Summer Bucket List + Activity Ideas & FREE Bucket List Printables

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Summer Bucket List Activity + Free Printable

Summer Bucket List Ideas for Families (plus free printable to track your ideas)!

A friend of mine recently shared with me how she creates a family bucket list for each season.  She says it helps her to be intentional with their time and do things they always “talked” about, but never got around to.  I have wanted to do it for a while and summer seems like the perfect time to give it a try.  I always start the summer with grand plans of fun things we are going to do or visit, but it seems like come August we haven’t done nearly what I had envisioned!  I am hoping that making a family summer bucket list will help.

We started first with brainstorming together as a family, things we each wanted to do.  My husband really wants to go camping and my five-year-old wants to go fishing, go swimming and on picnics.  My three-year-old wants to pretty much play in his sandbox all summer!  I want to visit the farmers market, go on some hikes and bike rides.  There are also a few museums that we want to see and local events.  It wasn’t hard at all to come up with 50!  In fact, we keep thinking of things to add!!

Summer Bucket List Scrapbook

We have these fun, FREE printable bucket lists {Rainbow Bucket List Free Printable and Blue & Green Bucket List Free Printable} created that you can use so you can keep track of your list all in one place, too.   I also decided to make both boys a simple scrapbook so we could put pictures of some of our activities.  I am hoping that will also make me more likely to take some pictures!!  My five year old is beyond excited to get started and frankly so am I!

Bucket for Summer Bucket List

Some other ideas I came across were writing the ideas on strips of paper and putting them in a sand “bucket”-and labeling the bucket, “summer bucket list”.   Then everyone can take turns & drawing out a strip with a different activity each day.   You could also make a summer calendar, with different days labeled with activities.  There are so many different ways you could do this same idea for creating a Summer Bucket List!

One thing I was sure to do was make some things really simple.  We can’t afford to visit museums every day nor do I want that kind of crazy schedule for the summer.  For example, some of the items are as simple as blowing bubbles, going on a nature walk, or making popsicles!  Others will take more planning like camping, but with that one, we will probably do another at the same time like swimming and having a campfire.  Just creating the list and making the scrapbooks has gotten me so excited for summer – now if only we will get some summer weather around here!

Free Bucket List Ideas Printables:

We have created two versions of a Bucket List Ideas printable that you can print off & use as a base for ideas for all the summer fun you want to do as a family this year. It’s also fun to check it off to see all that you accomplish!

Print it off & hang on the fridge or put it in an inexpensive picture frame so you can keep it where you can see it & use a dry-erase marker to mark off the activities all summer long.

We’ve created two different versions for you to choose from:

Supplies Used for Scrapbook:

Scrapbook: I picked up the mini blank scrapbook at Michael’s for around $5-10. You can find cute little embellishments in the $1 bins at Michael’s or Target’s Dollar Spot.

Bucket: You can pick up a bucket or sand pail at a number of places – Target Dollar Spot, Dollar Tree, Michael’s, JoAnn’s, and Walmart. Just use a sharpie to write on it or use chalkboard paint to make a little chalkboard to write on.

Summer Bucket List Ideas around the NW:

The Summer list (we have created a list of things that you can do this Summer with all that is going on), we will keep our regular bucket list available below too).

One of our favorite tips for summer fun to add to your bucket list:

Grab the Get Out Pass for your state. Pick up one for each family member, and then you will be able to use it to save big on outings all summer long (you pay one price for the pass, and then you get in free to everything on the pass for a year). We share how the Get Out Pass works after using it with our families, for more info on that.

