Girl sitting in ocean water at the beach

100 Ideas To Add To Your Bucket List for Summer

Summer is quickly approaching, and if you’re anything like me, it seems to be approaching faster than I ever expected! Although I’d like to be that mom that has everything planned months ahead of time, this year, time got away from me, so before it’s too late, time to figure out what to do for the summer!

Summer days always remind me of relaxing by the pool, eating ice cream to cool off from the summer heat, 4th of July fireworks, BBQs, and just time to relax with family and friends.

I’ve gathered together some ideas that you can add to your bucket list this summer. Whether you decide to travel near or far, or just stay close to home, there’s something on this list for you! Depending on where you live, many of these items might be things you are able to do close home!

Summer Bucket List

1. Go on a boat ride

Who doesn’t like being on the water during the summer? Going on a boat ride is definitely at the top of our bucket list for this summer. Big or small, going on a boat ride is a relaxing way to spend a day and a fun memory to have with the whole family!

2. Go canoeing or kayaking

I’ve been wanting to go kayaking for some time, but didn’t think I could with kids. This might be the summer we make something happen!

3. Pick Strawberries (if still in season)

We already went strawberry picking this year! It was muddy, but because of the struggle through the mud, we’ll remember it for sure!

4. Go to a water park

With things opening up, and our toddler growing up, we’re looking forward to finding a fun water park for the kids to beat the heat this summer!

5. Go to a beach

Dallas is not known for beaches, but I know we’ll find one somewhere! Might have to take a little road trip for this one!

6. Make s’mores over a fire

I have so many memories of making s’mores during my childhood, yet haven’t done it yet with my kids. Not sure where, but if it takes even making it over a stove, we’ll find some time to break our diets and have some yummy s’mores!

7. Go glamping

Some of you might love camping, but since having kids, the thought of camping just doesn’t seem fun. It seems like a lot of work! Kudos to those parents who do it so effortlessly. Instead, I put glamping on here so we can go to an existing cabin with nothing to set up. We can still enjoy the outdoors with less effort.

8. Go fishing

I haven’t gone fishing since childhood… it’s been a loooong time! Those were fun days where we can have slow, leisurely days by the water. Hopefully we can find a spot somewhere to go fishing nearby!

9. Go paddle boating

Something about paddle boating makes me happy. Maybe because it reminds me of tourist destinations? The paddling is also fun to get some exercise while steering the boat where you want to on the water. 🙂

10. Visit a flower farm

Last year we went to a sunflower field. We missed tulip season this year. Hoping to find a beautiful flower farm for some nice photos!

11. Go hiking

Getting out in nature is so healing. We seem to frequent playgrounds more than hiking trails, but we’d love to make it out to one! Last year, we went to Watkins Glen State Park, and the year before we went to Zion and Antelope Canyon. Time for another annual hike!

12. Go to a state fair

We’re considering heading out to the Texas State Fair this year. We’ll see what it’s like over here in Texas!

13. Go horseback riding

We’ve gone horseback riding with our daughter before, but haven’t taken our little guy yet. Let’s see if we can find a place and if he’s ready for a little ride this year!

14. Go to a zoo

It’s definitely time to make it out to a zoo. It’s been a while since we’ve gone to one. The last one we went to was in D.C. We’ll make a trip to the Dallas zoo sometime soon!

15. Visit an aquarium

We already took a little trip to the aquarium this year in Cancun. The kids had so much fun, but there are more to explore in our city. We’ll save it for one of the super hot days!

16. Go to an art museum

We took a little trip to the Dallas Museum of Art this past Mother’s Day weekend. Although I didn’t expect it, the kids enjoyed it too, thanks to the neon house installation!

17. Visit the farmer’s market

A trip to the farmer’s market over the weekend is always fun to see the different vendors and grab some food!

18. Learn how to cook a new recipe

Do you have a recipe you’ve wanted to try to make? Time to pull it out as it’s summer time… the perfect time to do something new and fun for you! Whether it’s a recipe to add to your meal rotation, a new cuisine, gilling on your BBQ, or a Michelin star meal, time to pull out those cookbooks and try your hand at something new!

