97 Of The Best Bucket List Ideas For Summer
Ahhhhh . . . summer!
It's the perfect time to let a little creative sunshine into your imagination and plan something exciting and memorable.
As the weather gets warmer, I start to get that fidgety feeling — eager to go outside, have an adventure, and plan some summer getaways.
Do you have a list of summer bucket list ideas you want to do at least once during your lifetime? Maybe you've thought about places to go this summer like snorkeling in Bimini or running with the bulls in Spain.
Or perhaps you're more practical and want to find outdoor activities for your kids during the lazy days of summer, learn a new skill, or discover fun activities for adults.
If you find yourself planning the same old beach trip or visit to Grandma's, and you're short on ideas, we are here to help find the best things about summer.
97 of the best summer bucket list ideas.
Summer bucket list for couples
Why not enjoy the warm days with that special someone? Summer is such a great opportunity to reconnect and nurture your bond! Take this chance to discover new things, have a lot of fun and make the most of the season together. Here are some ideas for your own special couple summer bucket list!
1. Visit the Grand Canyon.
The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and a truly iconic America experience that everyone must see at least once in a lifetime.
How beautiful would it be to see the Grand Canyon in the summer sun? Or better yet take a Grand Canyon river tour. The sunrise and sunset at the Canyon are not to be missed!
2. Stay at an ice hotel.
Take a break from the heat and go to an ice hotel. These are popular travel destinations because they are so unique.
There are ice hotels around the world, but the only one in North America is the Hotel de Glace in Quebec City which isn't open in the summer. So you may need to travel to Sweden or Iceland!
3. Go for a hot air balloon ride.
You may be scared of heights, but your fear will likely go away when you are flying above your city looking down on all of the places you know.
Most people don’t realize how peaceful and majestic a hot air balloon ride can be. Because you travel with the wind, the only time you feel the breeze is when you change altitude and the wind speed changes.
4. See a Broadway musical.
This can be a life-changing experience, and it is certainly a common bucket list item. If you can't fly to the Big Apple, many Broadway shows tour to other cities — perhaps one near you.
Make a night out of it and get dressed up and go to a nice dinner as well.
5. Complete your family tree.
Have you ever spent the time researching your roots?
Do some digging and create a family tree, or go to Ancestry.com to have it done for you.
This might motivate you to contact some family members who you haven't spoken to in a while.
6. Learn mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness meditation is very popular these days for its clear health benefits and ability to help people relax.
Learn how to practice mindfulness so you can use this skill once the summer is over, and you are back to the hustle and bustle of your busy life.
7. Plan a rooftop dinner.
Grab a date a plan a romantic dinner to eat on the rooftop (if your roof is safe!). Try to time it right so you can watch the sunset and it is not too hot.
8. Drink a $100 bottle of wine.
Wine or champagne. It doesn't really matter. You just have to be able to say that you have done it once.
9. Try escargot.
You can't say you don't like it until you have tried it.
10. What about black truffles?
While these might not seem as, um, risky as escargot, they are incredibly expensive. Treat yourselves. Just this once.
11. Go to a murder mystery dinner.
How much fun would that be?! Enjoy a delicious meal while trying to figure out “who done it.” This would be a great double date idea.
12. Run through the sprinklers.
Remember how fun and liberating that felt when you were kids? It's never too late to enjoy cooling off in your own backyard by running through the sprinkler — or letting the sprinkler douse you while you sunbathe.
13. Go slip-n-sliding.
You may have done this as children, but what about as adults? And what about a giant slip-n-slide?
This bucket list item is right up there with running in the sprinkler — but it requires a bigger physical commitment. Are you ready?
14. Watch a meteor shower.
Do some research online to find out when the next meteor shower is and set up shop to watch it. Grab a blanket and find somewhere that is not blocked by trees and enjoy the view.
15. Fly first class.
When you travel this summer, treat yourselves to first class. Even if it is the only time you ever do it, you have to try it once.
