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10 Summer Fun Ideas Around Oxford

Okay, y’all got what you asked for: summer. In Mississippi, that means the good, the bad, and the ugly. Summer is that cruel mistress that will make you wonder how our forebears survived in the era before air-conditioning. But the heat is also what makes you able to appreciate a cool-off all the more.
Say what you will about what Mississippi-bred songwriter Jesse Winchester called “the angry oven heat,” but we at Experience Oxford will take the wild dynamic of summer here over the dreary rut of winter any old day. Maybe it’s just because the Oxford area is so well-equipped with options this time of year. Here are 10 ideas to keep things interesting:
Get Wet

Photo courtesy of Good Earth Landscaping
Photo courtesy of Good Earth Landscaping

Okay, jumping into a swimming pool is probably the most obvious idea in the summer, but maybe it’s time to take the plunge into getting your own personal backyard oasis. Try contacting Good Earth Landscaping to surround your concrete pond with all the trimmings.
Aren’t a member of a swimming club and don’t have your own pool? You can always take a dip at Sardis Lake (including John W. Kyle State Park) or Enid Lake, which aren’t far away. Wall Doxey State Park (on Highway 7 near Holly Springs) doesn’t allow swimming, but you can always get your fishing line wet there.
Goose Yourself
Just opened at the end of Anderson Road is new top-notch tennis, swim, and fitness facility Goose Creek Club. Amenities include 14 tennis courts (including the only clay courts in Oxford), a resort-style competitive pool, and a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse.
Photo courtesy of Goose Creek Club
Photo courtesy of Goose Creek Club

The complex is located on 10 acres and features a full-service pro shop, fitness gym with state-of-the art-cardio equipment, strength stations and free weights, a dedicated spin room, a full class schedule including aerobics, yoga and pilates, plush locker rooms with steam rooms, a grill and bar, and child care and an outside playground.
The club is managed by Chadwick Tennnis, LLC’s team including Barney Chadwick former 13-year general manager of Jackson’s River Hills Club, and Billy Chadwick the nationally acclaimed longtime Ole Miss men’s tennis coach.
Film Escape
There’s nothing quite like beating the heat by slipping into a nice, cool, air-conditioned theater and letting yourself drift off into fantasy. Summer matinees are one of our favorite alternatives on those days where you just want to give your sunburned skin a rest. Oxford now has plenty of screens, at Malco’s Oxford Studio Cinema (in the Oxford Mall) and at Oxford Commons, to increase your odds of finding just the right movie.
Then again, sometimes after a hot day outdoors, you might want to just laze on your own couch and soak in movies via a cable service such as Metrocast. Either way, a little air-conditioned entertainment time helps strike a great balance during the dog days of summer in Mississippi.
Hill Country Blues
If you like it hot and gritty, there’s no better way to connect to the soil of the area than at the North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic. The event was created to enhance appreciation and educate the general public about the native art form of North Mississippi Hill Country blues music, through performance, preservation, and interpretation. The two-day Picnic and guitar workshop features artists with close ties to North Mississippi Hill Country blues. See the full story on page 21.
R. C. Curtis and Moon Pie Curtis toast at the B.T.C Old-Fashioned Grocery in Water Valley.
R. C. Curtis and Moon Pie Curtis toast at the B.T.C Old-Fashioned Grocery in Water Valley.

Day Trip Dining
The kids are out of school, and we’ve all heard of the idea of “staycations,” but an even simpler way to scoot out of your rut is to simply drive a little ways for a good meal, without going too far. Consider the beloved, rustic catfish haven Taylor Grocery in Taylor, the award-winning pizza palace TriBecca Allie Cafe in Sardis, the savory Como Steakhouse in Como, or the locally-sourced lunch mecca B.T.C. Old Fashioned Grocery in Water Valley.
Learn an Instrument
Maybe it’s finally time to pursue that back-burner goal of learning to play music. Local music shops not only can advise on getting a good beginner guitar, mandolin, ukelele, or whatever strikes your fancy, but also offer lessons. Austin’s Music, Rebel Music, and Ron’s Music Center are great places to browse on a slow summer day. Learn a couple three-chord numbers and impress your friends at the next cookout.
Fresh Living
Spring cleaning over with, summer’s a great time to freshen up your furnishings and decor. Check out local shops, such as The Green Door Company, at the intersection of Molly Barr Road and North Lamar Boulevard. The store offers pieces custom-designed by owner Will Hopkins alongside items individually crafted by other expert artisans.
Biscuits from Ember's
Biscuits from Ember’s

Easy Picnicking
Whether you want to putter out to the Lower Lake at Sardis or just spend a couple hours at Lamar Park or Avent Park, the Oxford area has plenty of green spaces perfectly suited for a spontaneous picnic. To minimize planning and preparation, just swing by any number of worthy fast-casual restaurants in town to grab just the stuff for an outing. From Abner’s to My Michelle’s to Embers Biscuits & Bar-B-Que and well beyond, keep it simple and delicious.
Pamper Yourself
So, you’ve had a picnic at the park, or you simply overheated at the Hill Country Picnic. Sipping a Diet Coke in the chilly movie theater won’t cut it; you need some real tender-loving care—indoors, of course. Try making an appointment at Healing Hands Massage Therapy and put your renewal in professional hands. Or maybe you just need to add a little beauty to your life. Head over to Bette’s Flowers for an arrangement that will make staying inside for a while a little more relaxing.
Brain Freeze
hollisHere’s another complete no-brainer. Cool treats are a summer staple. Whether it’s Twister’s Frozen Yogurt (off West Jackson Avenue near the Galleria), Ya Ya’s Frozen Yogurt (on the Square), Holli’s Sweet Tooth (on South Lamar, just off the Square), Sno Biz (on University Avenue, but moving soon), Chaney’s Pharmacy (on Bramlett Boulevard), or one of the Baskin-Robbins locations inside area filling stations, Oxford has much to offer to keep things cold and sweet.

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