19. Play tennis or pickle ball with the family

Our kids are not the best at tennis, but they love trying to play pickle ball. Time to find a court, bring out those rackets and balls, and see what happens!

20. Take a weekend road trip

So many places nearby that we haven’t gone to yet! Are there places near you that you haven’t been to? Time to set those plans in motion. You’ll be glad you made the effort to take some time and get away, even if it’s just for a weekend.

We recently took a trip to Arkansas to go digging for diamonds, and will be going back to explore other areas. It’s about a 4 hour drive from us.

21. Go swimming

Pools are finally open! Time to find a nice day for swimming and plan a pool outing!

22. Complete a craft project

Do you have an unfinished craft project lying around? Or a new craft project you wanted to try? Spend some evening time relaxing with one, even if it’s just a little bit here and there. Your creative side will thank you!

23. Read a book

What’s on your book reading list? Does your library have a book reading contest? Ours does! Even adults get to participate. Only 4 books for the entire summer required for the adults compared to the 20 for kids. Pull out those books you’ve wanted to read, make some time to relax with them, and if your library doesn’t , reward yourself when you’re done!

24. Go to an amusement park

Is there an amusement park you haven’t gone to yet? Whether it’s new or old, it’s always a fun summer memory for the family to head out for a day of fun at the amusement park!

25. Fly a kite

When windy days arrive, grab a kite and head out to a nearby park! Great for those beautiful summer days with a breeze.

26. Have a picnic

While you’re there at the park, have a little picnic! Don’t forget to pack some ice if it’s a hot day!

27. Try a new food

Feeling adventurous? Maybe there’s a new restaurant in town, or something on the menu you haven’t tried. Veer off your usual, and try something new!

28. Take your kids to a splash pad

Cool off at a splash pad on those hot summer days! You might have to hunt around to find a splash pad, but our kids always loved running around in those we found!

29. Have a BBQ party

It’s been a while since you’ve had a BBQ outing, hasn’t it? Invite your friends over for a little summer celebration. It’ll be good to socialize again over good food.

30. Make popsicles or ice cream

Our kids love making popsicles. We tend to make smoothie pops so they are healthier, and they still love them. If you don’t have any already made, time to dig up those popsicle molds or that ice cream machine, and fill them up!

31. Go bowling

Bowling is always fun with friends or family. Let loose and have some fun knocking down some pins!

32. Take your kids to a trampoline park

Our kids love trampoline parks. When we ask them what they want to do, that is the first thing they always talk about. Expend some kid energy at a trampoline park like Urban Air Adventure Park.

33. Visit a museum

Have you visited the museums nearby? As locals in our own town, I know we tend to leave the touristy stuff for later, but if you haven’t gone yet, take a little day trip to the Natural History museum, Children’s museum, or a unique museum near you!

34. Swim in a swimming hole

This has been on my bucket list since I’ve seen pictures of swimming holes on the web. What better way to cool down during the summer than swimming in nature?

35. Take pictures of waterfalls

Where there’s a swimming hole, there tends to be a waterfall somewhere too! Explore the outdoors with some beautiful waterfalls!

36. Take a vacation

Where do you want to go this summer? Do you want to go to the beach? Experience a new culture? Take a road trip? Fly somewhere? Options are really opening up. Time to dream about vacations again and go!

37. Visit a petting zoo

Kids love animals. Why not pet some? I know there are some driving distance within us. Maybe you have them too!

38. Create a photo album

All those photos sitting on your phone are begging you to be turned into an album! 😀 This one has been on my list for a long time. Time to start organizing those photos and getting them printed into a book!

39. Play mini golf

Our kids might not be able to golf, but they do like mini golf! A little round of mini golf makes for a fun morning or afternoon!

40. Learn to make a new dessert

Are you an aspiring baker? My daughter is. I purchased a bunch of supplies to make a cake pops for her birthday, but didn’t get to them on that day. Time for me to learn to make cake pops! What will you learn?

