5 ways to enjoy daylight saving time outdoors
It's almost time for the clocks to "spring forward" so everyone can enjoy an extra hour of evening sunlight. Daylight saving time stretches from the second Sunday of March to the first Sunday of November. That means the big switch will occur at 2:00 a.m. on March 13, 2016, except in the nonparticipating states of Hawaii and Arizona.
Formally introduced in the U.S. in 1918, the purpose of daylight saving time is to conserve energy. However, most folks simply use it as an opportunity to spend more time outdoors. Here's how homeowners can make the most of that extra sunshine:
1. Hold a backyard barbecue
Homeowners have been waiting since the dark days of November to fire up the grill and dig into some savory dishes. Families can finally dine on marinated chicken and juicy steaks now that the household grill master can work in the daylight! This is especially exciting for those who have incorporated barbecue islands into their hardscape design.
Need some ideas for dinner? According to the Produce for Better Health Foundation, asparagus and corn are two of the grill-ready vegetables available beginning in March. On the sweeter side, honeydew, strawberries and pineapple make an excellent fruit salad this time of year.
2. Skip the gym ...
... and head to the backyard! For many homeowners, a lush lawn of artificial grass calls their names from the backyard. Why go to a stuffy gym when fresh air and sunshine are abundant right outside the house? Workout gurus can set up the yoga mat and practice tai chi, watching the martial arts movements create beautiful shadows on the ground.
3. Play yard games
Looking for a way to get the kids outside and having fun in the sun? Yard games are great for the whole family, and with the extra hours of sunshine, everyone can see clearly and avoid injury. Set up the boards and beanbags to play a rousing game of cornhole. Prop up a net and bump the volleyball around. Break out some hoops and mallets to play croquet. The options for outdoor entertainment are endless, but daylight saving time isn't - so homeowners should make the most of the sunshine while it lasts.
4. Get the garden ready for summer
Many folks lead busy lives that don't allow them to focus on leisurely activities until the evening. For those who enjoy gardening, daylight saving provides the perfect opportunity to start setting up the floral and green landscaping. Edible options are particularly popular for many homeowners.
The type of vegetable or fruit with which to start the garden varies by location. According to the Farmer's Almanac, in San Diego, California, March marks the perfect time to plant the seeds of eggplants, watermelon and sweet potatoes. Meanwhile, in Seattle, the start of daylight saving time is ideal for sowing beets, broccoli, onions and radishes.
5. Sit back and relax
Of course, simply enjoying a beautiful backyard is always an excellent choice for kicking off daylight saving time. Cozying up under a blanket next to the outdoor fireplace's crackling flames is the perfect way to dive into the latest romance novel. Avid painters may enjoy the scene from their outdoor pergolas, using the first blooming flowers of spring as their muse.
Homeowners should enjoy the daylight in whatever way suits their lifestyles. No matter the activity, they should be sure to spend some quality time outdoors.