Let this summer break be one for the books with my ultimate summer bucket list! I’ve compiled the best fun summer activities and day trips to help your entire family make memories through experience and exploration. With 60 summer bucket list ways to have fun, I’ve got you covered with enough ideas for each summer day!
RELATED: Don’t miss out on our list of 30 easy summer activities for toddlers!
What is a summer bucket list?
A bucket list is an all-encompassing checklist of great ideas and activities you can work through to accomplish. Bucket list ideas are often activities or experiences that you dream of doing.
These experiences may give you a feeling of excitement, accomplishment, and pride. Building these memories is important for building confidence and self-esteem and bonding with those you love. This is why a fun summer bucket list is a fantastic visual tool for kids to inspire a good time!
Download the Summer Bucket List here
Want to take these ideas and hang them on your fridge? Download this printable summer bucket list. This is the perfect time to include a fun day trip and simple moments at home.
Summer Bucket List
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60 summer bucket list ideas for kids
Check out these 60 fun summer bucket list ideas for your kids and family this summer to encourage them to try new experiences, boost their confidence and inspire play!
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1. Make a new friend
Teaching your kids to introduce, interact, and play with others is sometimes difficult. But giving your children the opportunity to make new friends can help to increase their self-esteem, strengthen communication skills, and increase their ability to build relationships.
2. Spend the day at the park
One of my favorite things to do when the boys were younger was Google “local parks near me”. When doing this, we found new inspiration to play and fun new pockets we wouldn’t have visited otherwise in our city.
3. Make a lemonade stand
Teach your kids how to squeeze, mix, and pour lemonade on those hot summer days! Then kick your feet back and watch the look of excitement and pride in your kid’s eyes as they run their own little business and learn how to earn some of their own money.
4. Go to the beach
Many of us dream of heading to the beach. I could go on and on the breeze, sand in our toes… But if a beach day isn’t in the cards this year, use this easy beach sensory bin to bring the beach to you.
Kids Snorkel Set
We use our snorkel set for both the pool and the ocean. They make a fun alternative to goggles.
Kids Mesh Beach Bag
This kids’ mesh beach bag is also perfect for collecting shells or for kids carrying their own sand and pool toys this summer.
Road trips are a great opportunity for spending quality time together as a family. And although the time spent in the car can seem long and draining, for everyone, road trips can support family bonding and widen the world around their young eyes.
6. Camp out in your backyard
Forget about packing everything up for a camping trip, instead camping outside in your backyard! Maybe I stayed inside my comfy bed as the boys slept outside. But they had a blast!
Riding a bike is a wonderful way to help build your child’s confidence and independence. Take a family bike ride this summer to the local ice cream parlor or playground to help motivate your kids with a goal set in mind.
8. Play in the rain
As I scroll back and watch videos from my boys’ early years, certain videos stand out as the top five memories. Playing in the rain is one of them. I know it is messy, but please give it a try. The joy, the laughter, and the mess are worth it. Get this zip-up rain suit to help you say yes.
OAKI Rain & Trail Suit
These are the best rain suits and help take the pressure off saying yes. Your child (and yourself) will thank you!
9. Attend a summer fair
Summer isn’t summer without a good old-fashioned fair. Give your kids the nostalgic childhood experience of a summer fair with fried food, exciting rides, and all the bright lights.
10. Make s’mores
11. Catch fireflies
Watch your child’s eyes light up with wonder and joy as they experience the magic of catching fireflies in the backyard on a warm summer night. Use nets to go outside and explore.
Kid’s Outdoor Nets
Add outdoor nets to your summer toy list if you don’t have them yet. They make walks a little more exciting for kids, which gets everyone out the door.
12. Setup an outdoor movie night
13. Watch fireworks
Fireworks are fun to watch but also loud. Before you cuddle up with your kids and watch the beautiful colors and shapes of festive fireworks in the magical sky, check out these noise reduction ear muffs.
14. Visit a museum
Some museums near me cost slightly more to get a yearly pass than to spend one day. Before booking your daily entry, check out the cost to get the most bang for your buck – the extra cost can be so worth it!
15. Check out the aquarium
Visiting an aquarium is the perfect way to spend a rainy day to keep your kids learning, exploring, and having fun even when the weather outside is no fun.
