For most people Summer is the time of year for new possibilities and endless enjoyment. Having the long sunny days seems to invigorate so many of us into achieving our goals and dreams. So, what exactly are you going to do with this bright and beautiful season? Tick more items off your bucket list we hope.
If you’re sat there wondering what you want your goals to be, then don’t worry we are here to help with our summer bucket list ideas. The great thing about our list is they go from being cheap and easy to do, to the more expensive long-term goals. This means you’re unlikely to achieve them all in one summer, so you can plan for the next few.
You may wish to add your own bucket list goals to your summer list and make it more personalised. Remember it can be something as small as trying a new food you’ve always wanted or visiting a museum. Bucket lists are whatever we want them to be, as long as they bring us joy.
1. Travel Somewhere New
One of the most popular things to do in the summer is travel, because you tend to have better weather. As you can imagine we love travelling at this time of year, especially across Europe. So why not go to somewhere you’ve never been and take in the sights and sounds of a new place or country. Travelling provides you with such an opportunity for growth, and we always feel like we’ve changed when we get home. Depending on how big the trip is, will depend on how often you can go, for example you may enjoy a few city breaks, instead of one long haul trip. Choose a place you’ve always dreamed of going and begin planning and saving. If it involves sipping a cocktail by the pool, or a glass of wine in a beautiful restaurant, then enjoy!
2. Take a Road Trip
If you prefer things a little easier, then why not pack up your car and go on a road trip by yourself, with a loved one or friend. Where you go will obviously depend on where you are in the world. But most countries have renowned scenic routes for example the N500 which is Scotland’s North Coastal Road. There are two ways you can do a road trip, firstly you just jump in the car and work it out as you go. Secondly you can have an idea of the route and a few of the things you want to do planned in, but leaving yourself enough leeway to jump on any additional opportunities as they arise. We tend to do a road trip once a year because it is a great way to see your own country and multiple places in one vacation. Just make sure you have your road trip play list ready and plenty of snacks for the drive.
3. Go to a Theme Park
One of our favourite sounds is a coaster moving on its track and people screaming with delight. We know then that we’re in a place we love, and summer is the ideal time to hit those theme parks. There are so many incredible amusement parks around the world with our personal favourites being Alton Towers, Disney World and Universal Studios. But we’re always eager to visit a new one on a regular basis and check out their ultimate coasters.
Theme parks are always best in the summer because they’re predominantly outside activities, so you want to make sure you get the good weather. Also, the days are longer so you tend to get more hours in the park than you will in spring or autumn. Most parks are more than just rides, the whole place is an adventure with interactive areas, tasty food and drinks, and great ways to make memories and pose for pictures; for example, Disney’s character meet and greets.
Is there a better feeling than the thrill of being whooshed around on a theme park ride? Make sure you add a visit to your bucket list.
4. Attend a Festival
Summer is known as festival season, with some of the greatest of all time being held around the world. If you’ve never been to a festival or you want to attend a particular one such as Glastonbury, then why not add it to your summer bucket list and get those tickets.
Festivals are such incredible experiences, because you have the opportunity to witness some of the greatest bands and singers of all time in one place. Then add in the fun and sense of community, and you’ll see why so many people flock to them every year. But you should be aware that there are lots of smaller more affordable festivals around, so don’t be to put off if you see the ticket prices and they’re too much. Unless you specifically want to attend a particular festival, you will find many around the world with themes, or even entirely made up of cover bands.
5. Take Part in a Running Event
For many people taking part in an athletic event is at the top of their bucket list and the summer is an ideal time to tick it off. During this season you’ll find plenty of local running events, at all levels of experience. Whether it’s a 5k race, 10k race, marathon, color run, Ironman, or an ultra-marathon. Many of them are themed to add a bit of fun to the day, but you’ll find one to suit your endurance level.
Why not sign up with a partner, family member or friend, to make it more fun and as a support through the training. If you’re looking for an easier race, then you probably won’t have to go very far from home. Most running events require an admission fee and obviously the bigger they are the more expensive.
