120 Summer Bucket List Ideas for 2024 (Free Printable)

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Download this free Summer Bucket List with 126 fun things for your kids to do. Make this your best summer ever!

Summer Bucket List

Summertime.

The long-awaited summer season that every kid longs for, but when it finally arrives they have no idea how to spend their time. How early in the summer do we hear the words, “I’m bored.” Am I the only Mom who has heard those dreaded words on the first day of summer vacation?

Since you can’t afford summer camp every day of the summer, you need a plan to keep the kids entertained without losing your mind! Get a head start ahead of the boredom and complaints by printing and posting this Summer Bucket List on your refrigerator. This huge summer bucket list is packed with fun activities that will make this the best summer ever. 

I’ve included a variety of activities including outdoor activities, indoor activities, things to do alone, things to do with friends, things to do together as a family, and more. No matter how young or old your kids are, there is something for everyone on this Ultimate Summer Bucket List. 

This summer instead of the kids constantly asking you what they can do, your challenge to them will be…How many Summer Bucket List items can you complete?

Get ready to enjoy the summer like never before!

Download the Printable Summer Bucket List

Summer Bucket List

126 Summer Bucket List Items

Day Trip Ideas

Day Trip Ideas

Day trips can be a fun way to spend a summer day. A day trip is somewhere you can go and return on the same day. Since you don’t need to stay overnight, there is no packing to do or hotel to book. The best part is that you have a whole day to enjoy your destination. Here are some great day trip ideas. 

  • Local Parks – Enjoy a nature hike and try to spot some local wildlife. While you’re there you could also play frisbee or climb a tree. If there’s a lake or pond you could go fishing or feed the ducks.
  •  Amusement Park – There are lots of fun things to do at amusement parks. You could ride a ferris wheel or roller coaster. And don’t forget to eat some cotton candy while you’re there!
  • Water Park – The hot summer months are the perfect time to visit a water park. Enjoy the cool water and go down a water slide!
  • Farmer’s Market – Stock up on some fresh fruit to make homemade ice cream or popsicles. 
  • Local Museum – For a rainy day or sweltering hot summer days when you need an indoor activity, visiting a local museum is a great day trip! 
  • Local Library – Spend a day selecting some reading material. If you’re planning a vacation or road trip, look up some books about your destination.
  • Ride in a Boat – Summer break is the perfect time to get out on the water. 
  • Back to School Shopping – Don’t put this off until the week before school starts. Take your time and enjoy several shopping days. 
  • Pick Berries – Look for a “pick your own” farm close by. Not only is it a fun activity, but you can save some money on fresh fruit. 
  • Mini Golf – This is an activity the entire family can do together.  
  • Bowling – Here’s another option for a super hot or rainy day. A bowling alley is also a great place to meet up with friends. 
Beach day

Beach Days (or Pool Days)

Going to the beach may be the perfect summer activity. I can’t think of a better way to spend a hot day than at the beach. The summer sun and refreshing breeze do wonders for my mental health. Here are some fun things you can do at the beach. 

  • Go to the Beach – While you’re there, here are some things to do.
  • Build Sand Castles – Pack some buckets and shovels for the kids. 
  • Fly a Kite – There’s no better place to fly a kite than a windy beach. 
  • Swim – Get in that water!
  • Collect Seashells – These net bags are perfect for shell collecting. 
  • Take Underwater Pictures – Pick up a disposable underwater camera for the kids.
  • Cannonball – This is more of a pool activity, but fun no matter where you can do it! 
  • Make and Sail Paper Boats – Make some fun boats before you go to the beach and see which ones work best. 
Summer Nights

Summer Nights

Nighttime is the perfect opportunity to plan some fun summer bucket list ideas, too!

  • Look at the Stars – Grab some binoculars and go outside on a clear night. See how many constellations you can find.
  • Outdoor Concert – Does your area have a summer music festival? It’s a great way to spend an evening. 
  • Swim at Night – No sunscreen is required when you swim at night!
  • See Fireworks – Watching fireworks on the 4th of July is something that makes summer special. Be sure to pack some snacks to eat while you wait. 
  • Family Board Game Night – Every Friday night of the summer is pizza and game night for our family. We have so much fun together, and everyone looks forward to it. 
  • Make S’mores – Gather around the fire pit for dessert one night. 
  • Watch a Sunset – Seek out a spot and enjoy a sunset. 
  • Host a Sleepover – Invite your best friends over for the night. 
  • Backyard Camping – No need to travel to enjoy camping. Pitch your tent right in the backyard. 
  • Play Flashlight Tag – Kids have so much fun with flashlights! You can get inexpensive ones at the dollar store. 
  • Throw a Party – What better time to plan a party than in the summer? Make it around a theme or just have a barbecue with friends. 
  • Catch Fireflies – No childhood is complete without attempting to catch fireflies!
Outdoor Activities