16. Learn how to bake cookies
If open, the bag and divide on a cookie tray is more your style, that works too! Make one day cookie day and dive into what feels right.
17. Take a hike
Slip on your hiking boots or sneakers this summer and explore a hiking trail. Your children will love seeing and finding all sorts of new and different plants, bugs, and surprises along the trail. Use this AllTrails site to find a hiking trail near you that is perfect for kids and families.
18. Go to an amusement park
Our family has not been to Six Flags yet, but as the boys get older every year, I think about it being time. Maybe we add it to this summer’s bucket list!
19. Pick fresh berries
Kids love fruit! So why not spend a whole day picking fresh strawberries or blackberries at a local fresh fruit farm? Better yet, head home and dive into a taste-safe sensory bin.
When the boys were younger, we spent many days bringing a blanket on the front lawn and eating lunch. It was a fun swap to something we do multiple times a day. Grab this large picnic blanket, so you have one on hand.
Large Picnic Blanket
Keep this large picnic blanket on hand for your next outdoor meal or beach trip.
21. Visit a farm
Spend the day at the farm or petting zoo to visit all the animals they know and love from their favorite books.
22. Watch a parade
23. Learn how to weed the garden
24. Go to the movies
25. Dig for worms
Digging for worms is a fantastic real-world messy sensory play activity for kids in the summer. Even if your child is a bit squeamish about the dirt or worms, allow time to warm up because exposure to nature is important.
26. Help your neighbor
27. Take a boat ride
Spend the day out on the water with your family this summer. Whether it’s a canoe, pontoon, speed boat, or sailboat, all boats offer such a great learning experience for all vehicle-loving kids! Read this post about water safety before planning your adventure.
Child’s Life Vest
I always keep a few child’s life vests on hand to use for water safety.
28. Go fishing
No fishing pole? No problem. Use this fishing set to inspire and teach your child the art of catching a fish.
29. Play with chalk
Sidewalk chalk is one of those underrated outdoor activities that can offer so much fine motor learning and gross motor fun during the warm summer months. Use this list of chalk ideas for kids to inspire play.
30. Setup a car wash in your driveway
Blowing bubbles with kids is just one of those simple, fun, whimsical, and somewhat magical experiences for kids. So grab that bubble solution in your garage and start creating some bubble fun!
32. Play in a fountain with clothes on
Yes, I know. Being in a cool water fountain with a bathing suit makes life so much easier. But if you happen to come across one and the kids are dressed, it’s okay to say yes. I like to say if you get wet, you go home wet. It only takes one time to realize if they want to do it again the next time. (spoiler: most of them do!)
33. Go to a baseball game
This one is a core memory for me! I remember hearing the crowds and watching my first Yankee game with my dad. Plan a day to head out to a local baseball game as a whole family. Not only will your kids love the experience of being at a classic ball game, but it will give them something to look forward to.
34. Visit the zoo
Just like the museum pass, zoos also typically offer a yearly pass that is a little over the day pass amount. Check it out before you book!
35. Host a backyard BBQ
Have your kids help to plan and prepare for a backyard BBQ with friends or family this summer.
My kids are having a blast with these reusable water balloons. I have seen them on sale many times this summer, and I’m just starting!
Reusable Water Balloons
These have been a big hit with my boys and their friends. Small magnets inside each water balloon, so they are advised for kids 8-12.
37. Go out for ice cream
With a food allergy, going to an ice cream shop is tricky for our family. Good thing there are brands like Oatly that make summer ice cream a little more doable. Treat your kids to a night out for a scoop of their favorite ice cream to help cool off on a hot summer night.
38. Catch a toad
Yep, I may be on the sidelines for this one, but I remember, as a kid, frogs and toads in our pool. As an adult, I may let my kids take the lead by scooping them out.
39. Visit your local farmers market
Enlighten your kids by taking them to the local farmers market to teach them about farming, agriculture, and everything healthy and yummy!
40. Fly a kite
41. Explore a new playground
Sometimes we find ourselves visiting the same parks and playgrounds. This summer, venture out of your comfort zone to discover and explore a new playground. Even if it’s a bit of a drive, it will be so worth it!
