Elaborate vacations can be very expensive. Many families are opting to make the most of the amenities that are already near where they live. To make the most of your summer, you can create your own summer bucket list with your kids. Since I work from home, so I made a deal with my kids. If they do their chores and allow me to get my work done during the rest of the week, each Friday we would do something fun. This allows us to choose 11 items on our summer bucket list, one for each week of summer vacation.
The following list should work in most cities, especially if you live close to a major city. Sit down with this list and your family and decide which ones you will add to your own summer bucket list. You can even get more specific with each one to accommodate the activities available to you.
Summer bucket list ideas:
- Go on a hike (if you live in Utah check out these hikes) – You can find hikes that take hours, complete with a packed in meal, or you can find one that can be done within 30 minutes.
- Visit a water park – This should really be a must do for your family every summer. Water slides are so much fun!
- Go to the pool – I remember riding my bike to the local community pool almost every day, and almost every community has one nearby, or host your own pool party.
- Have a water fight – There is nothing like a massive water fight, whether it is scattered throughout the neighborhood, or you coordinate one at a local park. Use water balloons, super soakers, hoses, buckets and more! So really, no one can ever get TOO wet in a water fight!
- Watch an outdoor movie or concert – Create your own portable projector screen, set up a projector and watch a movie in your backyard or at a local park. You can also find an outdoor venue to watch concerts or movies like a drive-in.
- Have a BBQ – A neighborhood potluck or bring your own meat BBQ is a great way to get to know your neighbors and have a lot of fun.
- Do a Science Experiment – There are a ton of science experiments you can replicate from YouTube. Some of them can be really fun, and kids just love making slime or goo.
- Visit a museum – In my small town there are at least 3 museums nearby that are all really fun for kids to visit. One in particular does special events during the summer that even feature live animal shows.
- Go to the Zoo – My kids love going to the Zoo to see all of the animals they don’t normally get to see. Lions and Tigers and Bears.. OH MY!.. Or maybe just some really cool elephants and giraffes. So be sure to find the most exotic animal you can find while at the Zoo.
- See the fish at the aquarium – Similar to the zoo, an aquarium can have all kinds of amazing fish and other types of sea life. Aquariums also could feature some touch tanks that allow you to interact with star fish or sting rays or more.
- Spend the day at an amusement park – You may need to drive a bit further to find an amusement park, but I imagine there could be one within an hour or two of your house. You will probably have to block out the entire day for this to get your money’s worth.
- Enjoy the river/lake/ocean – Depending on where you live, there should be a body of water nearby. Rent jet skis, stand up paddle boards, surfboards, boogie boards, inner-tubes, go fishing or just play in the water. Some of my favorite memories involve a friend of mine walking down a shallow river for hours!
- Go camping – Campgrounds can be found nearly anywhere. You don’t always have to hike or drive far away to find one. Most campgrounds want you to make a reservation ahead of time though. Be sure to search for some in your area and call ahead to see if they are booked for the day you want to go.
- Play night games – Another childhood right of passage during the summer is night games. We would LOVE playing capture the flag under the cover of darkness.
- Sign up for a day camp – There are day camps for just about every kind of interest for a kid. From drama workshops, to art lessons, to sports camps, there is literally something for everyone. Not only that, but you may just get a day to yourself!
- Attend a parade – Here in Utah we have no shortage of parades during the summer. Each nearby city has their own celebration, complete with parades and community events. For other cities your best bet might be the 4th of July to find the best parades.
- Visit a farm – Many farms allow public access to pet or feed animals or to see how the farm works. It can be a great learning experience for kids and you might learn something too!
- Watch a Meteor Shower – Do a Google search to find the best date to search the skies for shooting stars. This is on our bucket list just about every year. We go up to the mountains late at night and watch for all the shooting stars to appear. It’s pretty amazing. However, if you are unable to catch an actual meteor shower, you can grab a telescope and just find constellations.
- Fly a kite – In the immortal words of Mr. Banks… Go fly a kite, up to the highest heights.
So, grab a piece of paper and start making your summer bucket list. Once you have them all listed post it somewhere in the house and cross items off as you do them. Before you know it, school will be back in session! Is anyone else already counting down? Just me? OK.