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Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

Summer is a time for having some fun in the sun, relaxing by the pool, and cooling off with gobs of ice cream and popsicles. It’s the perfect time of year to plan outdoor activities with friends and family or to find ways to beat the heat. With so many potential summer activities for adults and kids, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Having a summer bucket list helps you prioritize all those things you should do to really enjoy the season.

Below is a list of 50 things to do in the summer. These fun summer bucket list ideas include must-do summer activities so you can take advantage of the hottest season of the year.

So grab your sunscreen, put on your bathing suit, dust off your shades, and prepare to have the best summer ever!

Summer Bucket List Ideas:


Summer Bucket List Ideas

 
RUN THROUGH THE SPRINKLERS | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

1. Run Through the Sprinklers

When you were a kid you probably loved running through the cool sprinklers on a hot summer day. Relive those childhood memories by adding “run through the sprinklers” to your summertime bucket list. It will be both fun and refreshing!

 
BUILD A SAND CASTLE | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

2. Build a Sand Castle

You don’t need to be a great artist to build a great sandcastle, you just need, well, sand! When you visit the beach this summer, grab a pail and start creating. Whether your castle is a simple mound or a tiered masterpiece complete with towers and a moat, take a moment to admire your creation, until the tide washes it away.

 
CATCH FIREFLIES | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

3. Catch Fireflies

Fireflies light up the summer sky. But have you ever tried to catch one? Catching lightening bugs can be tricky: one moment you’ll see it’s light and the next it’s gone. Next time you catch a flash, try to catch a bug in your hands! Take a second to admire it’s glow, then set it free!

 
RIDE A FERRIS WHEEL | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

4. Ride a Ferris Wheel

Journey to the top of the world and get a bird’s-eye view of all the action at an amusement park or county fair. There are many famous carnival rides from carousels to tilt-a-whirls, but none so iconic as the ferris wheel. Take a spin!

 
HOST A BACKYARD BARBECUE | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

5. Host a Backyard Barbecue

Hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, and brats. Nothing screams summer more than a backyard barbecue. Host a Memorial Day barbecue or Fourth of July barbecue or throw one any weekend you’d like. Fire up the grill, throw some shrimp on the barbie, and invite all your friends over for a feast.

 
OPEN A LEMONADE STAND | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

6. Open a Lemonade Stand

Just about every child’s first business is a lemonade stand, making this a great item on a summer bucket list for kids. Help your child, niece, nephew, or friend’s kid set up their stand, make beverages, and count change. Maybe throw in a few extra quarters as well.

 
COLLECT SEASHELLS AT THE BEACH | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

7. Collect Seashells at the Beach

Seashells make a fun souvenir from your summer vacation. Comb the sand and find the perfect shell or two to take home so you can always remember your day at the beach.

 
GO ON A ROAD TRIP | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

8. Go on a Road Trip

ROAD TRIP! Summer is the best time of year to take a road trip and “take a road trip” is an essential item to add to your summer goals list. Crank up the tunes, crank down the windows, an feel the thrill of the open road. Where to?

 
PLAY ON A SOFTBALL TEAM | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

9. Play on a Softball Team

Summer is a great time to try a new sport, and softball is the perfect sport for your summer bucket list. Form a team with your friends or coworkers or, if you’re flying solo, join a recreational singles league and meet new friends while playing the field.

 
ATTEND A PARADE | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

10. Attend a Parade

Marching bands marching, dancers dancing, cheerleaders cheering, and fire engines blazing. Summer is prime time to attend a parade!

 
GO TO AN AMUSEMENT PARK | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

11. Go to an Amusement Park

If you’re thinking about fun things to do over the summer with friends, amusement parks have it all! Rides, games, entertainment, shows, food. You name it. Everyone will have a blast.

 
ATTEND AN OUTDOOR CONCERT | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

12. Attend an Outdoor Concert

Summer is a great time to catch an outdoor concert. From intimate performances by local bands in the park to main-stage headliners filling a football stadium, outdoor concerts are not hard to find. If you really want to create an epic summer bucket list, plan to see all your favorite bands at an outdoor music festival like Bonnaroo, Coachella, or Lollapalooza.

 
PLAY ON A SLIP 'N SLIDE | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

13. Play On a Slip ‘N Slide

Slip ‘n slides are not just for kids! They are a fun way to cool off on a hot summer day, no matter how old or young you are!

 
HAVE A PICNIC | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

14. Have a Picnic

Pack up your picnic basket with sandwiches and salads or fried chicken and brownies, spread out your blanket, and have lunch under the sun. Picnics are one of the best ways to grab a meal with friends and a great addition to your summer list.

