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What should I put on my summer bucket list for families? Look no further for the ultimate summer bucket list for families! Of course, the combo of summer and fitness means this is a list of fun, active or outdoor activities to keep summer fun and healthy.

summer bucket list for families

As many of you know, I am a busy mom of two! I feel fortunate to live in a very outdoorsy area in the PNW, but even I run out of fun summer bucket list ideas sometimes. So I decided to put together what I’m calling the ultimate summer bucket list for families. Enjoy!

What are fun things to do during the summer?

This is a question I find myself asking every June since my daughter started school a few years ago. Summer activities are always my favorite. But it can be hard to keep everyone busy, and finding a frugal summer bucket list for families can be even harder.

So, of course, as a personal trainer, mom, and budget-conscious woman, I am trying to make my bucket list ideas for kids + families frugal, active, and healthy! I want everyone to have the ultimate summer!

Related Reading: Genius Keto Camping Ideas To Stay On Track

But I’d be lying if I didn’t spend some time asking family and friends, “What are good bucket list ideas for the summer?” Because I know it’s hard to get creative and stay busy/avoid going stir crazy a few weeks into summer.

What can families do in the summer?

Since I’m a stay/work at home mom, it’s important to me that all of my family bucket list ideas are just that – family friendly. What’s a fun summer bucket list that we can’t all enjoy? 

By the time summer hits, we all need some bonding time and a break from the hustle of the school year. And, since I’m on a personal fitness journey, I want to keep it mostly healthy/active! I’m sure you can relate! So while I have a lot of summer bucket list ideas for kids, I wanted to make sure everyone can enjoy!

frugal summer bucket list for families

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List For Families

1. Visit an observatory.

Summer is the best time of year to see the stars! Even better if there’s a meteor shower!

2. Go to a 4th of July parade.

Even if your town doesn’t do a 4th of July parade, a city near you surely does! Enjoy free candy/handouts and lots of fun!

3. Watch your local rodeo.

Even small rodeos are fun! You can often visit a rodeo without watching the main events, and watch slack (practice) for free.

4. Try backyard camping.

Pitch a tent in the back yard and have all of the camping fun without the travel expense.

5. Go canoeing/kayaking.

Rent or buy a canoe or kayak to take out on your local river or lake. Tons of fun in the sun!

summer bucket list for kids

6. Enjoy stargazing.

Find a nice hill or country road to watch the stars (and bring snacks)!

7. Make your own popsicles.

It’s easy to make your own popsicles with ice cube trays and juice! But if you want to take it a step further, invest in your own popsicle molds (I have these ones) and try some of the many refreshing popsicle recipes there are out there.

8. Go berry picking.

You can get fresh berries starting as early as May and going as late as September in most places in the U.S. Go for a bumper crop for discounted picking!

9. Set off fireworks.

Have some summer-night-fun by doing sparklers or other fireworks!

10. Take a beach trip.

Nothing says summer more than some sand and waves! If you don’t live near the ocean (bummer!) go to the lake!

11. Make a fairy garden.

Nothing says childhood and summer better than some pretend play outside. Help your kids start a little fairy garden. Check this fun post for inspiration!

What are fun things to do during the summer?

12. Read a book outside.

Take a blanket, some snacks, and a stack of books outside for some peaceful reading.

13. Do a summer scavenger hunt.

On a walk in your neighborhood, or on a local hike, have fun looking for special items. This blog has some cute and fun summer scavenger hunts to get you started.

14. Participate in your local library’s summer reading challenge.

Most libraries (and some schools) have summer reading programs with fun prizes, events, and incentives. Sign up at your local library!

15. See a drive-in movie.

We were lucky to have one of the last drive-in theaters in our town growing up. You can find the list of remaining outdoor movie theaters here. If there isn’t one near you, you can often still see outdoor summer movies put on by local businesses.

16. Check out your local outdoor concert series.

Many towns have an outdoor concert series featuring local artists during the summer. Pay attention to those city/county events and hit some family-friendly concerts!

17. Ride bikes. 

Riding bikes can be fun whether you’re just riding around the neighborhood, or taking trails at a state park!

18. Try ice block treasure hunting!

This one is especially fun for younger kids! Freeze small items (toys, rocks, etc.) in a large container filled with water. Tip: To make sure that all of the items don’t freeze in one spot, layer your items. Do this by adding items and water every few hours until the container is full.

19. Build a sand castle.

Even if you don’t have access to a beach, many parks have sand pits. Find a local park near you and take a bucket and sand toys. This isn’t a fun summer bucket list without a day at the beach!

20. Build a backyard fort.

Whether you just use boxes or build something more elaborate, nothing is more fun than building a fort to hang out in! Complete your fort with a radio and snacks!

21. Go to the local splash pad/water park.

Water play is a no-brainer for our summer bucket list for families! Visit your local splash pad for free play, or go to a local water park for a fun-filled day.

family friendly summer bucket list

22. Try backyard bowling.

No bowling ball or pins? No problem! Use some 2 liter pop bottles filled with a small amount of water and a soccer ball!

23. Wash the car as a family.

Kill two birds with one stone. Have some fun in the water while getting things done. I don’t know why, but kids just seem to love washing cars.

24. Blow bubbles.

Bubbles are cheap, but you can take it a step further with some cute bubble guns or a big bubble machine. Fun for hours!

25. Play with sidewalk chalk.

From artwork to hopscotch, there’s a lot you can do with sidewalk chalk! Find some at the dollar store or invest in a big bucket full.

26. Go to your local pool’s “free swim.”

Most municipal pools have free swim days open to the public. Find your local schedule and put it on the counter.

27. Go garage sale hunting.

Check Craigslist and other local ads, then map out a fun day of garage/yard sale fun! It can be fun to hunt for something specific (or nothing at all), and you could even plan a garage sale scavenger hunt.

28. Visit your local museum.

Local museums often have seasonal events and exhibits change regularly. Plus, a lot of local museums have discount days for families, toddlers, etc.

29. Pack a picnic. 

Make some sandwiches and pack some other snacks with a blanket. Then head to your local park/field to have a picnic out in the summer sun (or shade). Take a soccer ball with you for some fun after eating.

30. Take a hike. 

Even metro areas have trail systems for walking – a hike doesn’t have to be anything extreme! You can play into it by taking a small backpack, binoculars, snacks, and more.

what can families do in the summer?

31. Try geocaching.

A fun, global treasure hunt! Download the app or go to this website to learn more about finding small treasures all over the place. I have only tried it once, but it was super fun!

32. Start a lemonade stand.

A cheap, fun lesson in math and entrepreneurship! Kids will have a great time planning their lemonade stand. Get crazy and do seasonal berry lemonades if you want to go the extra mile!

33. Play frisbee or frisbee golf.

Visit your local park or frisbee golf course to try a fun game. No frisbee? Try your local Goodwill (or other thrift store) – they often have a few.

34. Make your own ice cream/frozen yogurt.

Making your own ice cream (or fro yo) is a must at least once every summer. Here’s a “healthy” and oh-so-delicious recipe for blackberry frozen yogurt.

35. Play tennis at your local court.

Most towns have at least one park with public courts, but if not, there’s gotta be a court you can use somewhere! (High school, local college, country club etc.) You can even sometimes get used tennis rackets and balls at the thrift store.

Thanks for checking out my summer bucket list for kids + families!

Do you have any other things you think I should add to my ultimate summer bucket list for families? Please let me know what ideas you have by dropping a comment below!

Ironwild Fitness

summer bucket list for families