A summer bucket list should have easy things you can do and enjoy with your kids at home, plus some fun ideas for day trips and adventures outside.
You can do simple things like go to the park, visit the zoo, and play fun games in the backyard- the list goes on!
Check out our summer bucket list and see what you want to try out this summer.
Quick Picks: Best Summer Bucket List Ideas
We have many ideas on this list, and it’s a lot to go through- we get it!
You want a few easy picks that won’t break the family budget, and we’ve got you covered.
Here are our 6 favorite summer bucket list ideas that we’ll do all summer long with our kiddos:
- Catching Fireflies
- Beach Trips
- Creating (+ Eating) Edible Play-Doh
- Building Blanket Forts
- Making Blessings Jar
- Doing Random Acts of Kindness
Summer Bucket List: Outdoor Ideas
1. Go Camping
It can be easy to forget how much fun camping can be, but take one night to sleep under the stars, and you will enjoy yourself- and want to add this to your bucket list every year!
There are campsites and KOAs, but you can even tent out in the backyard if you want to be close to home (and your kitchen).
2. Jump on A Trampoline
If you are looking for some outdoor summer activities, trampolines are a must! I know not everyone has one, but you can rent them or visit a friend who has one to get some jumpies out.
You can also consider going to an indoor trampoline park. Most of these parks allow jumping at any time and typically have a lot of awesome features like wall climbing, foam pits, and more.
3. Watch Fireworks
There are festivals and fireworks all summer long, but depending on where you live, you can create a small show at home. Sparklers are also huge for us at home, with much less noise for the toddlers and more smiles all around.
4. Dance In The Rain
A rainy day doesn’t have to ruin your plans- make the rain your plan! Go outside on a rainy day and dance in the rain, pretend to be a water bender, whatever you want. Just have towels ready when you come back inside.
5. Get Sporty
There are so many sports that your kid could enjoy- here’s just a short list of some classics:
If you are having trouble getting your child excited about sports or a particular activity, consider making up your own way to play or take them to a local game to see how it’s done.
6. Play Frisbee Golf
Frisbee golf is a great way to have some fun outside in the summer. Whether in your own backyard, at the beach, or even out in a public park, frisbee golf can be one of the most enjoyable activities you can play with your family.
7. Play Capture the Flag
You should play capture the flag using actual flags, bandanas, or headbands.
8. Play Hide And Seek
It’s always fun to play hide and seek with your kids. You can do it inside or outside, but doing it outside or in the woods adds a little more competition, so it’s a great bucket list idea for older kids who want a challenge.
9. Watch The Sunrise Or Sunset At the Beach
One of the most popular summer activities is to go and watch the sunrise or sunset out at the beach. It’s a great way to start or end your day, plus being at the beach is a classic family adventure. Bring an ice chest with some snacks and make a day or evening of it.
10. Watch A Thunderstorm
This may not seem like an exciting activity, but watching a thunderstorm from your front porch can be one of the most fun things you can do when the weather is bad. Make some hot chocolate, get comfy, and watch the lights go off across the sky.
11. Bonfire & S’mores
You are never too old to enjoy a good bonfire and make s’mores. Start a small fire in your own fire pit or visit a local bonfire, and make some interesting s’mores for something new.
12. Plant Vegetables Or Flowers
Creating an edible garden is enjoyable, plus it helps you eat healthier and have fresher food. You can start by planting something small like lettuce or fresh herbs for salads.
And flowers are a no-brainer. They are so beautiful and make your house look so lovely. You can make a trip to Home Depot or anywhere and pick out the best summer flowers.
If the weather is clear, take your family outside and see if you can find all of the different constellations. There are hundreds of thousands of stars that you can see every night.
If you live in a major city, it may be difficult to see anything in the night sky. However, there are many ways to bring the stars closer, like getting a telescope or visiting a planetarium.
14. Fly A Kite
15. Have A Picnic
If the weather is nice, have a picnic with your family. You can pack a lunch and eat outside or even go on a hike to someplace beautiful.
