Summer is here! Even though the thermometer has hit the high 80s early this year, it isn’t officially summer until June 21st. And now that we’ve passed that date, it’s the perfect time to plan out your ultimate summer bucket list!
Having a summer bucket list is the perfect way to ensure that you actually get out and enjoy the sun and beautiful weather, instead of just wilting in the heat. We’ve come up with a few ideas for this summer’s bucket list for you – get inspired, and enjoy!
Eat a ridiculous amount of ice cream
Summer is the best time to enjoy ice cream – period. It’s indulgent yet refreshing when the heat starts to make you feel faint. Whether your ice cream of choice comes from the friendly neighborhood ice cream truck, or a specialty shop that scoops a new flavor every day, make sure to eat it sitting outside while enjoying the beautiful weather.
Pick a neighborhood place and stay loyal to them, or try and expand your horizons by sampling a new ice cream parlor every time.
Make your own popsicles
Dripping, juicy popsicles are one of the most underrated treats of summer. Not only do they cool you down, they also give you plenty of much needed liquid when you’re likely to be dehydrated from sweating.
Sure, popsicles are cheap at the store, but if you make your own, you can customize them to exactly your taste. Store bought popsicles are usually filled with artificial colors and sweeteners. Make your own with fresh-squeezed juice, yogurt, or even chopped whole fruit for a tastier, healthier treat.
Go to a music festival
It wouldn’t be summer without a visit to an all-day music festival. Whether it’s a smaller neighborhood festival with local talent, or a gigantic multi-day festival with Top 40 headliners, there’s something out there for everyone.
Just make sure that you’re prepared for your chosen fest by stocking up on bottled water. Those all-day summer music festivals can be like deserts if you aren’t prepared.
Go swimming outdoors
Summer is the perfect time to swim outdoors. It cools you down when the days are long and hot, and it makes for a satisfying, exhausted sleep when you’ve been out in the water all day. Even if you live in a city, there are probably lakes nearby that have public beach hours.
Most of the time, it takes bodies of water a bit longer to heat up than you think. If you’re planning a day of water sports, push it towards the end of the summer rather than the beginning. It will allow the water to heat up so it isn’t as blazingly cold.
Barbecue with friends
Hosting a barbecue potluck is the perfect choice for a summer get-together. It allows you to open your home to your friends without having to spend hours slaving over the stove. Barbecue meals are easy to prepare, and generally take less than an hour active cooking time.
To round out your meal, ask your guests to bring some salads and desserts. If the party is scheduled to continue until nightfall, make sure to stock up on some citronella candles so that you can all sit outside without being eaten alive by mosquitos.
Pick your own fruit
Summer is the perfect time for fresh fruit, and there’s no better way to eat it than freshly picked. Ensure you’re getting the freshest possible produce by picking your own! Many farms save certain areas for pick-your-own produce, but make sure to call in advance because growing seasons are never the same from year to year.
Some common pick-your-own fruits are peaches, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. Once you’ve harvested your bounty, make sure that none of it is wasted by freezing or canning any that you won’t eat right away.
Sleeping outside is a perfect summer adventure. Whether you do it on a multi-day camping trip, or outside under the stars in your own backyard, sleeping outside always makes you feel like a kid again.
Make sure you’re ready for any opportunity to sleep outside by keeping a tent and air mattress in good working condition. Check them every spring for leaks or holes. That way, if someone suggests a last-minute camping trip, or if your kids insist on a backyard sleepover, you’re ready to go.
Spend at least one day in nature
Winter can be exhausting. Everything is gloomy and cold, and people hurry from home to car to office, and back again, without once looking up and appreciating the world that they live in. In the summer, take advantage of the nice weather, and spend at least one day outside in nature.
If you’re an outdoorsy person who loves hiking, this probably comes naturally to you. But even if your idea of being outdoorsy is eating lunch by the window, try to spend at least one day fully outside. You’ll get plenty of benefits – fresh air, tons of Vitamin D, lower stress levels – and it can even help boost your immune system.
Go to a fair
Summer time is State Fair season. These festivals were first held to celebrate a successful harvest, but now they’re primarily for families to have fun before school starts up again. A visit to a local festival or fair is one of the most fun things about summer.
You can enjoy some insane fried food (deep fried jellybeans, anyone?), take a ride on a rollercoaster, or play midway games. All without leaving the fairgrounds. Many State Fairs also have fun exhibitions of crafts, food, and livestock.
Take a daytime nap
Even if you aren’t the type of person that typically naps, there is something about the long, hot summer afternoons that encourage daytime naps. This summer, make sure that you get in at least one long afternoon nap – preferably on a patio, or beach chair.
A glass of cold white wine after you wake up from said nap is optional, but highly encouraged.
Go to a sporting event
Watching sports seems easier in the summer than in the winter. It definitely helps that tickets to summer sporting events are cheaper – indoor arenas can only hold so many, but soccer or baseball stadiums typically seat an average of 80,000 spectators. This means that there are often an abundance of tickets selling for as little as $5.
This summer, attend a soccer or baseball game. Enjoy some overpriced beer, and some indulgent stadium food like a foot-long hot dog, pretzel, or popcorn, and root for the home team.
Have a picnic
There is something about eating outside that just makes food taste better. This summer, pack up a basket and take some food to the park for an easy picnic. Don’t worry if you don’t have a scenic location, though. You can use a balcony if that’s all you have. Just make sure that you pack picnic favorites like pasta salad, lemonade, and sandwiches that stand up to the heat.
Go to a pool club
An outdoor pool club takes the best things of summer – pools, alcohol, beautiful people wearing bathing suits, and music – and puts them all together. Most cities will have a pool bar or club. Pay a small fee and you gain access to a gorgeous pool, where you can lounge, drink, eat, or dance. It makes for a really fun day with friends.
Find your newest treasure at a garage sale
Garage sale season takes off as soon as the snow melts, and continues well past Labor Day. Garage or estate sales are the perfect place to snatch up antiques and things like appliances that may still work, but aren’t being used anymore.
Make sure to bring plenty of small bills, and your best bargaining skills. Often, sellers can be tempted into giving you a discount, especially if you’re buying multiple items. If you’re buying appliances or electronics, make sure to test them by plugging them into an outlet before you take them home.
Make memories with your family
The most important goal of summer is to make memories with your family. Kids don’t stay little for long, and you won’t always be able to get together with your extended family members, so take advantage of it whenever you can.