Not having summer break is one of the lamest parts of becoming an adult, but luckily we can still make spectacular summer memories even as grown-ups. It might take a little planning, but there are plenty of things you can do that will make this a summer worth remembering. Confidently assemble your summer bucket list and prepare for a terrific time with these inspiring ideas. Involve your friends and family, especially those nieces and nephews, grandkids, and your friend’s kids who are out of school and never experienced the kind of summers we used to have…
So, I’ve convinced you to start a seasonal bucket list, but what should you put on it?
Here are some ideas to help inspire you! There’s something for everyone.
Ideas for your summer bucket list
It’s summertime! Take the opportunity to eat outside as often as possible. Or use meal times to your bucket list advantage with these food-related activity suggestions.
- You have to have lunch anyway, so why not make it a picnic in the park?
- Host a barbecue.
- Have a bonfire and make s’mores.
- Host a potluck dinner party.
- Go to a farmer’s market – I’ve never not eaten at a farmer’s market!
- Visit a local farm or orchard.
- Go fishing.
- Host a themed party, such as a tea party or fiesta.
- Go fruit-picking and make something with the fruit you picked.
- Attend a food festival or event.
- Have a cultural immersion day and try new foods from different cultures.
- Host a garden party.
- Attend a wine or beer-tasting event.
- Have a luau with Hawaiian decor, music, and food.
- Have a watermelon seed spitting contest.
- Attend a local fair or festival.
- Host a “create your own pizza” night.
- Have a blind taste test with different foods – we’ve done an apple tasting and a rootbeer taste test before.
- Have a “create your own trail mix” party.
- Host a paint and sip night.
- Have a cookie decorating party.
- Visit a local winery or brewery.
- Organize a Progressive Dinner Party – or make it just desserts.
- Make ice cream floats.
It’s a fact that getting out and about without much effort is another perk of summertime. All the things it’s been too cold or dark to do during the rest of the year are now within grasp. Why not plan some time outside to make memories with these summer bucket list ideas?
- Go on a bike ride. If your city is like mine, you can rent a scooter or ebike every few feet.
- Play outdoor games such as frisbee, volleyball, or tetherball.
- Try a new hike each week.
- Go on a long walk or hike with your pet.
- Attend a sports game, such as baseball or soccer.
- Create an outdoor obstacle course.
- Play mini-golf.
- Go on a kayaking or paddleboarding adventure.
- Have a water balloon fight.
- Attend a charity walk or run.
- Play dodgeball.
- Visit a trampoline park.
- Have a family field day with relay races and games.
- Visit a new park each week.
- Go hydro biking.
- Visit a botanical garden or nature reserve.
- Attend a fitness class outdoors, such as yoga or pilates – bonus if goats are involved!
- Go geocaching.
- Learn to juggle.
- Go on a sunrise hike.
- Go letterboxing.
There’s no shame in staying home during the summer. Home is where all your stuff is, and it’s usually the most comfortable place there is. Make the most of your time at home with these suggestions.
- Firstly, create a family or friend bucket list and cross off items throughout the summer.
- Have a game day. Everyone picks a game, and you play it throughout the day.
- Have a book club with friends. (Throw in a library or book shop trip together beforehand.)
- Have a craft day.
- Have an at-home spa day.
- Have a backyard talent show.
- Have a board game tournament.
- Have a long-distance family game night.
- Have a self-care day.
- Have a movie marathon day.
- Tackle some home improvement projects.
- Tie-dye or screen-print some clothes.
- Create a summer photo album or scrapbook.
- Have a pajama day.
- Binge-watch a show.
- Create a summer vision board or plan.
- Make friendship bracelets
- Host a DIY candle or soap-making day.
- Clean out your closet.
- Host a Murder Mystery.
- Play Minute To Win It games.
Good, old-fashioned summer fun
When you think about summers gone by, there are no doubt, particular things that come to mind, like riding your bike with no shoes on, making friendship bracelets, checking the mail to see if your penpal wrote to you, or chasing the ice cream truck down the road for your favorite ice cream bar. Whether you spent all your time at the local outdoor pool or climbing your favorite tree bring some of that back and relive those memories this summer! You will love reconnecting with your inner child and her friends! Build a summer bucket list together and have fun!
