Summer Bucket List & 2 Essentials For Best Summer Ever (Printable!)

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The arrival of summertime is heavenly BUT there are a couple problems… #1) everyone will spend most of their time in front of screens by default if we aren’t careful and #2) without a summer bucket list we’ll blink and this season will be gone.  There are just two essentials for the bestest summer ever this year (with free printables)!

There are only 2 essentials that go with this AMAZING Summer Bucket List for the BEST summer ever this year (FREE printables)!

Old-fashioned fun

The first essential isn’t an idea from a Pinterest board labeled “Summer fun” (not even close), our planning of kid schedules, or the fanciest theme park vacations known to man.  You know what made your summertime and mine amazing?  We were left alone! Not literally home all day without supervision.  I mean left alone to entertain ourselves most of the time.

Just let that sink in a minute.

My parents got it right and your parents probably did too because they didn’t feel the need to micromanage all of our free time. I didn’t have non-stop, scheduled playdates or camps that took up every bit of my summer break. After chores were done, I was granted large blocks of time to explore outside, be creative inside, to get lost in books that interested me, pretend to my heart’s content, and simply play. I wasn’t “helicoptered” all summer. I entertained myself.

Consequently, after playing alone or outside with my cousins most of the time, I appreciated those moments that were spent with the adults. Those activities that most of us think of as old-fashioned now. I long to bring old-fashioned back.  You probably knew that already though, didn’t you (yep, I’m still dreaming of Mayberry days)?!

Old-fashioned Summer bucket list:

  • play board games
  • make homemade ice cream
  • run through the sprinkler in the backyard
  • read classic books & magazines
  • watch classic, cool movies at home
  • go to a drive-in movie or movie at the park
  • watch a movie in the backyard with a projector
  • lay on blankets as a family and stare at the stars and full moon
  • go hiking at a state park
  • play with a yo-yo, pinwheel, or a Slinky
  • fly a kite on a windy day
  • go camping
  • attend a parade
  • walk on the beach
  • find free museums
  • visit a small animal farm
  • check out the nearest lake
  • have a picnic
  • make a homemade slip-and-slide
  • capture fireflies in a jar
  • draw with sidewalk chalk
  • play hopscotch
  • ride bikes
  • take long walks with family
  • invite neighbors over for refreshing drinks on the front porch

To get this Summer bucket list in a printable, click HERE (if you are already a subscriber, go to your latest newsletter for link and password to the Secret Wife Library of free printables).

Best Summer Ever

In addition, the second essential for a great summer is to get kiddos in the habit of doing chores before being rewarding with their free time.

I remember relaxed summer days when I was young and my grandparents (who lived next door) got a pool. How fun it was to spend the afternoon tanning to the perfect shade of gingerbread. One little detail I left out though … before I could lounge around each Summer day and be a lazy kid, there were chores to do.  Since I was an only child, guess who had to do ALL of them?!  Yep, this girl (and you think we were all just spoiled).  I learned the lesson that work comes before rest and that life (and chores) go on whether it’s summer break or not.

At first, kiddos might fuss about a list but I think you’ll notice they’ll learn to love the sense of accomplishment AND they’ll learn invaluable life lessons.

Summer Bucket List Printable!

For your free BEST SUMMER EVER printable (and to access the secret library for busy wives), just click HERE (if you are already a subscriber, go to your latest newsletter for link and password to the Secret Wife Library of free printables).

What’s #1 on YOUR Summer bucket list?

There are only 2 essentials that go with this AMAZING Summer Bucket List for the BEST summer ever this year (FREE printables)!


Published on HuffPost, Okefenokee Living Magazine, and more, Shan is a Family Travel Journalist with a passion for helping women lose the overwhelm of planning family-friendly trips in the south. She shares travel reviews & insider secrets that Women REALLY want to know about Georgia, Florida, & the Carolinas vacations.

☕️ It’s THE REAL DEAL around here ☕️



  1. Sabrina
    June 5, 2017 / 10:24 am

    I love this so much!!

  2. Christy
    June 5, 2017 / 2:14 pm

    This is a great idea! We fall into the too much screen time trap. Going to have to make a list this year!

  3. Clarissa
    June 5, 2017 / 2:20 pm

    This is excellent! My fiance and I make a summer bucket list every year; we moved from Florida to Colorado a few years ago, and adjusting to the longer winter means looking WAY forward to cramming in as much summer fun as possible May – September 😀

  4. Mihaela
    June 5, 2017 / 5:21 pm

    I love this list! Thanks so much for sharing. Also, the last picture is adorable, made me instantly crave a sweet and cold watermelon haha.

  5. cara
    June 5, 2017 / 9:55 pm

    Love that all these ideas are easy to implement and don’t require a lot of money! I really want to take my boys to a drive in theater this year!

  6. Logan
    June 6, 2017 / 10:03 am

    I love making homemade ice cream! Also, I am really looking forward to some picnics this year!

  7. Kaitlynn
    June 6, 2017 / 11:05 am

    these are such fun activities! brings me back to my childhood. I just realized I never went to a drive in theater though! I really want to visit one, sounds like so much fun

  8. Dominee Wyrick
    June 7, 2017 / 8:26 am

    I remember so many of these from my childhood. GREAT list!

  9. Jenn
    June 7, 2017 / 1:36 pm

    Great list! I have a bunch of the old-fashioned ideas on my to-do list already!

  10. Samantha
    June 7, 2017 / 2:24 pm

    That’s a great list! I can’t wait to eat a bunch of watermelon after running through the sprinklers with my kids this summer. 🙂

  11. Kristen Kavan
    June 7, 2017 / 4:38 pm

    going on a hike in state park is on my bucket list too! Hoping to make that happen in July! Happy Summer!

  12. Kate
    June 7, 2017 / 6:02 pm

    Agreed! Screen time is such a time thief!!

  13. Rachel Ritlop
    June 7, 2017 / 6:43 pm

    Haha omg I love this bucket list! I need to make one for summer too!

  14. Elise Cohen Ho
    June 8, 2017 / 4:46 pm

    This summers bucket list is about different than yours. We have passports to renew and kids to get settled into collect hundreds of miles away.

  15. Jennifer L
    June 9, 2017 / 1:27 am

    Oh I love this summer bucket list. Nothing like good, wholesome summer activities to do

  16. Lauren
    June 9, 2017 / 2:18 pm

    We love playing board games and having game nights with family and friends during the summer!

  17. Molly
    June 9, 2017 / 2:44 pm

    I love the idea of laying in the back yard and watching movies from a projector!!! Thank you for this.

  18. Kristen
    June 9, 2017 / 6:14 pm

    These are such fun summer bucket list ideas.

  19. Quinn Caudill
    June 10, 2017 / 1:32 am

    What a great list. Brings back lots of memories.

  20. Christine Anne
    June 12, 2017 / 4:02 pm

    Love this list. Going to use it for our family. 🙂

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