6. Get a Mani-Pedi
It’s the season of sandals and bare feet, so why not add a special treat to your bucket list and get a mani-pedi. If you’ve never done this before and you’re used to applying your own nail polish, then ask friends for a reputable salon in your local area first. Make sure when you book in you have the time to enjoy the escapism of the treatment, so no kids and don’t cram it into your dinner break. Just relax and relish the time to yourself, because part of having a bucket list is to make sure you’re nurtured inside and out.
7. Get a Tattoo
For many people getting a tattoo is a way to paint their story or history on their bodies. It’s a personal way to show others who they are, and it might be on your summer bucket list. Now the key to a great tattoo is research into the parlour, so make sure you ask friends and check online before you visit. You have to make sure the design looks good, and the parlour is hygienic.
Then to the fun bit, choosing your design! We’ve written a guide on tattoos and the 25 most popular designs. But there are so many to choose from and if you have a great tattoo artist you could even design your own and see if they can replicate it.
Summer is the perfect time to get a tattoo because it’s the main part of the year when we show off some skin. If you’re a little nervous, then why not go with a family member or friend and get one together. It’s a great way to bond with someone else and it’ll be a shared experienced you can reminisce over in the future. One top tip is never go cheap when you’re permanently marking your body, you want to make sure you’re proud to display your tattoo for many years to come.
8. Hike a New Trail
The best part of the summer is getting outdoors and breathing in the fresh air, whilst taking in the beauty of nature. There’s no better way to do this than by hiking, so whether you’re new to hiking or not, why not discover a new trail. We love this summer item because it’s completely free, you just need your hiking boots, some water and off you go.
What you may not know is there are apps which tell you what hiking trails are nearby, so you don’t have to travel for miles to find one. We use AllTrails but there are lots of others and they even measure your walk and the speed.
By venturing out in the summer you’ll enjoy the best part of nature coming alive, with flowers in bloom and new wildlife everywhere. It’s a perfect way to ground yourself and release those stresses from life, which is the ultimate bucket list goal.
9. Visit a New Restaurant or Food Spot
Summer is the prime season to explore alternative food venues because the industry seems to explode with new restaurants opening all the time. So why not treat yourself and go to that place you’ve always wanted to try. The great thing about a bucket list is it doesn’t need to be expensive; it can be a little local café you’ve had your eye on visiting or even a food truck. But then again you can save and go all out on that Michelin star restaurant you’ve dreamed of trying. If you like to mix it up a little then think about trying new cuisines or the latest trends, for example vegan restaurants are in right now. This maybe something you wouldn’t normally have considered, so why not add it to your bucket list.
10. Start Learning a New Language
If you’re planning on travelling abroad, then why not try and learn the language? It’s so much easier than it used to be because you can access great apps such as Duolingo on your phone for free. They make learning a language fun and you can connect with friends to add a bit of competitive spirit. We’ve been learning Spanish for a couple of years now and we’re big fans of the app. It’s been fun when we’ve visited Spanish speaking countries to attempt to say a few sentences or to read signs etc. It just adds a new depth to the whole travelling experience, which we love.
Summer is when we start to think about new hobbies and pulling ourselves away from the TV, so it’s a perfect time to add a new language to your bucket list.
11. Be a Tourist in your Own City
We’ll admit that we have been guilty of this in the past, and we have such incredible cities nearby such as Liverpool and Manchester in England. Most of the time we head in and meet friends for food and drinks, or to go shopping. But have you considered exploring the city’s history or their tourist attractions? Most major cities have art and history museums, but you may find more specialised ones, such as the Beatles museum or LFC Museum in Liverpool. You can also find walking tours, some of which maybe free, but they’re a great way to see a bigger area of the city and get to know it a little better.
All of this is ideal in the summer if you’re saving for that big bucket list trip, and you fancy something a little closer to home and cheaper.
12. Wine Tasting
This is a great bucket list idea to share with your partner, family, or friends. You can either visit a restaurant which offers wine tasting, or head to a vineyard for the ultimate experience. It is especially perfect on a warm sunny day when you can relax and enjoy your time with the people you care about and decide which tipple you prefer the most.
