Looking for things to add to your summer bucket list? Look no further! This comprehensive list of things to do will keep you busy having fun and going on adventures!
Summer is the best time of year to get outside, get active, go on road trips, spend time with friends and family, and relive those youthful days when you were carefree.
While planning your summer bucket list, remember just to add the things you are comfortable with. You do not have to pull everything from this list to be a success. You do not have to jump out of a plane if you do not want to. That is optional and only for those who truly seek the thrill.
Enjoy your summer and remember, it goes by fast. So take advantage of the long days and great weather.
Summer Bucket List Ideas
1. Visit Yellowstone
One of the most visually stunning National Parks is Yellowstone. Your summer bucket list would not be complete if you didn’t have this on there.
Make sure to visit the Grand Prismatic Spring. The colors are insane and you can also cross off an item from your USA bucket list.
2. Go camping
Summer is the best time to go live outside. Do your research and make sure to find a cool campground that has swimming access and other fun things. Pack everyone and everything up and don’t forget all the food you are going to make over the fire.
3. See a sunset on the beach
The best time to spend time catching a sunset on the beach is during the summer.
Pro tip: if it has rained earlier in the day or the clouds are dramatic, you will typically get a more colorful sunset.
4. Take a road trip somewhere new
Your summer bucket list should include road trip exploration. The beautiful thing about this is that you do not have to drive across the continent, unless you want to, of course.
You could take day trips, overnight trips or even weekend trips and they could be an hour away or however far you want to go.
5. Go on a cruise
The best time to visit other destinations is when the weather is warm. Take a cruise anywhere in the world that is operating that area. You could explore the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Alaska, areas of Asia, northern Europe, or even take a river cruise.
6. Take a trip with the family to the beach
You are never too old to take a trip with your family. Go someplace new every year, make it tradition if you can. Fill up your family bucket list with things to do and have fun.
7. Have a bonfire
Your summer bucket list would be incomplete without a bonfire and s’mores! Gather your friends or family and enjoy each others company.
8. Go stargazing
The best way to see stars is on a clear night with complete darkness and outside of the city. Think country. The buildings, lights from the city and pollution will make it hard if you don’t go somewhere that is wide open.
But the experience is absolutely worth it. You will feel like you are on another planet.
9. Make your own popsicles
Let’s face it. It is hot outside and you are going to be eating ice cream for a few months. Purchase some popsicle molds and try your hand at making your own flavors.
You can make super simple popsicles by mixing heavy cream and a box of Jell-O pudding or gelatin. Then freeze and wait a few hours.
10. Spend a day on a boat in the water
Your summer bucket list should definitely include a boat. If you don’t have one of your own, see if any friends have one or get a day rental. Just make sure to spend your day with the people who make you happy and enjoy it.
11. Water balloon fights
Gather your people, fill up tons of water balloons with water and go for it.
12. Go to the zoo
Love seeing different kinds of animals? The zoo is a great place to learn about a variety of them and understand how the zoo is caring for them.
Bonus: this is as close to a safari as we may get, so definitely check out the big cats and elephants.
13. Throw a backyard BBQ
You should grill all summer long but make sure to throw a BBQ for your friends or family at least once. This is a great way to get everyone together to hang out and not have to be at a restaurant or bar packed in.
14. Travel through Europe
You can take two strikes on this trip by also crossing something off of your Europe bucket list.
There are so many ways to see Europe. Take a river cruise, backpack and stay in hostels or even pick one to two destinations and live it up. Some of the popular places to visit during the summer are: the Greek Islands, Positano and Paris.
15. Grow your own garden
Nothing says summer like fresh veggies all season. Grow all your favorites and share them with family and friends. If you have a lot of produce, you can freeze some for later in the year or can stuff to use during the winter.
16. See a movie at the drive-in
Sure, you can watch a movie at home, but it is far more fun in the car at night with a speaker to hear your double feature on the big screen.
If you do not want to sit in the car, see if you can bring a fold up chair and sit beside your car. This is pretty common.
17. Get ice cream .. all the time
It’s summer! There is nothing stopping you from eating delicious ice cream all summer long. You can make your own, host a sundae night, visit your favorite places in town that sell ice cream, or just grab a pint from the store.
18. Try the foods at the State Fair
Nothing says State Fair like the most delicious and probably deep fried foods in town. Make sure to try the corndogs, elephant ears, fried pickles, and whatever they have now come up with.
State Fairs have become a huge foodie destination in recent years offering more foods and crazy concoctions.
19. Create a time capsule
One of the best ways to preserve a moment in time is to create a time capsule. You can do this solo, with your family, friends, or even your partner.
Pick a place to bury it and a date to open it (say 10-20 years from the date) and then decide what to put inside. Make sure to add some photos to remember that day, maybe write yourself a letter or put a small token of something you love inside.
