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
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?
- Deliver frozen treats to the neighbors after dinner
- Pack Meals at Feed My Starving Children
- Write a letter to someone in the military
- Bring a meal to a family with a new baby or health concern
- Make prayer cards for friends and family and pray through them during the summer
- Volunteer at church as a family – in the nursery, as greeters or hosts, clean up afterwards
- Put on gloves and pick up garbage at a local park or bike path
- Make Thank You Cards for the Garbage Collector, Mail Carrier, Pastor, or others who provide services to your family
- Help a neighbor pull weeds or offer to water flowers when out-of-town
- Leave a sweet chalk note for a friend in their driveway without them seeing you
- Host a block party
- Invite an acquaintance over to get to know them better
- Help kids clean out their rooms and toy box, choose a charity, and drop off donations
- Visit a nursing home
- Take a prayer walk and pray for people living in your neighborhood
- Write thank-you notes to Sunday School teachers, pastors or coaches
- Sponsor a child through World Vision
- Take the kids grocery shopping so they can buy the ingredients for a recipe and make dinner for the family
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.
- Wash the car in the driveway
- Host a Lemonade stand
- Paint rocks
- Roast Marshmallows around a campfire
- Camp in the backyard
- Play Flashlight Tag
- Play Yardzee or other large yard game
- Host a Bocce Ball Tournament with other families
- Grill Homemade Pizzas
- Have an epic family water fight
- Make juice Popsicles
- Host a root beer float or ice cream social at your house
- Create your own backyard olympics with simple competitions and prizes – races, limbo, long jump, jump rope, hula hoop, hand stands
- Paint a Turquoise Table and get to know your neighbors
- Play volleyball or badminton
- Run through a sprinkler
- Have a scavenger hunt
- Read a book outside
- Sit in a hammock
- Find shapes in the clouds
- Stay up late or get up early to watch the next meteor shower
- Take a nap on a blanket outside
- Play Frisbee
- Have an all-ages, neighborhood kickball game
- Stay in pajamas all day long, just because you can
- Do backwards day – dessert first, dinner for breakfast, take a backwards walk around the block, breakfast for dinner, etc.
- Grow the ingredients for salsa in your yard and make it
- Water balloon toss and fight
- Play hopscotch and 4-square
- Make a home video
- Dance party on the deck
- Build a fort under the deck – no parents allowed
- Play games with SOLO cups
- Paint the drive way with chalk paint
- Create a backyard obstacle course and use a stop watch to time each family member going through it
- Stay out and play in the rain on a warm day
- Rescue all the worms from the driveway or sidewalk after rain
- Build a rock sculpture
- Decorate bikes and parade up the street
- Watch the sunset
- Jump in puddles
- Get up early for the sunrise
- Create chalk people – trace the outline and color in details
- Write numbers starting at 1 to as high as there is room to write on the driveway
- Build a fort and read books with a flashlight
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!
- Go to a museum
- Spend a day at the community pool or community center
- Let the kids take nature pictures on a walk with your phone or camera
- Go fishing
- Catch (and release) Fireflies
- Build a sandcastle with a moat
- Bury someone in the sand
- Hike in a county or state park
- Swim in a lake or river
- Tube behind a boat
- Walk down to a marina and see the boats
- Visit an ice cream parlor
- Run a race
- Climb a tree
- Go for a family bike ride to get a treat or play at a park
- Visit a new park every week
- Play in a splash pad
- Swim at the water park
- Go to an amusement park
- Find a county fair
- Pick berries at a farm
- Go to the zoo
- See a show from a local theater company
- Attend a baseball game
- Go to a movie in the park
- Go to the Drive In
- Eat dinner at a food festival
- Walk around a lake
- Go bowling
- Play games in an arcade
- Cheer on a friend at a summer sporting event
- Watch fireworks
- Visit a historic landmark
- Stop at a scenic overlook on the highway
- Take a day trip – explore a nearby city or countryside
- Eat on a rooftop
- Take a ride on a riverboat
- Leave messages in the sand
- Bring a picnic to the park
- Take pictures of your family in an open field
- Visit a nature center
- Catch a frog
- 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”
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.
Thank you so much Brenda!
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.
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!