local park. Lounging under a shady tree, reading, or enjoying your family’s company outdoors is a wonderful way to wrap up the summer season.

4. Hiking

Maybe you can’t make a mountain getaway work for you, but how about a nice long hike? Search for nearby trails and make a day of it. What better way to end your summer than in a peaceful natural environment, soaking up some great views.

5. Explore a New City

If you can swing a day trip, consider visiting your nearest major city. Even if you live in a metropolitan area, consider taking a drive or a train to a new city for the day. This will give you the thrill of getting away and being a tourist, without the hefty price tag of an urban hotel or Airbnb. Have an adventure!

Munki Munki Postcards from Abroad Pajama Set

I’ll send you a postcard… from the couch. Postcards from Abroad Pajama Set by Munki Munki

6. Spa Day

Not all of us know the feeling of “carefree summer days.” If you’re aching for a much-needed vacation, but it isn’t in the cards — how about splurging on a spa day? Many spas have affordable half day packages or discounts if you purchase three or more services. Explore your options and plan to take some time to relax.

7. On the Water

Maybe you’re unable to rent a boat, but how about a kayak or canoe at a nearby lake or river? Not only is kayaking great exercise, it’s a peaceful, meditative activity. Just you on the water surrounded by leafy green foliage. Take it all in at a slower pace.

8. Seafood Feast

Many associate summer with the ocean, beaches, and an abundance of fresh seafood. Why not getaway to a local restaurant and enjoy some seafood? Maybe the restaurant is on a beach, on a lake, or inland. But with the right ambiance, you’ll feel like you’re a million miles away from home. If you like to cook, skip the restaurant and try out some beach-inspired recipes at home!

9. Bike Ride

Summers of childhood were usually filled with long bike rides: down the street, to friend’s houses, on back roads. If you don’t own a bike, consider renting or borrowing one for the weekend. Spend a day trying to recapture those simple childhood thrills.

10. Let’s not and say we did?

Are you ‘that friend’ or ‘the family’ who is known, perhaps a little too well, for being the life of the party or the host with the most? Why not sit this one out? Spend a weekend at home, lounging in your pajamas, eating takeout, and putting your feet up before the busy holiday season kicks in. This is the last long weekend of the summer, but not the last one of the year!

For more ideas for rest and relaxation this fall season, check out The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.

Munki Munki Travel Collection Pajamas

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11 Best Summer Beach Reads

11 Best End-of-Summer Beach Reads

It’s never too late for rest and relaxation. We may have past summer’s halfway mark, but there is still plenty of time squeeze in a “beach read” (or a “rainy summer afternoon in your pajamas” read). If you’re the type of reader who reads in short, sporadic bursts — instead of cover-to-cover in a week or less, consider short stories.

Short stories aren’t just for kids and teens. There are many classic and contemporary short story collections that allow readers to complete a narrative in one sitting. These are our favorite short story collections for your end-of-summer beach read.

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Munki Munki “Deep Sea Whales” Cotton Jersey Classic Pajama Set

Best Short Story Collections for Your Next Beach Read

1. Runaway by Alice Munro (2004)

This list is starting out strong: Munro won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2013 for her extraordinary work as “master of the contemporary short story. She also won the 2009 Man Booker International Prize for her lifetime body of work and has been called the modern-day Chekhov. Runaway is among her best collections, effortless shifting across decades. Munro has the remarkable ability to convey an entire life in a few pages.

2. Pulse by Julian Barnes (2011)

Barnes is best known as a novelist and won the Man Booker Prize in 2011 for The Sense of an Ending (sensing a theme here?). His collection of short stories, Pulse, is brilliant — steeped in social nuance and colorful details. Two particularly excellent examples from this collection are “Complicity,” about the start of a love affair, and “East Wind,” about a relationship between an estate agent and a foreign waitress. Perfect content for a beach read.

3. Kiss Kiss by Roald Dahl (1960)

Everyone knows his peerless children’s books, but did you know that Roald Dahl writes adult fiction that is equally vivid and… well… wicked and a little unsettling? The stories in Kiss Kiss are brilliantly unnerving and considered a “masterclass” in the form. This collection is is a wonderful way to see Dahl in a new light.

4. This Isn’t The Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You by Jon McGregor (2012)

Set in the UK — in Norfolk and Cambridge — this collection of stories will haunt you for months. McGregor has a knack for elevating everyday occurances, turning them into small, perfectly rendered pieces of art. As one review in the Guardian noted, “The stories wrap themselves around the wholly disconcerting premise that catastrophe can rear up in anyone’s life without warning.”

