Summer is the best time to try new things — the weather is perfect, vitamin D abounds, and happiness is in the air. It is the perfect time to check outdoor activities off your bucket list. Bucket lists are things you want to do before you “kick the bucket.”
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Summer Bucket List Ideas for Kids
- Summer Bucket List Ideas for Teens
- Summer Bucket List Ideas for College Students
- Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults
- Summer Bucket List Ideas for Families
- Summer Bucket List Ideas for Couples
This list isn’t meant to be morbid — it’s intended to inspire you to have the most possible fun and adventure in your life. We’ve come up with over 60 bucket list ideas for summertime. Single? We’ve got you covered! Coupled up? Scroll down for our romantic ideas. Have kids, teens, or college students in your life? We’ve got ideas galore.
Make this list yours. Write down your ideas that make your heart pitter-patter and leave the rest behind.
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Summer Bucket List Ideas for Kids
Every year it seems like everyone is much happier in the summertime. When we picture a summer scene, it includes kids running around laughing with joy. Here are ten ideas bound to provide kids that summertime joy.
1. Make your own popsicles
There’s nothing like enjoying an ice-cold popsicle on a sweltering hot day. Elevate your popsicles by making them homemade. Not only will this be a healthy and fun activity for the kids, but you also can’t beat the fresh taste.
2. Run a lemonade stand
If you have a little one with an entrepreneurial spirit, help them start their first business venture with a lemonade stand. All you need is a table, a sign, a box for that hard-earned cash, lemons, sugar, a pitcher, and ice. Serve refreshing lemonade in disposable cups, or for an eco-friendly option, put out some chairs and serve glass cups instead.
3. Collect seashells
Take the kiddos for a beach day and walk along the water collecting seashells. This makes for great conversation, creativity, and some home decor the kids can cherish forever.
4. Do a cannonball
Make sure an adult is watching at all times, tuck in your knees, jump into the pool, and make the biggest splash possible.
5. Play on a slip and slide
You can rent a slip and slide or buy one for under $20 and you’re in for hours of happy screeches and belly laughter.
6. Tie-dye shirts
Have any old t-shirts lying around? Upcycle! Grab a non-toxic tie-dye kit and get creative. Tie-dye never goes out of style.
7. Fly a kite
You’ll need some good wind for this one. The beach or anywhere near the water is usually a good bet. Kites come in every shape imaginable and create the best memories.
8. Plant flowers
A green thumb is a great skill to have, so start them young! There’s something really special about planting flowers in the summertime and watching them grow.
9. Run to an ice cream truck
Who doesn’t love ice cream in the summer? When you hear the music playing, don’t walk, RUN!
10. Make homemade PlayDough
Making PlayDough is not only fun, but you also know exactly what ingredients are going into it, and likely into your little one’s mouth. Pro tip: skip the food coloring and use juice from your favorite berries instead. Plus, here’s an allergy-free list of PlayDough recipes.
If you're looking for more ideas to keep your kids busy this summer, read our selections for the best simple and cheap bucket list ideas.
Summer Bucket List Ideas for Teens
School’s out for summer! Did you just burst into song? That’s how teens feel on that last day of school — freedom and fun all summer long. Check out our ten summer bucket list ideas for the teenager in your life.
11. Bury a time capsule
Gather some pictures, letters, an item of clothing, and anything else you want to remember in the future. Put these items in a metal container that won’t degrade, and bury it in a special spot in your backyard. Mark the spot with a small flag or outdoor statue and decide what year you want to unearth it. Remind yourself when the day comes! Use an app to send an email to your future self on the date you choose.
12. Master a flip on the trampoline or diving board
Practice makes perfect. Don’t be afraid of a couple of belly (or back) flops, but make sure an adult is watching just in case.
13. Play frisbee
This one’s self-explanatory! Grab a disc, your crew, and find some grass to play on.
14. Go to a sandcastle competition
Many beach towns have yearly professional sandcastle competitions. It is truly unbelievable what these artists and architects are able to create just using sand.
15. Skip stones
Skipping stones is challenging, fun, and can even be meditative. It’s also a cool trick to be able to impress your friends.
16. Host a water balloon fight
Stay cool and have a blast. Head to the dollar store and pick up some balloons. Fill them up in the sink or with a hose, and invite your friends over for an epic water balloon battle!
17. Participate in an internship program
There’s no better way to figure out what you want to study in college or what career path you want to strive towards than participating in an internship. This is also a good way to find out what you definitely don’t want to do. If your school offers a summer internship, jump on the opportunity! Otherwise, call some local companies that interest you and see if they are open to hiring a summer intern.
18. Create a photoshoot with your friends
Grab your besties, head to a scenic location, and strike a pose.
19. Be a tourist in your own hometown
Google the top things to do in your town, and do a new one every day. Make sure to take bucket list photos, too.