13. Have a Picnic
You can make this as simple or as extravagant as you like, because having a picnic is about the people you share it with. Just make sure the weather is sunny and grab your favourite snacks and drinks. If you want something a little fancy then you can pack up the iconic wicker basket, but lots of shops have picnic rucksacks now with all of the utensils available inside. Then you’ll need to think about where you want to head to for your picnic, because there are some beautiful spots to relax and let the world go by. It could be a beach, park or even by a lake, just make sure you have that play list ready.
14. Try a New Food
We’ve already suggested adding a new restaurant to your summer bucket list, but what about a new food? It could be gelato, gyros or sushi, there are so many options to try from all over the world. It could even be a new style of cuisine such as Ethiopian, Greek, or Vegan, you never know what type of food could become your new favourite. You don’t need to be too adventurous with your food, but also it doesn’t need to be expensive. A great place to try new experiences is at food markets, so keep an eye out in your local area and you can see what they have available.
15. Go to the Beach
It’s the summer so of course you’ll be thinking of hitting the beach at some point. If you live near a beach then why not visit another to make it a bit different, or plan to do something when you’re there such as flying a kite, searching for seashells, building a sandcastle, or learning to surf. Is there anything better than walking barefoot in the sand.
Most importantly you could simply relax under a beach umbrella and enjoy slowing down for a moment, with the sound of crashing waves in the distance.
16. Fruit Picking
Fruit is some of the tastiest most nutritious food on the planet, so rather than grabbing some from your local supermarket or farmers market, why not pick it yourself. You and your family can have fun heading to a farm which allows you to pick your fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, or cherries. Most farms will have a pay for what you pick policy, but in general you’ll find the cost is fairly cheap. If you plan beforehand then you’ll even see that many farms have shops, cafes and play areas for the kids, to make it a fun filled day for all.
Once you’re home you can then enjoy the fruits of your labour and eat the beautiful fresh produce or use it in your cooking, for example making a pie. Most fruit picking is seasonal, so you’ll find more of them open in the summer than other seasons.
17. Have an Epic BBQ
Summer means one thing, BBQ’s! We love to head outside when it’s warm, turn on the grill and invite family and friends’ round. Although a BBQ may not seem the ultimate bucket list idea, what happens if you make it bigger and better. You could create an epic party atmosphere and have a DJ, speciality cocktails and even entertainment. It can be as big and bold as you want it to be, or even themed to create a summer laid back atmosphere; think Hawaiian.
18. Learn a New Skill
We’ve mentioned a few new skills above such as learning a new language, but the summer is an ideal time to try something new. You have lighter longer days to fill, so move away from the television and think about what hobbies you’ve always wanted to pursue. As we’ve delved deeper into the bucket list world, we’ve taken on a few new hobbies ourselves, such as learning Spanish, playing the Ukulele and gardening. But there are so many more skills you can develop and grow such as playing an instrument, learn to juggle, pottery, dancing, archery, learning a new sport like Karate, cookery, sign language or even basic home repairs (DIY).
The great thing is that developing yourself is endless fun and can vary in expense. You can take free online lessons or pay to attend a class in person and make friends with similar interests.
19. Turn off the Technology for a Day
Technology is all around us and it’s difficult not to spend at least part of a day staring at a screen, whether it’s your computer, mobile or television. But what if you purposely took some time out from all screens and spent it doing something you love? The summer is the ideal time to get out and about so you can go for a walk, meet with friends, and reconnect, try a new hobby, play board games, read a book, or meditate. There are so many options which will enhance your self-wellness; mentally, physically, and emotionally. You may even find that you have a few more screen free days in the future.
20. Go Camping and Sleep Under the Stars
Another ideal activity for the summer season is camping, because you will have the long warm days enjoying the natural beauty of the area you’re in and then you can sit around a cosy campfire at night. It’s a great way to spend time with your family and friends, and if camping is a little too much then what about glamping?
You can get creative with fire side food, tell ghost stories, or even tick off a big bucket list item and go skinny dipping. If you have the weather for it, then pull your sleeping bags out of the tent and sleep under the stars. The most important thing is you make lasting memories as you go and enjoy yourself.
