24 Incredible Summer Bucket List Ideas
No summer blahs here! Whether you’re adventurous, a traveler, a foodie, or just like to have fun, we’ve got you covered.
Take a graffiti tour
Chances are there are some talented street artists in your city and summer is the perfect time to take a stroll after dinner and appreciate all the art around you. If you’re out west, check out the Denver Street Art Tour. East coasters will love the NYC Graffiti Art Tour. For more, check Free Tours By Foot to find one in a city near you or, better yet, make up your own by walking through your own town.
Play night games
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Remember the warm summer nights when you and all your friends used to run around the neighborhood playing capture the flag, ghosts in the graveyard, sardines, kickball, and hide-and-seek? There’s no rule that says you have to be a kid to play! Round up some of your adult friends, head to a nearby park, and remember those days when running around was just for fun and not exercise! For added giggles, bring some light-up sticks or glow-in-the-dark body paint.
Watch a fireworks show
Sure, fireworks happen on New Year’s Eve too, but it’s much harder to enjoy the wonder of watching them outdoors. Take advantage of Fourth of July celebrations by scoping out the best piece of grass, bringing some blankets and snacks, and then revel in the magic of watching fireworks explode over your head. While you’re waiting for the show to start, quiz your friends on the real reason we set off fireworks on the Fourth.
Catch a midnight meteor shower
Meteor showers happen year round but the warm nighttime temps and clearer skies make summer the ideal season to play amateur astronomer. To learn when and where the meteors will be sparkling through the sky this summer, and to get tips on how to watch, check out the American Meteor Society’s meteor calendar. Then bring your lawn chairs, pop some popcorn, and wait for nature’s show to begin. Pass the time by brushing up on these 24 astronomy facts you never learned in school.
Have a water balloon fight
Who needs a pool, lake, or ocean when you can have plenty of soaking-wet fun with water balloons? Divide friends and family up into two teams. Assign them each a home base with a laundry basket full of water balloons. Load up your super soakers and…attack! Who’s the winner? Whoever has the most fun! If you’re not in the fighting mood, try one of these 6 fun (and more peaceful!) water games.
What is summer without the smell of a bonfire and melted marshmallow stuck to your fingers? Bring on your favorite childhood memories with this classic summer treat. All you need are graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate bars, and something to toast the marshmallows over. (No fire? Your stove or microwave will work too!) If you’re feeling fancy, try one of these 10 tasty recipes inspired by S’mores.
Take a swing over a canyon
Calling all adrenaline junkies! Giant canyon swings are popping up, well, wherever there are canyons and people are raving about the experience. Not only do you get the fun of an amusement park ride but you get to see nature from a vantage point you never would otherwise. For the most intense ride, try out the Screaming Canyon Swing at Glenwood Adventure Park. Or go for a giant rope swing, like this one in Utah.
Catch a wave
Summer’s all about enjoying the water! If you’re lucky enough to live by an ocean, take advantage of the long, hot days to swim, surf, boogie board, or just lay on the beach and listen to the soothing crash of the waves. If you’re not on the coast, don’t worry, you can still get a little taste of the ocean by heading to the nearest wave pool. They’re found at many water parks and are fun for the young and young-at-heart—these are our favorite water parks across the United States.
Get a treat from the ice cream truck
The Billboard charts may not recognize it as such but tinkly ice cream truck music is the official song of summer—after all, even as adults, we still perk up when we hear the signature tunes. This summer treat yourself to a cold ice cream cone, chocotaco, or weirdly shaped cartoon popsicle. Sure you could get them cheaper at the store but then you’d miss the fun of digging out your spare change, choosing the perfect dessert, and enjoying it while watching the sunset with the smell of fresh-cut grass around you. Or make some homemade ice cream—you don’t even need an ice cream maker.
Participate in a historical reenactment
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Dig out your prairie bonnet, colonial wig, or chainmail armor (or all of the above?): Summer is prime time for historical reenactments. What type depends on where you live but these programs are a great way to discover more about your community and your shared history. Plus you’ll get to do fun old-fashioned things like candle-wicking, churning butter, folk dancing, or even immerse yourself in the experience and do a little acting. To find one near you check out the Recollections list of Historical Societies.