16. Catch Fireflies
One of the most popular summer practices is going outside and catching fireflies. It’s been a fun tradition for generations, and you can now make it your own!
If you have never been on a hike before, it may be helpful to pick an easy trail at your local park or even just walk around your neighborhood if you have younger kids.
18. Bury A Time Capsule
The great thing about time capsules is that you can make them for any occasion. You could bury a time capsule to celebrate your child’s birthday or even create one to celebrate an event like the first day of school.
Summer Bucket List: Day Trips
19. Go to a Water Park
At times, a water park can be crowded because it’s one of the top summer bucket list ideas, but honestly, we can’t skip this! They have enjoyable rides, and the wave pool is a must, so try to find a less busy day to go.
20. Beach Day
Road trip!! A beach day is another top pick on our bucket list. The girls would go every day if they could, but even once or twice a month during the summer is fun for us.
21. Go to a Children’s Museum
If your kids are the type that loves to learn or explore, you should take them to a children’s museum. There are so many activities for kids of all ages, and they change them up every year or more.
22. Visit A Zoo
Zoos are an important part of childhood, in my opinion. They’re an excellent way for your kids to run around plus see animals in real life that they’ve only seen in books.
23. Visit National Monuments
Now National Monuments usually mean you take a road trip and travel, but you may have some monuments in your town or somewhere nearby. You don’t need to go cross country to find something interesting, but it could be a cheap weekend getaway.
24. Visit A Farmer’s Market
A trip to your farmer’s market is fun besides having inexpensive foods. The kids will be able to explore food and help plan meals, plus learn about farming. You can also go to a local farm and pick strawberries and other fruit for fun.
25. Drive-in Movie Theatre
Go to a drive-in movie theater nearby and make it a special movie night for the kids. We used to borrow a truck and make a fort in the bed, but there are other ways to enjoy the movie.
26. Outdoor Concert
We’re lucky that there are free outdoor concerts near us, so check our local venues for free music shows- you may find some at some restaurants or bandstands. Also, see what bands will be playing near you, it’s worth paying to go to a good concert!
27. Attend A Free Kids Workshop
Did you know that some libraries are willing to host free workshops for kids? Most of the time, these will be hands-on activities that your kids will love and teaches them too.
28. Go To A Children’s Museum
If you have been looking for a fun place to take your kids, consider visiting a children’s museum. They will have lots of fun learning about science and various other topics!
29. Ride Your Bike on a Trail
If you have a bicycle and live in an area with trails, why not take your bike out for a ride? You can get some exercise and see the sites without walking all over.
30. Go To Chuck E Cheese
Some people might not think of Chuck E. Cheese as a good place to go, but it’s always fun with the kids! There are all sorts of attractions and games to entertain everyone.
31. Visit an Aquarium
There are lots of aquariums that kids will love to visit this summer. They will be able to learn all about sea life, and get the chance to touch some animals too!
32. Go Mini Golfing
Mini-golf is better than regular golf, and some courses are indoors or outdoors so you can get out of the sun. The courses can be entertaining- we once had a course with a hole inside a bus!
33. Go On A Nature Walk
A good walk in the woods is a great way to spend time together. An easy idea for a nice walk is simply going to your local park or checking out a dog park.
34. Ride a Ferris Wheel
If you have a city with a Ferris wheel, you should ride it! The heights can be scary for some kids, but being able to see from so high up shocked our kids- one ride is never enough now.
Summer Bucket List: Arts & Crafts Ideas
35. Paint Pet Rocks
We used to hunt for rocks, and our mom had no idea what to do with them all, so she let us paint them and make new little friends. You can also create games with your rocks, like tic tac toe or chess.
36. Start A Rock Garden
Now that you may have some pet rocks, why not make a rock garden? The girls loved this idea and ran with it, creating fairy rocks, house rocks, etc.
37. Make Handprint Art
Painting is a great idea for your kids, but handprint art is special because it can show how much your kids grow over time. But their handprints can make interesting art that isn’t just hand pictures.
