10 Things to do at the Lake

Are you looking for things to do at the lake this summer?  There are so many things to do on the water but if you aren’t used to lake life it can be hard to come up with all that is possible in the great outdoors.  However, when it comes to the lake, the possibilities are endless!

I’ve always loved the water but for a long time we lived in an area where lakes and rivers weren’t very accessible.  At least, not for a price.  If you wanted to go to the beach or use a boat launch where we used to live, more than likely you had to pay.

But three years ago we moved to an area that is not as populated with people, but quite populated with bodies of water.  Rivers, ponds, lakes, creeks, streams…. you name it.  And 9.9 out of 10 times, access is free.

So, you will often find us out there on the water doing all the things – especially in the summer.  

Maybe you will find yourself out by some large bodies of water this season.  Let’s talk about all the things you can do!  You’ll never want lake life to end!

10 Things to do at the Lake

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Okay, the first one we all think about is swimming but that’s because it’s loved by so many.  Also, swimming is a very frugal activity to do at the lake.  No equipment is required, except for maybe a life jacket for little ones. 

Where I live beach access is free, and you don’t even pay for parking!  My kids have spent countless hours in the water each summer swimming.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding

This is another one of my favorites.  Last year we bought a SUP and it’s gotten quite a bit of use.  Stand up paddle boarding requires some balance, but it doesn’t take long to learn how to not end up falling off! 

There are inflatable paddle boards and hard paddle boards.  I much prefer the hard paddle boards as I find them sturdier, but some people like the inflatable SUPs because they are cheaper and easier to transport.

Many places rent out SUPs so if you aren’t at a place where you are ready to buy one renting may be the way to go!


My family loves to fish.  You can fish from shore or you can fish from a boat.  You can even fish from a canoe or a kayak.  I prefer fishing from a boat but that’s just because I seem to have more luck fishing if I do it that way. Make sure you look into if your area requires a fishing license before you go.


Get out on a boat and cruise around.  Again, this is something some places will allow you to rent if you don’t have one, however, you may be required to have a boater’s license.  


Kids love tubing!  Strap a proper tube behind a boat, and let’er rip!  This is a great activity to do as a group as many tubes now hold three people and kids love to tube with their friends.


Canoeing is a nice, peaceful activity to do with a friend or family member.  My favorite times to canoe are first thing in the morning or later in the evening when the water seems to be a little more still.  


Maybe you’d rather be alone?  Kayaking is a nice, introverted activity as most kayaks hold only one person (though you can buy a double kayak.)  However, kayaking is fun with a friend too if you have multiple kayaks.  Either way, this is another peaceful activity to do on the lake.  No boat engines means it’ll be nice and quiet as you paddle across the lake.

Jet Skiing

I’ve only been on a jet ski a few times, but it’s a super fun watercraft that will have you whipping around the lake in no time.  This is another type of watercraft that you can often rent.


Wakeboarding is basically the only thing in on this I’ve never tried, and that’s because I’m just not co-ordinated enough to do it, and basically, I have a fear that I wouldn’t be able to get up on the wakeboard.  However, there are so many people out there who LOVE wakeboarding.  It’s an extreme water sport that is fun to conquer – or so I hear.

Enjoy the sunset

This can be from on the lake, or on the edge of the lake or sitting on a dock.  Watching the sunset over the water makes it feel like all is right in the world, no matter what is going on in your life.

Why Lake Life is the Best Life

I think I prefer lake life because where I live it’s not crowded.  Indoor crowded spaces are not my thing but when we are at the lake it’s a wide open space with so many different activities to take part in. 

When we first started spending time at the lake it was mostly swimming because we didn’t have any other items to enjoy the lake with, and it can be costly.  However, over the years we slowly built up our lake items.  First it was fishing rods, then a canoe, then a boat, then a kayak and paddleboard.  

I was really worried I would have buyer’s remorse when investing in watercraft, but I can tell you that the only thing I regretted after buying them was waiting so long. 

I’m a frugal person, but after the initial cost of watercraft it’s often an affordable way to enjoy the water year after year.  Our whole family has had hours upon hours of fun on the water thanks to our investments.

However, if that is not something you are wanting to do yet, I encourage you to look into renting different items.  Sometimes you can even find fishing rods to rent.  

You don’t need a cottage to enjoy the lake.  There are plenty of beaches, parks with water access, and more where you can enjoy a day on the water.

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