May 27, 2013 at 10:45 AM ET
Sure, your favorite season might be winter, for the snow sports and the holidays, or autumn for the leaves, or spring for the sense of renewal. Bag that. No season can win our hearts like summer, with its long days, warm nights, beach trips, drive-in movies, picnics and vacation getaways. Even if you don't get a summer vacation anymore, there's something about the season that begins with Memorial Day and runs through Labor Day that just screams fun. Here's a quick look at some of the summer entertainment that will be filling the next three months.
Movies: 'Monsters' enroll in college, Superman flies again
Summer's always an exploding popcorn machine of movie joy. Don't expect Oscar material in these sunbaked months, just escape to the air-conditioned multiplex and a good old blockbuster or two. If you've got kids in tow, look ahead to "Monsters University" (June 21), where the scarers from "Monsters Inc." go to college, and cute "Turbo" (July 19), featuring a slowpoke snail who dreams of racing in the Indy 500. If superheroes are your thing, Superman flies again in "Man of Steel" (June 14) and Wolverine's claws come out again in "The Wolverine" on July 24. And other summer flicks include Brad Pitt fighting a global zombie invasion in "World War Z" and Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy as cop buddies in "The Heat." See our list of 11 great summer movies for more.
Live music: Both of Blue Ivy's parents go on tour
If live music's your thing, there's no better season than summer to catch a concert tour or festival. Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z will be the best-dressed touring musicians out there with their "Legends of the Summer Tour," which begins July 13 in Toronto and powers right on through February. And Jay-Z's better half, Beyonce, made headlines already in the European part of the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. She had to cancel a show, and the inevitable pregnancy rumors were sparked (Jay-Z denied them). She'll hit the U.S. beginning June 28 in L.A. and end in New York on Aug. 5. If Bon Jovi's your man, the Jersey boy's "Because We Can" tour comes to America July 12 with a Chicago show and rocks the East Coast through the dog days of July. And if you like your music a bit retro, Chicago, Fleetwood Mac and Yes are all touring this summer -- sadly, not together.
Albums: Ozzy is back with Sabbath, Kanye's mysterious album
If you can't make it out to a concert, mark your calendar with the release dates of these long-awaited summer albums. On June 11, Black Sabbath will release "13," its first album with Ozzy Osbourne in 35 years. Kanye West has been mysterious about his album's release date (and its title), but a tweet of "June Eighteen" has many believing "Yeezus" is coming out that day -- unless that's just the due date for his baby with Kim Kardashian. Others to note: Queens of the Stone Age's "...Like Clockwork" (June 4), Bret Michaels' "Jammin' With Friends" (June 24), John Legend's "Love in the Future" (June 25).
TV: Summer's not just for reruns any more, right, Walter White?
Summer TV used to be all reruns and baseball games, but no more. Plenty of shows start up new seasons in the summer months, and some of them are highly anticipated. If reality competitions are your thing, find out if "America's Got Talent" when that show returns to NBC June 4, or start spying on the "Big Brother" housemates starting June 26 on CBS. Prefer your summer TV with a chaser of O Negative? HBO vampire drama "True Blood" is back June 16, and equally bloody serial-killer series "Dexter" is back on Showtime June 30. Stephen King fans can see how his giant book, "Under the Dome," makes the leap to TV on June 24 on CBS. But perhaps the most-awaited series of the summer comes back on Aug. 11 when chemistry teacher-turned-meth-maker Walter White and "Breaking Bad" return to AMC. (For a full schedule of summer shows, click here.)
Books: Not hot enough? Dan Brown takes readers to Dante's 'Inferno'
One of the hottest summer reads is already out -- "Da Vinci Code" author Dan Brown has just published "Inferno," in which symbologist Robert Langdon must wrestle with the secrets of Dante's journey through hell. And if you know and love "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls (former gossip columnist for this site), you'll want to look for her new heartbreaking novel, "The Silver Star," due out June 11. If "The Devil Wears Prada" was a beach read for you in 2004, slather up that Coppertone -- the sequel, "Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns," is out June 4.
Home video: We're off to see the Wizard
If it's too hot, or too muggy, or too whatever to go out, you can spend your summer nights vegging on the couch with new DVDs (or Blu-ray, if that's your thing). If your kids have worn out your copy of "The Wizard of Oz," you might travel the yellow brick road to "Oz the Great and Powerful" when it comes out June 11 -- but fair warning, the flying monkeys are even scarier in this version. If you lack HBO but want to get caught up on the Aaron Sorkin-created show "The Newsroom," the first season comes to home video June 11 too. And the working drones at Dunder-Mifflin wrapped up their series this year, you can relive their crazy workplace with the ninth and final season of "The Office," due out Aug. 13.