Remember when teachers made you write an essay about what you did during summer break? Well, the Southeast Missourian staff doesn't want you to miss a chance at a fun-filled day this summer, so we've compiled a list of area activities -- and some day-trip adventures -- worth consideration now that the days are long and the nights hot and humid.
29. Fire up the grill in celebration of the three-day holiday weekend. Invite the neighbors or some good friends for a potluck meal.
30. Memorial Day observed. Visit a local cemetery and find the grave of a soldier who died in service to the nation.
31. Make a pitcher of lemonade, sit on the swing and plan your summer activities.
1. Watch for fireflies from your back porch.
2. Pick up a quart or two of fresh strawberries at the local market, and enjoy the fruit in a shake, over pound cake or with ice cream.
3. Watch local cowboys rope the bulls at the East Perry County Rodeo in Altenburg.
4. Story time! Chris McBrien will entertain at 1 p.m. at the Cape Girardeau Public Library. Tickets are available at the library or by calling 579-5279. The event is part of the summer reading program.
Catch and Release Fishing Day from 8 to 11 a.m. at Capaha Park pond. This event is hosted by the Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department.
5. Visit Ste. Genevieve, Mo., for a historic home and garden tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call (800) 373-7007 for information.
6. Visit the Arts Council galleries for a look at the traveling "Good Vintage Senior Art Exhibit." Work from Missouri residents ages 50 and older is on display through the 25th. Call 334-9233 for hours.
7. Storyteller Anthony Clark will tell musical adventure tales at 9:30 a.m. at the Riverside Regional Library in Jackson. This event is part of the summer reading program. Visit a local branch for more information.
8. Visit the Cape Alternative Farmers Market for some of the area's freshest produce. Shopping begins at 8 and usually runs until noon at Arena Park.
9. If you miss the Wednesday market, stop by Plaza Galleria for the Farmers Market in the afternoon. Sales begin at 3 p.m. Come early for a good selection.
10. Bring a lawn chair and join the audience at Tunes at Twilight at Courthouse Park, sponsored by Old Town Cape.
11. Travel the old Riverfest course in the Vicky Keller Memorial River Run. For entry information, phone Ron Keller at 334-1364.
12. Grab a fishing pole, some bait and head to the Diversion Channel to catch a few catfish.
13. Camp Capaha summer camp for boys and girls ages 6 to 12 begins. Call Sean at 986-7379 for registration details.
14. Hang the Stars and Stripes in honor of Flag Day.
15. Observe National Little League Baseball week and watch a child's game at the local ball field. The week was so designated in 1959 by presidential proclamation.
16. Pack a lunch and head to the Capaha Park Rose Garden to enjoy the blooms.
17. Come to Lorimier Cemetery after dark for a storytelling rendition of "Legends and Ghosts of Louis Lorimier." For information, phone 335-1631.
18. Celebrate Central Municipal Pool's 25th birthday with a swim. Admission is free from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
19. Tell Dad why's he so special on this Father's Day.
20. Ready for competitive swimming? Join Pat Kuper for swim camp, an opportunity for ages 10 and older to learn more about team swimming events. Sessions run through July 7. Call 334-5421 to register.
21. Celebrate the summer solstice, when the sun is farthest north. This is the longest day of the year.
22. Take a hike at Trail of Tears State Park.
23. Spend a day researching your family tree or city history at the Cape Girardeau County Archive Center.
24. It's National Take Your Dog To Work Day. Maybe you can't take the pooch to work, but how about a ride or walk to your local park for a game of fetch?
25. Attend the Red House Ball from 7 to 11 p.m. at the A.C. Brase Arena Building. Historic costumes are invited but not required. Proceeds benefit the Red House Foundation.
26. Head to Ste. Genevieve, Mo., for the Smithsonian Institute's traveling exhibit on "Key Ingredients" about Americans and the food they eat. The exhibit is on display at the community center.
27. Learn to swim with lessons starting today at Capaha Pool in Cape Girardeau.
28. Turn off the TV and read a book. Check out a best-seller from your local library.
29. Take a walk on the Cape La Croix Recreation Trail. The trail is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
30. Meet the family for a picnic supper at the park.
1. Visit the St. Louis Zoo to mark the anniversary of the opening of the Philadelphia Zoo -- our nation's first.
2. You've made it through half of 2005. Surely that's worth observing in some celebratory way, right?
3. It's Stay Out of the Sun Day. If you do venture out, remember your sunscreen.
4. Come to Libertyfest in downtown Cape Girardeau for a parade, storytellers and fireworks. Jackson and Advance both host a community picnic in the park.
5. It's National Ice Cream Month. Take the kids to the ice cream shop and tell them about how you spent summers as a child.
6. Learn to play tennis with lessons at the Arena Park tennis courts. Sessions run through Aug. 1. Rackets and one can of balls are required. For information, call the Cape Parks and Rec department at 335-5421.