16. Go ziplining.
This is a perfect summer activity for those with a daring spirit. Feel the wind in your hair as you zip through the air.
17. Go horseback riding on the beach.
If you're headed to the beach this summer, choose a beach where there are horses available for a walk on the beach. Nothing beats a sunset ride followed by a margarita and fresh shrimp.
18. Go to a ballroom dancing class.
Don't they make it look so easy in the movies? Try it out yourselves and see how it goes.
19. Make wine.
Stomp on grapes and make some wine. It may not turn out exactly like what you get in a restaurant, but at least you can say that you have done it.
20. Throw a huge party.
Sure, your house will probably be a wreck at the end of the night. But the good thing is, when the night is over you won't need to find a way to get home.
21. Ride a rollercoaster.
Theme parks are always fun, and that scary rollercoaster is calling your name. You might actually have the time of your life!
22. Test drive a Ferrari.
This is another thing that you have to be able to say you have done. Just so you know what all the fuss is about.
23. Take a ride in a helicopter.
You see it done on television a lot, so why not try it in person? This will definitely be an adventure to remember, especially if you combine it with a trip to the Grand Canyon!
24. Go parasailing.
It may look scary, but how beautiful would it be to parasail over a beach? Once you're up there, you will forget you're dangling hundreds of feet in the air over the ocean.
25. Play the lottery.
You may do this all year round, or it may be something that you never really consider doing. But, this is another thing that you have to do at least once in your life.
Summer bucket list for best friends
But summer still has much more to offer and the long days give you enough time to spend with all the people closest to your heart — including your best friends. Call your buddies and brainstorm your ultimate summer bucket list over some margaritas. Check out these ideas to get started:
26. Go skydiving.
Summer is the best time to go skydiving because it is warm and sunny and you can make a fun day out of it. This will definitely be a memory you can tell to your grandchildren.
27. Do a Color Run.
A Color Run is “a unique paint race that celebrates healthiness, happiness, and individuality. They so much fun and a great way to get involved with your community.
Grab an old shirt and get out there and get some exercise with your friends. Remember, this is the happiest run on the planet!
28. Go snorkeling.
You can snorkel in just about any body of water, but the best places are tropical with crystal clear water where you can easily see fish and other sea creatures!
You can get a waterproof camera and take some pictures of friendly shark or stingray you run into when you're flipping around.
29. Ride a mechanical bull.
Find a local bar or restaurant that has mechanical bulls and see how long you can make it. Grab a partner and make a competition out of it to see who can last the longest.
This event will give you just the reason you need to buy those new cowboy boots and hat!
30. Hike the Appalachian Trail.
This trail passes through many states, including North Carolina, Tennessee, and even all the way up to New York. Take some time during the summer to explore the part of the Appalachian Trail that is closest to you.
31. Attend a live baseball game.
Summer is a perfect time to get away from sports on television and attend a live event outdoors.
Go to a local baseball game and enjoy America's favorite pastime while munching peanuts or a hot dog and savoring a cold beer on a hot day.
32. Re-learn history.
You know that history lesson you weren't paying attention to in high school that keeps coming up and haunting you?
Brush up on your history so you can catch up with whatever you missed while you were passing notes. You can even do this while you are relaxing on the beach. Or you can visit your nation's capital or visit a historical site near you.
33. Take a road trip.
It doesn't really matter what the destination is, it is the journey that counts here.
Grab a friend and stop at dive bars and sites along the way and see what you discover.
34. Build a house with Habitat for Humanity.
Give back a bit this summer by helping Habitat for Humanity build a home. This will be personally rewarding while also allowing you to help out someone else.
35. Ride a Segway.
Rent one and ride it around your city. Sure, people may look at you funny, but who cares when you're having so much fun and zipping around town?
36. Try geocaching.
Geocaching is a fun recreational activity where you use a GPS receiver or mobile device to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world.