  1. Go Camping
  2. Picnic at the park
  3. Family Game Night
  4. Puppet Show & make puppets
  5. Nature Walk (we have free printables for scavenger hunts for hikes for big kids and littles here)
  6. Visit a Waterfall (we share 6 waterfall hikes in the PNW here)
  7. Family Movie Night in Your Backyard
  8. Go Mini Golfing
  9. Enjoy a lake day (find a lake where kids can jump off the dock for older kids, or where there is sand play for younger kids)
  10. Go to Nisqually Bird Refuge
  11. Build a sand castle
  12. Play Hopskotch
  13. Have a water fight
  14. Have a watermelon spitting contest
  15. Make rootbeer floats
  16. Visit a new park
  17. Run through the sprinkler
  18. Visit the Seattle Aquarium or other animal park (it is open if you are interested. We have the details on what is open and restrictions for NW areas here).
  19. Drive through NW Trek!
  20. Have a camp out in your backyard (make these smores kits to have on hand)
  21. Go to a Drive in Movie (there are pop up ones all over this summer)!
  22. Find a new outdoor swim hole to enjoy (my kids love the natural waterslide area at Denny Creek)
  23. Take a bike ride (if you are looking for something special, The Route of the Hiawatha is amazing)!
  24. Do a science experiment
  25. Pick berries
  26. Pick Vegetables from a U Pick Farm, and make dinner with them that night
  27. Enjoy an evening of star gazing (search star gazing events in your area for more ideas on this)
  28. Go Paddle Boarding or enjoy a ride on a Canoe for a day (many local lakes offer rentals of these)
  29. Go to the ocean
  30. Make ice cream
  31. Play with Sidewalk Chalk
  32. Take a family hike (here are 6 family friendly urban hikes in the Seattle & Tacoma areas)
  33. Go to Great Wolf Lodge (it is open for those comfortable with this – and rooms are as low as $129/nt here)
  34. Visit the Pioneer Farm for a days adventure
  35. Pet a Kangaroo
  36. Go to the zoo (both Woodland Park Zoo and Point Defiance Zoo are open if you are interested. We have the details on what is open and restrictions for NW areas here)
  37. Plant something & watch it grow
  38. Make popsicles
  39. Walk the trail at Chambers Bay
  40. Rent a Bike for the Family at Point Ruston and bike miles of waterfront paved paths
  41. Make jam
  42. Read a chapter book
  43. Build a campfire
  44. Go for a Sunday Drive
  45. Create art
  46. Go fishing
  47. Visit a lighthouse
  48. Find a special spot to watch the sunset one night
  49. Tour a public gardens
  50. Float a river

Bucket List for All Summers

  1. Camping
  2. Picnic at the park
  3. Family Game Night
  4. Puppet Show & make puppets
  5. Nature Walk
  6. Go Mini Golfing
  7. Swim Party
  8. Go to Nisqually Bird Refuge
  9. Build a sand castle
  10. Play Hopskotch
  11. Slumber party with cousins
  12. Have a water fight
  13. Have a watermelon spitting contest
  14. Make rootbeer floats
  15. Visit the King County Fair
  16. Ride the Sounders Train
  17. Visit a new park
  18. Run through the sprinkler
  19. Visit the Seattle Aquarium
  20. Do a science experiment
  21. Have a lemonade stand
  22. Pick berries
  23. Invite friends to a picnic
  24. Visit the Pacific Science Center
  25. Go to the ocean
  26. Make ice cream
  27. Concert in the park
  28. Visit OMSI
  29. Visit Alki Beach
  30. Go to the Dollar Theater
  31. Play with Sidewalk Chalk
  32. Take a family hike
  33. Go to Great Wolf Lodge
  34. Visit the Hands On Children’s Museum (Olympia)
  35. Go to the zoo
  36. Celebrate summer birthday’s
  37. Go see a new kids movie
  38. Plant something & watch it grow
  39. Make popsicles
  40. Walk the trail at Chambers Bay
  41. Go to the Farmer’s Market
  42. Make jam
  43. Go junking
  44. Read a chapter book
  45. Build a campfire
  46. Ride the Portland Aerial Tram
  47. Go for a Sunday Drive
  48. Create art
  49. Go fishing
  50. Movie in the park

We’ve got more ideas for you to add to your Bucket List here::

Summer Fun on a Budget

Summer Festivals in the Northwest

Frugal Summer Fun in the Northwest

Seattle Staycation Ideas

Summer Outdoor Movies in the Northwest


Summer Boredom Jar:

Here is another fun idea to use over the summer – very similar to the Bucket List, but this is called a “Summer Boredom Jar“. Fill the jar with simple activities & have your kids pick out a new activity each day. My friend Melissa created this super cute jar using a Phinneas & Herb theme.  You can check out her huge list of summer activities over at “I’m Bored, Let’s Make Something“.

What is on your summer bucket list??



  1. Oh my goodness, what a wonderful idea! My kids are still pretty young, but we still get to the end of summer and say “Wait, we wanted to do this and this and this”. We have already filled up our calendar for the summer, this would be such a great way to make sure we do the little things.

    Plus, you totally sold me with the Phinneas and Ferb quote. :)

  2. This is fantastic. I’ve talked about doing a summer activity jar several years in a row and this post has got my brain gears moving.

    I wanted to get our son out of the “I hate school” mindset and show him that reading and writing are fun so we thought of doing an “adventure journal” this summer. We used the LivingSocial Deal to Frecklebox and found a lined notebook with a pirate map on the front (perfect for an adventure journal). Our plan is to take pictures during our “adventures”, glue the photos and any other mementos in the journal and have him write about the event – what he liked best, something funny, ect.

    My goal is to continue this idea for homeschool next year and he would have some GREAT memories to look back on.

    I showed him this post and he told me that we should make a list of all the adventures we want to go on this summer! Thank you!

  3. What a great idea, Liz! Love the adventure journal! I think we’re going to do a little photo album of pictures that my daughter takes of our adventures (+ one that I do, too) – her ideas of pictures are often different than mine. Let us know what type of adventures you decide to do!

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