20. Plan an outdoor picnic
Summers and picnics are basically synonymous. This is a great budget friendly outing or date and you get to be in full charge of what you take.
Items that hold up well on a picnic include: cheeses, fresh fruits and veggies, baguettes, champagne, and chocolates.
21. Catch lightening bugs
Grab your mason jar and hit the outdoors. Kid or adult, this summer bucket list has to have lightening bugs in it.
Just remember to set them free once you catch them.
22. See an outdoor concert
Your summer bucket list should include at least one outdoor concert. The beauty of seeing a show outdoors is that you can typically get some sort of lawn tickets that are open and you can bring your own blanket to sit on.
Don’t forget to grab some drinks and enjoy the show!
23. Explore your city
Often we plan adventures and exploration away from home because our own city doesn’t seem that cool. Fill your summer bucket list up with local museums, restaurants, shows, and attractions. You never know what awesome thing is hiding in plain site.
24. Host a beach volleyball competition
Sand, sun and beach volleyball. Grab your friends and head to the beach for the day and hold a competition. Hey, it is just for fun, but don’t be afraid to show your competitive side and take home a win.
25. Get a slip and slide
Whether you are 16 or 60, relive your childhood years or try for the first time, but no summer bucket list will stand without a slip and slide on it.
If you are on a budget, people have been known to tape garbage bags together in a long line and just turn the hose on. Some people add a little dish soap or bubble bath to make it extra slippery, but be careful not to get it in your mouth and eyes.
26. Make a lemonade stand
If you have kids, this is an iconic tradition that one must experience. Your children will be so thrilled to make a few bucks and this is a great teachable moment about hard work and money.
27. See fireworks
If you live in the USA, you can guarantee there will be fireworks for the 4th of July celebration.
28. Plan a trip to an amusement park
Summer is an excellent time to head to Disney or enjoy one of the closer theme parks to where you live. They are all kind of the same in some way. Rides, delicious food and a day of fun.
29. Have a spa day
Treat yourself! Not just during the summer, but year round. You have earned a day at the spa from time to time. Take your partner for a couples massage or you can even go alone for a full day of treatments.
If you want to have a spa day on a budget, do it at home. Get a couple friends together and everyone contribute. You can make your own masks and scrubs and paint each others nails. Don’t forget the wine.
30. Stay hydrated by making your own infused water
Water can get extremely boring but during the summer when it is hotter outside, you need to stay hydrated. Cut up fresh fruits, veggies or even mint and add it to your water in a pitcher with ice. The water will take on gentle flavors of the additions.
Some popular flavor combos: mint and blackberry, cucumber and melon, orange and lemon slices, strawberry and raspberries, or rosemary and pineapple.
31. Read new books
With the days being longer, take advantage and enjoy the sunlight. Sit outside with a wine and a good book. Try new genres, you never know what will speak to you.
32. Visit a local farmers market
Produce is incredible during the summer months. Don’t miss an opportunity to eat some of the freshest, ripest, juiciest items!
A lot of fruits and vegetables are frozen and transported all over the world. You get fresh picked items from the farmers market.
33. Play mini golf
You might not be a pro golfer but you stand a good chance of getting a hole in one a mini golf course any day.
34. Do a 5K color run
Whether you stay active regularly or you are looking to start something fun to get into shape, a Color Run is one of the most fun ways to exercise. The Color Run itself will only happen on one day and you will need to train for it (walk or run) but it will be the coolest and most colorful workout ever.
35. Eat watermelon
Would it even be summer if you didn’t eat your weight in watermelon?
36. Go to the Olympics
The summer Olympics are not heal every year, so you will need to plan in advance for this. It only comes once every four years but worth the hype. You get to see some of the best athletes in the world compete along side each other.
37. Play frisbee golf
Unlike regular golf, you do not need hundreds of dollars in equipment or a dress code to play. There are a few types of frisbees to play with but when you are just learning the game, you can get away with using the same one. Plus, it is super fun.
38. Build a sandcastle on the beach
Every summer bucket list has to have a sandcastle on it! That is the rule. If you go to the beach, make a sandcastle. If not, bury one of your friends (but not their face and make sure they can breathe).
39. Go wine tasting
If you live close to vineyards, take full advantage of these. Otherwise you can plan a trip and cross off one of your best friend bucket list items at the same time. Both California and Virginia have amazing vineyards.
You could also do this at home. Have everyone bring a different type of wine and set it up like a winery would.
40. Party all night
Spend at least one night checking off summer bucket list plans by partying all night with your friends. Get dressed up and have a great time.
The underwater world is just as beautiful as the above ground. Grab your reef safe sunscreen and go see some colorful coral and fish and maybe even some big turtles.
42. Visit Lake Tahoe
One of the clearest lake in the United States is Lake Tahoe. Visit Sand Harbor and you can swim, paddle board or even kayak. Below you can see giant boulders.
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