5. Tenth of December by George Saunders (2013)

Winner of the Folio Prize for fiction, Saunders is, according to Entertainment Weekly, “the master of joy bombs: little explosions of grin-stimulating genius that he buries throughout his deeply thoughtful, endless entertaining flights of imagination.” Written with a mix of humor and humanity, this collection is ideal for readers who want to smile and be moved.

The Cat's Pajamas Pink Shorts Set

The Cat’s Pajamas Women’s Tahiti Palm Knit Shorts Set

6. A Life of Adventure and Delight by Akhil Sharma (2017)

Like Alice Munro, Akhil Sharma has also been likened to Chekov. A truly epic writer, Sharma’s stories in this collection feature Indian protagonists, both in India and abroad, carefully exploring complex relationships with their families, partners, and selves in flawless short form.

7. Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? By Raymond Carver (1976)

Carver’s classic 1970s collection is perfect for people who like a writer who uses one word instead of 12. Known for his short, punchy prose, Carver conveys in a few words what many novelists take several pages to express. In stories such as “Fat” and “Are You a Doctor?” he writes with flat understatement about suburban disenchantment in mid-century America. This particular collection was shortlisted for the National Book prize and was written during what Carver called his “first life,” when he nearly died of alcoholism.

8. There Are Little Kingdoms by Kevin Barry (2007)

If you’ve ever read Kevin Barry’s work before, it’s clear that he takes joy in story-telling — a joy that is palpable in his writing. It’s well, fun, to read authors that are clearly having fun. While the stories themselves are not always “joyous” — there are plenty of tales of lost souls and misfiring Irish families and friendships — this is funny, stirring writing from a unique talent.

9. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (1999)

Another prize winning read. This collection of nine stories by Lahiri won the Pulitzer Prize shortly after it was published and was named New Yorker’s debut of the year. The New York Times described the stories as containing an “uncommon elegance and poise.” The narratives explore the Indian-American immigrant experience and the alchemy of love and relationships.

10. A Selfie As Big As the Ritz by Laura Williams (2016)

Get lost in this contemporary collection by Laura Williams, a smart and funny writer who uses details that other writers would overlook, losing their punch. One critic wrote, “I admire that at the core of each story, Williams sticks to the familiar. Her writing however, her style, are anything but.” The stories aren’t a stretch and are easy to grasp, but presented in a new and entertaining format. Especially relatable for readers of a younger generation, but timelessly enjoyed.

11. The Love Object by Edna O’Brien (2014)

Edna O’Brien is a critic favorite and considered one of the great modern Irish writers. This collection spans five decades of brilliant short story writing from O’Brien whose prose style is among the most celebrated of any living author. Her characters range from lonely nuns to single mothers to modern millionaires and are consistently remarkable. Perfect stories for the beach, on the couch, or if you’re tucked in bed for the night with a cup of tea. Good luck putting this one down.

For more ideas for rest and relaxation this summer, visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.

Cool Cotton Pajamas for Summer

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15 Summer Boredom Busters for Kids

15 Summer Boredom Busters for Kids

“I’m bored!” says every child three days into their summer vacation. While it’s not our job as parents to be cruise directors, here we offer alternatives to the default response of “Go outside and play!” Unlike elaborate Pinterest-inspired activities, we tried to keep this list to activities that most children could do without too much adult intervention. Of course, please use your best judgement when selecting activities that are both safe and age appropriate for your kiddos!

Screen-Free Summer Activities for Kids

1. Water Balloon Fight

Why a water balloon fight vs. a squirt gun fight? Time! The kids will have a blast filling and making the balloons… which also incidentally kills more time. If you’re worried about clean up and the environment, know that you can find biodegradable water balloons — 500 for less than $10!

2. Sidewalk Chalk Obstacle Course

Have your kids devise an “obstacle course” with sidewalk chalk. It could be one that they skip, hop, and jump through or use with their bikes, trikes, or scooters. This activity is a great way to get them to use their imagination and get some exercise!

3. Sprinkler Fun!

Sprinklers are a classic summer boredom buster for kids! A great alternative to splashing in a pool, running through a sprinkler will amuse your kids for hours, especially when you combine the activity with others like water balloons and squirt guns. Inexpensive and quick to set up, apart from supervision, this activity takes minimal effort.