Explore the Great Outdoors

There are so many outdoor activities to do in the summer months. I’ve divided these bucket list items into 2 categories: Outdoor Activities You Can Do Alone and Outdoor Adventures To Do With Friends

Outdoor Activities You Can Do Alone

  • Birdwatch – Start with a birdwatching guidebook, add some binoculars, and you may just have a new hobby. 
  • Bike Ride – You can do this alone, with friends, or as a family. 
  • Blow Bubbles – Sometimes the small things can be the best way to pass the time. 
  • Eat Lunch Outside – Taking your food outside can break up the usual routine. 
  • Sidewalk Chalk – Create some fun art. 
  • Play Hopscotch – This fun, easy game can be fun even when you’re all by yourself. 
  • Hula Hoop – Burn up some energy and have some fun. Play music while you hula hoop.
  • Wash the Car – Any excuse to play in the water is perfect for hot summer days. 
  • Jump Rope – Turn on some music and learn some new jump roping tricks. 
  • Plant Herbs or Flowers – Container gardening can be a fun way to grow flowers or herbs for cooking. 
  • Take a Walk – Slap on some earbuds, turn on your favorite tunes, and get moving. 
  • Fry an Egg on the Sidewalk – Conduct your own science experiment on a super hot day. 

Outdoor Adventures with Friends

  • Play in a Sprinkler – This is definitely an activity that’s more fun with friends. 
  • Water Balloon Fight – These quick-fill balloons are a summertime necessity. 
  • BBQ with Friends – Who doesn’t love hamburgers and hot dogs? Or have a potluck to divide up the cooking.  
  • Bike Wash with Friends – Invite the neighborhood kids over for a bike wash. Your kids could make signs and put them around the neighborhood for this event.  
  • Play Hide and Seek – A classic that’s still one of the best games ever. 
  • Slip-n-Slide – So much fun with friends!!!
  • Play With Water Guns – The kids will enjoy any excuse to get wet outside during the summer months. 
  • Build a Fort – Save some boxes, give the kids some paint, and let them build. 
  • Backyard Obstacle Course – This can be a multi-day project. Set up stations for jump rope, use a board for a balance beam, tape some boxes together to make a tunnel, and let the kids get creative! 
  • Plan a Picnic – Pack up a lunch, bring a large blanket, and meet some friends outside.
Indoor Activities

The Great Indoors

Rainy or extra hot summer days present a great opportunity for having a good time inside. Here are some fun ideas to do on days when you’re stuck inside.

  • Bake Cookies for Neighbors – This is a great way to make some new friends. 
  •  Make Homemade Ice Cream – Make your own ice cream recipe using fresh fruit from a farmer’s market or a berry-picking day. 
  •  Make Homemade Popsicles – Use your favorite fruit juices or fresh fruit to make healthier treats. 
  • Treasure Hunt – Take turns setting up a treasure hunt. Have the kids make one for you, too. 
  • Book Club – Have fun with required summer reading for school, or select books to read with friends. Set up a virtual meeting with friends who don’t live nearby.
  • Design T-shirts – Print a t-shirt outline and have the kids create their own designs. 
  • Make Friendship Bracelets – Your kids could make lots of these over the summer and give them out to friends on the first day of school.  
  • Temporary Tattoos – Get some now, put them in a drawer, and pull them out on a rainy day for some fun. 
  • Create a Puppet Show – Have the kids write and practice a puppet show to perform after dinner. 
  • Play in the Rain – As long as it’s not storming, put on some rain boots, grab a fun umbrella, and head outside in the rain. 
  • Home Spa Day – Pampering yourself is a relaxing way to spend any day. 
  • No Technology Day – Challenge the kids to a no technology day. They can use this list of free summer bucket list ideas to find alternate things to do.
  • Social Media Fast – Make a goal to stay off of all social media for a predetermined period of time (a day, week, or month).  
  • Kids Plan & Cook Dinner – Get the kids in the kitchen and help them plan and make dinner
  • Rearrange Your Room – Have fun recreating your space by rearranging the furniture. 
  • Take a Bubble Bath – Bubbles make everything better!
  • Disney Movie Marathon – Dedicate a whole day to watching Disney movies. 
  • Science Experiment Day – Conduct some fun experiments with your kids. Summer fun can include learning! 
  • Pajama Day – Enjoy a whole day of being comfy in your jammies. 
  • Bake a Rainbow Cake – Bring a little sunshine inside with a rainbow cake!
  • Prank Someone – Set up a funny surprise for when Mom and Dad get home from work. 
  • Donate Old Clothes & Toys – Be productive on a rainy day by going through your closet. Get rid of clutter and donate things you no longer need. 
  • Make Up a Secret Handshake – Does your family have a secret handshake? We created one when the kids were little, and they still remember it!
  • Make Root Beer Floats or Milkshakes – These may be the best summer treats of all time!
  • Camp Indoors – Get out the sleeping bags and throw a blanket over the back of some chairs for some fun indoor camping. 
  • Dance – Crank up your favorite tunes and get moving!
  • Photo Scavenger Hunt – Give your kids a list of common items around the house and let them take photos for a scavenger hunt. Make it more difficult by requiring them to take the photos in order of your list. 
Things You Can Do Alone

