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Family Summer Bucket List Ideas

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

SimplePrints softcover photo book titled "summer road trip"

Fun Family Activities for the Summer

It's time to gather the kids and create a family summer bucket list as your road map to the best summer yet. Summertime is a great time to go sightseeing, take vacations, and spend time together now that school is out of the picture. Look through these fun activities for summer at home or on the go, and start writing your family summer bucket list. When choosing family activities, be sure to include your whole family when you select which ones will be fun!

  • Write down ideas for a summer bucket list together and ensure everyone has an item they can't wait to cross off!

  • Brainstorm summer recipe ideas that your whole family will enjoy.

  • Make a plan to incorporate all of your ideas for summer trips, scavenger hunts, and fun summer activities throughout the season.

Why Should You Create a Bucket List for Summer?

Children playing in a sandbox

People create bucket lists for summer activities for a variety of reasons. Some people create them to make the most of their summer vacation, while others create them as a way to stay motivated and active. Additionally, some people create bucket lists to document their experiences and share them with others. Here are some of the reasons why people create bucket lists for summer activities:

  • To make the most of their summer vacation: Summer is a time for relaxation and fun, and creating a family bucket list can help people make the most of their time off. By planning their activities for summer ahead of time and setting goals, people can ensure that they have a summer filled with memorable experiences.

  • To stay motivated and active: Find a reason to get up off the couch or away from the computer! Creating a bucket list of summer activities can help people stay motivated to stay active and healthy.

  • To document their experiences: A bucket list can be a great way to preserve memories and share your experiences with others. You can even create a personalized photo book themed around your family's summer bucket list! This photo book will help you remember the experiences for years and give others a glimpse into your life.

Stay In and Play Together

Family playing Jenga

Before planning a three-week-long road trip through the National Forests, consider the easy summer activities you can accomplish right in your backyard! Spending time with your family can help to strengthen family bonds, provide opportunities to learn about each other and your interests, and create lasting memories that the family will cherish for years to come. These indoor family fun activities include innovative ways to learn more about your family members and enjoy the moment.

Fun Activities for Summer at Home.

  • Use conversation starters. ChatterTime by Pennycake is a fun conversation starter game for the whole family. Use their interesting conversation starters and share in the laughs. Use a conversation starter app like Gather to break the ice for teenagers.

  • Family Trivia. Create a family trivia game with silly, engaging, and plain factual cards about your family members. What year did Dad graduate from University? Who had a first pet named Sugar-Bear? Get to know each other and have fun at the same time.

  • Play board games. Play classic board games like Monopoly and Scrabble, card games, or even DIY family games that you invent together! This activity is a great way to have fun and bond with your family.

  • Play video games. Video games aren't just for kids to play solo! Play cooperative family video games like Mario Kart or Unravel and challenge yourself.

  • Have a talent show. Put on a talent show for your family and friends. Have each person perform a talent, whether singing, dancing, playing an instrument, or telling jokes. Come up with your own family talent show ideas based on your skills and talents.

  • Have a movie night. Cuddle up with your favorite people and pets for a family movie night. Make some popcorn, turn off the lights, and enjoy a good movie. Check out this 2023 family movies list for some ideas to get you started.

  • Take a virtual painting class. Set up your easels in a row and paint together over snacks and age-appropriate drinks. Whether you sign up for a painting class over Zoom or stream reruns of Bob Ross together, you can learn how to paint as a family and have fun doing it.

Small SimplePrints  Metal Print with picture of a girl covered in paint and smiling
  • Build an epic blanket fort. Turn your living room into a whole new world with a blanket fort big enough to fit all the kids and grownups! Use glow-in-the-dark stickers or lanterns to make it a magical night at home.

  • Have a picnic in your backyard (or your living room!). Make your next meal a memorable one and find summer picnic food ideas that your whole family can help cook and eat together. Use simple summer salad recipes, appetizers like rainbow fruit skewers, and summer recipes for non-alcoholic drinks like strawberry limeade for a fun picnic that feels special, even if you never leave home.

  • Have a water balloon fight. Fill up dozens of water balloons, divide your family into teams, and see who wins! You can also use reusable magnetic water balloons to make clean-up easier!

  • Set up a lemonade stand. Earn a little extra cash for something the whole family will enjoy, like a trampoline or a new sandbox.

