Do You Have A Summer Bucket List?

How to create a plan to have the most fun this summer with your family, so you don't miss a thing.


Summer has just started, but I'm already worried about it being over. The time goes by way too fast.

I know I think I have all the time in the world to hit some of our family fun ideas or invite friends over but suddenly you look at the calendar and it's booked up. I don't know if this has happened to you but I've been bummed in the past when I didn’t get the kids to the Zoo, or get tickets to a popular kids concert, or get the bikes out enough to justify the space they take up in the garage. Summer was over and we missed out on some opportunities to enjoy it. 

Well, never again! Last summer our family started a Family Summer Fun Plan or a Summer Bucket List and it has made planning and scheduling our family fun a whole lot easier. We turned the planning into a family project and here’s how you can do it too:

Pick a night and when you sit down for dinner, go around the table and ask everyone in the family what they would like to do for fun that summer. Have someone write down all of the ideas. Then vote on the Top 10 ideas for your family to do together.

(If this gets too heated or causes hurt feelings amongst younger siblings, put all of the ideas into a hat and pull the first 10. While someone might still be miffed that their idea didn’t make it, at least it’s fair!)

Now, grab the family calendar and plan which days you’ll schedule each activity. Here's a blank planning calendar to print out and hang in the kitchen, if you need one. If any work needs to be done ahead of time like buying tickets, making reservations, or inviting friends over, assign the responsibilities to family members so everyone is working together.

You’ll get more buy-in from the kids, Mom won’t be the only one planning everything, and you won’t miss any important activities. If your kids are still too young, Mom and Dad will just have to divide and conquer.

Now you're ready to have some fun together. To get your Summer Bucket List going, check out my post on 51 Summer Family Fun Ideas.

These ideas are designed for families with kids of all ages. However, the list is not exhaustive. I'd love to hear from you.

What's on your Summer Bucket List? What are some of your favorite things to do with the family in the summer?

You Might Also Like:

10 Ways to Have Fun Outside This Summer

Get the Kids Off the Couch and Host a Backyard Summer Olympics

Tips for a Perfect Backyard Campout



Sue Kirchner is a family fun coach, kids party planner, and weekly contributor to Patch.com. Sue and her family fun ideas have been featured on TV, newspapers, magazines, blogs, as well as her own family fun site ChocolateCakeMoments.com.

marilyn June 07, 2012 at 11:33 AM
okay but I don't think you should call it a 'bucket list', as that seems to sort of make light of people who are dying and know it. It's not 'summer' or 'fun' for them, it's permanent, not something fun to do for a season.
Joanna Schneider June 07, 2012 at 11:44 AM
I always thought a bucket list was all the things you wanted to do before you died, whether you were 15, 50 or 100. I don't believe actually being in the process of dying is a requirement.
Brian L. June 07, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Yeah, I'm pretty sure the term does mean things to do before you die. It's never too early to have goals to accomplish in life, even goals that result in recreation. On top of that, not everyone gets to plan on when there time here will come to end. Listing all the things you want to do and accomplish keeps you moving in the right direction should that day come earlier than expected.
Brian L. June 07, 2012 at 12:11 PM
...and to comment on the topic at hand. My wife and I recently had the pleasure of welcoming our first child into the mix this past winter. He is seven months old now and starting to enjoy the world. We've already got a list of places we want to take him. Bucket list ideas, probably not quite that grand. But places like the Zoo (crossed off already), the Shed, Volo Bog. Things of that nature. It does make planning much easier. Just be careful not to schedule too much, or you'll look back and feel like you didn't accomplish enough.
Stephanie Price June 07, 2012 at 12:38 PM
I think " bucket list" has come to mean "things you want to do most in your life." Last week, my friend said the "Foo Fighters" were on her concert bucket list. She proceeded to set up 3 computers the next morning and got tickets to their concert at Summerfest in Milwaukee later this month.
Alan Danenberg June 07, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Brian - don't "cross off" those things too quickly! At seven months old, your son is just starting to see the world. As he grows, he can re-visit the same zoo and experience it again for the first time. Their perspective changes, their perception changes, and their memories expand. Our "kids" are in their mid and late 20's now, and have special memories from each place, each time we took them somewhere. Many Disney trips, each one brought them new experiences and the feeling of wonder and exploration each time. And congrats on your first child!!
Brian L. June 07, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Too True. I was just referring to the summer list. I can't wait to get his reaction when he gets to see the animals and actually take in what is going on. For now the zoo seems to be of interest to him as a people watching locale.
Alan Danenberg June 07, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Savor every one of those moments, 'cause they grow up so fast!
Brian L. June 09, 2012 at 06:16 AM
Crossed off another for this summer. Just got back from Roger Waters The Wall at Wrigley field. Amazing.
hdrtnydrun June 13, 2012 at 12:16 AM
A bucket list is not the things you do before you die, its the things you do while you are alive. Well, at least that's how i think of it...
sree September 20, 2012 at 09:30 AM
The spaces between the teeth of your flea comb are small enough to pull remaining fleas and ticks from your puppies' coat. Rinse the comb under hot water after each pass to keep from redistributing the parasites through their fur. You may have to brush each puppy two or three times to completely remove all parasites, so look carefully to be sure you've gotten them all. Apply a liquid flea and tick treatment along the neck and spine of your older puppies to prevent another infestation. Thanks. Regards, http://www.my-thesis.net/services/dissertation-thesis-writing-services/dissertation-proposal/ | writing a dissertation proposal
Rob September 20, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Lol...I guess Flea removal would deffinatley be on my list, too! :-) Congrats Brian, mine are 11, 15 and 26 (adopted).... It's amazing they have as much of an affect on our lives as we do on theirs. The fun never ends!


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