41. Visit a National Park

There’s nothing quite like seeing the majestic views in National Parks. Which one will you visit this year? We’ll be heading out to Arkansas National Park this summer!

42. Go camping in your backyard

… if you have a backyard! While living in Chicago and NY, for the longest time we didn’t have a backyard. After moving to Texas, although our yard is small (and on a slope), it makes ideas like this possible for once!

43. Go roller skating at a rolling rink

I know roller skating rinks are sometimes hard to come by, if there’s one around you somewhere, it’s worth making the trip to live out your childhood memories at the roller rink. We just went recently after many years without!

44. Go rollerblading outside

Last year, while staying at home, we decided to invest in some roller blades for the whole family. Our little guy can’t quite use them on his own, but it’s a fun way to spend some time outside getting some exercise.

45. Visit your parents

If your parents live close, you’ve probably already done this one, but we haven’t seen our parents for a while. If your parents live farther away, like us, make some plans to go see them!

46. Celebrate a birthday

We have 3 birthdays to celebrate this summer! What about you?

47. Discover a new hiking trail near you

Hiking doesn’t mean you have to travel far. There are probably places to hike near you that you haven’t discovered yet. Do a little research and you may be pleasantly surprised to find all the places to hike nearby.

48. Paint a painting

Let your inner artist out and paint a painting! Whether you attend a painting class, find an online class, or just experiment on your own, it’s a fun way to let your creative juices flow. You might be surprised what you can create!

49. Try a new ethnic cuisine

Is there an ethnic cuisine you haven’t tried? If you don’t plan on traveling far, there might be something within driving distance of you! If you’re ambitious, you can try cooking it yourself!

50. Learn a foreign language

Ever have dreams of learning a foreign language? It’s never too late to start. With so many language apps out there, you can start today! Even 5 minutes a day might surprise you with how much you learn.

51. Learn a new musical instrument

Ever want to learn how to play a new musical instrument? It’s never too late to start. I have several I want to pick up and/or improve upon. This is again where a little bit of practice can go a long way.

52. Make a family video

You know all those videos sitting on your phone? Why not turn them into a family video you’ll cherish forever? Then, have a viewing night with some popcorn. It’ll be a video your family will want to watch over and over again.

53. Try a new sport

Summer time is a time we always think about getting in shape for so that we can get back into our bathing suits. What about picking up a new sport to keep the exercise fun and new? Even dancing counts.

54. Throw a frisbee at a park

When was the last time you played frisbee? It’s been so long for us! If you don’t have one, grab one on Amazon, and have fun with it all summer long!

55. Do something on your bucket list

I know most of us have put our bucket list to the side during 2020, but it’s now time to dig those lists back up. Pick something on there that you can do this summer. If you don’t have something, add something you’d love to do!

56. Finish a project that you’ve been wanting to get done

I know summer is a time for fun, but it’s easier to have fun when we have projects hanging over our heads wrapped up and complete. Is there a project you’ve been wanting to get done? Make it a goal to work on it this summer! It’ll feel great to walk into the fall with it off your shoulders.

57. Take an online course

If you’re anything like me, you already own online classes that you’ve purchased that you haven’t had the time to complete. Why not make some time for yourself to learn? You’ll thank yourself later.

58. Learn something new

Have you wanted to learn something new? Summer is a time for fun, and a break for adults too. Take a break from your regular routine and learn something new and fun!

59. Create a new good habit

Just like kids are done for the school year, if you have kids, your schedule with may change too. Take this opportunity to make some changes to your habits for the summer. Who knows, they may stick when the school year starts again!

60. Plant a flower garden

Planting a flower garden can be simple. New flowers in front of your home, or flower pots in your backyard or balcony to freshen up the look around your home!

61. Write a love letter to your spouse

Has the romance fizzled in your marriage? Why not surprise your spouse with a heart-felt love letter expressing gratitude and your love for all the little things they do in your life? Especially since it’s for no occasion, your spouse will surely be surprised.

62. Do a high ropes course

Have you ever done a high ropes course? I did them in high school, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been on one. If you have kids that are old enough to do one, why not take them and join them on a course?