38. Create Tie-Dye
You can do so much with tie-dye- you can color bags, shirts, toys, and more. I recommend getting a tie-dye kit with everything you need and a bunch of colors, plus easy storage.
39. Make Friendship Bracelets
What better way to spend time with your kids than making friendship bracelets. It doesn’t take too long to do, and they can create some for their friends at school.
40. Make A Bird Feeder
Bird feeders are great ideas for creative kids! You can make them together in one sitting and do some bird watching when you’re done.
41. Finger Paint
Finger painting is a great way to get your kids involved in arts and crafts, and they’re only little for so long, so you may as well let them get messy.
42. Make Suncatchers
Suncatchers are a unique idea since there are many ways to make them, but it’s something you can use to decorate your windows and around the house so that the kids can see them all the time.
43. Make Paper Boats
If you have some time, it would be fun to make a paper boat and test it out on the stream or at the beach. You can also make it part of bath time
44. Make Homemade Slime
Slime can be kind of messy, but it’s so cool creating slime with the kids. It’s great to try a new activity, so look into it and at least try it once!
45. Make Paper Bag Puppets
Paper bags used to be for our lunches, but honestly, creating a puppet show is a better idea that the kids enjoyed.
46. Color With Chalk
Chalk seems so simple, but we have to have it on the list because creativity is so vital to the kids, and giving them free rein to make games and pictures all over the driveway is so rewarding.
47. Make Recycled Crayons
If your kids are old enough to melt crayons, then it would be fun for you all to take broken crayons and make new fun ones. You get silicon molds, fill them with broken crayons, and then bake them to melt them into new shapes.
48. Write a Story and Illustrate It
If you have some time, write a story and illustrate it with your kids. It’s something they can cherish for years and can see every day.
Summer Bucket List: Water Activities To Stay Cool
Since it’s summer, swimming and beating the heat should be on everyone’s summer bucket list! We don’t all have room for a pool in our yards, but there are public pools, water parks, and maybe a nearby friend who wouldn’t mind sharing for a day.
50. Water Fight
Have a water fight and cool off with a bit of competition! There are some soft water guns you can buy which are great for younger kids, and you can use them most summer days.
51. Run Through Sprinklers
If you have a sprinkler, you should use it as much as possible to avoid the heat of summer days. There are fun sprinklers you can get that your kids would love!
52. Play on a Slip ‘n Slide
Slip ‘n slides are so much fun to play on, and you should make sure that you have some time for it over the summer. Everyone will love running down this super cool water slide!
53. Marco Polo
Depending on your kids’ ages, you can play Marco Polo with them. We played this most days in the pool. It was a challenge that made swimming more interesting.
54. Water Balloon Fight
You should definitely have a water balloon fight! You can make a bunch of ballons and turn them into a game of tag or dodgeball or whatever you want.
55. Boat Tubing
If you live near the ocean or a lake, rent a boat and tube down the river for something different this summer.
Summer Bucket List: Tasty Food Ideas
56. Make Edible Playdoh
My kids love the edible play dohs we’ve made- and it’s baby and toddler safe. Simply mix a can of frosting or some peanut butter with powdered sugar, and bam, you’ve got play-doh.
57. Make Homemade Ice Cream
You can’t go through summer without ice cream, so why not make it yourself? Make ice cream with all your favorite toppings, or try out some new strand combos!
58. Roast Marshmallows
When the sun goes down, it’s time to sit around the campfire and roast marshmallows. Everyone gets a warm treat, and you can all bond while doing so too!
59. Eat Breakfast For Dinner
Breakfast for dinner is easy and can be super creative when you have time during the summer. After a long day of activities, you’ll want cold foods, so making yogurt bowls or smoothies could be a yummy brinner.
60. Create Popsicles
Popsicles are a classic summer choice, and you can make them at home with juice, water squirts, sherbert ice cream, and even fresh fruit, gummies, and other surprise treats.
