It seems there are two camps regarding summer: Camp Bucket List and Camp Chillax.  I actually subscribe to both. I believe in letting children be free and yes, even bored sometimes.  I like the idea of days with NOTHING on the agenda and encouraging children to let their imaginations run wild! These are the summer days I remember. I had to make my bed and do the normal getting dressed and teeth brushed routine, but then it was a beautiful freedom of gathering friends and exploring the neighborhood. If I could recreate my childhood for my children, I would in an instant. We spent hours of walking in the irrigation ditches that ran through the neighborhood orchards and then trying to swing across the ditch on a rope swing, running through sprinklers, jumping on trampolines, playing at the park, playing catch with baseball or a neighborhood football game on our side lawn, helping my father in the garden especially when it was our irrigation time, building forts, making up dances to perform for parents, mini golf, bumper boats, water slides, hitting the ball at the batting cages, jumping and splashing in blowup pools in the back yard, basketball in the driveway, seeing how far we could launch a water balloon with our homemade water balloon launcher made from a levi pocket and rubber medical tubing, loitering on the neighbor’s porch who must’ve known we were there for fresh picked strawberries again, jumping rope, roller skating, hop scotch, softball, chinese jump ropes, sticky popsicles running down our arms then washing off in the hose, riding bikes everywhere, tennis at the local courts, walking to the gas station for a soda and some candy, summer movies every week at the theater (which, come to think of it was the only screen we looked at), swimming at the local pool, walking the mall and giggling at cute boys and last but not least, NIGHT GAMES.  Oh how seriously we took our night games: kick the can, follow the judge, sardines, ghost in the graveyard. ALL the kids came out to the corner of the cul-de-sac at dusk each night, it was a glorious technology-free time!!!

At the same time, I love spending time as a family and my children are growing up so quickly. I want to make memories with them and to give them quality time with their parents. We live in a world of constant busyness. During the school year, we as families are pulled in many different directions ie., school, lessons, homework and projects, church activities, practices, sports games, concerts, appointments etc. Summer can be a time where we can break free from the crazy schedule AND a time to reconnect as parents, grandparents, children, siblings, cousins and friends. My family has many summer traditions and activities we love to do together. We like to save most of these activities for when Dad is home from work and can join us.  Making these memories as a family builds relationships and strengthens our home.  While that is not to say the kids always get along as we spend time together, they do grow and experience, laugh and play together and they actually become better friends and like each other more. We ask the kids at the beginning of the summer to name something they would like to do as a family in the coming months and then I pencil them in the calendar. I have found when I don’t write them down on a possible date and make a plan, it doesn’t happen.

So today, I give to you a SUMMER BUCKET LIST that is impossible to accomplish. I made it so long, and impossible to do everything for two reasons. 1- To eliminate the stress of needing to do it all. 2- So that there are options for every kind of family and their hobbies and likes and dislikes. As I started writing, I realized the possibilities are endless. What a great day and age to live in! I should also point out that although many of these suggestions are specific to the area and state I live in, most of them are possible wherever you live. Please feel free to share the list so we can all have a FANTASTIC summer together. ENJOY!

  • Attend a baseball game
  • City festivals
  • Splash Pads
  • Parks
  • Outdoor concerts
  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Visiting ponds and lakes
  • Eat in the canyon or mountain
  • Go to the zoo
  • Outdoor movie
  • Enroll in the local library’s summer reading program
  • Make homemade ice-cream
  • Backyard or lawn games
  • BBQ with friends
  • Biking
  • Pickleball or tennis
  • Playgrounds
  • Fireworks
  • Swim at the local swimming pool
  • Camp in the backyard
  • Parades
  • Movie marathon: (we watch one movie a week of a series) ie., Harry Potter, Hobbit/Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Marvel, DC
  • Find the best snow cone in your city
  • Attend the farmer’s market
  • Amusement parks
  • Find the best burger in your city
  • Have brunch together
  • Do service for someone in need ie., yard work blitz: show up with your tools and gloves
  • Go to the canyon or mountain for s’mores
  • Have a tea party
  • Make dinner together as a family
  • Summer movie program for kids
  • Go bowling
  • Play “Chopped”, “Cupcake Wars” or “The Great British Baking Show”
  • Explore the local aquarium
  • Have a picnic
  • Have a bake sale
  • Go to the rodeo
  • Family game night
  • Exercise together
  • Have a LUAU
  • Set up a lemonade stand
  • Find the best shake in your city
  • Learn about a new country a week, get books at the library, watch a movie that was filmed there, learn to say “hello, goodbye, please and thank you” in that country’s language, find a recipe and cook a traditional meal from the country of the week.
  • Experiment making your family’s favorite restaurant dish at home
  • Create a scavenger hunt
  • Make crafts
  • Play a family baseball game, invite friends to play
  • Build a fairy garden
  • Have a sleepover in the family room
  • National Doughnut Day at Krispy Kreme
  • Visit an art museum
  • Learn about or find an ancestor
  • Get a free “Slurpee” at 7-11 on 7/11
  • Make a dutch oven dinner in the backyard
  • Plant a garden or a pot
  • Homemade pizza night with all your favorite toppings
  • Visit a local bakery
  • Find out where your family comes from

The following ideas are specific to Utah but for those of you who live elsewhere, this list may give some good ideas for you in your area.


Click on the activity to be taken to the official website for more information.

*This list is by no means all inclusive. I’d love for you all to leave a comment and share your favorite family activities.



Pools, Ponds, Lakes and Hot Springs

Parks, Playgrounds, Gardens, Museums, etc.








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