12 Affordable Summer Activities

With summer now upon us, as well as high gas prices and inflation, many of us are searching for fun, and exciting things to do that won’t break the bank. Here are 12 suggestions that might be helpful in finding summer fun.

1. Visit a Farmers Market

Every community has at least one farmers market. They are a fun day out and a chance to explore what the local farmers have to offer. Check out this USDA website to find a farmers market in your area: https://www.usdalocalfoodportal.com/.

2. Have a Picnic in a Park

Grab your cooler and BBQ and head to a local park for a day in the sun. There is always something for everyone at a local park. A quick Google search of “local parks near me” is all you need to discover a previously unknown little slice of paradise.

3. Attend Free Festivals

Check local online community sites to find free events in your area. Here’s a great article for seven free music festivals: https://www.mapquest.com/travel/free-music-festivals-in-the-usa/.

4. Visit a National Park

There are so many things to see in this great country of ours, and a visit to a National Park is a great inexpensive way to see the sights and learn about the nature that surrounds us. The National Park Service has a wealth of information to plan your visit: https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/index.htm.

5. Go Camping

A favorite summer activity for many is going camping. Camping is an inexpensive way to experience nature and spend time with friends and family. You may want to find a camping site a bit closer than usual, with the price of fuel this summer. Again, the National Park Service is a great resource: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/camping/campground.htm.

6. Plant a Garden

Gardens offer natural beauty and fresh vegetables. It doesn’t have to be a farm, just a little spot to plant flowers and/or vegetables. It’s also a great family project. This MasterClass article is an excellent resource for the beginner: https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-start-a-backyard-garden.

7. Hit the library

Spend a family day at the library. There is so much to explore and learn. Find your local library: https://librarytechnology.org/libraries/uspublic/.

8. Take a Hike

Research nearby state parks for good hiking trails, or ask a friend for recommendations on their favorite hiking spots. Grab a hat, some water and snacks, and get out there. The National Park Service remains a great place to start your research: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/trails/index.htm.

9. Go for a Swim

Hit the local pool or a nearby lake. Swimming is an excellent way to exercise and stay cool. To find swimming lessons in your area, visit the Red Cross website at: https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/swimming.

10. Ride a Bike

There are probably many biking trails around your town. You can find local trails through your state and local park services, be sure to read user reviews to get a better idea of each location. Be sure to wear your helmet. To ensure your bike is ready for the road, visit: https://momentummag.com/get-your-bike-summer-ready-with-a-tune-up-checklist/.

11. Go Fishing

Kids love to fish (for 5 minutes, anyway) but add fishing with a boat ride, and now you’re talking. I’m sure you have a favorite spot, but it can’t hurt to explore more possibilities. Good luck! This website provides information on everything from getting your fishing license to registering your boat to finding local fishing holes: https://www.takemefishing.org/.

12. Learn a New Skill

Learn to play an instrument, paint, draw, dance, etc. Summer is a chance to try something new. Maybe you have a novel you’ve been meaning to write or an interest in pottery. There are classes and other resources available online, so go have a look, and let your creative juices flow. Lifehack.org has an article on ways to learn new skills faster and enjoy the process: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/17-steps-acquiring-new-skill-faster-than-you-thought-possible.html.

Whatever you choose for your summer adventures, we hope you make the most of it. If you need marking supplies for camping gear or sports gear, or if you need pens and markers for your artistic masterpiece, we have what you need, and Xstamper.net is your resource. If not, get out there and have fun; summers are short.


Last year around this time, Bob Ally, our President and CEO, bravely spoke about his personal bout with cancer. Since it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we thought this would be a good time to remind everyone of his thoughts and that the struggle to eradicate cancer continues to this day. Above is a shortened version of the previous video we posted on this blog, where Bob tells his story.

Cancer is such a devastating disease. It affects not only the individual but those around them. Sadly, most of us know someone close to us who has been impacted by cancer; I know I have. My grandma had breast cancer, as did my Auntie – both made it through, I’m happy to say. A good friend survived Hodgkin lymphoma. I had another Auntie pass away from melanoma several years ago, which was tragic for all of us, including her son, who was barely entering adulthood at the time. And, in the past year, my dad dealt with a form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He is currently in remission but will be closely monitored for the foreseeable future.

This is the unforgiving nature of cancer. We’re thrilled to report, however, that Bob remains cancer-free after eight years. We have posted the following link to the American Cancer Society. Please join us in donating to cancer research so that we can help out others, like Bob.

– Joshua Musial, Order Processing Supervisor/Marketing Assistant

Celebrating Independence Day

The 4th of July is a day to celebrate the independence of the United States of America. We thought that it was a good time to celebrate all things independent. From kids going off to college for the first time and small business owners to musicians and artists, independence is a fundamental American value.

Shachihata is also independent. We are a 3rd generation family-owned company, established as ink chemists and stamp pad manufacturers almost 100 years ago in Japan. In 1967, we opened our US facilities. Since our inception, our focus has been on offering customers real-world solutions to all their marking needs. As an independent company, we have never strayed from our original concept of doing things the right way, regardless of time or cost.

As such, our core philosophy is guided by three principles: Convenience, Genuine Pleasure, and Trust & Safety. All of our products are rigorously tested for quality and durability, ensuring that you will receive the superior craftsmanship only Shachihata can provide. The result is loyalty and satisfaction.

Although we are an independent enterprise, we recognizes that we are still connected to everyone and everything on the planet. Therefore, Shachihata is also committed to restoring balance in the global environment by stepping up its efforts to conserve and recycle resources and develop production systems that minimize industrial waste. As an enterprise that prides itself on enriching people’s daily lives and culture, we regard environmental preservation as a central responsibility and are dedicated to realizing a low-carbon society.

So as we celebrate Independence Day this year, please take a moment to celebrate independence wherever you find it because it’s one of the things that makes this country great!

Happy 4th of July from all of us!

Our Latest COVID-19 Efforts

During the coronavirus pandemic, we at Shachihata / Xstamper wanted to find a way to contribute to society’s needs. We examined our facilities and determined that our ink manufacturing process could be re-purposed to produce hand sanitizer. We are excited about being able offer you a hospital-strength hand sanitizer, in a WHO-recommended formula that works on surfaces, as well as hands.

We have also introduced some brand new COVID-19 related stamps and signage. These products are designed to aid the healthcare industry, offices, restaurants, and those of us who have been staying indoors and maintaining social distancing. We are also listening to the needs of our customers and will consider adding products that the market demands.

We are always in search of finding new ways to help meet the needs of our customers and community, whether it is staying safe with hand sanitizer, celebrating a social distancing graduation or birthday with a sign for all to see, or stamps and informational signs for use in the health care field. We anticipate that these products will assist you during this unprecedented time and we hope that everyone remains safe and well.