Things You Can Do Alone

You can’t always be around friends, but there are still plenty of awesome summer bucket list ideas you can do by yourself. 

  • Write a Story – Get them a special summer notebook to encourage writing. 
  • Doodle – Get a sketch pad and challenge your kids to fill it up by the end of summer. 
  • Make Paper Airplanes – Get a book or a kit and save it for a rainy day activity. 
  • Draw a Picture – Another use for the sketch pad
  • Make a Summer Playlist of your Favorite Songs
  •  Write a Letter and Mail It – This is a great way to encourage kids to reach out to grandparents, aunts, uncles, or family friends. Pick up a fun stationary kit to encourage them to write.
  • Paint on Canvas – Pick up some small canvases and acrylic paint, and let them be creative.
  • Write a Song or Poem
  • Learn a Magic Trick – Kids love magic!
  • Learn a Yo-Yo Trick – You’ll be surprised at how long a simple yo-yo can entertain your kids. 
  • Read a Book
  • Build with Legos
  • Teach Your Pet a New Trick – This is a great way to entertain the kids and your pets. 
  • Make Cards – Handmade cards are way more special than store-bought ones. 
  • Learn a Sign Language Alphabet – A great skill to learn, and kids love signing. 
Things To Do Together as a Family

Things To Do Together as a Family

  • Complete a 1000 Piece Puzzle – Depending on the age of your kids, you can do a more or less difficult puzzle. 
  • Play Card Games – You’ll have hours of fun playing card games like Uno, Old Maid, Go Fish, Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza, and more!
  • Play Charades – A perfect way to have fun as a family. Divide into teams and make it a competition.
  • Watch an Old Movie – Share some movies from your childhood that your kids have never seen like The Sound of Music, Sandlot, ET, or the Karate Kid. 
  • Play a New Board Game – Designate a family game night every week. 
  • Look at Old Family Photos Together – Tell stories about when your kids were small. They love hearing about themselves! Or tell them how you met. 
  • Take a Road Trip – Some inexpensive destinations to consider are National Parks or take the whole family on a camping trip to a State Park.
  • Make a Time Capsule – Gather some current photos, write a letter to yourself, and include a current magazine or newspaper. 
Long-term Goals for the Whole Summer

Long-term Goals for the Whole Summer

Here are some projects that will take some time. Consider having your child choose one from the list to work on all summer long. 

  • Try New Foods – They can keep a list in a summer notebook
  • Learn a New Skill – Learn photography, coding, how to crochet, or learn to juggle
  • Keep a Journal – Record all the fun things you do over the summer. 
  • Learn to Play an Instrument – Do you have a guitar gathering dust somewhere in your home? Some small, inexpensive options include a recorder, harmonica, handbells, or a kalimba
  • Do a Random Act of Kindness – Challenge your kids to do this every week and record it in their journal or notebook
  • Learn to say “Hello” in 10 Different Languages – YouTube is a great resource for learning new languages. 
  • Finish an Entire Coloring Book – Get each child a coloring book to match their interests and age. Get a simple coloring book for younger children or a more complex adult coloring book for teens. 

Download and Print the Ultimate Summer Bucket List

Summer Bucket List Ideas

As you complete activities, cross them off of your bucket list. You could even print a list for each family member and see who can complete the most by the end of summer. During the first week of school when the teacher asks, “What did do this summer?” your kids will have a page full of wonderful memories to talk about. Put the date on your summer bucket list and keep it in a scrapbook. 

Leave a comment below with your favorite activity on my list or suggest additions.

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126 Summer Bucket List Ideas

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