Our Summer Bucket List

I thought it would be fun to share our Summer Bucket List today — which seems to grow longer by the minute, as I keep adding things to the list! Many of these activities are either very low cost or free (yay!!), and the kiddos are really looking forward to crossing things off of the list. Those activities that are marked with a strikethrough are those we have already completed. We have been very busy this Summer!!

Community Pool — Our local community pool now has “twilight hours” when tickets are just $2 per person after 4pm!

Teach Emily to Ride a Bike — She can ride with training wheels, but needs more practice without training wheels.

Teach Clara to Ride Her Balance Bike — Clara picked up on this waaay faster than I thought she would!

Sprinklers — Done!!

Make Ice Pops — We made simple frozen orange juice pops, and the kiddos LOVED them. Brought back great memories from when I was a kid too.

Star Gazing — Emily wants to help make these constellation books, and I think it’s a great idea.

Press Flowers — Yes!!

Catch Fireflies — I look forward to our firefly catching contest every Summer.

Drive In Movie Theater — We are so fortunate to live close to one of these, and try to see at least one movie there every Summer.

Free Summer Concert — It’s FREE!!

Play in the Sandbox — My kiddos can spend hours doing this!

Visit a New Park or Playground — Because it’s fun to explore together.

Open Gym — For some rainy day fun to let the kiddos burn off some extra energy.

Breakfast Picnic — Perfect for those days when it’s forecasted to be too hot in the afternoon.

Make Rain Sticks — Like these ones here. Why haven’t we done this yet??

Homemade Lemonade / Lemonade Stand — Emily’s Lemonade Stand was a great success, loads of fun, and taught her valuable “business” skills. She plans to repeat this several times over the course of the Summer!

Build a Marble Run — We have done this before, but the girls have requested to build a larger one!

Build an Outdoor Reading Nook — You can never have too many cool places to read, right?

Nature Painting — Visit a scenic park, bring painting supplies & a small easel. Let the girls paint “landscapes”.

Geocaching — I’ve always wanted to do this!!!

Make Shadow Puppets — And put on a show!

Mega Bubbles — One of our all-time favorite Summer activities!

Sidewalk Chalk Play Date — Super cheap & lots of fun!

Go to the Beach — We had a very spontaneous trip to Point Pleasant, NJ. A GREAT time!!

Visit Farmer’s Market — Love this!!!

Science Center — Emily has recently gone with friends, but I’m hoping to get the whole family over there at some point this Summer.

Zoo — Done!

Sew Something w/ Emily — This will probably have to be done during Clara’s nap time.

Produce Our Own Stop Motion Film — I did this with my mom when I was a kid, and thought it was so magical!

Make Sun Tea — Mmmmmm…. tea!!

Pick Our Own Fruit — Maybe peaches?? Perhaps Mark can make some of his famous homemade peach ice cream????? Yum!

Catch Caterpillars and Watch Them Turn into Butterflies — This was pure magic!

Make Watermelon Jam — I’ve heard such wonderful things about this!!! Recipe here. Cannot wait to try it!

Take Emily to NYC — She’s been begging to go!

Host at Least 5 Play Dates — Three down, two to go.

Attend a Minor League Baseball Game — Fun and waaaay cheaper than a Major League game.

Visit the Lake — Yes!!

Fireworks — Done!

Buy a Hermit Crab — Something Mark and I ALWAYS wanted to do when we were kids, but our parents wouldn’t let us. We totally got one, and the girls love learning about these creatures!

Start a Sea Shell Collection — Need to do this, and then make lots of sea shell crafts!

Visit the Boardwalk — It was SO much fun!!! Highly recommend Jenkinson’s Boardwalk.

Knoebel’s — Fun w/ lots of kiddie rides!

Water Pistols — Learned that Clara can totally hold her own in a water pistol fight. She had one pistol in each hand, and gave her big sister a run for the money! That’s my girl!!

Steel Stacks at Bethlehem — Lots of free family concerts and other free events, would love to attend at least one this Summer.

