Summer is such an exciting season—warm weather, long days, and no school offer the perfect trifecta for a season of adventure. Whether you prefer to spend your summer outside enjoying nature or inside catching up on your reading and making a few crafts, this ultimate summer bucket list has 100 different activities you can do with your family to make the most of your summer vacation.

a family of four runs down a path

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Nature Appreciation

Summer is the perfect time of year to explore nature. The days are long and warm and everything is in full bloom. There are also summer thunderstorms (and the resulting puddles) and late-night sunsets to enjoy. Whether you go to your local park, a state park, or a sandy seashore, make sure you incorporate some nature appreciation into your own summer bucket list.

a mother and her children on the beach at sunset
  1. Build sandcastles
  2. Go birdwatching
  3. Watch a sunset at the beach
  4. Jump in puddles
  5. Take a boat ride / try canoeing or kayaking
  6. Go on a camping trip
  7. Visit a national park
  8. Catch fireflies
  9. Start a rock collection
  10. Stargaze or watch a meteor shower

Exercise

It’s tempting to spend your free time in the summer staying inside reading books and playing games, but summer days are also great for getting out and trying new sports and activities.

a family going for a bike ride
  1. Go for a bike ride
  2. Swim in a lake or the ocean
  3. Play a water balloon game or have a water balloon fight
  4. Get friends together for a baseball game
  5. Play mini-golf
  6. Have a neighborhood scavenger hunt
  7. Make a backyard obstacle course
  8. Try paddleboarding
  9. Have a hula hoop contest with your whole family
  10. Try out a new hiking trail

Inside the house

It’s not always sunshine and rainbows in the summer. Sometimes it’s too hot (or wet) to have much fun outside. On those days, try out these fun activities to do at home.

a mother and two daughters in a fort
  1. Update your summer home decor
  2. Learn a new card game (or five!)
  3. Do a puzzle
  4. Make friendship bracelets
  5. Make a fort
  6. Put on a summer playlist and have a dance party
  7. Have a readathon
  8. Do a science experiment
  9. Watch a favorite movie
  10. Play hide and go seek

Arts and crafts

The freedom of summer makes it a great time to delve into some craft projects that you might not have time for during the regular year. Older kids will enjoy making jewelry and painting rocks, while younger kids may have more fun with sidewalk chalk and sock puppets.

a child draws with chalk on a sidewalk
  1. Make a bird feeder
  2. Make a time capsule
  3. Decorate your driveway with sidewalk chalk
  4. Make a summer wreath
  5. Get a jewelry making kit and make jewelry
  6. Make puppets and put on a puppet show
  7. Paint rocks (Mandala paint kits are a great way to do this)
  8. Learn to crochet
  9. Make soap (melt-and-pour is the easiest)
  10. Tie-Dye shirts

Animals

Incorporating animals into your summer plans is a fun way to keep kids engaged. If you have pets at home, you can come up with a list of things to do with them. Otherwise, get out and enjoy many of the other beautiful animals in your area.

kids feed a goat at a petting zoo
  1. Visit a bird sanctuary
  2. Go to a local farm or petting zoo
  3. Spend a day at the zoo
  4. Make homemade dog biscuits for your canine friends
  5. Volunteer at an animal shelter
  6. Watch an animal-themed movie
  7. Volunteer to petsit for friends when they go on vacation
  8. Attend a Kennel Club dog competition (Canadian event listing)
  9. Donate pet food to an animal shelter
  10. Try goat yoga

Plants

Summer is the best time to celebrate and learn about plant life. Everything is in full bloom and has so much to offer. From delicious berries to picking flowers, these plant-themed ideas are must-trys.

pressed flowers
  1. Climb a tree
  2. Start a vegetable garden
  3. Plant bee-friendly flowers
  4. Paint terracotta pots and plant herbs in them
  5. Go berry picking
  6. Make simple macrame planters to hold small succulents
  7. Check out your local farmer’s market
  8. Pick flowers and arrange them in vases
  9. Go on a nature walk
  10. Press flowers

Food and drink

What would summer be without ripe, juicy berries and refreshing watermelon? The bounty of fresh fruits and veggies is a highlight of the season, and no summer bucket list would be complete without a section on class and new foods to savor in the deliciously warm weather.

smores
  1. Host a garden tea party: bake cookies, brew some tea, set out a blanket, and bring out all your favorite stuffed animals for a yummy “high tea”
  2. Make homemade ice cream
  3. Have root beer floats
  4. Make s’mores with Graham crackers, chocolate, and roasted marshmallows
  5. Barbecue a hot dog (or vegan hot dog)
  6. Eat fresh peaches and can some to enjoy the rest of the year
  7. Drink iced coffee
  8. Make homemade popsicles
  9. Eat a snowcone
  10. Eat watermelon

Special events

Some special days can only be celebrated in the summer. Make treasured summer memories by marking these fun ‘holidays.’

a boy with a stack of books
  1. Play a tennis match in honor of the first day of Wimbledon (June 27)
  2. Visit your favorite ice cream shop to celebrate National Ice Cream Month (July)
  3. Visit a blueberry farm on Pick Blueberries Day (July 10)
  4. Grab your pool noodles and go for a swim on National Swimming Pool Day (July 11)
  5. Spend the day relaxing on National Refreshment Day (the 4th Thursday in July)
  6. Celebrate Simplify Your Life Week by decluttering your space and your schedule (1st week of August)
  7. Get together with friends on National Friendship Day (1st Sunday in August) or on Women’s Friendship Day (3rd Sunday in August)
  8. Go to the library and stock up on books for Book Lover’s Day (August 9)
  9. Check out some secondhand stores on National Thriftshop Day (August 17)
  10. Tour an apiary on National Honey Bee Day (3rd Saturday in August)

Creative Projects

Spend the summer break fostering creativity through a variety of imaginative activities.

scrapbooking
  1. Make a summer scrapbook
  2. Write and film your own movie
  3. Redecorate a room
  4. Start a new journal or bullet journal
  5. Learn to play the piano
  6. Host a musical theatre summer camp
  7. Study a new language using a fun app
  8. Have a karaoke night
  9. Take a dance class
  10. Write a story using a writing prompt generator

Family fun

Summer is extra special because, for many families, it’s the time of year when they get to spend the most time together. Make it memorable by doing special summer activities together as a family with these fun ideas.

people watching a movie in their backyard
  1. Do a funny family photoshoot
  2. Take a day trip to a nearby town
  3. Attend a music festival
  4. Make paper airplanes and see whose flies the farthest
  5. Go to a local amusement park or state fair and ride the Ferris wheel and roller coasters
  6. Have a yard sale (or attend your neighbor’s yard sale!)
  7. Have an outdoor movie night
  8. Go to an outdoor concert
  9. Go to a fireworks show
  10. Take a road trip to somewhere you’ve never been

For a final bonus activity, the end of summer is the perfect time to create your fall bucket list!

Get a printable version of this summer bucket list to stick on your fridge by entering your email below.

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