This outdoor activity is perfect for the summer. This sport mixes together technology and adventure and allows you to find hidden treasures.
37. Climb a mountain.
You don't have to make to the top of Everest or Kilimanjaro. Find a mountain range that works for your skill level and plan your hike to the top. Make sure to take a picture when you hit the summit!
38. Go to a social etiquette class.
Still struggling with the right fork to use or how to do the Foxtrot? An etiquette class can prove invaluable because it will teach you some lifelong lessons and improve your social skills.
39. Make a pizza from scratch.
Skip the delivery! Go to the store and grab the ingredients you need to make your own pizza– including the dough.
Get creative with the toppings. Invite some friends over and make a party of it.
40. Get a tattoo.
If you get it in the summer, you will be able to show it off! Design a tattoo yourself and pull the trigger this summer if this has been on your bucket list.
41. Dance in the rain.
There are bound to be plenty of rainstorms throughout the summer. Get out there and dance in the rain (As long as there's no lightning!)
42. Do some stargazing.
Find all of the constellations that you used to learn about and try to identify them. While you're at it, think about how big the universe is around you and put your small problems in perspective.
43. Play matchmaker.
Do you know two people who would be perfect for each other? Introduce them! Everyone likes to have a summer romance, and you never know, it could last forever.
44. Create the ultimate sand castle.
Headed to the beach this summer? Make your dream castle out of sand. See how high and elaborate you can get it before the tide comes in.
45. Volunteer at a hospice.
You have the chance to provide emotional and spiritual support to people who are living out their final days. Volunteer at a hospice in your area, and provide companionship and support to patients and family members.
This will help you change the lives of other people, and it will likely change your life in the process as well.
46. Fly a kite.
This is another fun memory from childhood that never grows old. Have you ever been successful in keeping your kite aloft for very long? Give it a try.
47. Create a movement.
Is there a cause that you are particularly passionate about? Create a movement and watch it spread. You can see how easy it is for you to make a difference in your community.
Related: 13 Fun Date Night Ideas
48. Go to the White House.
Sure, you see it on television a lot, but have you ever actually been there? Go to Washington D.C. and visit all of the places where decisions are being made for our country.
49. Go to a rodeo.
Think of the excitement and energy that goes on at a real rodeo. This should be on everyone's bucket list, and the summer is the best time to go.
50. Go white water rafting.
This is sure to be exhilarating and an experience of a lifetime. There are plenty of reputable and safe outfitters on rivers across the country.
Summer bucket list for teens
“Youth comes but once in a lifetime,” right? Our teenage years are defined by the moments in which we channeled our youthful spirit into creating some of our greatest memories. There’s no better time to experience our youth than summer. So, enjoy your teens (or give your kids a push) with a bucket list that includes:
51. Do karaoke.
Do it in front of a lot of people. This is a moment for you to express yourself freely. Just go for it! This is a great bucket list item to cross off while you are on vacation or just having a fun night out.
52. Learn to juggle.
Sound impossible? Watch this juggling lesson from YouTube and give it a try. Just 15 minutes a day of practice could make you an expert by the end of the summer!
This would be a great party trick to do at all of the summer parties you are attending.
53. Plan a picnic.
Pack up some sandwiches and cool drinks and take your honey on a picnic in the park. Then go for a long walk to burn it off.
54. Join a flashmob.
You have to. That would make such a great memory. You can find upcoming flashmobs on Facebook, Twitter, and MeetUp.com.
55. Camp out in your backyard.
Spend a night in a tent in your yard. Pretend like you are camping in the wilderness, and then wake up in the morning to a fresh shower and hot coffee.
56. Go to a music festival.
There are amazing music festivals all over the country, from Bonnaroo to Lollapalooza. Check out this list to find a festival near you.
57. Swim with dolphins.
This is such a fun thing to do in the summer, and there are plenty of places in Florida and Hawaii to check this one off your bucket list. It is refreshing and exhilarating, so give it a shot!