 
GROW A VEGETABLE GARDEN | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

15. Grow a Vegetable Garden

Summer is always a great time to work in your backyard. You’ll have to tackle your chores like mowing the lawn and pulling weeds, true, but if you have a green thumb add “grow a vegetable garden” to your list of summer activities and plant your own tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers while you’re out there.

 
GO WHITEWATER RAFING | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

16. Go Whitewater Rafting

Want a wild summer bucket list? Add white water rafting. Navigating gushing rapids, big currents, and turbulent water is the ultimate adrenaline rush. Riding class V rapids, like those on the Upper Gauley River, offer extreme thrills for your summer adventure.

 
GO TO A BASEBALL GAME | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

17. Go to a Baseball Game

Take me out to the ball game! Summer is the best time of year to watch your favorite team knock one out of the park!

 
HAVE A WATER BALLOON FIGHT | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

18. Have a Water Balloon Fight

Look out! You can’t have a list of fun things to do in summer without adding a water balloon fight! Fill up some balloons, let ’em rip, and watch them splash! It’s a fun summer activity no matter what your age!

 
HAVE FUN AT A WATER PARK | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

19. Have Fun at a Water Park

If you’re going to make a summer bucket list, you have to add “have fun at a water park” as an item! Water parks have activities for both kids and adults, and have something for everyone. Want to take it easy? Spend a lazy day in an inner tube on a lazy river. Looking for something a little more extreme? Try an exhilarating water slide. No matter your speed, water parks are a must-do item for your summer wish list.

 
LEARN TO SURF | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

20. Learn to Surf

Do you dream of catching waves and hanging ten? Then “learn to surf” would be a fantastic addition to your summer goals list. Find a beach, a board, an an instructor and go from bail outs to backsides in no time.

 
GO TO A CARNIVAL | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

21. Go to a Carnival

Ride a tilt-a-whirl, test your strength, win a giant teddy bear, and eat all the funnel cake you can handle.

 
RIDE A ROLLER COASTER | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

22. Ride a Roller Coaster

There’s that exhilarating feeling of sitting in a car at the top of roller coaster when your chest fills with anticipation of the pending drop. If you’ve never ridden a roller coaster before, or if it’s one of those things you have to do every summer, it’s one of the best summer bucket list ideas you can add to your list!

 
WATCH FIREWORKS | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

23. Watch Fireworks

It’s not summer without fireworks. Whether you’re watching a big Fourth of July display or a few set off to celebrate a baseball home run, you should easily be able to check “watch fireworks” off of your summer bucket list.

 
GO SKINNY DIPPING | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

24. Go Skinny Dipping

If you’re planning some summer fun for adults, why not add skinny dipping to your list of summer things to do? Bare it all and jump in — the water is waiting for you!

 
FLY A KITE | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

25. Fly a Kite

Let’s go fly a kite! Up to the highest height! Add “fly a kite” to your summer must do list and send one soaring up through the atmosphere!

 
GO WATER SKIING | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

26. Go Water Skiing

If you want a crazy summer bucket list full of adventurous and wild things, add “water skiing.” It may take a few tries to get your balance right, but when you do, prepare for a thrill ride.

 
TAKE A BOAT RIDE | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

27. Take a Boat Ride

Choose a giant cruise, an exclusive yacht, or a tiny fishing boat. Whichever you choose, boat rides are a great way to get around, vacation, or relax on.

 
STAND UNDER A WATERFALL | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

28. Stand Under a Waterfall

Dive into the cool water, swim up to a majestic waterfall, and feel the water rush over you. Put “stand under a waterfall” on your list of summer to do list ideas and you won’t regret it.

 
COMPETE IN A FOOD EATING COMPETITION | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

29. Compete in a Food Eating Competition

Hot dogs? Hamburgers? Corn on the cob? What food would you eat in competition? Summer is prime competitive eating season when many restaurants, fairs and festivals host eating contests for both professionals and amateurs alike. Think you can eat more than the next guy? Try to enter the ultimate eating competition and compete at the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest.

 
GO ON A BIKE RIDE | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

30. Go on a Bike Ride

Bicycling is a fun way to exercise in summer months, a great way to get around while on vacation, or, simply, a means to get you from point A to point B. Rent a bike, buy a bike, or borrow a bike this summer and get peddling!

 
GO TO A DRIVE-IN MOVI THEATER | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

31. Go to a Drive-In Movie Theater

While many drive-in movie theaters have shuttered their doors, some are still going strong. This summer, pledge to see a film in a way you never have before, from the comfort of your own car.