42. Climb a tree
If you don’t have any trees to climb, check out our climbing dome. The perfect way to get out of the house and regulate our bodies.
43. Build a sand castle
There’s nothing like playing in the sand for the real-deal sensory play experience. Grab those sand buckets and shovels and head to the beach to build the ultimate sand castle! No beach trip this year? Bring the beach to you with these sand sensory play activities for kids.
Foldable Bucket with Shovel
These foldable buckets are a complete game changer when it comes to packing for the beach or storing for backyard water play.
I love an early bedtime for kids, but all bets are off in summer. It gets dark later and no one is ready to get to bed like I’d like them to. So rather than fight it, spend a night or two gazing at the stars a little later than usual.
45. Obstacle course
Design and build a creative and challenging obstacle course that will help them to improve their problem-solving skills and strengthen their gross motor abilities for lots of backyard summer fun.
46. Volunteer as a family
47. Go bowling
Bowling is another easy way to get through a rainy afternoon. When the forecast predicts yucky weather, pile in the car and head to the bowling alley for the afternoon for lots of indoor fun!
48. Build a fairy garden
This one is at the top of my personal list for the boys! Use this outdoor fairy garden set to get started.
49. Plant a small herb garden
Herb gardens are simple to set up, plant, and maintain. Which is what makes them the perfect summer activity with kids! Get started with this 8-pocket garden planter.
8 Pocket Garden Bed
I love how this garden bed is raised, allowing the herbs to stay in one place.
50. Learn how to jump rope
Could I personally benefit from this one? Yes, yes, I sure can! On the list!
51. Go on a scavenger hunt
52. Make homemade popsicles
Use these popsicle molds to invite toddlers and preschoolers into the kitchen this summer to make their popsicles.
Make your own popsicles with this silicone popsicle set!
53. Visit the library
Did you know that the library usually has day passes for different places in your city? Keep up your summer reading with a visit to the local library this summer on a rainy day.
54. Watch the sunset
Add this family activity to the night you stargaze!
55. Setup a mud kitchen
Embrace the mess with this truly simple yet entertaining sensory mud kitchen that will help to build independent and creative play skills.
56. Pick wildflowers
57. Paint rocks
Send your kids out to collect rocks that they can paint. This easy art activity for kids is a great way to get your kids involved in using items they find to be creative.
58. Go mini-golfing
59. Build a fort
Find some big sticks and small twigs and work together with your kids to build a fun fort. Once it’s complete, they will be inspired to pretend to play and use their imagination for hours on end!
60. Splash in puddles
I know as parents, we try to encourage walking around the puddles, but sometimes jumping in and getting dirty is okay. Water shoes make it much easier to say yes to this.
Why should you make a bucket list?
Making and following a summer bucket list is a fun way to experience new things. Trying new things can help kids to conquer their fears, boost self-esteem and widen their natural curiosities.
Whether you have a toddler, preschooler, or big kid, encouraging and supporting children as they try new and different things is essential to their adaptability and confidence as they grow and develop throughout childhood.
This summer season, I have put together a collection of ways to take the guesswork out of what your child and family will do this summer with kids at home.
- Looking for activities? You need The Summertime Bundle!
- Want to help big kids with life skills? Download this list of life skills for big kids.
- Want to recognize your child’s efforts over what’s not going right? Check out our 30-Day Summer Challenge to find the good.
RELATED: That summer heat is no joke. Keep your kids cool this summer with these awesome water toys for kids!
Fill your summer up with simple and amazing memories with your kids. Use these ideas to motivate creativity, confidence, and new experiences your kids will be excited to reflect on as they grow!
What will your kids DO this summer?
Take the guesswork out of your days with the Summertime Bundle.
- Startup Guide creates your summer routine.
- Activity cards have easy activities.
- The PDF calendar puts your plan in place.
Frequently Asked Questions
A bucket list is a simple checklist of activities, ideas, and experiences you aim to accomplish. Fun ideas during summer include day trips, catching fireflies, or simple moments at home.
Make a summer bucket list to inspire confidence, feel accomplished, and create special memories. Now is the perfect opportunity to try something new.
There are so many fun things and good activities to do in the summer with kids. Simple activities like playing with bubbles and or a friendly water balloon fight are guaranteed for a great time.