21. Read a New Book
As we’ve mentioned above a few times, the summer is the ideal season to start afresh. So why not cosy up somewhere in your home or garden and start a new book. If you’re already an avid reader, then why not try a different genre to the one you’d normally choose. Autobiographies are the perfect option for inspiring people, whereas fiction is ideal for escapism.
22. Watch a Sunrise and/or a Sunset
You could do this on the same day or different days, but an ideal way to celebrate the summer is by seeing the day begin at sun rise, and end at sunset. There’s something quite cathartic about seeing the arrival and end of another day, and it makes you appreciate your life in a different way, which is one of the main reasons we create a bucket list in the first place. The best part is you can do this in your garden, wrap up warm and relax on your sun lounger, so it’s a pretty inexpensive one for your list.
23. Create a Cocktail
When we envisage a perfect summers day, there’s always a cocktail in our hands. So why not learn how to make a great cocktail or create your own. There are plenty of cocktail classes around and it’s a good option for a night out with you and your friends. The cost tends to include the time of the mixologist and the ingredients of four cocktails which you can then enjoy.
If you’re a little ambitious, then you can think about creating your own, by trying a mix of spirits and flavours, until you find the perfect combination. Obviously, you’ll have the fun of testing them all as you go along, cheers.
24. Make Sangria
Seen as we have explored cocktails, it would seem remiss not to mention sangria in a summer bucket list. This Spanish favourite is wonderful on a summer’s day. But if you’re not a fan of the original, then there are many other varieties available such as Strawberry Rose Sangria or Peach and Honey Sangria.
Volunteering gives you a strong sense of pride, so why not add it to your summertime bucket list. You can volunteer alone or with family and friends. There are so many options, it can be a one off or a regular thing, with examples being giving blood, picking up litter or helping in a care home.
26. Random Act of Kindness
Whilst you’re enjoying the summer fun, why not make someone else’s day with a random act of kindness. This is a great way to add a little love into the world and in turn it will brighten up your day too. Some examples include donating to a food bank, planting a tree, buying flowers for a care home, paying for a coffee for the person behind you, or letting someone cut in front of you in the queue. In reality it can be anything which will brighten someone’s day, including giving them a compliment, so don’t think you have to go extravagant.
27. Go Swimming
It may seem a little obvious for a summer bucket list guide, but not everyone may have thought about the options available for this one. Yes, you can go to a swimming pool, but why not take it to another level and go lake, river or ocean swimming. That is a whole new experience and can be quite invigorating. Just make sure you research where you’re swimming first and if you need any gear, for example a specialised swimsuit, goggles, or cap.
28. Try Water Sports
Water sports is quite a prominent item on many peoples bucket lists, especially if your focus is summer ideas. There are so many to choose from such as Whitewater rafting, water-skiing, jet skiing, paddling a canoe, kayaking or paddleboarding. Most places will have a water-based activity business where you can either hire the equipment or book in with a trainer. If not, then you can always book a holiday with lots of water sports available. The most important part is that you pick something you really fancy trying and just enjoy it, because being out in the water is so much fun.
29. Have a Movie Day
The weather isn’t always great through the summer, so it’s a good idea to have some indoor items on your list. It can be something as simple as having a movie day by yourself, with a loved one or friends. Make a list of those films you have always wanted to see and get settled on the couch with plenty of drinks and snacks. You could always take it to another level and if the weather is great, then watch a movie outside or head to an outdoor cinema or drive in movie screening.
30. Create a Beautiful Garden Space
During the summer our focus tends to move to outdoor activities, so the garden is an ideal place to grow yourself and some flowers. What you add to your bucket list will depend on what you want to achieve. It could be completely turning your garden space around, buying some planters for your balcony or simply growing a herb garden on your window sill in the kitchen. The decision is completely yours, but the benefits you’ll feel from gardening will be worth the work. It’s scientifically proven that gardening is not only great physical exercise, but also a stress reliever.
