Hike Fun Foward: Special Days – August 1-7

August 1 – Friendship Day

Friendship Day encourages people across the country and around the world to connect with friends. Reconnect with an old one, celebrate a current friendship, or make a new friend or two.

How often we take our friends for granted and fail to share how significant they are in our lives. This is a great day to express your appreciation, gratitude, and admiration for those positive influences in your life.

August 2 – Coloring Book Day

Coloring Book Day celebrates the joy that both children and adults alike derive from coloring in pages of designs. Coloring and coloring books have been popular with children for decades, and in recent the years, adults have gotten more and more involved with coloring. Many people of all ages find that it is not only fun but also a great way to reduce stress.

This is one of the easiest days to celebrate – grab some crayons, buy a book reflecting your skill level and your budget, and carve out some time to be creative. Coloring is a great activity to do with your children. Their works of art are great refrigerator posts and scrapbook memories.  

August 3 – Watermelon Day

What a great day to celebrate in the heat of August. Watermelon is 92% water and is such a great treat during the high temperatures of summer. A watermelon party is a great way to meet the neighbors or to gather together with friends/family. A seed-spitting contest is great fun if your get a watermelon with seeds.

With proper growing conditions, watermelons grow to enormous sizes. Around the world, competitions award prizes each year for the largest one. The Guinness Book of World Records states that the heaviest watermelon weighed 262 pounds. According to 32 Fun Facts About Watermelon – What About Watermelon?, the heaviest watermelon recorded weighed 350.5 lbs and was grown in 2013.

August 4 – Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

Ruth Wakefield

It seems like every dessert every made has a day of the year, but (in my opinion) the Chocolate Chip Cookie deserves the celebrity status and recognition of a special day. I know they have been around since 1950 and my mom made a powerfully good chocolate chip cookie since I was born, but how long have they been part of the fiber of our country (I am not sure if a chocolate chip cookie has any fiber, but you know what I mean)?  

The inventor of the chocolate chip cookie is Ruth Wakefield. She was born on June 17, 1903 in Massachusetts and died on January 10, 1977. She graduated from the Framingham State Normal School Department of Household Arts in 1924, and gave birth to the chocolate cookie around 1938. Ruth and her husband Kenneth bought a tourist lodge named the Toll House Inn, where she prepared the meals that were served to guests.

The legend often presented recounts a day in 1938 when Wakefield was mixing a batch of cookies only to discover that she was out of baker’s chocolate. She substituted broken pieces of Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate, expecting it to melt and absorb into the dough to create chocolate cookies. That didn’t happen, but when she removed the pan from the oven, Ruth realized that she had accidentally invented “chocolate chip cookies.” Some cookie historians take issue with this fable but who cares – it makes a great story and adds to the mystic of American’s #1 favorite cookie.

August 5 – Water Balloon Day

Just in time for the hottest days of summer! It should be water balloon month, but even a day is so much fun. What kid or adult doesn’t enjoy a water balloon battle on a hot summer afternoon? There are games you can play (see blow for a few examples) but the most fun is just a snow-ball style fight where everyone enjoys getting wet and cooling down.

Try some of these ideas:

Water balloon toss  – This one is a classic. Everyone pairs up. Each team stands close together taking turns tossing their water balloon to each other. As soon as the water balloon breaks they’re eliminated. The team that gets the furthest apart wins!

Batting practice – combine water balloons and whiffle ball bats for a wet experience at home plate.

Target Practice – draw a chalk target on the side of shed or on the driveway. Decide on a throwing mark and see who can come closest to the bullseye.

Clean-up Challenge  – Set a timer to 5 minutes. Everyone races to collect as many broken balloon pieces as possible. Present prizes to gold, silver and bronze winners.

For more great ideas check out 10 Great Ideas for Water Balloons – Happy Home Fairy. This creative website has loads of great family fun ideas.

August 6 – Lucille Ball Day

Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s one of my favorite comedians was Lucille Ball. She was the star and the producer of I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show, and Here’s Lucy. I remember laughing until my side hurt at the chocolate candy conveyor belt episode, the grape stomping scene, and the mirror skit with Harpo Marx. Her comic timing and her facial expressions were truly amazing.   – born August 6, 1911 -110 years ago and yet her comedy still makes me laugh.

Check out some YouTube videos of Lucy or tune in some old episodes of her sitcoms. Reminisce or watch her for the first time, but celebrate this grand lady of fun and laughter.

August 7 – Lighthouse Day

Due to expensive lighthouse maintenance and great advancements in modern electronic navigational systems, the number of lighthouses are in great decline. Here are a few interesting lighthouse facts:

Lighthouse Day honors the beacon of light that for hundreds of years symbolized safety and security for ships and boats at sea. At one time, lighthouses could be found along almost all of America’s shorelines. These towers were designed to emit light using a system of lamps and lenses to aid ship captains with the safe navigation of their vessels.  

  • The first known lighthouse was the Pharos of Alexandria , Egypt Ptolemy I and his son Ptolemy II constructed it between 300 and 280 B.C. It stood about 450 feet high.
  • The oldest existing lighthouse in the United States is the Sandy Hook Lighthouse in New Jersey. Built in 1764, this lighthouse is still in operation.
  • At the end of the 19th century, the United States had the most lighthouses of any nation.
  • The Sullivan Island Lighthouse in Charleston, South Carolina owns two distinctions. First, it is the only triangular-shaped lighthouse and second, it is the only lighthouse equipped with an elevator.

Resources: Ruth Wakefield: Chocolate Chip Cookie Inventor (women-inventors.com); Lighthouse Facts | US Lighthouse Society (uslhs.org); August National Days – National Day Calendar.

Photos: Friends – The Rough Collection; Coloring Book – Fancy Coloring Pages For Adults – Coloring Home; Watermelon – The Rough Collection; Ruth Wakefield – There’s a Dad in the Kitchen!: Award-Winning Chocolate Chip Cookies (dadinkitchen.blogspot.com); Water Balloons Target – (516) Pinterest; Lucille Ball – Why Lucille Ball Is One of My Most Important Mentors – Honey Good®; Lighthouse – Michigan Exposures: Marblehead Lighthouse – Ohio

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