The Ultimate Summer Bucket List: 117 Ideas to Make This Your Best Summer Ever (2024)

After the world shut down last year, I am determined to make this summer our best summer ever, and I thought a great way to do that would be to create the ultimate summer bucket list. My kids had a bunch of great ideas for things we can do together on the upcoming summer days.

Will we complete them all? I’m really not sure to be honest, but I know we’ll have a lot of fun and make great memories trying!

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I think my least favorite sound of summer just might be, “Mom, I’m boooored!” That sentence could drive me crazy coming from just one or two kids, and now that we have seven I know I need a serious game plan to make it through the summer months. Enter the summer bucket list!

What is a bucket list?

I had actually never heard of a bucket list until The Bucket List movie came out years ago.

Basically, a bucket list is a list of things someone wants to do within a certain time period. That time period can be a week, a season, or an entire lifetime. I still haven’t seen the movie that first introduced me to this, but I loved the idea and decided to adapt it for our family! Summer break is the perfect time of year to limit screen time, step away from social media, and try new things. Best of all, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have the perfect summer.

What should I put on my summer bucket list?

The good news about a bucket list is there’s really no wrong way to make one. Bucket lists will vary from person to person and family to family because they are extremely personal, but I wanted to share some questions that can help you make your list.

1 How much time do you want to give yourself to complete the activities?

You could make one large bucket list for the summer of all the activities you want to do or, if that feels overwhelming, make a new list every week or month instead.

2. How many activities should I put on our list?

That really depends on what your schedule’s going to be like when you’re trying to finish your tasks. If your calendar’s already filled with work commitments or vacations, and your kids will be spending most of their time at summer camps or somewhere other than home, it might be best to make a smaller list.

This will also depend on how you and your family will feel if you don’t complete everything on your list. If the list is a resource for ideas and not necessarily something you have a goal to completely achieve, a big list can so much fun to make! It can be a great brainstorming activity and lead to a lot of great family conversations, but if your kiddos are going to be devastated because a few tasks are left undone, it might be the perfect time to make a smaller, more realistic bucket list so the summer doesn’t end in disappointment.

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3. Who in the family should make the list?

I am a big believer that the more our kids can be involved in just about anything, the more interest and enjoyment they’ll take in participating in the task when the time comes. Side note: If you have a picky eater, this little trick can work wonders for mealtimes. Food apparently tastes better when toddlers help to make them.

When I’m planning out summers, I like to get input and ideas from the whole family. I’ll admit that every suggestion doesn’t necessarily make the list, but getting everyone together for a brainstorming session seems like the best way to get everyone involved (even older kids) and come up with ideas I’d never even thought of.

Free Printable Summer Bucket List

Bucket lists don’t have to be fancy to be fun. They can be as simple as a list on a phone, activities written on a chalkboard, or a piece of paper taped to the side of the fridge.

I do personally like to have a bucket list displayed for our family so we can be reminded of the fun things we want to do and get the satisfaction of marking them off when they’re done so I made this free summer bucket list printable both with and without tasks so you can create your own summer bucket list for your family, and we’d love to share it with you! There are two pages, one with tasks and one without, so you can make it work for your personal summer goals.

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117 Fun Summer Bucket List Ideas to Make This Your Best Summer Ever

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1. Make and eat homemade ice cream

Ice cream and I have had a lifelong love affair so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that it’s at the top of my list! While I know most kids would be more than thrilled with a simple scoop in a bowl or cone, you could earn bonus points and have even more fun by creating a topping bar with things like sprinkles, sauces, and whipped cream or your own version of Cold Stone Creamery where you mix toppings and candies into the ice cream yourself (just be sure to use a cold stone. I tried folding toppings into my ice cream on a cutting board once and couldn’t figure out why it was melting so quickly. Then I realized, “Oh COLD stone!” This happened before I even met my husband, and he still makes fun of me for it!)

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I’ve started making ice cream for our family because we’re trying to cut down on sugar as much as possible, and I’m thrilled to share that this recipe is phenomenal! I tweak it a bit by using dark chocolate and mixing in chocolate chunks, almonds, and coconut, and I promise you seriously won’t miss the sugar at all. You won’t even know it’s missing!

I have three of these ice cream makers, and they work pretty well, but if I had to do it again I’d buy something a little larger like this 2 quart machine or splurge on something super fancy like this machine with a compressor so I didn’t have to wait for bowls to freeze and can have ice cream on demand.

2. Go to a festival

3. Visit the zoo or a petting zoo

4. Go to a farm

5. Have a car wash

6. Have a water balloon fight

Water balloon fights are always a big hit with my kids, and they even come in bunches with handy nozzles so they can be quickly filled up. Much easier than how I had to fill them when I was a kid.

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7. Make and play with play dough

8. Fly a kite

9. Draw with sidewalk chalk

Sidewalk chalk can be surprisingly versatile and is really just the beginning of a bunch of fun activities. I especially love creating mazes, games, and interactive images for my kids to pose with. This video has a few fun ideas too. I’ve never seen the spray sidewalk chalk before! I’m going to have to try that soon.

10. Play mini golf

11. Make pizza

12. Go swimming

13. Play in a sandbox

14. Read a book.

Reading a book as a family can be a lot of fun. Everyone can snuggle up together and let their imaginations bring the book to life. Audiobooks are another great idea and the perfect companion for an unhappy kiddo who’s just been told he needs to do his chores. Ask me how I know!

