100 Spontaneous Summer Bucket List Ideas

Family / Thursday, June 21st, 2018

Summer is a great time for fun, but who wants to spend the whole time planning? 100 spontaneous summer bucket list ideas.

In the past, over scheduling left our family tired. This summer, I hope for balance; a mix of scheduled and spontaneous activities from this bucket list.

Are you an over-planner or under-planner? Often, we get stuck in a rut and do nothing. Nothing is great once in a while, but we need to get out too. Having a list of activities to pick from helps me be more spontaneous. Wide open days on the calendar are a gift; I want to use them well!

If you have some wide open summer days, read on. You’ll find over 100 low-cost ideas for family fun, with minimal planning.

100 Spontaneous Summer Bucket List Ideas

Serve Others

When the schedule isn’t packed, it creates time to intentionally serve. I want our kids to know the value and blessing of serving others. The best way to teach that lesson is to get out there and do it! For these reasons, our bucket list begins with ways to serve others this year.

None of these activities require much money or preparation, and kids of any age can participate. Who will you serve together?

  1. Deliver frozen treats to the neighbors after dinner
  2. Pack Meals at Feed My Starving Children
  3. Write a letter to someone in the military
  4. Bring a meal to a family with a new baby or health concern
  5. Make prayer cards for friends and family and pray through them during the summer
  6. Volunteer at church as a family – in the nursery, as greeters or hosts, clean up afterwards
  7. Put on gloves and pick up garbage at a local park or bike path
  8. Make Thank You Cards for the Garbage Collector, Mail Carrier, Pastor, or others who provide services to your family
  9. Help a neighbor pull weeds or offer to water flowers when out-of-town
  10. Leave a sweet chalk note for a friend in their driveway without them seeing you
  11. Host a block party
  12. Invite an acquaintance over to get to know them better
  13. Help kids clean out their rooms and toy box, choose a charity, and drop off donations
  14. Visit a nursing home
  15. Take a prayer walk and pray for people living in your neighborhood
  16. Write thank-you notes to Sunday School teachers, pastors or coaches
  17. Sponsor a child through World Vision
  18. Take the kids grocery shopping so they can buy the ingredients for a recipe and make dinner for the family
I want our kids to know the value and blessing of serving others. The best way to teach that lesson is to get out there and do it. #parenting #summerbucketlist #motherhood Share on X
100 Spontaneous Summer Bucket List Ideas | thisgratefulmama.com #spontaneous #family #Fun #summer #bucketlist #children #mom #mother #outdoors #athome #serveothers

Fun In Your Own Yard

Just because we have a wide-open day for spontaneous fun, doesn’t mean we have to leave home. We can have lots of fun in and around our house, using things we already have. Take one summer bucket list idea, add creativity and laughter for a memorable day of family fun.

  1. Wash the car in the driveway
  2. Host a Lemonade stand
  3. Paint rocks
  4. Roast Marshmallows around a campfire
  5. Camp in the backyard
  6. Play Flashlight Tag
  7. Play Yardzee or other large yard game
  8. Host a Bocce Ball Tournament with other families
  9. Grill Homemade Pizzas
  10. Have an epic family water fight
  11. Make juice Popsicles
  12. Host a root beer float or ice cream social at your house
  13. Create your own backyard olympics with simple competitions and prizes – races, limbo, long jump, jump rope, hula hoop, hand stands
  14. Paint a Turquoise Table and get to know your neighbors
  15. Play volleyball or badminton
  16. Run through a sprinkler
  17. Have a scavenger hunt
  18. Read a book outside
  19. Sit in a hammock
  20. Find shapes in the clouds
  21. Stay up late or get up early to watch the next meteor shower
  22. Take a nap on a blanket outside
  23. Play Frisbee
  24. Have an all-ages, neighborhood kickball game
  25. Stay in pajamas all day long, just because you can
  26. Do backwards day – dessert first, dinner for breakfast, take a backwards walk around the block, breakfast for dinner, etc.
  27. Grow the ingredients for salsa in your yard and make it
  28. Water balloon toss and fight
  29. Play hopscotch and 4-square
  30. Make a home video
  31. Dance party on the deck
  32. Build a fort under the deck – no parents allowed
  33. Play games with SOLO cups
  34. Paint the drive way with chalk paint
  35. Create a backyard obstacle course and use a stop watch to time each family member going through it
  36. Stay out and play in the rain on a warm day
  37. Rescue all the worms from the driveway or sidewalk after rain
  38. Build a rock sculpture
  39. Decorate bikes and parade up the street
  40. Watch the sunset
  41. Jump in puddles
  42. Get up early for the sunrise
  43. Create chalk people – trace the outline and color in details
  44. Write numbers starting at 1 to as high as there is room to write on the driveway
  45. Build a fort and read books with a flashlight
Many of our must-do activities for summer can happen right in our own yard. What's on your bucket list? #summer #bucketlist #spontaneousfun Share on X
100 Spontaneous Summer Bucket List Ideas | thisgratefulmama.com #summer #bucketlist #activities #ideas #familyfun #summerfun #moms

Out and About

Even a homebody like me needs to get out sometimes. While a day trip may take a little bit of planning, most of these activities can be planned the day-of or day-before. When you’re ready for an adventure, head out on one of these summer bucket list ideas as a family. Don’t forget to take pictures to remember the fun!

  1. Go to a museum
  2. Spend a day at the community pool or community center
  3. Let the kids take nature pictures on a walk with your phone or camera
  4. Go fishing
  5. Catch (and release) Fireflies
  6. Build a sandcastle with a moat
  7. Bury someone in the sand
  8. Hike in a county or state park
  9. Swim in a lake or river
  10. Tube behind a boat
  11. Kayak
  12. Walk down to a marina and see the boats
  13. Visit an ice cream parlor
  14. Run a race
  15. Climb a tree
  16. Go for a family bike ride to get a treat or play at a park
  17. Visit a new park every week
  18. Play in a splash pad
  19. Swim at the water park
  20. Go to an amusement park
  21. Find a county fair
  22. Pick berries at a farm
  23. Go to the zoo
  24. See a show from a local theater company
  25. Attend a baseball game
  26. Go to a movie in the park
  27. Go to the Drive In
  28. Eat dinner at a food festival
  29. Walk around a lake
  30. Go bowling
  31. Play games in an arcade
  32. Cheer on a friend at a summer sporting event
  33. Watch fireworks
  34. Visit a historic landmark
  35. Stop at a scenic overlook on the highway
  36. Take a day trip – explore a nearby city or countryside
  37. Eat on a rooftop
  38. Take a ride on a riverboat
  39. Leave messages in the sand
  40. Bring a picnic to the park
  41. Take pictures of your family in an open field
  42. Visit a nature center
  43. Catch a frog
  44. Take a bus or train

What is your favorite spontaneous activity to do as a family?

4 Replies to “100 Spontaneous Summer Bucket List Ideas”

  1. Thanks for this great article! I like how you included 3 different ways to have fun, including serving others. I’m going to share your article in my newsletter this week. I’m also going to share it on my FB page soon.

  2. Wonderful ideas! Your house must be a blast.
    We play sardines, which is like hide and seek except only 1 person hides then as each seeker finds the hider they hide in the same place until the last seeker is all alone looking for a pile of hiders packed into the same hiding place.
    Thanks for the great ideas. I especially liked the ideas for serving others.

    1. Thank you! My kids may not agree that our house is a blast 😉 Our kids are just getting to the age where they finally understand sardines and aren’t hiding with just their face hidden behind a piece of paper for hide and seek. I’m hoping to have many more years of sardines to come! Thanks for sharing this idea here!

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