58. Visit a chocolate factory.
Ever wonder how they make that additive stuff you can't get enough of? Go to a chocolate factory to see how it's done and enjoy some delicious confections.
59. Donate blood.
Not only is this really helpful for people in need, but it is actually healthy to donate blood. It gives your body a chance to rejuvenate itself.
60. Be an extra in a movie.
A lot of movies are filmed over the summer, and there is likely one being filmed near your town. Check it out and see if you can sign up to be an extra. You may even make it on the big screen!
61. Give a homeless person a meal.
You don't need to look far to find someone who is hungry. Ask what their favorite meal is and go get it for them. It will make their day, and it will make you feel good. Add in an ice cream since it will be hot outside.
62. Get a makeover.
Have you always wanted to do something a bit outrageous with your hair but have held back? Summer is the time to do it! If you don't like it, you can always change it before people get back from vacation.
Related: 29 Fun Things To Do At Home
63. Create an original YouTube video.
Try to make it go viral! Do something funny or make a really good DIY video and send it to all of your friends.
64. Get over a fear.
Do you have a fear of heights? A fear of spiders? Spend some time this summer facing your fear and recognizing how much stronger you are than you think.
65. Plant a tree.
This bucket list item is something you can enjoy for years to come as you watch your tree grow.
66. Go for two weeks without using technology.
You will probably see how freeing it is and how much time you waste on your smartphone. Then again, you may have withdrawal symptoms! But it's worth a try.
67. Catch a wave.
Surfing is certainly harder than it looks, but how much fun would it be to catch a wave? Give it a try when you are at the beach.
68. Hold a monkey.
Or any wild animal, really. Take a trip to a zoo and see what they have to offer.
69. Name a star.
While you are stargazing this summer, go ahead and get one officially named after you or a loved one.
70. Start waking up early.
Take this summer to stop your hibernation habit and start getting up earlier in the day. Now that there are more daylight hours, this should be a bit easier.
Early rising will set you up for getting more done and enjoying as much as you can of the beautiful summer weather.
71. Hold a plank for one minute.
Work your way up to this goal during the summer so you can have swimsuit-ready abs.
At first, it feels like your abs are on fire, and you'll never make it past a few seconds. But after you spend some time building up your strength, you'll have abs of steel.
72. Run a marathon.
This will also take some training, so you may want to start in the spring or plan for a fall marathon.
Set up your training plan beginning in the early summer, increasing your distance and speed incrementally. By the end of August or September, you should be ready to cross the finish line.
73. Try your hand at archery.
It may seem like an archaic sport, but after the movie The Hunger Games, it has seen a resurgence.
Archery is a lifetime sport that doesn't cost much, and it's more fun than you would think. Give it a shot this summer. You may get a bullseye!
74. Learn Sign Language.
Sign language is probably more common than you think. Take some lessons so you can at least get familiar with the basics.
Personal summer bucket list
Summer is all about coming together and having fun. However, that’s not all. Take the warm days as a chance to grow and take good care of yourself. How about making a personal summer bucket list that will bring out the best in you?
75. Finish a Rubik's Cube.
On the days where it is just too hot to go outside, try your hand at a Rubik's cube.
As daunting as it appears, a Rubik's cube can be solved in at most 20 moves. If you get frustrated, there are plenty of videos online that show you how to solve it.
76. Learn to play chess.
This game is full of strategy and problem-solving. It helps you develop thinking skills, enhances mental acuity, and improves academic performance.
Chess is fun and never gets boring. No game ever repeats itself which means you create more and more new ideas each game.
77. Add a new source of income online.
There are a lot of jobs out there in which you can make you some extra income — like blogging, freelance writing, consulting, or design services.
Just make the initial small investment to set up a site to promote your goods or services. Then use social media to spread the word.
78. Write a book.
If you like to write, write a book and try your hand at self-publishing.
