It’s been a crazy 2 years! If you’re looking for fun ideas for the family and kids this summer, keep reading! Here are 75 summer bucket list ideas that are kid-friendly and budget-friendly! Free printable available! Keep reading to get inspired!
Adjustment of the Summer Plans
Life has been crazy these past few months. I’m sure, back in early 2020, when we were making tentative summer plans, that none of us thought our summers would look like this.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s had to rethink their plans and come up with something new. The typical go-to fun places might not be available this summer. And if they are, they probably will look and feel a lot different than they did last year.
For that reason, we are going to have to re-invent the wheel a bit when it comes to summer fun.
Still Lots of Summer Fun to Be Had
First, let me say, I know it’s a bummer. A real bummer. While not the worst thing on the planet if we are still alive and healthy and able to enjoy ourselves, but there’s still a real feeling of loss here.
We moved to Tennessee at the end of August 2018, so last summer (2019), we spent a lot of time exploring, trial-and-error, discovering what our favorite places would be. We were so looking forward to having that learning curve behind us and getting right to the fun.
Well, all those fun places – if they’re open this season – aren’t quite the same as last year.
Still, I’m determined to look at the bright side and give us all a fantastic summer. Especially since this is really my last few months with my boys home with me full-time – they start kindergarten at the end of July.
Summer Bucket List, 75 Fun Ideas for Kids & Families
I’ve pulled together a Summer Bucket List. Essentially, these are real fun activities for kids, those boredom busters that you can sorta pull out of a hat, that don’t require a lot of preparation. Most are free, though some may have a little cost involved (food, etc.). And almost all of them are social-distancing-friendly. For a few, you might have to engage with the public, but you can do it in a safe way.
This list is NOT meant to be pressure or another to-do list. It’s just a tool, something handy to give you ideas to keep things fresh and new. And really, not-so-new. A lot of these are what kids would do in days past for a good, old-fashioned fun summer, before we got so high-tech and feeling like mom needed to be the camp counselor or cruise director of entertainment.
You can write a few down, put them in a jar, and pick randomly. You can let your kids choose. Or you can never show them the list and you choose, and you’ll seem like the most fun mom ever!
Do a few, do most, do them all – totally up to what fits your family.
You can grab the free printable at the end of the post for easy reference!
Other Staycation Ideas for Summer
If your state is open but you aren’t traveling this summer, check out these 50 Memorable Staycation Ideas. They include some of the ideas listed below but branch out to other activities that depend on what may be open in your area as well as what the guidelines are for social distancing. If restrictions are lifted, there are a lot more options here! Lots of budget-friendly options!
And if you need some ideas just to keep the kids busy at home – quick, easy, low-prep activities, here are 70 (some overlap to this list) that wouldn’t necessarily be ‘bucket list’ items but more like boredom busters! All of these are appropriate for social distancing guidelines, so lots to choose from!
OK, on to the activities that will make summer a blast for you and your kids!
Summer Bucket List
- Stargaze and look at constellations
- Camp out (living room, backyard or legit camping)
- Make a bonfire with S’mores
- Play in the sprinkler or with a hose
- Set up an obstacle course
- Set up a water obstacle course
- Play old school outdoor games (tag, capture the flag, kick the can, jacks, hide & seek)
- Play hopscotch
- Jump rope
- Take a bike ride on the trails or in the country
- Watch the sunset at the beach or lake
- See fireworks
- Make ice cream or snow cones
- Invent new popsicle combinations
- Make an ice cream float
- Go on a nature walk or hike
- Swim at night
- Visit a farmer’s market
- Build a blanket and pillow fort
- Build an outdoor fort in the yard
- Spend the afternoon lazy river tubing
- Lounge in a hammock and read (or nap!)
- Go kayaking or canoeing
- Go on a day trip
- Try a new ice cream shop
- Write chalk messages on the sidewalk
- Have a water war with water balloons or water guns
- Have a family game night outdoors
- Have an ultimate frisbee game
- Play outdoor sports: wiffleball, kickball, badminton, volleyball, etc.
- Go fruit picking (whatever is in season)
- Attend a fair
- Do a photoshoot in the park
- Learn to fly a kite
- Plant flowers or a garden
- Have a picnic in the park
- Go to the drive-in
- Try geocaching
- Make a bird feeder and track the kinds of birds that come
- Catch frogs, worms, and fireflies (and then release!)
- Pay for someone at the drive-thru
- Perform random acts of kindness (Get some ideas Acts of Kindness Ideas here and Creative Ways Kids Can Give Back here!)
- Learn to skip rocks
- Make paper boats to put in a stream
- Have a scavenger hunt (Check out some fun scavenger hunts here!)
- Learn a new craft (painting, jewelry making, sewing, etc)
- Write and/or film a play
- Have a Lego-building contest
- Get henna tattoos
- Movie marathon or binge-watching day
- Late-night restaurant/fast-food run
- Watch a local sports event
- Have a hula hoop contest
- Choreograph and make up dances to your favorite songs
- Have a dance party
- Set up a backyard movie
- Play in the rain and jump in puddles
- Make a scrapbook
- Do a family puzzle
- Play flashlight tag
- Visit a splash pad
- Wash the cars and bikes (and toy trucks and cars!)
- Have a lemonade stand
- Go fishing
- Eat ice cream for dinner
- Go on a breakfast picnic
- Climb trees
- Feed the ducks
- Make tie-dye shirts
- Photo scavenger hunt
- Build something with things at home (woodworking is a fun option!)
- Go for a walk at night
- Roast hotdogs and eat foil pack dinners
- Create a time capsule
- Paint kindness rocks and distribute
Grab the Free Printable!
If you need a free printable to make things easier, you can grab it here! Just fill out your email address below!
All the Fun for Summer, Right at Your Door
While it’s a bummer that summer might not be the same as the past, there are still a ton of good times to be had and memories to be made. It’s really what you make of what you have, and who you’re with. And if the family is healthy and together, you’re so much better off than so many. This summer bucket list can help make 2020 even better than you imagined!
If you need a few more options, subscription boxes are another fun choice to keep the kids busy (and entertained and learning!) So many to choose from!
And if you want to keep the kids moving, even on rainy days, here are some exercise videos for kids (and moms) on YouTube as another option for TV – but at least they’re moving!
More Seasonal Activities for Kids and Families
If you’re type A and looking ahead, check out these fun, family-and-kid-friendly activities and ideas!
Fall Bucket List for Families (+ free printable)
Christmas Bucket List – 30 Activities for Families (+free printable)
25+ Meaningful & Fun New Year& Family Traditions You’ll Love
If you try some ideas, take some pictures and let me know! Tag me on Instagram @100affections or leave a comment on Pinterest!
Thoughts? I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment below!
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