Crayola Factory — Always a hit!

Backyard BBQ — Yum!!

Wildlands Conservancy — Perhaps combine this with Nature Painting?

Play in the Creek — I think this would be a big hit with the girls!


Corn on the Cob

Roast Hot Dogs

Picnic at the Garden

Franklin Institute — Always fun and educational! Plus, admission is FREE during Target Community Nights!

Sesame Place — Visited for Opening Day, what a great time!

Rodale Institute Organic FarmClara’s 3rd birthday party was held here. So much fun!!

Kids Workshop at The Home Depot — These are FREE & the girls love spending quality time with Mark.

Date Night for Each Kid — We need to do this!

Library — We read every day, and have gone through several books already this Summer. Emily does a lot of reading on her own, as well. But I’m sad to say we have yet to visit the library this Summer. NEED to get there!!

Teach Kids to Play Tennis — Perhaps start by hitting balloons over the net? Fun!!

Backyard Obstacle Course — Great active fun!

What fun things are on your bucket list this Summer?? Leave a comment and share your ideas with us!


  1. Great list! Abby would love the rain stick idea. Also, the watermelon jam sounds yummy!

    I never made a list, but we’ve sure kept busy!

  2. Dear Valerie,

    The hermit crab is *almost* as cool as my ant farm and sea monkey tank were!


  3. Love the ideas!
    I want to say that you take the most amazing pictures!
    Lastly, if you can get the book called Sewing School by Amie Plumley and Andria Lisle, it is a WONDERFUL book with easy projects for beginners and advanced sewers. Most projects are by hand and a few are with a sewing machine. My girls are 7.5 and 10 and have made several of the pillows easily. You can have her make gifts for herself, her friends, teachers and friend’s parents πŸ™‚

  4. This is such a great list! I have never heard of watermelon jam before. You guys are going to have, and have had, a lot of fun this summer!

  5. M.F.Peterson says

    Knoebel’s is on our list, too! I went there every summer as a kid and it just warms my heart to find their name out here floating in cyberspace πŸ™‚ No amusement park will EVER trump Knoebel’s…especially the food and fudge!

  6. Love your list!!

  7. Heads up everyone – Decided to make that constellation book with grandchildren. Went on-line for the maps and got infected with numerous virus at several sites. Looks like a good joint activity – trip to the library, make the book, and later s’more making until night sky is ready for us.

  8. Fantastic ideas – I will have to borrow some of these! We have the Air Zoo on our list (http://www.airzoo.org/index.php) it’s not to far from us and, I believe, it’s free during the summers! We also want to have a bubble-blowing day. I’ve come across several interesting ways to blow bubbles and we need to try them all!

  9. What a great idea…I’m creating our Family’s Summer Bucket List after I finish this comment! πŸ™‚

  10. I need to check out the Home Depot workshops. We just went to a Lowe’s one today and LOVED it!

    Every time I read someone else’s list I add to my own……

  11. Geocaching IS so much fun! I highly recommend it; it also helps you see the area where you live with fresh eyes. In addition, my kiddos learned about some of the native flowers/plantlife and birds while we geocached. Awesome experience for us!

  12. Hello, I see that on your bucket list is the science center…today’s groupon is 2 for 12 dollars. I took Logan a year or so ago, I think he would like it more now that he is a bit older. Hope this helps!

  13. AussieMum says

    This is a great list! Here in Australia we are in winter but I’ve started my summer list, my daughter will be just over two yrs old come the warmer months so it’s going to be an exciting summer of discovery for her! Some of the things on our list include: the Zoo, making a slippery slide out of strips of tough plastic and the sprinklers and hose in the back yard (we have a gently sloped area :-), lizzard & frog hunting (minus the Steve Irwin hands on thing loll), fishing at the river, drive in cinemas (kids night) and nature park picnic. The list goes on. Can’t wait to see her big blue eyes marvel in delight at such simple things πŸ™‚


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