There is something about the sunny season that brings out the best of us. We suddenly want to be more connected to nature, spend more time outdoors, and try out something we’ve never tried before.
If the rising temperature is also lifting up your spirits, it’s a good time to think about all the things you want to do or achieve during the summer and create a bucket list of ideas.
Even if you don’t manage to do everything you put on your list, it will help you better understand your goals, put them to action, and finally – succeed. Creating a bucket list will also expand your creativity, and you’ll always have a bunch of suggestions on things to do on a weekend, a day off, or a free afternoon.
To help you get started, here are 40 summer bucket list ideas that will work both outdoors and indoors. Feel free to use them, and add your own!
1. Be a tourist in your own city
This is a very simple summer bucket list idea that you can try out any day of the week without much preparation. Take your camera (or your smartphone) and go on a stroll around the city you live in. Try to avoid your usual hangout places, but rather discover the streets, cafes, shops, or landmarks that you’ve never been to before, and take some nice pictures.
You can even take part in a tour (most cities are offering free tours), visit a museum, maybe even buy a small souvenir for yourself.
2. Watch a movie in an outside cinema
A lot of cities offer open drive-in cinemas during the warm season. If you don’t have one of those close to where you live, you can arrange an outside cinema by yourself – for example, in your backyard or another available open space.
You’ll need a projector, a screen (a simple sheet might work as well), some comfy chairs, a movie of your choice, and some good company.
3. Grow an herb garden
Growing your own fruits and veggies is one of the best and healthiest things you can do in the summer. If you can’t maintain a big garden, just grow some herbs on your balcony or a terrace.
4. Go kayaking
In the summer, you can try out various water sports, and kayaking is one of the easiest and most enjoyable ones. Depending on where you live, you can kayak in the nearby lake, the river that flows through your city or organize a longer kayaking trip with your friends through some beautiful nature parks.
5. Fly a kite
One of the summer bucket list ideas that you can do both in the city or in the countryside is flying a kite – you can either buy one or make it yourself. It’s a relaxing activity that’s fun to try out with your friends or family.
6. Make sangria
A refreshing glass of sangria is one of the best drinks you can make during the summer heat. But it will also work on a rainy day if you’re just relaxing at home watching movies.
7. Make ice cream
Another refreshing delight you can make yourself at home is ice cream. There are some pretty simple recipes you can find online that don’t require a lot of skills, for example, Homemade Ice Cream Recipe or Homemade Fruit Popsicles.
8. Try out forest therapy
Forest therapy, also known as Forest Bathing or Shinrin-Yoku in Japanese, is an outdoor healing and relaxation practice, led by professional guides. It invites people to experience the pleasures of nature while reconnecting with their own senses and feelings.
Forest therapy is now getting more and more popular in various countries, so check out what’s available in your area.
9. Read a book a week
If you want to complete some intellectual challenge during the summer, set a goal for yourself to read a new book every week (or whatever number you feel you’d like to achieve).
10. Learn a new language
Another intellectual activity you might try during the summer is learning a new language (or at least starting). You can either look for language courses available in your own city or if you have time and availability – take a language course abroad. This way you can also meet the native speakers of the specific language and get to know the local culture.
11. Take a dance class (or any other class)
Summer is overall a good time to learn new skills. I suggest taking up a dance class – this you can do alone or with a partner. In the summer, there are usually a lot of dance gatherings happening around the city in the open air, so it’s a good opportunity to go out, meet some new people and just have fun.
If dancing is not for you, think of another class that would be fun to take (maybe painting, a yoga class, or horseback riding?).
12. Sleep under the stars
On one of those warm summer evenings, gather some friends, and organize an open-air sleepover in your backyard or a terrace. You can gaze at the stars, share some laughs, and chat until the fresh air makes you doze off.
13. Go to a water park
Water parks are great in the summer, especially if you don’t have a beach nearby. You can spend the whole day there, or just have fun for a few hours after work.
14. Go roller-skating
Roller-skating is something you should definitely put on your summer to-do list. It’s like a fun workout that you can do with your friends, family, or solo. Some places rent out roller skates if you don’t have your own, and you can skate in most parks, squares, or promenades around the city.
15. Go on a bicycle tour
Another physical activity to try out during the summer is cycling. You can go on a bicycle tour around your city, or take a longer trip somewhere around the countryside. Cycling is fun because it’s both a good workout, and an opportunity to travel around, visit new places, and get some fresh air.
16. Go 24/48 hours without Internet, TV, or Radio
Nowadays it can be very hard to imagine our lives without social media and a constant stream of news. However, spending a certain amount of time (for example, you can set 24 or 48 hours) without the Internet, TV, or even Radio, can be very beneficial for your well-being.
A “digital detox” might help you relax, become more focused, and rediscover the simpler things in life, like reading a book, or just chatting with your friends and family.
17. Collect seashells on the beach
If you get the chance to spend some time at the beach this summer, don’t forget to collect some seashells! After, you can make a nice necklace for yourself or use the seashells for some other interesting art project.
18. Build a sandcastle
Building sandcastles is another fun beach activity that you might remember from your childhood. It’s something that you can try out with your kids, your partner, or your friends. To make it more interesting, organize a sandcastle-building competition and see who can build the tallest or most extravagant castle. And if you feel particularly creative, instead of a castle, build a different sand sculpture!
19. Spend a night in a fancy hotel
If you don’t have an opportunity to travel somewhere far this summer, or you just want to have a short and relaxing weekend getaway, spend a night in a fancy hotel! This even might be a hotel in your own city – the point is to indulge in some delicious food, sleep in a comfy king-size bed, and just spoil yourself for a few days.