The summer is the perfect time to focus on your writing and finally complete that book you've always wanted to write.
79. Memorize the periodic table of elements.
Speaking of paying attention in school, do you remember your periodic table of elements? Neither do I, but it might be a fun claim to fame with your friends.
80. Sign up for a Masters or Ph.D. program.
Are you happy in your current career, or are you just slogging your way through it? Would an advanced degree make a difference in your career happiness?
Take some time this summer to discover what you really want to do with your life and go for it. Start applying to programs, both online and on campuses.
81. Learn about the stock market.
You can start investing your hard-earned money once you know what you are doing.
Watch some stocks for a while to see what patterns you can pick up on and then try your hand at investing, even if it is just a little bit of money.
Check out the book, The Intelligent Investor, to learn how to get started and invest your money wisely.
82. Get your will completed.
This is something that should be on everyone's bucket list so you don't leave your family guessing. Write down who you want to inherit any of the things you own once you pass away.
83. Practice forgiveness.
If you are able to learn to forgive, you will be able to let a lot of stress and pressure go.
Read some books this summer on forgiveness and learn how to do this for yourself, not for other people.
84. Learn a new language.
Have you been interested in learning Spanish or French? Or maybe a lesser-known language like Portuguese? Take some time this summer to work on becoming bilingual.
85. Learn to read sheet music.
It may look confusing, but it is really a useful skill once you learn how to read it. If you want to take up an instrument, knowing how to read music is a real advantage.
Reading music gives you the keys to really understanding the mysteries of music. It opens the door to a more sophisticated understanding of music and music theory.
86. Learn a new instrument.
With sheet music on your hands, why not seize this chance to learn how to play an instrument? Maybe you’ve always wanted to play the flute or the piano. Take some lessons this summer and practice during the hot days when you don't want to be outside.
87. Learn to ride a motorcycle.
Summer is a great time to learn how to ride a motorcycle. There are plenty of motorcycle courses and safety lessons in virtually every town that will prepare you to get your license.
Or if you want a quicker wind-in-your-hair thrill, rent a convertible and take a ride on a famous highway.
88. Start a fire without any matches.
How do you think they used to start fires? If you go on a camping trip this summer (which you should), try starting a fire the old-fashioned way.
89. Pay a stranger's bill.
If you're in line at the ice cream shop or at Starbucks, go ahead and pay the tab of the person in front of or behind you. Pay it forward, it will make you feel good about yourself.
90. Put all of your recipes together.
Make a book of all of the recipes in your family and make copies for your family members. Find all of the classic family recipes, and put them together to make something that is thoughtful for other people.
91. Be a mentor.
Find an organization that is looking for mentors for children or vulnerable populations. Sign up and make a difference in someone's life.
92. Speak in front of a large crowd.
Public speaking has been said to be the number one thing that people fear.
Find something that you are really passionate about and overcome your fear of public speaking by finding an audience who wants to listen.
93. Go on a blind date.
Or, let someone be your matchmaker. If you're single, give it a shot! Let a friend set you up or sign up for an online matchmaking service and try it out.
94. Revamp your diet.
Cut out sugar for a few weeks and see how it makes you feel. Or maybe consider adding more fruits and veggies to your diet. Summer is a great time for light, fresh foods that don't weigh you down.
95. Connect with someone from your past.
They will probably be thrilled to hear from you and feel special that you reached out.
96. Find closure.
Do you have anything that happened in the past that you have not been able to let go?
If you are ready to move on from something that has been bothering you for years, spend some time finding the closure you need.
97. Take a CEO out for coffee.
Pick their brain on how they became so successful in their chosen career and what the perks and downsides of their job are.
Could you imagine getting all of that done in the summer.
Pick some of your favorites and give them a shot. Once you get going, you might decide you want to complete the entire list. You never know, maybe completing this list can be the 98th item on this bucket list!
Did you find any value from this summer bucket list?
Which summer fun activity excited you most?
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