31. Go on a Bike Ride
Getting on your bike is a great way to spend a summers day, so why not head out on a cycling trail or around a city. You can explore new areas at a faster speed and take food with you, so you can stop in a pretty place and refuel. If you want to make it bucket list worthy, then check out the best cycle routes in your area and see how many you can tick off. Most importantly make sure you have a helmet and keep yourself safe.
32. Catch up with Old Friends
Time goes quite quickly and meeting up with friends can fall away to other life events. So why not make it a point on your summer bucket list to meet up with an old friend on a regular basis. We’ve actually began doing this and it’s been a wonderful experience, reminiscing over the good times and making new memories. It doesn’t have to be anything major; it can be a simple brunch at a café or a drink in a coffee shop.
33. Ride a Hot Air Balloon
Imagine the perfect summers day, with someone you love or care about and you’re floating along looking at the beauty of the world below you. Sounds idyllic doesn’t it, well why not give it a go and book a ride in a hot air balloon. There are plenty of companies around offering the opportunity to create an unforgettable memory from a new perspective. Many of the experience day companies have balloon flights at pretty decent prices, so make sure you look around.
You can make this bucket list item even more unusual and attend a hot air balloon festival or add a champagne breakfast.
34. Visit a Historical Site
With the long summer days, you’ll be looking for things to do and places to go. If you’re a history buff then why not visit a historical site, which depending on where you are based could be a castle, monument, a stately home, or a statue. What better way to spend your day than walking in the footsteps of historical events and learning something new. We’ve been to Down House the home of Charles Darwin, the Acropolis in Athens and the White Cliffs of Dover and enjoyed discovering what makes them so special.
35. Head to a Water Park
If you’ve never been to a water park, then you don’t know what you’re missing. It is the perfect combination of exhilarating rides, and the chance to laze around a pool or on a floatation device. Most water parks offer everything you need for a day of fun, including great food options. Even in countries like the UK you will find water parks about, check out Alton Towers for example. What about adding the biggest water slide in the park to your bucket list and conquering those fears.
36. Take a Boat Ride
There is so many ways you can fulfil this bucket list item, whether it’s hiring a boat for an hour on a river, booking a week on a boat for example down the Norfolk Broads or even going on a canal boat. The most important part is you will have the chance to sit back and relax in the sunshine, as the water ripples around you.
37. Make a Rope Swing
Most of us will have experienced the joy of rope swings in our youth, so why not add it to your bucket list as an adult. Whether it’s in a park or it’s over a lake and you can dive in, just make sure it’s safe before any younger kids try it. Rope swings are the epitome of summer fun and a great way of making memories with your kids.
38. Build a Fort in the Garden or a Treehouse
This is a bit of a larger task than the rope swing, but it can be whatever you want in terms of scale. Most of us will have built small forts in our gardens as kids with blankets or pillows. As an adult you can make it a bigger construction, or more permanent using wood etc, or even make a treehouse. Once you’ve finished you can while away the hours in there, or invite your loved ones to share in your creation.
39. Make a Summer Playlist
Music can generate so many memories and emotions, so why not create a playlist of songs which remind you of the past. Or you can make a playlist of new songs and create new memories throughout the summer, so in the future you will connect it to them. One of the great parts of a bucket list is the ability to reminisce about the incredible things we have done and the amazing things we have seen.
40. Learn how to Fish
If the thought of casting a fishing line into a beautiful river is enticing, then why not add it to your bucket list. There are plenty of places around where you can hire equipment and who offer fishing lessons. Or you can simply watch a few YouTube videos and see how you go. It can either be a one-off day, or you never know it may become a greater passion.
41. Run through Sprinklers
Of course, this was going to be on our summer bucket list because it’s probably the easiest and cheapest idea. Taking that aside it’s also a ton of fun because you and your family can spend the day cooling yourselves down and giggling as you get soaked.
42. Skip Stones in a Lake
Whilst you’re ticking off many of the other bucket list items which involve enjoying time by a lake, why not try skipping stones. There is an art to getting the perfect skim and watching it bounce multiple times, but it simply takes practice.
