Set your clocks forward, it’s that time of year again. Next week, Sunday 24th at 2am to be exact, marks the start of daylight savings, bringing darker mornings and long, sunny evenings. New Zealand first dallied with daylight savings in 1927, extending them for an entire year during part of World War II in 1941. Although daylight savings can be hard on early risers, the Department of Internal Affairs surveyed New Zealanders in 2008, finding that nine out of ten of us enjoy the extra hour of sun during daylight savings. Even farmers were mostly in support of longer evenings. With that in mind, here are six great ways to make the most of your extra hour.
Dine Al Fresco
For most of the year, dining outside is an unattainable pipe dream. Restaurants have tables outside but most patrons don’t use them. On a sunny day, there’s nothing better than having the last meal of the day in the open air, particularly if you’ve been stuck indoors during the workday. Cheese, a bottle of wine and a picnic rug makes for an affordable date night. A barbeque also makes for a great end to the week.
Read a New Book
Although you can pick up a book any time of the day, there is something especially relaxing about reading on a deck chair or bean bag in natural light. Daylight savings is a chance to finally read the book which has been lingering on your bedside table.
Head to the Park
If you’re lucky enough to live near a park, why not head out with the kids and kick a ball around in the twilight? Heading out during daylight savings is a great way to spend time with family and to wear the kids out before bed.
An Evening Swim
On a muggy Summer’s night, an evening swim can be a great way to unwind. Head down to the coast for a swim or surf, and finish off with fish and chips on the beach.
Extra Evening Power
Most households’ electricity use is highest between 5pm and 9 pm. If your home has a solar energy system, the extra sun during daylight savings is a great way to offset the energy you use from the grid. Great for warm showers after an evening swim!
It’s not a hard decision to forego a stuffy movie theatre for a movie under the stars. Stretch out on a blanket or bean-bag and, as the sun goes down, settle into a great movie. Or for a different take on open air entertainment, check out a local performance of Shakespeare in the park.
No matter how you choose to spend your extra hours of sunlight this summer, it doesn’t have to be costly. Saving your pennies, and not spending up too large, may just allow you to take that special holiday, or to do that kitchen renovation that has constantly been on hold! Start planning now.