20. Have a picnic
What can be better than enjoying some delicious snacks with a refreshing drink in the open air? Having a picnic in the nearest park is one of the most enjoyable things to do in the summer.
21. Start writing a journal
In the summer we usually feel more energetic and motivated, so it’s a good time to start writing a journal. It will help you become more spiritual, reconnect with yourself, reflect on your goals and actions, better understand your feelings, and what you want to achieve in life.
22. Attend a silent meditation retreat
Another activity for your “spiritual summer bucket list” can be attending a silent meditation retreat. It’s a great way to become more mindful, improve your brain efficiency, appreciate the beauty of the world around you, and just relax.
Silent meditation retreats are now available all over the world, so you can definitely find something that best suits you.
23. Run a race
Need a physical challenge? Take an opportunity this summer and run a race! It doesn’t necessarily have to be the whole marathon, but set yourself a goal that would be challenging – whether it’s 5k, 10k, 20k, or anything you’re up to.
24. Go on a road trip
Taking a road trip is a summer bucket list classic – there’s nothing more exhilarating and liberating than picking out a spot on the map, getting in the car, and setting on a small adventure. It’s not only a great way to visit some new places, but also an opportunity to escape your daily routine and go on some kind of inner journey.
Road tripping can be done in a variety of ways: you can travel solo, with your partner, your family, or your best friends, you can plan out the whole route in advance, or just go with the flow – the choice is entirely yours!
Need some convincing? 20 Best Road Trip Movies to Inspire Your Wanderlust
25. Build a treehouse
Living in a treehouse is something that most of us were dreaming about when we were kids. If you have a big tree available in your backyard or next to your country house, now it’s a good time to make that dream come true!
Building a treehouse can be a fun activity to do with your kids, but you can also just do it for yourself. A treehouse can become your happy place where you read books, write your journal, or spend time with your partner.
26. Visit every national park in your home country
While traveling abroad might not always be an option, visiting some beautiful local sights is something that you can do any time. To make it more interesting, set yourself a goal to visit every national park in your home country (or at least a certain significant number of them), and start exploring!
27. Learn how to surf or paddleboard
Learning to surf might be one of the best summer bucket list ideas to try out, but it really depends on where you live and if you have an opportunity to go to a good surfing beach. Paddle boarding, on the other hand, is something you can do almost everywhere – you just need to find a lake or some other water body to practice your balancing abilities.
Either way, both surfing and paddle boarding are great refreshing activities that will strengthen your body and give you a nice tan.
If you’re looking for summer bucket list ideas that are not only fun but also rewarding, try volunteering. There are many ways you can be beneficial to society or your local community these days, so think about what you’re most interested in. Helping the elderly, volunteering in a local animal shelter, participating in a clean-up, or donating blood are all good ways to give back.
29. Go skinny dipping
If you feel a little naughty this summer, try out skinny dipping! Jumping in a lake or a sea without your clothes on can be a truly liberating and pleasant experience.
If you’re looking for some crazy summer bucket list ideas, try out skydiving! It’s not for the faint-hearted, but those who’ve tried it, swear it’s one of the most fun experiences in their lives.
31. Ride in a hot air balloon
Something a little less crazy but still fun is riding in a hot air balloon. Summer is the best time to try it out since you need particular weather conditions – it can’t be too windy or cloudy.
Research what’s available in your area, and get ready for some gorgeous views!
32. Sleep in a hammock
Sleeping in a hammock under the stars, or just napping on a hot and lazy afternoon can be a very relaxing activity. You can also read a book while swaying in a hammock, listen to music, and just enjoy the warm summer breeze.
33. Go fruit or berry picking
From strawberries and cherries to mangoes and passion fruits, the sunny season offers a lot of delicious natural delights. Depending on where you live, you can pick fruits and berries on some local farm, or simply in the nearest forest.
34. Bake a pie
With so many fresh ingredients available in the summer, baking a pie from scratch is a must! Blueberry and rhubarb pies are two of my favorites, but there are plenty of other delicious choices as well.
Here are a few suggestions:
35. Organize a BBQ
A small gathering with your friends and family in the open air is always a good idea. Even better, if you can light a fire and cook some delicious food while also enjoying great company.
36. Have a water fight
If the heat of the summer gets a little too much, and you don’t have a pool nearby to jump into, start a water fight with your friends or family members! There are a few ways to do this: you can use balloons filled with water, or get some water squirt guns. There are no losers in a water fight since everyone gets refreshed!
37. Go camping
Of course, you can go camping any time of the year, but summer is definitely the most enjoyable season to do it. Pack some essentials, find a beautiful spot, and enjoy the best mother nature has to offer.
Need some tips to get started? First Time Camping with Tents: Essential Tips on Gear and Preparation
38. Go on a multi-day trek
If you’re up for a little challenge, hiking or trekking should definitely be on your summer bucket list. A multi-day trek is something that requires a little preparation, but it’s also very rewarding. Pick a beautiful route in nature and get ready for some gorgeous views.
39. Spend a day barefoot
Your summer bucket list might be already full of exciting ideas, but sometimes in life, it’s also nice to enjoy the simple things. For example, spending a day barefoot might be a relaxing experience, especially if you have a chance to do it on a beach or the countryside, with plenty of grass around.
By the way, walking barefoot has a lot of health benefits as well: it helps you improve your balance and body awareness, strengthens leg muscles, and even helps with pain relief.
40. Watch the sunrise (or the sunset)
Waking up early to watch the sunrise is a great way to start your day. If you’re not so much of a morning person, you can choose to end your day with a romantic note and watch the sunset instead.
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