Here are a few suggestions for summer fun, courtesy Lake Lifestyles Editor Charis Patires. Find great Lake life recommendations in this bimonthly local magazine.

1. Take a hike

Everybody knows that one of the top things to do at the Lake is to visit our state parks. Both Ha Ha Tonka and the Lake of the Ozarks state parks have natural wonders and beautiful scenery to enjoy. Hiking is one of our favorite things to do year-round. Even in the heat of the summer, the trails offer lots of shade.

If you are short on time, we love the Shady Ridge or the Rocky Top trails located at the Grand Glaize Beach. They are great for inexperienced hikers and close to Osage Beach. But there are dozens of hikes to choose from ranging from less than a mile to those 10 or more miles and best left to the frequent hiker. Make sure you plan accordingly. For maps and details on each trail, go to

2. Drink bubble tea

We fell in love with this new place on the Bagnell Dam Strip on the first visit. Black Pearl Bubble Tea, the newest and trendiest way to drink tea, has hit the Lake area. This small business features more than 140 combinations of bubble tea. Bubble tea was invented in the 1980s.

It is made of an iced or blended tea base with chewy tapioca balls and fruit jelly added, called pearls. It’s healthy, delicious and affordably priced making it a great stop for thirsty families to enjoy while shopping and walking the historic Strip.

3. Play mini golf

This might be the only place most of us will get a hole-in-one. For those who can’t play 18-holes at one of our many beautiful golf courses, this is the alternative. Miniature golf has been in existence at the Lake for as long as I can remember, and is sure to be a hit with the kids.

Putt N Stuff, Sugar Creek and Pirate’s Cove are three great places in Osage Beach and Lake Ozark. Fun themes and beautiful landscapes are all a part of the experience.

4. Play disc golf 

Another way to golf … except for these courses you use weighted discs (a frisbee). You can find the Hillbilly Disc Golf Course at the Laurie Fairgrounds, the Dragon Ridge Disc Golf Course at the Camdenton City Park, and Eldon’s Air Park has a course.

Disc golf rules can get a little technical but the whole goal is to get your frisbee in the hole in as few throws as possible. Just get out and have fun!

5. Eat ice cream

It’s the official summertime treat. And there are a lot of ice cream parlors to be found in the area. Wacky Knacky Diner in Osage Beach not only serves up delicious breakfast and lunch, but has an ice cream parlor with some of your favorite sweets.

Try the deep fried Oreo sundae or stick with a traditional shake. Some other popular hangouts include Randy’s Frozen Custard in Osage Beach, and the Cree Mee Drive-in in Eldon where people go just for the foot-long chili dog and the gigantic soft serve ice cream.