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Family Summer Bucket List for Adventure Days

A bucket list for families to embrace an adventure mindset with kids during the summer.

Summer is a magical time for kids. We all remember it—school’s out, sun’s out. Days are long and it just feels special, buzzing with this kind of energy. Maybe it's because I'm a summer baby too, but this has always been my favorite season.

But that energy can be tiring and daunting for a parent, keeping that magic alive, as if trying to play along with Disney character greets and Santa Claus weren’t tough enough.

This was a big summer for us. It was the last summer before we began the cyclical rhythm tied to the school year. My oldest will be starting preschool in September, which means our summers will never be the same after this—and it feels like our last carefree summer left. So I set out to make the most of it by instilling an unofficial official “adventure days” schedule from May to September... in fact, at the time of writing this, we’re still making our way through our bucket list.

While the overachiever mom in me wants to suggest “Let's make a summer photo book of all the adventures!”, our family photo books are stuck in 2019, so let's take this one step at a time, now shall we? I still need to figure out how intense I'll do the first/last day of school signs (and that's an article for another day) and a tradition need not be extensive for it to be meaningful.

So without further ado, this was our summer bucket list:

  1. Go to the zoo
  2. Play with the sprinkler 
  3. Go to a splash pad (or get one for the backyard)
  4. Have a mud party
  5. Go to an Obon
  6. Wear a yukata 
  7. Get shave ice 
  8. Beach day
  9. Visit a new place as a family
  10. Eat dinner outside 
  11. Go to an amusement park 
  12. Go on a bike ride 
  13. Go to a farmer’s market 
  14. Visit a farm 
  15. Go to a museum
  16. Go to a botanic garden 
  17. Have a BBQ 
  18. Have a bonfire 
  19. Visit an aquarium 
  20. Make spam musubi
  21. Go out on a picnic at the park
  22. Eat a frozen treat in the bath
  23. Go on a hike 
  24. Family trip
  25. Do a craft project 

The list includes adventures that range from a super exciting outing to a little activity, and for good reason—I don't want to send the message that fun things are grand. Though we forget as an adult, sometimes for a kid, eating a popsicle during bath time, or having dinner outside is an adventure all on its own rite. In fact, a lot of the items can even be knocked out in one go.

Even if you don't follow the list line by line, I hope it inspires you to see the adventure in any outing or activity with the kiddos and adopt this adventure mindset during this magical summer season. I'm a sucker for traditions, and I feel like this is a really good one.

If you want to grab a printable version, use the link to download.

Article featured in this issue:
August 2022
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