Fun pet-friendly activities to beat the heat

July 26, 2021
Luna Lovegood Stous, the second-best Balinese cat in the world

Summer is such a great time to get out and make fun memories with your pet. Besides the obvious parks, ponds, and runs, there’s markets, music, and even meals to be shared. We wanted to help you ponder the pawsibilities by compiling a “stuff to do” list. Granted, outdoor bonding with your dog may seem a little easier than with other animals — admittedly, we found many more dog-friendly places than those welcoming all pets. Sadly, no cat, bird, or reptilian cafes have been spotted to date, but perhaps one of our Pet Club members will get inspired and open one! The following is a list of mostly dog-friendly events and venues, with some suggestions for summer feline fun at the end. However, if your pal belongs to any species that can fit in a pet stroller, likes to ride, and can withstand the heat, there may be lots of options.

Getting out and about

Sunday Farmer’s Market at College View, 4801 Prescott Avenue, is a great place to hang with your friendly pet. You can find them in the west parking lot of the College View Seventh-Day Adventist Church on Sundays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. They offer some guidelines in their pet policy.

East Campus Discovery Days and Farmer’s Market at UNL is a fun, family-friendly, pet-friendly event for all ages at East Campus Mall, 3550 East Campus Loop, on Saturday, Aug. 14, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Earl May Nursery & Garden Center, 100 Wedgewood Dr., welcomes pets and offers many appealing settings. What a lovely month to cruise the greenhouses and grounds!

Have a muttgarita or a pupsi! Enjoy regional beers, live music, and the company of other dog-loving cornhuskers at 1867 Bar, the haunt named for the year in which Nebraska officially became a state. You can find it at 101 N. 14th St. in Lincoln.

White Elm Brewing Company is super pet-friendly — and we wouldn’t expect any less from a production brewery and taproom named after something our pets L-O-V-E (trees!). Find them at 720 Van Dorn St. or in the Haymarket.

Bone appetit! While dogs are always welcome outside at the Parthenon Taverna and Greek Grill at 5500 S 56th St #8, Tuesdays are special. On Dog Tuesdays, you are invited to “dine with your dog” on the reserved patio, where a barkalicious doggy buffet is served.

If you’re on the road this summer, you can also find pet-friendly restaurants and bars in any city at

Listen to some mewsic

Lincoln Municipal Band Concert Series is free and held on Sundays from 7 – 8 p.m. through August 22 at the John Shildneck Memorial Bandshell in Antelope Park. All pets are welcome, and there’s lots of room to spread out.

Check out KZUM Stransky Park Concert Series at Stransky Park, 17th Street & Harrison Avenue, on Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. through August 5. Bring a blanket or chair and get cozy with your furr-ever friend.

Kinkaider Brewing Co. presents Summer Sundays Live Music Series on their Haymarket Patio, 201 N. 7th St., Sunday evenings from 4 – 7 p.m. through August, and they invite you and your pawesome pal to join.

Get pup and running

If your pup-tastic pal loves to jump, splash, and dive, you may want to register them for Beat the Heat 2021, a North America Diving Dog-sponsored event being held outdoors at Paws4Fun, 222 North 44th St., on Friday, August 2 through Sunday, August 29.

Our final cat-egory

Build a fort for your furry friend. We hope we didn’t mislead, as you’ll have to do the work here, but as a cat owner, you are no doubt accustomed to acting as hired help and entertainment. To keep your kitty out of the sun while you toil in the garden, you can drape a sheet over lawn furniture (with the help of clothes pins, if necessary) to block out rays and create the perfect lounging spot. A homemade frozen treat may be the purrfect thing to enjoy in this alfresco haven.

Go hunting. As cats are natural hunters and foragers, a DIY hunting box will keep your feline friend safely occupied as they chill with you on the patio. Fill a box or pan with leaves and twigs (nothing toxic) after stashing a few treats and toys in it.

Go fishing. Fill a small bowl with water and float some small toys (think: bathtub toys and the like). Most cats will enjoy batting at the toys and doing a bit of fishing. Cat fountains are also popular.

Your leash-trained cat-panion may enjoy a short walk in the cooler part of the day, and those that aren’t cat-letic may enjoy a ride around a park or public garden in the stroller to check out the scenery — the mesh of a pet stroller adds needed security, as well as protection from the sun’s glare.

This isn’t a comprehensive list, but should be enough to get you thinking about ways to add a summer twist to your pet’s routine. Whatever activities you choose, enjoy these brighter days and longer evenings with your chum.

We got many of our feline-friendly summer-fun tips from Petplan. Feel free to check out their article, Cat activities in summer, for more great ideas.

  • Personal
  • Community Commitment
  • Pets

Learning Center articles, guides, blogs, podcasts, and videos are for informational purposes only and are not an advertisement for a product or service. The accuracy and completeness is not guaranteed and does not constitute legal or tax advice. Please consult with your own tax, legal, and financial advisors.