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30+ Ideas for your Summer Bucket List

As we finish thawing out from winter, it’s time to really start thinking about summer. Considering my daughter’s summer break starts tomorrow as of 11am, I really needed to get on the ball with a plan so we don’t lose our minds. Finding ways to occupy our time is really important so that I can continue to be productive with my business and my daughter doesn’t go stir crazy. Does your schedule change with the season? I know not everyone has that big shift, but no matter what your schedule looks like during the summer, I think it’s important to find ways you can maximize the summertime.

This year, we decided to go all out and make a summer bucket list. We usually have a few things we have talked about "we should do that this year" when summer hits. But this year, we decided to make something a little more formal so we wouldn’t as easily brush things off that we wanted to do. Now, we have a list that we can check off and add to as the summer goes on. So I wanted to bring ya’ll a few tips and ideas to get your own minds reeling for summer!

4 Ways to Maximize Your Summer Bucket List:

  1. Brainstorm: Who is this list for? Yourself or the family or a group of friends? Whoever it’s for get everyone together and just make a giant list of everything you can think of. Think about fun things you’ve done in the past, places you have wanted to visit and never found the time and experiences that are better in the summertime.
  2. Get Organized: Now you’ve narrowed down your list. What items will take extra time, money or planning? You can always choose a couple to start the planning stages now.
  3. Plan, but be flexible. Have FUN! The biggest rule here is to make it fun. Don’t turn it into a stressful list or another to do that stresses you out. If you don’t complete it all, that’s OKAY. This is supposed to be fun and help you maximize your summer, not make it “just another list of crap to get done”.
  4. Capture memories, but again, don’t stress out about it and don’t spend the whole experience behind the camera. If you take a lot of photos, take the time at the end of summer to put together a photo book. Don’t let those photos just sit on your SD card for months and months without being seen.

Here’s a list of ideas to get your mind reeling:

  • Get ice cream at the local seasonal stand (Every year we anxiously wait for the small ice cream restaurant to open in the next town over. It’s small, local and tradition to stop there a few times each summer.)
  • Sit outside and eat at a new restaurant
  • Try to create various coffeehouse drinks at home and see which ones you can perfect! I love to use the Crooks and Coffee Columbian as a base in a lot of my at home latte attempts!

    coffee drinks at home
  • Go to an amusement park
  • Spend a whole day riding the water slides at the water park
  • “Go camping” in the backyard
  • Road Trip to the next state over
  • Visit the closest “world’s biggest” attraction
  • Host a lemonade stand (Try using the lemonade mixes from Crooks and Coffee to make this even easier!)
  • Play baseball in the park
  • Have a swinging contest at the park
  • Have a huge water balloon capture the flag game (did this in high school once with about 40 of us and it was amazing)
  • Hike on 5 new trails
  • Go on a weekend tent camping trip
  • Go fishing
  • Go to the highest point in your city (Dianna - “We have a viewing deck on the tallest building in Cinncinati, but I even a quick Google search and it gave me a list of places “with a view” I want to check out this year!” Here's a photo of Dianna and fam at the viewing point they visited last year!)

    family summer bucket list
  • Get the iconic treat at an attraction, like the blue ice cream at King's Island
  • Put together an obstacle course in the backyard or in the living room.
  • Build a giant fort outside. (We did this last week with two large tarps draped over the playset in the backyard. It was a huge hit and the girls spent hours out there playing.)
  • Play a new board game.
  • Take a walk and collect various treasures like acorns, pinecones....
  • Go on a friend vacation. (Every summer we take a weekend and rent a house a few hours away to spend time with friends for a whole weekend. It’s usually one of my favorite weekends of the year and it's not super expensive to split a house for a weekend with like 6 adults.)
  • Go spelunking in a cave. (This is one of our all-time favorite activities. Search your area and see if you have any caves you can go check out. There are sometimes places where you can just walk right in and some are even kid-friendly. This is my daughter and husband exploring one a few hours from where we live!)


  • Make a new recipe every week/month etc. It’s so fun to explore new recipes in the kitchen. Another fun challenge is to find a new fruit/vegetable/protein/anything in the grocery store, take it home and see what you can do with it! (Might I suggest trying a coffee ice cream using your favorite Crooks and Coffee flavor?!)
  • Have a cookout and invite the neighborhood!
  • Have a game night with friends.
  • Go swimming in a new ocean or lake you've never visited.
  • Create a family challenge like a summer reading challenge, cooking challenge etc. 
  • Visit a friend that you haven't seen in awhile, even if just for a quick weekend.
  • Spend a day watching your favorite animals at the zoo
  • Go splashing in puddles after a rainstorm. 
  • Go on a mural wall/art hunt around town. (Dianna - “We have many great artists in our city. I love checking out the beautiful wall murals. You can even make a scrapbook of the photos you take at every wall!)


  • Go for a walk and see how many trees and plants you can identify. 
  • Craft a scavenger hunt for friends or family. 
  • ….and so many more ideas! What can you think of? Drop your favorite ideas in the comments!

I hope this got your mind rolling on some ideas you can boost your summer and don’t forget, everything is better with a little Crooks and Coffee Cold Brew to take along (try this recipe for an iced latte or check out the Mocha popsicles that Dianna posted in VIP group)!

Until next time!
Veronica

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Veronica is the blog manager for Crooks + Coffee, as well as the blogger and creator of Caffeinate then Create. She lives in Iowa with her husband, Randy, and their 5 yr old self-proclaimed pirate princess, Gabby.  She loves to write, play board games and has a deep seeded love of Star Wars and coffee.


2 comments

  • Funny you broached this subject…i thought about this for the 1st time yesterday when my boss brought up the green animal topiary garden. I was like I so want to go there this summer. And thought of a couple other things I’d like to do. I should make a formal list this year.

    Nikki
  • Going to try as many of these as I can this summer! This is great.

    Jessica

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