- Draw with sidewalk chalk.
- Eat cereal for dinner.
- Send a care package.
- Write thank you letters and mail them.
- Take photos with a Polaroid camera.
- Make a cootie catcher.
- Plant sunflowers.
- Have a book swap
- Go to the Nickelcade.
- Ding-dong-ditch treats.
- Fly a kite.
- Build a fort.
- Have a screen-free day.
- Have a sleepover.
- Camp in your backyard.
- Go on a treasure hunt.
- Eat banana splits or ice cream sundaes.
- Journal or scrapbook.
- Drink soda from a glass bottle.
- Do one of your favorite childhood hobbies.
- Decorate a bookmark.
- Lose track of time.
- Have a summer dress-up party, such as beach or tropical-themed.
- Phone a friend.
- Go on a nature scavenger hunt.
- Empty and cash in your coin jar.
- Make a summer playlist and send the streaming code to your Summer Squad.
- Have a “Yes” day.
- Have a photo scavenger hunt.
- Re-read your favorite childhood books.
- Build a birdhouse.
- Make lemonade.
- Get your face painted.
- Have a summer reading challenge – reward yourself with pizza at the end.
- Ask your friends kids for book suggestions and read them.
Explore what’s on your doorstep.
It might take a little investigating, but there is no shortage of things to do in your town. Take advantage of local parks, trails, family-owned eateries, and businesses. Your city might also host community engagement events worth putting on your calendar.
- Visit a museum.
- Visit a nearby city and explore.
- Attend an outdoor theater or play.
- Visit a historical site or monument.
- Go on a photo walk and capture beautiful moments.
- Attend a free summer concert series.
- Go on a scenic drive.
- Go on a ghost tour in your town or city.
- Attend a community farmer’s market or artisan fair.
- Go on a winery or brewery tour.
- Attend a local outdoor yoga class.
- Attend a free community event.
- Go to your local library, art gallery, or museum.
- Get involved in a local service project.
- Take a community education class.
- Attend a cooking class or workshop.
- Participate in a collaborative art project.
- Attend a TED talk or live speaker event.
- Attend a charity silent auction or fundraiser.
- Help paint a mural.
- Eat at local restaurants.
- Be a tourist for the day.
- Go bird watching.
- Visit a little free library.
A change of summer scenery
Sometimes breaking your routine and stepping off your regular path can be the key to creating a key memory. How about changing things up a bit here and there, depending on what’s available to you? Here are some ideas of things you probably don’t do every day…
- Go camping.
- Visit a National Park.
- Go to the beach.
- Rent a boat and go out on the water.
- Go on a road trip.
- Go to a waterpark.
- Have a day at an amusement park.
- Visit an amusement arcade.
- Attend a kite festival or create your own.
- Go to a drive-in movie theater.
- Go on a whale-watching tour.
- Go on a wildlife safari.
- Go stargazing.
- Attend a concert or music festival.
- Visit a zoo or aquarium.
- Go on a boat tour or cruise.
- Be the fun aunt for a day and take your friend’s kids out.
- Go on a photography field trip.
- Pay it forward or do a random act of kindness.
- Watch an outdoor movie.
- Spend some time reading at your local library.
- See some wildflowers.
- Help at the local vegetable garden.
- Enjoy breakfast outside.
Big ticket best summer memories
If you have the time and means summer is a great time to splurge and go all out. Plan and budget for some of these ideas. These items could be part of your big bucket list.
- Organize a family reunion.
- Go on a hot air balloon ride.
- Visit a state/country you’ve never been to.
- Go on a cruise.
- Rent a screen at the movie theater and invite your friends to watch something with you.
- Fulfill someone else’s bucket list item.
Lastly, at the end of the day, what makes this summer the best ever is that you’ve spent your time in a way that makes you smile when you look back. Your activities don’t have to be expensive or extravagant, your schedule doesn’t have to be packed, and you don’t have to break the bank. Our best childhood memories are often the cheapest, simplest, or even spontaneous times our guardians decided to go with the flow. You deserved that then, and you still deserve it now!
Make this a summer of following your heart’s desire.