20. Create a dream board
Collect some old magazines, pick up supplies from the craft store, and bring your vision to life on a dream board. Use the magazine to cut out images and words that inspire you.
Summer Bucket List Ideas for College Students
When you’re in college, summertime spells freedom. You've finished your classes, finals are over, and now you have the whole summer to check these ten ideas off your bucket list.
21. Catch a wave on a surfboard
Take a drive (or flight) to the ocean and try your luck at surfing. If you’re on the Pacific, book a surfing lesson that includes a wetsuit — the water is notoriously cold out West.
22. Take a road trip
There aren’t many opportunities in life where you can spend weeks or even months on the road exploring new places. There are endless budget-friendly road trip options for your summer break.
23. Participate in a Color Run
Summer is the ideal time to get in shape. The Color Run is a paint and happiness filled 5K race. There are tons of other themed 5K’s all over the country to can check out. Couch to 5K is a great tool to get you started.
24. Volunteer in a foreign country
This is another one of those once in a lifetime opportunities before a job and other responsibilities keep you in one place. Summer is a wonderful time to travel. Meet great people, do good in the world, and explore a different culture.
Ziplining is the perfect summer activity. It’s fun, gets your adrenaline going, and it often includes some sightseeing. Zip over large bodies of water, cliffs, jungles, and even lions and tigers at a safari park.
26. Go kayaking
Kayaking is a favorite summer bucket list idea — the weather is perfect, the scenery is gorgeous, and it’s a great solo or group activity. If kayaking isn’t really your thing, try stand-up paddleboarding or perhaps canoeing if you’ve got a crew.
27. Work on a farm
Working on a farm is a life-changing experience. It is something you will remember and talk about for years to come and might just change your perspective entirely.
28. Attend Burning Man
From Burning Man’s website: “Burning Man is not a festival. Burning Man is a community. A temporary city. A global cultural movement based on 10 practical principles. We don’t book acts or provide entertainment. What happens here is up to you! There is no corporate sponsorship.”
You are entering a “decommodified” space that values who you are, not what you have. You are expected to collaborate, be inclusive, creative, connective and clean up after yourself. Participate actively as a citizen of Black Rock City.” Woah. Definitely a must for any bucket list.
29. Drink from a coconut
This one is simple and quintessential summer. Fill up a coconut with your very favorite summer drink, pop in your reusable straw, and enjoy the taste of summer.
30. Attend Comic-Con
Most Comic-Cons take place during the summer. These are epic (some might affectionately say nerdy) gatherings celebrating comics and related art. Fans dress up as their favorite fictional characters. Even if comics aren’t your thing, this is an amazing event to witness. Comic-Con also includes celebrity panels, meet and greets, and spans several days.
Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults
There’s something about summer that brings out the adventure and free-spirit in all of us. Whether you’re a young adult or just young at heart, we’ve got ten adventurous summer bucket list ideas for you.
31. Shop your local farmers market
Summer is the time for farmers’ markets! Shopping your local farmers market is fun and healthy for you, benefits the local economy and small businesses, and is a super environmentally friendly way to shop. Perhaps most importantly, there’s always yummy samples.
32. See an outdoor movie
You can set up a projector and some lights in your own backyard for an amazing movie experience, or perhaps your town does a movie night on the green. Heat up some popcorn and enjoy the beautiful weather as you take in your favorite flick under the stars.
33. Craft some summer cocktails
If booze isn’t your thing, summer flavors make the absolute best mocktails, too.
34. Grow a vegetable or herb garden
Fresh basil and tomato taste like summer, and they are exponentially more delicious when they come straight from your garden. Plant some seeds and watch your beautiful garden grow.
35. Host a BBQ
Dust off the grill and gather your friends and family for a delicious summer barbecue.
36. Start an outdoor fitness routine
Summer is the perfect time to get moving. Exercising outside can be way more fun and scenic. Plus, there’s something very motivating about working out in the sunshine – take advantage!
37. Enjoy music outside
An outdoor music festival? Street performers? Jazz on the green? Yes, please!
38. Go to a baseball game
Baseball is in full swing during the summer months. Enjoy some crackerjacks and root for the home team!
39. Go to an outdoor yoga class
Yoga instructors love taking advantage of the beautiful summer weather and teaching outdoors. They typically choose beautiful locations like a roof-top pool, cliffs overlooking the ocean, or a raised platform in the forest. As a bonus, these classes are often free.
40. Host a dessert bake-off
Invite your friends and have everyone bring a sweet summer treat. Make the competition fierce with judging and prizes. The winner gets a trophy and hosts the following year.
Summer Bucket List Ideas for Families
Summer brings sunshine and sunshine brings endless activities for the whole family. Check out our ten summer bucket list ideas for some family bonding time.
