It’s officially time to start thinking about your summer. Of course, that means it’s time to start planning your summer bucket list! I’m an advocate for the summer bucket list. It’s a great way to make the most of your summertime and create lasting memories with your family and friends. Otherwise, time speeds by for me, and I’m left with nothing to show for it.
In my opinion, the best summer bucket lists are thought-out, loosely planned, and inclusive. They should be intentional and include a variety of activities everyone will enjoy or at least be willing to try, no matter the budget or time restrictions.
Keep reading for the ultimate guide to building the perfect summer bucket list!
Our summer bucket list shenanigans began in 2004, as newlyweds and long before having kids, this quote hits hard:
“We get 18 delicious summers with our children. This is one of your 18. If that’s not perspective, I don’t know what is.’“Jessica Scott
Brainstorm the bucket list
We sit down as a family to brainstorm activities and experiences we want to have during the summer. Think about things to try, places to visit, and events you want to attend. Consider the interests and hobbies of those with whom you’ll be making memories. Every year is a little different regarding the ideas we come up with as interests and ability changes. And there are some activities we like to do year after year too. These summer experiences help us survive the clocks eventually going back and the nights getting dark again.
Categorize the activities
Once you’ve gathered a list of potential activities, categorize them based on location, cost, and level of effort required. This will help you prioritize and plan accordingly. You might need to take time off work, book tickets, hotels, etc. It’s good to be aware of these things before you commit to them.
Set adventure goals
Choose a few activities you want to accomplish this summer and prioritize them. Set specific goals for each activity, like going on a girl’s trip or hiking a particular trail, and make a plan to achieve them.
Organize your bucket list
Create a calendar, spreadsheet, or list to help you keep track of your activities and plan accordingly. This will help you avoid double-booking or missing any bucket list opportunities. For example, if you want to take a cooking class, or see your favorite band or comedian, check event dates and pencil them in.
Put aside a shoe box to collect your summer mementos and look back on them later. You can journal your adventures, create a Summer Bucket List memory album, or shadow box with them. It’s nice to have a tangible reminder of these happy memories.
Mix it up
Make sure your bucket list includes outdoor adventures, indoor activities, solo adventures, and group activities. This keeps things exciting and your options open. Most importantly, it ensures everyone has something to look forward to. We also like to include activities for “rainy days” or days we don’t want to go out and do much, like, making homemade ice cream or watching all the Lord of The Rings movies.
Involve your family and friends in planning and get their input on what activities they want to be involved with this summer. This ensures everyone has a say, and their ideas can inspire even better ones! You never know who has a (fill in the blank) until you mention you want to go (fill in the blank.) Plus, if So-and-So wants to host that backyard outdoor movie, that is something you want to have on your list, and you never know until you have the conversation!
Remember that plans can change, and sometimes things don’t go according to plan. Be flexible and open to trying new things or adapting your plans as necessary. As mentioned, we have some “rainy day” activity ideas because sometimes you need a quiet day, or things haven’t gone as planned. A day at home isn’t a day wasted. Do the jigsaw puzzle, play the games, or send the postcards. Whatever you need to do to feel fulfilled and happy is what you need to do.
With these tips, you’re sure to build a summer bucket list that will create lasting memories and make your summer one to remember!