63. Declutter your home

Had a busy year and didn’t have time for spring cleaning? Why not take this time to declutter some things and lighten up during the summer? It’ll leave you with more time to have fun!

64. Donate to charity or volunteer

Make a donation to charity or volunteer somewhere that could use your help. You can donate all the things you declutter to some place that could use them!

65. Make a new smoothie

Smoothies are great for summer time. Cold and refreshing, and also healthy. Find a new smoothie recipe to add to your repertoire that you can turn to again and again.

66. Make a lemonade stand for your kids

Have your kids done a lemonade stand yet? Great for a hot day. Provide ice cold lemonade to your neighbors!

67. Sing karaoke

Do you like karaoke? Have some fun at home with a karaoke mic! No need for an entire karaoke system.

68. Create a photo wall

Have you created a photo wall in your home? It’s been on my list of things I’ve wanted to do for years. Find a spot in your home that would be great to showcase your families adventures, find some frames, and print out some photos, and hang them up! It’ll be a few good hours well spent.

69. Blow bubbles with your kids

Have some fun blowing bubbles with your kid(s). Something as simple as blowing bubbles can create a fun memory with lots of laughs and giggles!

70. Take a bubble bath

Who says bubble baths are just for kids? After the kids go to bed, draw a bubble bath for yourself, and take a relaxing bath.

71. Visit a local tourist destination

We all have tourist destinations in our town or nearby towns that perhaps we haven’t visited since we’re locals. Why not venture out and see what it’s like to be a tourist in your own town?

72. Take a photo in front of a wall mural

There’s so much art popping up these days in different cities. Find a wall mural and take a fun photo!

73. Discover a new restaurant near your neighborhood

There are so many places we’ve never tried even within our own town. If you live in a big city, chances you haven’t also. Explore your own neighborhood and break out from your usual destinations this summer1

74. Do something good for you that is out of your comfort zone

We all have things we avoid because they are outside of our comfort zone. What are these things for you? I’ve found that there are a wealth of opportunities just outside of our comfort zone. Where can you stretch yourself to do something good for you?

75. Do something to bless someone else’s life

It’s always good to bless others and share the blessings in your life. I believe every little gesture of kindness and generosity makes an impact on others, and even yourself! Do something to be a blessing to someone else this summer!

76. Watch fireworks

There’s nothing that says it’s summertime like fireworks on the 4th of July. Last year, we weren’t able to go anywhere to see fireworks because of the pandemic, but we did manage to see a little bit of them from our balcony. Now that things are opening up, look up where fireworks will take place near you!

77. Take a dance class

It’s good to get your body moving. What better way than to dance to some music? You don’t have to commit to going to a dance studio. There are plenty of dance classes online!

78. Make something you’re proud of

When was the last time you made something with your own two hands? There’s such a satisfaction seeing something you made or built with your own two hands. What will you make this summer?

79. Make a new friend

Reach out and make a new friend. It’s harder to make new friends as adults, but there’s plenty of opportunities to find people that share similar interests as you. It could be through other friends, participating in a new activity, joining a new community, or even online.

80. Play a board game

Have board games lying around collecting dust? Time to pull them out for a game night! Make it a family date and get your kids, friends, or family members involved. Nothing like good old boardgames to get away from too much screen time.

81. Send someone a gift

Who doesn’t love a gift? Surprise someone by sending a little gift. It’ll make their day!

82. Go on a train ride

I took train rides for granted living in NYC, but realized my son had never been on a train before! He’s 3, and we had moved to the suburbs. A little train ride is always a fun adventure! Scenic ones are even better!

83. Take a photo at an Instagrammable location

There are so many Instagrammable locations these days. Nearly everywhere is popping up on social media! Why not take a look at your town and see if there’s a place you might’ve missed close to home!

After we moved, I saw someone posting a photo from our old neighborhood. I had never considered that an Instagrammable location, but who knew! We are so familiar with our current surroundings that sometimes it’s easy to take for granted. Dig a little and you might be surprised what you find!