43. Spend the Day Barefoot
If you check out the benefits of being barefoot, then you’ll discover that walking like this will improve your immunity and sleep, whilst reducing inflammation. This connection with the Earth is the ideal way to create a sense of serenity, so why not try it? Of course, it depends on the area you’re walking, but imagine an idyllic beach or beautiful field of grass.
44. Create a Scavenger Hunt
We’ve done a scavenger hunt and absolutely loved it, but ours was through a company and involved a pub crawl. You don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy this type of activity, you can create one yourself. There are loads of tips online and you can do it in your house and garden, or around your neighbourhood.
If you’re unsure of what a scavenger hunt is, it’s basically found when the person arranging it gives you a list of specific items. You will then go to find those items on the list, either working individually or in teams. They are so much fun, and you’ll feel pure joy as you gather those items and hopefully come out the winner.
45. Have a Water Balloon Fight
Another summer staple is the water balloon fight, so why not have a fun day of water activities with the family in the garden. As well as sprinklers you can see who wins as you throw your water filled balloons at those who deserve it.
46. Make Ice Cream or Sorbet
Most people tend to buy ice cream from their supermarket, but why not make your own. Sorbet is relatively easy to make and simply involves fruit, but you can make all sorts of incredible flavours. If you prefer ice cream, then you can buy a machine to make it and go a little crazy with flavours for example cherry pistachio and coffee fudge swirl. This is a great bucket list item which will last more than the one day and you can gift great ice cream flavours to your friends and family.
47. Make Tie-Dye Clothing
An iconic summer style is tie-dye, so why not create your own clothing using a tie-dye kit. You can do this by yourself or add in friends and family, to make it an even more enjoyable experience. It doesn’t have to be too expensive and then you can wear your garments with pride.
48. Brew your Own Beer
Beer brewing kits have become incredibly popular over recent years, with more and more people preferring to drink at home and have house parties. The initial kits can be quite expensive, but once you’ve bought it all then there isn’t much more to pay out. The types of beers available are quite varied, so don’t fear if you’re more of a real ale drinker, or you prefer lager. Again, you’ll find useful guides online, but once you’ve made your first keg, you’ll have no problems with the next one and so on. The joy of that first sip of your personally home brewed beer is one we’ll remember forever. You can even add to your brewery and look at making wine or champagne.
49. Hang a Hammock and Relax
You need to take time out and relax sometimes, so treat yourself to a back garden hammock. Having time to reset is a great way to remember why you enjoy the bucket list lifestyle in the first place. The hammock can also be the spot where you write down all of your bucket list ideas. Just make sure you have something to sip on as you dream of those great big adventures.
50. Adopt a Pet
Most people associate adopting a new pet with Christmas, but whether it’s a dog, cat or even a rabbit, you’re bringing a new member into your family. This is something that should be considered deeply, and the summer is the ideal time because you have the opportunity to go and visit shelters and get to know the pet you’re thinking of adopting. Because you have longer days you can also enjoy the time with your new buddy, for example you can take your dog for long walks or to the beach. It’s a good way to get to know them and their little habits, as they get comfortable in their new home.
So, there you have it, the ultimate summer bucket list which will create the perfect season of fun and memory making. Even if you don’t have the opportunity to complete all of your summer ideas in one year, simply put your list away and keep it for the following year. You can have items in mind and begin saving before summer arrives.
When the sun comes out, we all feel like different people and everything is possible, so don’t hold back. There may be lots of items we haven’t even thought about that you have personally always wanted to do. The most important thing is that you fulfil your hopes, dreams, and desires, because that’s the reason why we make a bucket list in the first place.
Adding in your kids, friends and family to these summer items can only enhance your enjoyment, so maybe consider doing a joint list. We do have a Best Friend Bucket List Ideas, which you can combine with this summer one to make an ultimate list.
Just remember that bucket listing doesn’t have to be extreme sports or epic holidays, it can be incredibly simple items such as sleeping under the stars or just going somewhere you’ve never been, which brings you true happiness. So, grab your pad and pencil, and start jotting down your ideas.
If you add any pictures of your completed summer bucket list goals to Instagram, then please tag us in. We love to see what our readers have accomplished, or what goals you’re planning next.