4. Sun Tea

Sun tea is a quick and easy activity that is especially amusing for the younger set. Select a tea with a vibrant color, preferably a fruit tea, like passionfruit, peach, or mango. Place several of the bags in a large, clear, glass pitcher or mason jar for a big batch. Fill it up with water and set it in the sun to “brew.” After an hour of playing, the kids will return to find a brightly colored pitcher of tea waiting for them — made by the sun!

5. Plant and Bird Identification

Plant identification is a great activity for younger children who are excited about reading and science. Give them a plant or bird guide that is specific to their region and encourage them to find and identify different birds, flowers, shrubs, or trees in either their backyard or a local park. Increase the “science” factor by giving them magnifying glasses or binoculars to examine their finds with more detail!

Summer Boredom Busters for Kids

Can’t go camping without the right gear! We love these matching Lazy One flapjacks!

6. Backyard Camping

Can’t drive out to the wilderness for the weekend? Camp in the backyard! Have the kids set up a tent, wear their favorite pajamas, and sleep outside in the great outdoors. Even if they’re not keen on spending the night outside, they’ll have a blast pretending to camp all day long. Perfect for kids who enjoy imaginative play.

7. Nerf Blaster Target Practice

If your kids love Nerf blasters, set up “target practice” outside. Give them plastic cups to stack and knock over. Another option is to have them draw and hang paper targets. If they’re of the age where they enjoy competition, encourage them to keep score and practice their math skills while they’re at it!

8. Dominoes

Another old school rainy day classic, find dominoes and teach your kids how to set up trails of falling dominoes. Look at YouTube videos of dominoes falling to get inspiration for epic examples of what people have created. Take videos of the final result and maybe post it on the web for other domino enthusiasts to enjoy!

9. Make Popsicles

Popsicle molds are pretty common these days and can purchased on Amazon or in stores like Target or Walmart. While there are a lot of “recipes” for popsicles that involve fresh fruit and a blender, simplify the activity by purchasing an armful of fruit juices. Have kids combine their favorite juices into fun new flavors!

10. Crayon Rubbings

Send your kids outside with pad of paper and a box of crayons. Show them how they can make “rubbings” of their favorite leaves and flowers to create fun and original artwork. Simply place the leave under a piece of paper and lightly add pressure with the crayon to create an imprint of what is beneath. Works best when you take the wrapping off the crayon and rub lengthwise.

11. No-Bake Baking

It’s too hot outside to turn on the oven! Search the web for “no-bake desserts.” Since these recipes don’t involve an oven, they’re often easier for younger children to make from start to finish. Great for building kitchen skills and confidence!

12. Make Collages

Drawing, coloring, and painting are a great way to pass the time. If you have a lot of magazines and junk mail, give the kids some age-appropriate scissors (or help them cut!) and encourage them to enhance their artwork by collaging.

13. Squirt Gun Painting

Using squirt guns, water, and food coloring, your kids can make paintings outside. Set up large pads of paper at a distance and fill various water guns with different colored water. Let them fire away and create!

14. Water Xylophone

Fill several tall glasses with various amounts of water. Using a spoon, tap each glass. Show your kids how filling the glasses with more or less water creates a different sound. This is a fun way to experiment with music in your kitchen!

Summer Boredom Busters for Kids

This goldfish pajama set from Munki Munki is perfect for playing in pillow fort!

15. Living Room Fort

In many regions, summer has no shortage of rainy days! When your kids are trapped inside, let them build the living room fort of their dreams: no chairs, bedding, or pillows are off-limits! They’ll have a blast building the cozy castle of their dreams. Later that night, host a family pajama party in their “new home inside of home.”

For more ideas for summer family fun, visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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What to Wear Camping

11 Must-Have Summer ‘Glamping’ Essentials

“We should go camping!” exclaims your friend / roommate / significant other and before you know it (before you’ve had your coffee) you shout, “YES! We should TOTALLY go camping!” Three clicks and a rental car later, you made plans to spend the weekend in the great outdoors.

Sleeping under the stars… or on the ground in a hot tent surrounded by bugs… isn’t for everyone, but glamping certainly is. Glamping is short for “glamorous camping” and the concept inspires even the most hardened indoor cats to venture into the wilderness. The idea behind glamping is to make the experience as relaxing and restorative as a night in a hotel. Here’s how.