84. Digitize your old childhood photos

This is a big project, but one worth doing. If you’re like us, you’ve been lugging around old photo albums from your childhood to every new home. Why not remove some shelf space by digitizing those old photos and creating a new photo book? You’ll feel lighter and have something that presents those old photos much better.

85. Have a family photo shoot in your town

Has it been a long time since you’ve taken some family photos? Is it time to update your social media profile pic? Summer’s a great time to hire a local photographer and take some new photos of your family. If you don’t know where to find one, you can check out Flytographer for photographers that will know the best spots to take your photos!

86. Write in a journal

Journaling can be very cathartic and healing, as well as a nice time to reflect on all the good things in your life. If you haven’t been keeping a journal, take some time to slow down and reflect on the things happening in your life. You might be surprised what comes up.

87. Create a family scrapbook

Are you a scrapbooker? I’m not, but I think it’s a fun idea for you to spend some time with your family to organize photos, notes, ticket stubs, or anything else that has some significance in your life. Finding a place to put these items together creates a book you can look back on fondly.

88. Float on a lazy river

I love lazy rivers, although they are not always easy to find. Whenever I do find them, though, I’m usually the first one into the pool! See where there might be a lazy river near you. You never know if a nearby hotel or swimming pool just might have one that you didn’t know about!

89. Go rock climbing

Rock climbing is fun, but something we don’t get to do very often. Going rock climbing with your entire family could be a fun fitness outing that even the little ones can participate in.

90. Visit a botanical garden

Botanical gardens are great for taking some nice photos. Have some fun on a nice day and walk thorugh some beautiful gardens!

91. Redecorate a room in your home

Has your home looked the same year after year? Changing things around can bring fresh energy in. Find a room that could use a little refreshing. It doesn’t have to be a huge change. Just rearranging some furniture, changing out pillows, or changing out some pictures can sometimes do wonders to transform a space!

92. Find something unique to do within driving distance of you

If you don’t research, you may miss something really interesting near you. I was surprised to find a Texan Eiffel Tower in Paris, Texas! How funny. There are all sorts of fun photo opportunities if we take some time to look.

93. Ride a hot air balloon

Hot air balloons are my thing. I love them. I know some people are scared of heights, so they won’t want to add this to their list, but it always feels like a bucket list dream come true for me. There are hot air balloons in so many places that you wouldn’t even expect. Add it to your list for an extra special event!

94. Go sailing

Sailing is such a fun way to spend some time on the water. We’ve only gone sailing on vacations, by why not do it closer to home? It’s sure to be one of those memories you’ll remember for a lifetime.

95. Visit a Museum of Illusions

Do you have a Museum of Illusions near you? I think these places are so fun, especially with your kids. You can goof around and take some hilarious photos, then add them to your photobook!

96. Go bird watching

I recently saw someone on Instagram going bird watching. I didn’t know there were actual places you can go where you can do this. Why not? Maybe there’s a bird watching sanctuary near you!

97. Go to an outdoor concert

I grew up with attending live concerts at Ravinia in Chicago. Those are great memories for me where you’d go with friends or family, a picnic basket full of food and drinks, and set up a blanket on the lawn and hear live music. Maybe you don’t have something like that near you, but there’s sure to be live music somewhere outdoors.

98. Ride on a trolley

You can find trolleys in many cities. They aren’t just for San Francisco. I recently discovered that there is a trolley not too far from our home. It’s fun for kids to ride, and makes for some great photos too! Hop on a trolley and snap away!

99. Soak in a hot spring

Ah, just the thought of it makes me relax. Soaking in a hot spring always sounds like a dream for weary parents who are used to running around with their kids. Some allow kids too. My favorite was The Blue Lagoon in Iceland. I’ll be searching for some places within the U.S. we can go!

100. Do something to make someone else smile

Last, but not least. Do something to make someone else smile. We already have a plan for this one, to surprise my father-in-law for his 80th birthday! What can you do to make someone smile?

Have you done any of these items on this list?

What else would you add to this bucket list?

Leave me a comment and let me know! I just might add it to this list!

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