41. Enjoy a family beach day
Get your tan on (with SPF protection, of course), help the little ones build sandcastles, take a dip in the water, and read your favorite book. There’s fun to be had at the beach for any age.
42. Pick fresh berries
Head to a local farm and pick fresh berries. This is delicious and fun for the whole family. Eat them fresh, bake pies, and make some jam. This is also a perfect summer photo-op!
43. Have a picnic in the park
Bring a family favorite meal and some refreshing beverages and eat as a family. After everyone is done eating, there’s plenty of room for the kids to run around. While the kiddos burn some energy, the adults can enjoy a conversation in the sun.
44. Tour an ice cream factory
There’s nothing better in the hot summer sun than enjoying a delicious ice cream cone. Add even more fun and some education by touring your favorite ice cream factory. We guarantee some supremely fresh and tasty samples.
45. Watch fireworks
No matter where you live, you can likely hear fireworks on the 4th of July. They are spectacular and magical for the whole family. This might be an activity to wait on until the kids are old enough to enjoy it. The bright lights and loud bangs might be scary for sensitive little eyes and ears.
46. Ride a Ferris Wheel
Riding a Ferris Wheel is a right of passage. When you get to the top, admire the sights and point out how little everyone looks below.
47. Visit a petting zoo
Get up close and personal with some cuddly farm animals at a petting zoo. Typically, you can feed the animals directly from your palm, and kids find this absolutely thrilling.
48. Go for a bike ride
Bike riding is an activity suitable for everyone from toddlers to grandparents! Strap your toddler in a ride-along trailer, rent or buy the older kids their own set of wheels, and journey down your favorite bike trail. Plus, teaching the kids how to ride a bike is definitely on our bucket list.
49. Slide down a waterslide
Cool off at a water park by sliding down a giant waterslide. Bonus points if you get great candid shots of the family hollering all the way down.
50. Play mini-golf
Not only is mini-golf a fun activity for the whole family, but the courses can also be eye-catchingly beautiful. Make it a lazy, friendly game, or gear up for some stiff competition. The winner gets to pick the music on the ride home.
Summer Bucket List Ideas for Couples
There is something about summer that is carefree and romantic. You can almost feel summer love in the air. Check out these ten bucket list ideas we have if you’re coupled up this summer.
51. Watch a sunset on the beach
Whether the sky is awash with dramatic oranges or is a soft cotton candy pink, sunset is arguably the most romantic time of day. Bring a picnic, some champagne, and toast to summertime romance.
52. Go camping
Camping in the summer is lovely. It is hot enough during the day to enjoy hiking and water activities, but cool enough at night to snuggle up close to your love.
53. Go to an outdoor dance class
A good dance partner can take your breath away. Try out an outdoor ballroom or salsa class and don’t be afraid to get close.
54. Ride in a hot air balloon
Take in the views, hold each other close, and share a romantic smooch as you soar over the city in a hot air balloon.
55. Enjoy a wine tasting
This bucket list idea can be a formal night out or a DIY night at home. Check out a local wine and cheese tasting event or enjoy this activity in a more intimate setting. Ask the experts at a local wine shop for three wines that would make a good flight. Upgrade your tasting with some fancy cheeses. Too much leftover wine? Cook with it to elevate your meals for the week.
56. Host a monthly cookbook club
Choose a cookbook (or online chef to make things a bit simpler) and invite your friends to cook a dish from the book. Before your guests arrive, put on some jazz and offer your partner a taste from the spoon. You’re sure to get a smile, and maybe even a kiss!
57. Go skinny dipping
Skinny dipping is something everyone should do before they die. It is exciting, freeing, and super silly. You can do this one solo if you’re shy, but it’s way more fun with a romantic partner!
58. Host a couples game night
Group dates are so much fun. Invite your friends who are partnered up to compete in a couple’s game night. Choose interactive games like Charades or Apples to Apples and keep everyone laughing for hours. Top off the night with a bonfire and s’mores.
59. Kiss on top of a Ferris Wheel
Sharing a romantic moment at the top of a Ferris Wheel might just be one of the sweetest moments of your life.
60. Hold hands and jump in the water
This one is basic and timeless. Hold your love’s hand and heat up your romance as you cool off from the summer sun.
Bonus Bucket List Idea
If you’re going to be surfing, cliff diving, ziplining, or crossing any other risky ideas off your bucket list, it’s a good idea to have a contingency plan in place.
Even if you’re not a thrill-seeker — let’s face it — life is risky! It’s a good idea to add end-of-life planning to your bucket list. We’ve also put together this state-by-state directory of resources should your loved ones ever need to make medical decisions for you. Check this off your bucket list, and head out on your amazing adventures worry-free knowing you’ve set your loved ones up for success.