Family Summer Fun Bucket List

Sometimes I think we can get into a habit of doing the same thing everyday.  Does this happen for you?  This is why a bucket list is so handy – you’re free to brainstorm, and you can experience things you have never tried or even thought of before.

Are you already trying to think of things to do this summer and coming up short?  Are the kids telling you that they are soooooo bored?

I have the remedy!  Here’s a list of fun, inexpensive ideas for Summer!

Family Summer Bucket List

  • Catch Fireflies/Lightning Bugs

I grew up chasing “Lightnin’ Bugs” around on Summer evenings.  I love watching fireflies glow, and I love the wonder in kids eyes as they watch it for the first time.  It’s so magical.

  • Make Mud Pies and Cookies

A classic activity!  Open your own little outdoor bakery – use cookie cutters and rolling pins.

  • “Paint” Outdoors With Water

I used to work in early childhood education, and this simple activity was always very popular with the kiddos.  It’s exactly what it sounds like – go outside and use brushes and water to “paint” your porch, the sidewalk, or the side of the house.

  • Water Fight

Nothing is more fun on a hot Summer day!  Get out some water balloons, buckets, turn on the water hose – and go crazy!  If you have water guns, add them to the  mix as well.

  • Bake and Decorate Cupcakes

This is one of my favorite things to do with my daughter.  She loves helping mix ingredients, and her favorite part is decorating with sprinkles.


  • Make a Movie

Get together with family or friends and write a silly outline or script, and film it!  Use a video camera if you have one, or just use your phone!  I once made a Batman movie with two good friends, and it was a blast!  It wasn’t professional quality, but we enjoyed the process and the movie was pretty funny, too. You can find many options online for free video editing software.

  • Watch a “Drive-In” Movie Outdoors

Full disclosure, this one will work better if you own a projector – although if you own a larger sized tablet you can use it as your movie screen.  Let the kids decorate cardboard boxes to look like cars – then let them sit on the lawn munching on popcorn.  This is also a great party idea!

I found an awesome tutorial for an outdoor movie screen here.

  • Make S’mores

It’s not summer without s’mores!  Did you know that you can even make them in the microwave?  This is a good option if you don’t have the ability to build a fire to roast your marshmallows.

  • Camp Out in the Yard

This is a fun low-impact way to go camping.  It can be as simple as pulling pillows and blankets onto your porch, or go all out and pop up a tent and start a campfire!

  • Go Stargazing

This is something I recently realized I just don’t do enough.  A story – my husband and I met while working on a show for an outdoor theater company.  I was stage manager and he was acting in the show.  There was a short period of time during the show where neither of us had particular duties, so we would lie in the grass backstage and just stare up at the stars.  Sometimes we would make small talk, and sometimes we would stay silent.  It was a wonderful, calming break. I think these moments are part of the reason we ended up together.  It’s a fantastic way to pass the time.  It can be relaxing and fun.  See if you can spot constellations!


  • Take a Nature Walk

Make a game out of it – collect river rocks, play I-Spy, make up stories about what you see, search for fairies (or real creatures), and enjoy the natural world.

  • Put Together a Treasure Hunt

There are so many ways to make this fun!  Use it to learn about different parts of your town!  Hide small toys around the house during a summer storm.  Give clues that lead you to different places where important events have taken place in your life.  There are so many possibilities!

  • Random Acts of Kindness

This is a great way to teach your kids to give back!  Pay for the groceries of someone behind you in line at the store.  Donate your time to a soup kitchen.  Leave a kind note in a library book.  Get creative!

  • Make Ice Cream in a Bag

I remember doing this in school, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever!

Check out this online tutorial with pictures so you can learn how to make this yummy treat.

  • Write a Story

You can do this as a group, or each person can write their own story and read it out loud when finished.  You can even put together a little flip book with pictures.  Make it a timed activity or an all-day process.  So many options!

Write a Story

  • Go On a Picnic

This is a classic Summer activity!  For extra oomph, give it a theme – eat foods that all start with the same letter or are the same color.  Or you can make it a dessert picnic only.  Have fun!

  • Learn Origami

Full disclosure – I added this idea for myself.  This is something I’ve always wanted to learn, so I think I’m going to start working on it.  It’s a great option for when the kids are complaining about how bored they are.

  • Paper Plate Crafts

As a former preschool teacher, I can tell you there are TONS of crafts you can make with simple paper plates!

  • Write and Perform a Play

Get your creative out!  Assign different roles – playwrights, actors, costume designers, set designers. If you don’t have any ideas for a play – use one of your favorite childhood stories or nursery rhymes as inspiration!

  • PJs and Pillow Fort Day

Who wouldn’t love a day where you just stay in your pajamas and build pillow forts?  Even as an adult, it sounds amazing!

Pajama Day


Here’s a free checklist with each of these 20 ideas listed – so get out there and have a great Summer!

bucket list pdf
Click to download the PDF file!


  1. […] hope each of you discover some great ways to enjoy time with family.  My Family Summer Fun Bucket List has some fun ideas for you! There are also some other great ways to enjoy your time […]

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