61. Make Homemade Pizza
You can make homemade pizza or little personal pizzas so everyone can make their own tasty masterpiece. We use naan bread to make it easier than premade crusts or uncooked dough, just loading them up with cheese and toppings to enjoy.
62. Buy From the Ice Cream Truck
No matter how old you are, you need to add ice cream from the truck to your fun summer bucket list. It’s so nostalgic and something your kids will remember fondly too.
63. Squeeze Fresh Lemonade
Lemonade is the perfect summer drink, and it’s always better when it’s made fresh. You kids will enjoy squeezing the juice out and making something delicious with you.
64. Make Root Beer Floats
Can you resist a good root beer float? Maybe you’re a fan of other floats, but your kids should try a root beer float this summer to quench their thirst after playing outside.
Summer Bucket List: Fun At Home
65. Family Game Night
Having a family game night should be more often, but life gets busy. Dedicate some time to each other, and aim for a game night once a month on your bucket list.
66. Make A Blanket Fort
Making a fort is very nostalgic and so fun. It’ll make you feel young again and give your kids happy memories. You can use it to “camp out” inside or have a movie night in your fort.
67. Play Flashlight Tag
Rather than play regular tag, which some kids get aggressive with, try playing flashlight tag. It’s a great way to have fun in the dark!
68. Play Bingo
Bingo is an easy game to play, and you can even make your own versions. We made our boards with words like Mom, Dad, kitty, etc., and used small pictures to pick our bingo “numbers.”
69. Have A Slumber Party
Did you have slumber parties with your friends or cousins when you were little? It’s time to recreate those and make fun summer nights.
70. Host A Scavenger Hunt
If you want to have a fun way of bonding with your family, host a scavenger hunt. You could do unique things inside Easter eggs or hide things for fun, or you can create a list of things out in nature everyone can look for.
71. PJ Day
There will be a few rainy days in summer, so you can have a PJ and do whatever you want. Have an indoor picnic, watch movies, or spend time on some arts and crafts.
72. Play Hide And Seek
You can have a great time playing hide and seek in your own house, and you will love all of the secret hiding spots that you get to find!
You can also play hide and seek with toys rather than yourselves- trust me, I know how hard it is to hide as a grown adult.
Summer Bucket List: Things Just For You
73. Start A Summer Journal
This summer, start a journal and give yourself time to think about yourself. Maybe to better yourself, or just reflect on your highs and lows every day. You can all keep track of what fun you have with your family and look back on it for years to come.
74. Read At Least 2-3 Books Per Month
There is no better time to read than the summer. You probably have many recommendations, and you deserve some time to sleep in and lounge with a book out in the sun.
75. Start a Blessings Jar
Summer can be hectic, but it’s also time to relax and enjoy your time with friends and family. Take time to make a blessings jar- write things that make you happy or events you’ve enjoyed.
Summer Bucket List: Ways To Give Back
76. Random Acts of Kindness
If you are looking for ways to give back this summer, then there is no better way than a random act of kindness. You could donate time at a food kitchen or an animal shelter or shop for a few things to donate to the homeless or animals in need too.
77. Do A Good Deed For Your Neighbor
If you want to help out a neighbor this summer, there is no better way than mowing their lawn, making them some cold lemonade on a hot day or just including them in the fun if they’re on their own.
78. Write a Soldier a Letter
If you would like to give back this summer, writing a soldier a letter is a touching way to help someone. You can write them about anything, and it will make their day.
79. Visit A Nursing Home
Visiting a nursing home is another way to support and care for others this summer. Everyone needs company, and your kids could bring their arts to decorate at the nursing home.
Final Thoughts on Summer Bucket List Ideas
A summer bucket list is a great way to keep track of all the fun things you want to do this season. Include your kids, read them our ideas, and see what ideas they can add in!
And many of these ideas are free, fun stuff to do, so you don’t have to worry about overspending this summer.
Remember, you can enjoy some of the activities listed above more than once, so there is no reason not to cross them off multiple times!