  • Have a dance party. Show off your moves, release energy, and create lasting memories with a lighthearted family dance party in the living room.

  • Create a photo book together! Use creative family summer photo ideas to make an unforgettable photo album. Use props, recreate your favorite movie scene, or dress up in costumes and compile all these fun and exciting photos to treasure for years to come.

Various Mini Books with different themes on top of a white table

Head Outside for a Summer of Fun

Summer is the perfect time to make memories with your family and pets. No family summer bucket list would be complete without plenty of ideas for summer activities and places to explore. Here are some fun and creative ideas to get you started:

  • Have a picnic in the park. Pack a lunch and head to your favorite park for a picnic. Let the kids run around and play and make memories together. Family picnic ideas don't have to be complicated! Keep it simple and sweet for a stress-free afternoon.

  • Go on a nature hike. This activity is a great way to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors. Find a local nature trail and go on a family hike. You can even bring your pets and invite friends!

  • Visit a museum or zoo. There are always new exhibits to see and animals to learn about. Take your family to a museum or zoo for a day of learning and fun.

    • Can't make it to the zoo in person? Check out this list of 18 virtual zoo tours. Share the fun of seeing new animals and breathtaking exhibits without leaving the couch!

  • Create a scavenger hunt. You can create your scavenger hunt at home, at a park, or even a local mall. For a scavenger hunt at home, be sure to hide clues and draw up a map. If organized in a public space, finding landmarks or unique items in stores as your clues and giving each member a map to navigate your hunt can be better.

  • Play in the water. Whether you go on a family beach vacation, head to the neighborhood pool, the local splash pad, or even just set up a sprinkler in your backyard, spending time in the water is a great way to cool off and have fun.

Dad and daughter taking a selfie underwater

  • Have a water balloon fight. Make sure you clean up after this fun game, but water balloon fights are a priceless way to beat the heat with your family!

  • Play hide-and-seek in the dark. Gear up with flashlights, glow-in-the-dark bracelets, and necklaces, and head out for hide-and-seek in the dark. This is an excellent game for older kids and teenagers.

  • Have a family barbecue. Invite some friends over for a barbecue. Grill out some food, play some games, and enjoy the company of your loved ones. Try out summer recipes for the grill or even plan a cook-off with your close friends for a fun, competitive twist on the backyard BBQ.

  • Spruce up your backyard. Do you have a swingset that is looking a little drab? Maybe a trampoline that has lost its allure? Work with your kids to grab some paint, refresh your old play structures, set up a trampoline sprinkler, or even plant fresh flowers around your home. These activities are sure to get your family outside together!

  • Start a home vegetable garden. Kids love to get their hands dirty! Give them an outlet and show them where their food comes from with a vegetable garden in your backyard. Check out these tips on how to garden with kids of all ages.

  • Go camping. Spend a night under the stars with your family. Go hiking, swimming, and fishing, and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature.

  • Have a bonfire. Roast marshmallows, tell stories, and enjoy the company of your loved ones around a campfire.

  • Go stargazing. Find a dark spot away from city lights and stargaze with your family. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about the stars and planets.

  • Visit your county Fair or Circus. Enjoy swirls of cotton candy, roller coasters, and carnival games together at your local county Fair or Circus.

  • Go on a road trip. Pack up the car and go on a road trip with your family! Visit new places, see new things, and make memories that will last a lifetime. Brainstorm family road trip ideas and choose the one everyone agrees on to make your trip exciting for all.

Stack of SimplePrints Photo books with the top one being a vacation photo book

These are just a few ideas to get you started. The possibilities are endless when it comes to making memories with your family and pets. So get out there and have fun as you check off all the items on your family summer bucket list.

Bring Your Summer Memories to Life with SimplePrints

Capture all the fun of your scavenger hunt, summer trips, and quality time in a custom photo book! It's easy to upload all your favorite photo memories to the SimplePrints app, and you can even share your photo project virtually to get feedback from your family members or let them order their copy. Download the free SimplePrints app to create something beautiful from summer's best memories.


Blogger: Cameya Martin

Cameya Martin is a mother, a wife, a self-identified horse-girl, and a writer. She writes articles for small businesses, memoirs for people, and fiction for herself.

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