There’s no better time for family fun than summertime. Kids have more freedom because school is out, and the sunshine and warmer temperatures make us all want to find freedom whenever we can! And as any parent knows, time goes by in the blink of an eye, especially if we only have 18 summers,—so let’s make sure our summer is full of experiences and memories to last a lifetime with these summer bucket list items.

From normal, everyday fun to thinking outside the box, including indoor and outdoor activities,—it’s all here, ready for you to check items off during the best three months of the year: June, July, and August.

Related: ’90s summers were the best summers—here’s how to recreate the magic

Everyone in the family can pick something from the list they want to do, and you can all take turns doing that thing. However you decide to spend your summer time in the summertime, there are plenty of ways for everyone to have fun.

Fun Outdoor Activities

  • Have a picnic at your favorite park.
  • Camp out under the stars—at your favorite campground, or your own backyard.
  • Lie on your back and find shapes among the clouds.
  • Grow a family garden full of flowers, fruits, or veggies. Take photos to keep track of the progress all summer long!
  • Take the whole family fishing. Whoever catches the most has to bait all the hooks!
  • Go to a water park.
  • Go to an amusement park.
  • Get your kids their own library cards if they don’t have one yet. Get new books every week!
  • Visit a farmer’s market.
  • Go to the zoo.
  • Go to a museum on a rainy day.
  • Start up a family bowling team just for fun!
  • Go mini-golfing.
  • Go swimming as much as you can.
  • Take a day trip. Bring what you need, but don’t make any concrete plans. See where you end up.
  • Roast marshmallows and make s’mores.
  • Volunteer with a charitable organization that allows kids to attend.
  • Have an outdoor movie night! Use a projector and an old bedsheet. Add in camping chairs, blankets, some popcorn and candy, and you’ve got yourself a night at the movies without having to leave home.
  • Visit the drive-ins.
  • Blow bubbles and chase them around.
  • Sit around a bonfire and tell stories.
  • Go dandelion picking and make wishes.
  • Have a water balloon fight.
  • Turn on the sprinklers and run through them.
  • Hike on local trails.
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Fun Indoor Activities

  • Have a homemade pizza night.
  • Take some paints and a brush in the backyard and everyone has to paint what they see or take turns choosing an online painting and recreating it.
  • Look up your favorite songs with lyrics on YouTube and have a family karaoke night!
  • Play flashlight tag.
  • Make a list of scavenger hunt items and have everyone check off each item as they find it!
  • Make blanket forts during thunderstorms.
  • Bake cookies for a neighbor or family friend.
  • Make homemade slime or silly putty.
  • Have an ice cream party with friends!
  • Take turns making everyone’s favorite dinner.
  • Have a family sleepover right in your own living room with pillows, sleeping bags, and snacks.
  • Make sensory bottles: fill them with activity sand, sparkles, beads or anything else on hand.
  • Family olympics: create unique challenges like acting out swim strokes or seeing who can do the most jumping jacks.
  • Print a page of riddles and split into teams to see who gets the most correct.
  • Listen to an audiobook together.
  • Listen to serialized podcasts for kids together.
  • Play a game of chess.
  • Make ice cream sundaes or root beer floats.
  • Write poetry.
  • Create a family summer scrapbook.
  • Build a fort.

Download and print this free check list of summer bucket list ideas. Check things off as your family makes their way through the list!

Summer bucket list

A version of this post was published June 2, 2021. It has been updated.