Kids & Parenting

7 Totally Achievable Summer Bucket List Ideas for Busy Families

Bring the Family Together for Fall Movie Nights Outside | Duerden's Appliance & Mattress | Salt Lake City, UT

Written by Alexandra Fung

Summer is here and after a long year mostly at home many of us are ready to get out and play! A summer bucket list is a fun way to both plan ahead as a family and enjoy a little time dreaming about all of the awesome things you want to do over the summer months. It can be as simple or elaborate as you like, from a mental list of things you want to try to an actual written list created either on a white board or a large piece of paper and placed prominently in your home to inspire weekly planning. However you do it, here are seven of our favorite totally achievable and super fun bucket list ideas to consider including:

Outdoor Family Movie Night

Elevate your family movie night by taking it outside! A portable projector is perfect for the occasion, but even just gathering around a laptop computer under the stars can make your standard movie night a lot more special. Choose a favorite family movie, break out the popcorn and s’mores, and let the summer family movie nights begin.

Fruit Picking

What you pick depends on where you live, but the sweet fruits of summer taste that much sweeter when you and your family have picked them with your very own hands. Find a u-pick berry or other fruit farm near you and spend a weekend morning or afternoon outside together. Extend the fun by baking tasty treats at home to use up all the fresh fruit you picked!

Giant Coloring Poster

This is a super easy and relaxing family activity that can carry you through the whole summer. Buy a giant coloring poster and roll it out on your dining room table. Leave a box of colored pencils or crayons next to it and enjoy coloring the poster a little bit at a time, both individually and as a family. Turn on a kid-friendly podcast or audiobook to enjoy a quiet family night in – coloring, listening, and just hanging out.

DIY Popsicles

Popsicles are a favorite summertime snack and making them yourself is not only better for you (not to mention tastier!), but can also double as a fun family activity. It’s easy, too! Just buy a popsicle mold and experiment filling it with pureed fruit, juice, yogurt and ice cream to come up with your family’s signature summer flavor.

Explore a State or National Park

Spending time in nature is always worthwhile, and summertime offers abundant opportunities for kids to explore the natural world around them. There are so many wonderful national parks to visit with kids for a bucket list family vacation, but even if a longer trip is not in the cards, a local state park can be a great summer day trip for playing in nature as a family. Or, find a local nature preserve and enjoy a family nature walk on evenings or weekends as your schedule allows!

Outdoor Concert

Many communities host outdoor concerts over the summer months (often free!), so find one near you and enjoy live music together. Pack a picnic for a family meal al fresco, or get some ice cream or any other special treat to enjoy when you arrive.

Family Book Club

Make summer reading a family affair by starting a family books club! Depending on your children’s ages and reading levels, you can choose to read a book together or independently, and discuss as you go or over a special family activity once you finish. Choose a classic children’s book likely to appeal to everyone, or take turns picking a personal favorite to share with the family. 

About the Author

Alexandra Fung is the co-founder and CEO of Upparent, a parent-to-parent website where families can discover and share recommendations about local events and activities, things to do with kids at home, kid-friendly recipes, books, toys, products and more. Alex is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and NYU School of Law, and prior to founding Upparent, represented children and families in the nonprofit sector for many years. She lives in Chicagoland with her husband and four kids.

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