10. Cannonball Into the Lake
This summer, do your best cannonball into the waters of your favorite lake—because nothing is more carefree than a good swim that starts with a big leap.
Whether you’re boating or just hanging out on the dock, you can’t let summer pass you by without doing at least one fancy jump into the water. May we recommend our favorite jump, the one that requires you to hollar “Cannonball!” as you fly through the air?
Do you think that’s kids’ stuff? Do you think you’ll look silly to all your fellow adults, who are wearing swimsuits so cute they don’t even bother getting them wet and sipping on cocktails so strong they’re better off staying out of the water anyway? Don’t worry about them. They’re missing out. Take our word for it: Don a life jacket, count to three, race to the edge, tuck those knees, and take off out into the cool water. Bonus points if you splash the naysayers.
If you want to practice your cannonballs from the side of a boat while you cove out, consider renting a vessel from one of the Ozarks’s marinas. On Table Rock Lake, you can find some great options at Port of Kimberling, State Park Marina, Indian Point Marina and many more.
Also read: Your Guide to the Best Lake Getaways in Missouri.
11. Play Backyard Baseball
America’s pastime is a summertime must. And if you can’t go to a game or play with a full team, you get creative. Springfield local, Cory Patton, tells how his family created their own take on baseball—and still play it to this day.
I grew up in a family that had three boys. We liked playing sports and were a tad competitive, but our odd number did not divide well into teams, so we found creative ways to play variations of sports we enjoyed.
Thus we created the game Move Up, a spinoff of baseball. Each player was the sole representative of their own team and would take turns occupying each of three positions: pitcher, a fielder and a batter.
Each batter would keep hitting until they received three outs, then all players would “move up” to the next position. The fielder would go to pitch, the pitcher would go hit, and the batter would go to the field.
We first started playing Move Up in our grandparents’ yard, which was particularly narrow for a baseball diamond. The yard also came with one ground rule that we had to strictly adhere to: If you hit the house, you are out. On countless occasions one of our parents would come outside to sternly remind us of the rule.
We still play Move Up when our families get together. I enjoy playing the game with my nieces and nephews in my parents’ backyard. They are still a bit young to keep track of scoring, but I have no doubt that we will be counting soon enough.—Cory Patton