 
KAYAK A RIVER | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

32. Kayak a River

Kayaking is a great way to explore a new area or see your own city from a different perspective, with warm weather and sunshine illuminating the buildings and trees that will surround you.

 
NAP IN A HAMMOCK | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

33. Nap in a Hammock

Summers are for being lazy and taking it easy and there is no better way to relax than taking a nap in a hammock. Hammocks hold you in like a cocoon and let you gently rock back and forth in the breeze. Talk about relaxing! If you’re looking for things to put on your summer bucket list, “nap in a hammock” should be one of them.

 
HAVE A GARAGE SALE | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

34. Have a Garage Sale

If you spent your spring cleaning, spend your summer getting rid of all that extra stuff. Add “have a garage sale” to your list of things to do over the summer and be ready to purge. Your trash could be someone else’s treasure and your house will thank you for it.

 
PLAY KICKBALL | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

35. Play Kickball

Kickball is a popular game you surely played as a kid at recess. The sport requires little skill and even littler equipment (all you need is a ball!). Relive your playground days with a game of kickball with friends — just hope you don’t get picked last when choosing teams!

 
GO TO A STATE FAIR | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

36. Go to a State Fair

If you want to spend your summer eating fried food, listening to live music, and betting on pig races, look no further than a state fair! State Fairs are known for their extreme food and their extreme fun! Visit the Minnesota State Fair, the Texas State Fair, or the Wisconsin State Fair, you can’t go wrong!

 
SWIM IN A LAKE | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

37. Swim in a Lake

Can’t make it to the ocean? No problem. Take a dip in a lake this summer! It’s just as refreshing and there’s probably one right around the corner.

 
PICK BERRIES | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

38. Pick Berries

Summer never tasted so sweet! While your autumn bucket list might be full of activities like picking pumpkins or picking apples, in summer, it’s all about picking berries.

 
PLAY BEACH VOLLEYBALL | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

39. Play Beach Volleyball

Bump, set, spike! Beach volleyball is the quintessential summer sport. Play with some friends or join a recreational league and add this to your list of cool summer bucket list ideas.

 
PLANY FLOWERS | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

40. Plant Flowers

Test out your green thumb. Plant some flowers outside in a garden or inside in a couple of pots and take advantage of the summer sun to watch them grow.

 
PLAY A GAME OF FRISBEE | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

41. Play a Game of Frisbee

Frisbee is a fun summer game and a great way to pass the time on a beach or in a park. Simple toss one around with friends or go all out and play a round of ultimate frisbee.

 
JUMP ON A TRAMPOLINE | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

42. Jump on a Trampoline

How high can you jump? Prove it by taking a turn on a trampoline.

 
GO ROCK CLIMBING | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

43. Go Rock Climbing

Want to tick something off your adventurous summer bucket list? Look no further than rock climbing. For beginners, or those not quite ready to scale a mountain, make it your summer goal to try an indoor climbing wall instead!

 
WEAR A BIKINI | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

44. Wear a Bikini

Every body is a beach body! If your summer goal is to wear a bikini, just do it!

 
GO FISHING | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

45. Go Fishing

Cast your  line and see what you can catch. Or, if you’ve never done it before, add “learn to fish” to your list of fun summer goals.

 
STARGAZE | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

46. Stargaze

The summer sky is filled with breathtaking clusters of stars. Spend a warm night on a beach or in a state or national park stargazing and pointing out constellations.

 
PUT MY TOES IN THE OCEAN | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

47. Put My Toes in the Ocean

There’s no better feeling in the world that squishing your toes in the wet sand as the ocean waves ripple over them and splash up your legs. “Put my toes in the ocean” is the best summer bucket list item you can find!

 
VISIT A ZOO | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

48. Visit a Zoo

Lions and tigers and bears? Oh my! Going to the zoo is on every list of fun summer activities for adults and kids. I mean, where else are you going to see a zebroid or an okapi?

 
GO MINI GOLFING | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

49. Go Mini Golfing

When’s the last time you hit a ball through a clown’s mouth? If that answer is, “it’s been a while,” or, “ummm…never?” you should definitely add mini golfing to your summer holiday to do list.

 
MAKE WISHES ON DANDELIONS | Summer Bucket List Ideas: 50 Things to do in Summer

50. Make Wishes on Dandelions

Close your eyes, make a wish, and blow! You’re never too old to make wishes on dandelions. What’s my wish? To make the ultimate summer bucket list, check everything off, and have the best summer ever!