11 Must-Have Summer Glamping Essentials

Turn Camping into ‘Glamping’ with the Right Gear

1. Effective “Dry” Insect Repellent

If you’re not a fan of the outdoors, this is not the time to try an “all natural” bug spray made of essential oils and unicorn tears. This is the time to stock up on products like OFF! Deep Woods Dry. Bug spray may not sound like “glamping” gear, but the less time you spend tending to mosquito bites and swatting at gnats, the more time you spend enjoying the outdoors. Dry repellents last for 8 hours, aren’t greasy like typical sprays, and are safe to use on your clothing and tents! Make your weekend a bug-free zone.

2. Starter Logs

It’s cute that your partner wants to show you how they learned to make a fire in Scouts over 20 years ago… but on the off chance they’re a little rusty, pack starter logs. Starter logs will have you enjoying perfectly toasted marshmallows in a matter of minutes. Brands like Enviro-Log are safe for the environment and burn clean without all the chemicals.

3. “Fold and Go” Propane Camping Grill

You won’t want to start a bonfire every time you want to enjoy a hot meal. Make mealtime easier with an inexpensive, lightweight “fold and go” propane grill. They pack away neatly, are easy to carry in a backpack, and simple to clean and maintain. These grills are the difference between eating a granola bar for breakfast or savoring a hearty meal of bacon and eggs.

4. Reliable Cooler for the Champagne

With the right cooler or ice chest, you can keep food cold for up to 4 days! Don’t limit yourself to canned food, dry goods, and water. Pack your favorite meats, cheeses, and beverages and enjoy them all at a refreshing temperature. You can’t go glamping without the mimosas!

Light Summer Pajamas

It’s heating up! We adore this cotton pajama set from The Cat’s Pajamas.

5. The Perfect Camping Pajamas

You won’t feel glamorous sliding into your sleeping bag wearing the the same T-shirt you’ve been wearing all day, smelling of sweat and bug spray. Drift off to sleep in a silky, lightweight pajama set that will breathe through even the most humid summer nights. Check out our most popular light, breezy summer pajama sets for inspiration.

6. Air Mattress, Blankets, and Plenty of Pillows

Even the cushiest sleeping bag won’t save your spine from the uneven dirt floor beneath your tent. Splurge on a battery-operated pump for an air mattress. Go ahead and bring sheets, blankets, and plenty of indoor and outdoor pillows to turn your tent into a cozy den of comfort. Don’t forget LED-powered lanterns and battery-operated fans for an extra-luxurious experience.

7. Dry Shampoo and Other Creature Comforts

If your campsite is especially “rustic,” you’re going to need to pack basic creature comforts to live your glamping dream. If there is no running water, bring plenty of moist wipes to freshen up between deodorant applications. Wash your hair with a luxurious dry shampoo before bed, so you can hit your pillow with that “fresh blowout” feeling.

Give a Bathrobe and an At-Home Spa Day for the Holidays 2017

Kashwere Super Soft Shawl Collared Robe

8. A Plush, Luxurious Bathrobe

Even without running water, you can feel instantly cozy in the soft, cocoon-like arms of a high-end bathrobe. Wrap up in your robe at the end of the day, while you read in your tent. Be comfortable during cool early mornings, snug in your robe, sipping coffee brewed over an open flame. The perfect bathrobe instantly elevates any outdoor experience from camping to “glamping.”

9. Entertainment of Every Kind

We know, we know. You’re outdoors, so you should be stargazing and hiking and frolicking in fields with fawns and singing birds… but two or three days in the woods can get a little dull. There’s nothing wrong with bringing a fully charged tablet and watching a movie in the comfort of your pillow-stuffed tent. Of course, bring plenty of board games, card games, books, or magazines for non-electronic entertainment too!

10. The Hammock

Can you really call it “glamping” without a hammock? Don’t forget this absolutely essential piece of glamping equipment. Hammocks are the best way to lounge outdoors. They are easily packed and easily installed between two trees at any campsite. You can even find folding hammocks that pop up independently, without screwing bolts into trees.

11. Elevated S’Mores

We have nothing against Hershey’s, but if you want to take your camping experience from rustic to elegant, start with the s’mores. Instead of the standard Hershey’s milk chocolate, try incorporating bars of artisan chocolate with your graham crackers and toasted marshmallows. Artisanal chocolates come in flavors like candied orange peel, spiced chili, cinnamon, and lavender. This is a simple way to add a touch of luxury to any gathering around a bonfire.

For more ideas for outdoor fun for the whole family, visit us at thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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