100 Family Summer Bucket List Activities


This one is for adventure seekers and memory makers! School is out, the weather is warming up, and the pool is open. It’s that time of the year again—summer! And what better way to make the most of it than by creating a fantastic family summer bucket list? In this post I’m sharing our favorite summer bucket list activities, how it has helped in create a meaningful summer, and how we use it in our family.

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Why make a Summer Bucket List?

When school gets out and summer begins, it feels like your free time is unending. You envision restful days of play or exploration as a family. Then inevitably, work schedules, appointments, trips, and household to-dos have taken over the next two months and it is time for school to start again!

Writing Down a Family Bucket list will help you identify what is most important to your family. It can guide and give meaning to how you spend your time this summer.

How to create the Family Summer Bucket List:

Kick off summer with a family meeting. Involve everyone, from the youngest to the oldest, to share their ideas and hopes for the summer. Categorize the ideas into areas such as outdoor adventures, creative projects, travel, learning activities, and relaxation. This helps in balancing the activities and ensures a variety of experiences. We write our bucket list on a big poster board that we put on the wall in the laundry room. Even if you don’t accomplish all the items on the list, it is a fun way to look back and remember all the fun you had and memories that were made over the summer.

Using the Family Summer Bucket List:

The kids and I keep a loose schedule in the summer. They participate on a swim team and practice in the morning. During the afternoons and weekends, we have more downtime. At the beginning of the week, the kids each pick out an activity on the bucket list they want to do that week. We scope out what is playing at the dollar movie, order any supplies for a craft or activity, or shop for food we need to learn to cook something new. We don’t keep a strict schedule, but it is nice to have a little direction with activities from the bucket list.

The Summer Bucket List is also the perfect answer when you hear, “Mom, I’m Bored!” or “Mom, What do we do?” My answer is usually- “Go check the bucket list!” While some items on the list require certain supplies or going on a big outing, many others are things we have readily available at home.

Child Reading to check off a family summer bucket list activity.

The 100 Activities on our List:

Projects to enjoy the Whole Summer

  1. Make a Family Summer Playlist
  2. Pick a Chapter Book to read aloud as a Family (We Love the Harry Potter Series, Spy School, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe)
  3. Complete a Jigsaw Puzzle (Do the Puzzle on this puzzle mat for easy storage between puzzling sessions)
  4. Pick a Movie Series to Watch (Harry Potter, Marvel Series, Lord of the Rings) throughout the summer
  5. Plant a small garden or container garden
  6. Pick a Book of the Bible or a short family devotion to read during slower mornings.
  7. Read for 20 minutes a day (more tips here if reading is a priority for your family this summer)

Fun Around the House

  1. Stay in Pajamas all Day
  2. Have a Family Game night
  3. Build a Fort
  4. Make up variety show for mom and dad
  5. Do a Screen-Free Week
  6. Make Friendship bracelets for friends or teammates
  7. Family Video Game Night
  8. Do some summer-themed directed drawings on ArtHub for Kids- Check out their 4th of July Art projects here
  9. Have Breakfast in Bed
  10. Make a Photo collage from the school year
  11. Learn the “Electric Slide” and the “Cotton Eye’d Joe” line dances
  12. Painters Tape Hallway obstacle course
  13. Can you keepy-uppy for a full hour?
  14. Have a spa day to trim and paint nails
  15. Participate in the Barnes and Noble’s free books for kids program
  16. Get a few of the indoor toys for active kids for really hot or bad weather days.

Backyard Fun

  1. Roast Marshmallows for S’mores
  2. Have a water balloon fight (these mess-free ones are great!)
  3. Make some beautiful sidewalk chalk art
  4. Play with Bubbles
  5. Work on a Sport you love
  6. Camp Out in the backyard
  7. Catch (and Release) fireflies
  8. Play in the rain
  9. Press Flowers
  10. Jump Rope
  11. Ice Excavation
  12. Have a Bike Wash for the kids on your street
  13. Make an aluminum foil river
  14. Shadow tracing/ Drawing
  15. Paint Rocks
  16. Make Sponge Water balloons
  17. Raise Butterflies and release them in the backyard
  18. Personalize a jacket or even a pencil pouch with iron-on patches.

Food and Fun

  1. Over the course of the summer, try out all the (donut, ice cream, pizza) places in town and write a review of each
  2. Make Homemade ice cream or popsicles
  3. Do a homemade pizza night
  4. Dress up and go to a fancy restaurant to learn how which silverware to use and practice manners.
  5. Breakfast in bed
  6. Buy a whole watermelon and eat it
  7. Make a Fun Popcorn Bar when friends come over.

Learn or improve on a Life Skill

  1. How to Wrap a gift
  2. How to Write and address a letter to a friend out of town
  3. How to clean a bathroom
  4. How to call and make an appointment (try a haircut appointment first)
  5. Clean out and organize the clothes in your closet
  6. How to introduce yourself and how to introduce two people
  7. How to shake a hand
  8. How to do a load of laundry from start to finish
  9. How to wash and vacuum out the car
  10. How to make a list and pack for an overnight trip
  11. Memorize or Review address and parent’s phone numbers
  12. Tie Shoes
  13. Unload the Dishwasher
  14. How to make a sandwich, oatmeal, and pasta
  15. Learn a new hairstyle like a bubble braid or a French braid
  16. Review your family fire safety plan and meeting spot
Children riding bikes in a 4th of July Bike Parade as part of their family summer bucket list.

In the Neighborhood

  1. Go on a Bike Ride
  2. Walk or jog a 5K
  3. Do some yard work or bake something for a neighbor
  4. Have a Lemonade Stand
  5. Host a neighborhood block party (An ice cream social is a fun, easy way to get everyone together!)
Child participating in a tree lines ropes course.

Fun Around Town

  1. Check out books from the Library
  2. Go to the Dollar Movie
  3. Go to a Farmer’s market and make a meal with what you get
  4. Visit a Local Museum
  5. Go to a playground across town
  6. Go watch a local sports team play
  7. Visit and bring thank you cards or a small treat to your local fire department
  8. Go Bowling
  9. Zoo or Nature Center
  10. Find a 4th of July Bike parade
  11. Play Mini Golf
  12. Tour a historical attraction nearby to learn some local history
  13. Go Berry Picking
  14. Attend Vacation Bible School
  15. Attend a Home Depot Kid’s workshop
  16. Watch Fireworks
  17. Plan a day hike and take a picnic
  18. Find the closest pool with a water slide
  19. Meet friends at the pack for kickball or waffle ball
Mother hiking with child in a hiking backpack.

On A Trip

  1. Learn to navigate an airport (getting through security and finding the terminal and gate)
  2. Write in a travel journal daily about experiences you have on your trip
  3. Play Car Bingo (with these cards)
  4. Mail a postcard to a friend from your trip
  5. Play the license plate game
  6. Talk about basic car maintenance while traveling (oil changes, tire rotations, and checking breaks)

Back to School Prep

  1. Pick out a first-day-of-school outfit
  2. Gather School Supplies
  3. Help mom or dad fill out school paperwork (kids can write name, address, and phone numbers)
  4. Find Lunch box, water bottle, and backpack
  5. Do some pages from a grade-level-appropriate workbook
  6. Talk with the kids about what to pack for school lunches this year using this easy system!

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