Creating a Life Free From Chaos

2013 Summer Bucket List


Last year, I created a “summer bucket list” of activities to do with my kids, and it was so popular, that I decided to do it again this year. We’re one week into our own summer vacation, and we’re already hitting the list hard. My oldest likes to quote Phineas from Disney’s Phineas and Ferb, with a loud, “Hey! I know what we’re going to do today!” Here are the 50 ideas I put on my family’s 2013 bucket list. I hope you get a few ideas of ways to spend time with your children, friends or family to create lasting summer memories.

  1. Visit a city splash park.
  2. Go bowling using the “Kids Bowl Free” program (we even got our own shoes off Craigslist and eBay this year to save on shoe rental).
  3. Visit the city pool system, with water slides, lazy river and kids’ area.
  4. Hang out at our neighborhood HOA pools and make new neighborhood friends.
  5. Craft: make monster and alien masks.
  6. Make our own bingo cards and play bingo.
  7. Play in a backyard sand box.
  8. Visit our favorite city park, with splash parks, playgrounds and walking trail.
  9. Visit a zoo.
  10. Craft: make pet monster rocks.
  11. Craft: make melted crayon art in the backyard.
  12. Bake and decorate cookies.
  13. Make snow cones.
  14. Craft: do some finger painting outside.
  15. Craft: water color painting.
  16. Check out dollar movies, both at the local dollar theater and the Cinemark summer movie program.
  17. Visit a local nature preserve.
  18. Have a water balloon fight.
  19. Test out my son’s new slip and slide (but only on our designated watering day!)
  20. Take our dog to the local dog park to play.
  21. Play hopscotch outside using sidewalk chalk.
  22. Have some picnics, both inside and outside.
  23. Play board games.
  24. Fly kites on a nice windy day at our community park.
  25. Participate in the library summer reading program.
  26. Craft: make homemade gak.
  27. Visit our city’s science center.
  28. Ride bikes, either on a park trail or around the neighborhood.
  29. Make an indoor fort with lots of pillows and blankets.
  30. Make cereal necklaces (maybe before we hit the movies?)
  31. Visit a new playground around town that we’ve never been to before.
  32. Craft: make handprint art.
  33. Craft: make our own recycled paper.
  34. Create new cities and vehicles with Legos.
  35. Have a Disney movie marathon to prep for a trip to Disney World next fall (shhh! The kids don’t know about the trip yet!)
  36. Teach the kids to make their own sandwiches.
  37. Have a frozen ice excavation (freeze small toys and dinosaurs in ice, then let the kids go to work on extracting them).
  38. Make Lego mazes for marbles.
  39. Craft: make our own “new” crayons from the broken crayon pieces all over the house.
  40. Make bubble solution and have a bubble party.
  41. Take a glow bath (glow sticks in the bathtub, lights off!)
  42. Help my oldest son create his own book — he loves to write and illustrate his own stories.
  43. Have “brother sleepovers” — let the boys sleep in each others’ rooms, telling stories and playing with flashlights late into the night.
  44. Take a couple of trips to their grandparents’ farm.
  45. Craft: make murals using kraft paper and markers.
  46. Play “trash to treasure” — let the kids make art projects out of anything and everything they can find in the recycling bin.
  47. Work together in our vegetable garden, growing veggies and herbs.
  48. Make a worm bin together — start a vermicompost bin with worms and organic food waste.
  49. Create a craft box together — a big box of beads, pipe cleaners, random foam stickers, construction paper, glue sticks, paint pens, whatever we find around the house to add.
  50. Family movie night — Netflix or a Redbox movie, air-popped popcorn, glow sticks, pillows, and blankets, lights out in front of the TV for a family movie at home.

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