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15. Visit the beach

16. Ride bikes

17. Have a picnic

18. Visit your favorite or a brand new park

19. Have a cookout

20. Create an obstacle course at your own home

Obstacle courses are so easy to put together with random things from around the house. Anything from paper towel rolls, packages of toilet paper, and cushions from the couch can turn a regular old family room into an exciting physical challenge.

21. Play tennis

22. Have an outdoor movie night

23. Make S’mores , my favorite way to eat graham crackers!

24. Catch fireflies

25. Play frisbee or frisbee golf

26. Play with a pinata (These watermelon and hula pig in a grass skirt are really cute!)

27. Take a trip to the library

28. Sleep in tents under the stars

29. Run through sprinklers

30. Visit a water park

31. Have a family game night

Game nights are a great thing to add to a summer bucket list! Our personal favorite now that our kids are getting a little older is Catan, but Telestrations and Phase 10 Twist are a lot of fun too.

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32. Pay it forward with random acts of kindness

33. Make homemade popsicles

34. Have a sleepover

35. Watch a parade

36. Feed ducks

37. Visit a museum

38. Go for a hike

39. Go fishing

40. Visit an amusement park

41. Make a fruit bouquet arrangement

Creating a fruit bouquet is a really fun way to take snack time up a notch!

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42. Have a pillow fight

43. Watch fireworks or play with sparklers

44. Give the kids a wagon ride

45. Have a relay or potato sack race

46. Make a movie

47. Blow bubbles

48. Have a treasure or scavenger hunt

49. Finger painting

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50. Play bean bag toss

51. Go bowling

52. Have a movie night

53. Build a fort

54. Run a lemonade stand

55. Plant and tend a garden

56. Play on a slip and slide

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57. Take a road trip

58. Have a water fight

59. Visit a splash pad

60. Play at a local park

61. Visit a national park

62. Go down a water slide

63. Spend time with a best friend

64. Go for a bike ride

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65. Take a day trip to another city

66. Spend a hot summer day cooling off in the movie theater

67. Watch a meteor shower

68. Check out a garage sale

69. Go to a baseball game

70. Visit a farmer’s market

71. Eat root beer floats

72. Bake cookies

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73. Look for shooting stars

74. Visit a state park

75. Build blanket forts

76. Get a bird feeder

77. Pick berries

78. Ride on a ferris wheel

79. Go to a carnival

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80. Attend an outdoor concert

81. Explore a new destination in your city

82. Help a local charity

83. Try some new foods

84. Tell ghost stories around a campfire

85. Play with water guns

86. Visit the library for story time

87. Attend summer camp

88. Play hopscotch

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89. Jump rope

90. Play kickball

91. Go rollerskating at a roller rink

92. Go rollerblading

93. Have a “YES” day and say yes to everything the kids want to do (some guidelines would also probably be handy)

94. Play hide and go seek

95. Play hide and go seek outside in the dark with flashlights

96. Go horseback riding

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97. Look through a telescope and learn about astronomy

98. Learn origami

99. Play capture the flag

100. Put on a puppet show

101. Organize a neighborhood street party

102. Grow or pick flowers and learn how to create beautiful bouquets

103. Climb a tree

104. Do a science experiment

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105. Raise a caterpillar into a butterfly

106. Raise a tadpole into a frog

107. Learn to hula hoop

108. Play Marco Polo

109. Play charades

110. Play red light green light

111. Play red rover

112. Tie-dye a t-shirt

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113. Have a talent show

114. Learn how to edit videos on iMovie

115. Start a gratitude journal

116. Start a YouTube channel

117. Paper Airplanes

If you liked these summer bucket list ideas, you may also enjoy:

  • Fun Pool Noodle Activities
  • How to Have Fun Indoors Without Electronics
  • Best and Most Fun Educational Gifts for Kids

Happy summer!

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

As an expert and enthusiast, I have personal experiences or preferences, but I can provide information on the concepts used in this article. Let's break down the key concepts:

Summer Bucket List: A bucket list is a list of activities or experiences that a person or a family wants to accomplish within a certain time period. In this case, it's a list of activities to do during the summer season. The purpose of a summer bucket list is to make the most of the summer break, create fun memories, and try new things.

Creating a Bucket List: When creating a summer bucket list, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Timeframe: Decide how much time you want to give yourself to complete the activities. It can be a list for the entire summer or broken down into weekly or monthly lists.

  2. Number of Activities: Consider your schedule and commitments. If you have limited time or other obligations, it might be best to make a smaller list. However, if the list is more of a resource for ideas, you can have a larger list for brainstorming purposes.

  3. Involving the Family: It can be beneficial to involve the whole family in making the bucket list. By getting input and ideas from everyone, you can ensure that everyone feels included and engaged in the activities.

Displaying the Bucket List: Bucket lists can be as simple as a list on a phone or a piece of paper. However, displaying the list in a visible place, such as on a chalkboard or on the fridge, can serve as a reminder and provide satisfaction when marking off completed activities.

Summer Bucket List Ideas: The article provides a list of 117 fun summer bucket list ideas, including activities such as making and eating homemade ice cream, going to festivals, visiting zoos or farms, having water balloon fights, playing mini golf, going swimming, reading books, visiting the beach, and many more. These ideas cover a wide range of interests and are suitable for families to enjoy together during the summer.

Remember, a summer bucket list is a personal and customizable document, and you can add or modify activities based on your family's interests and preferences. The goal is to have a memorable and enjoyable summer by trying new things and spending quality time together.

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List: 117 Ideas to Make This Your Best Summer Ever (2024)

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