7. Take a walk along the Mississippi River floodwall and see the Mississippi River Tales mural panels.
11. Send your children on a nature treasure hunt through the neighborhood. Take pictures of flowers in bloom or visit with neighbors during the search.
12. Who needs Major League Baseball when you can watch the Riverdogs take on the Capahas at 5:30 p.m. at Capaha Field?
13. Donate canned goods to the local food pantry. Donations often run low during the summer months.
14. Celebrate Bastille Day, a French holiday much like America's Independence Day, with a visit to the library to learn about French culture.
15. Head to Six Flags this weekend for a ride on the park's newest roller coasters.
16. Spend an afternoon picking blackberries growing wild, or visit an orchard for fresh-picked fruit.
17. It's National Ice Cream Day. Celebrate with a scoop or two of your favorite flavor.
18. Catch a summer flick at the theater. And don't forget the popcorn.
19. Want to brush up on your golf swing? Sign up for lessons at the Jaycee Municipal Golf Course, offered on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. For information, call 335-5421.
20. Gaze at the moon. On this date in 1969, Neil Armstrong was the first person to walk on the moon.
21. Enjoy an evening of dancing with Southern Swing at the A.C. Brase Arena Building. There is an admission fee. The event begins at 7 p.m.
22. Catch an up-and-coming band at Garage Stock in Salem, Mo. More than 900 bands compete for the title of "Best Garage Band in America" at this event at Camp Zoe in Shannon County.
23-24. Check out the recreational softball tournament at Shawnee Sports Complex in Cape Girardeau.
25-29. Art classes begin, with instructors from the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri. Learn to make jewelry or basic oil painting. Call 334-9233 for a complete listing or to register.
26. Run through the sprinkler to cool off during the afternoon heat.
27. Catch the Plaza Tire Capahas baseball team in action tonight at 7:30 at the park.
28. Buy a fresh watermelon for a delicious summer treat.
29. Hold a seed-spitting contest with the remains from your watermelon.
30. Observe Air Conditioning Appreciation Days through Aug. 15.
31. Relax. Catch the sunset this evening.
1. Remember: It's not the heat but the humidity that makes life unbearable this month. Welcome to the Dog Days of Summer.
2. Take off work early for a round of miniature golf at a local course.
3. Make a shopping list for school supplies. If you don't have children in school, donate supplies to a local charity that will give them to children in low-income families.
4. Duplicate Bridge club meets at 7 p.m. at the Osage Community Centre. There is no fee, and refreshments are provided. Call 334-2859 for information.
5-7. Ready for homemade vanilla ice cream? Then visit the St. Vincent de Paul parish picnic at the old seminary grounds. There are games for the kids, plenty of food and friends to visit.
8. Get your cowboy boots out of the closet and get ready for the 53rd annual Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo, which begins Aug. 10.
14. It's time for the Perseid meteor shower. The best time to watch is usually between 2 and 4 a.m. in a dark area away from city lights.
15. Cape Girardeau public schools begin a new year.
16. It's the height of garage sale season. Check the newspaper's classified section for the latest area sales.
17. Scott City public school students head back for a new year.
18. Take a tour at the new Conservation Campus at Cape Girardeau County Park North.
19. Pitch a tent in the back yard, and camp out under the stars.
20. Learn about medicinal and culinary herbs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. during a discussion at the Red House Interpretive Center in downtown Cape Girardeau. Then tour the facility to learn more about Lewis and Clark's visit here.
21. Take a tour of the city's other historic sites. Contact the CVB for a brochure and more information about locations.
22. Jackson public schools begin a new year.
23. Stop at the Natural History Museum of Bollinger County or the River Heritage Museum for a glimpse at the area's historic significance.
24. Spend a relaxing evening watching the river. Drive to Cape Rock Park and watch the barges pass by.
25. Plan a trip to Bunker, Mo., for the annual Lewis and Clark Trail Days festival.
26-27. Get a taste of the region's best barbecue at the Cape Area Chamber of Commerce's BBQ Fest at Arena Park. Events continue Saturday.
28. Drive U.S. 61 or Highway 25 for a scenic trip through Southeast Missouri.
29. Fill balloons with water, and let the family cool off after supper with a game of tag. Whoever ends the night with the driest clothes wins.
30. Head to Cache River Natural State Area for a glimpse at wetlands.
31. Visit the orchards or plant stores for a look at the budding chrysanthemums for your fall garden.
1. Remember that Grandparents Day is Sept. 11. Buy a card and mail it to your loved ones.
2. Find your bleacher seats and blankets so you'll be prepared for high school football season when it gets into full swing later this month.
3. Relish the last few bits of produce from your summer garden. Share your bounty with friends and neighbors.
4. Today marks the beginning of National Waffle Week. Eat some for breakfast in honor of the occasion.
5. Labor Day. Live it up on the last day of summer! Tomorrow the fun ends.