Summer Bucket List for Adventurers and Homebodies

Explore a list of activities to make Summer 2020 great, including camping, visiting drive-ins and cooking delicious meals at home

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Sometimes the summer begins to slip away and we don’t feel like we’ve done any of the fun things we wanted to do. But when there’s so much to do, where do you begin? Writing your own summer bucket list is a great way to spark your imagination. It’ll help you keep track of the things you’ve always wanted to do. And your list can be as simple or elaborate as you want. The simplest things can unexpectedly become some of your most memorable experiences.

Not sure how to make a summer bucket list? Here’s where the hivemind comes in handy, at least to get started. Find some adventures you’d like to have and write them down for accountability (and the future satisfaction of crossing them off!).

Ideas for a fun summer bucket list

Host a brunch with a few close friends or family 

Try a garden party theme. Or dress up and make it a black-tie event or a particular time period. However you decide to do it, check out these great brunch ideas!

Look at the stars 

Knowing what you’re looking at can make stargazing more interesting. Learn about some easy-to-find constellations or take advantage of the stargazing apps available to guide your adventure Stargazing in a darker rural area or in a nearby designated Dark Sky Park can be a blast (here are the best ones in the US). Observing and thinking about the beauty and size of the universe has been a mind-blowing experience as long as humans have been doing it. Be sure to check local travel restrictions before planning your trip!.

Go camping

Whether you go to your favorite campground or have a mini staycation campout in the backyard, it’s the season for tents, campfires and s’mores!

Attend a virtual concert or literary reading

If you’re gonna be on Zoom all the time, you might as well mix in some non-work related fun, too. At least until outdoor concerts return. As you might expect, lots of venues such as Royal Albert Hall are hosting/streaming events. You can also stream Broadway musicals and even past concerts by the likes of Radiohead and Elton John.

This is a great time to check out some literary readings that you might not otherwise have been able to experience. Here are some great lists and options from The Washington Post, Book Riot, and Penguin that are sure to have at least a few items of interest. Wear your beret and your turtleneck while you snap your fingers if you want. No one’s gonna judge.

Host a wine tasting

In-person or virtually, a wine tasting is a great reason to socialize with your crew and drink good wine. Here are some fun ideas for hosting your own.

Get your grill on and have a cookout

It’s not summertime without having a BBQ. Check out these grilling ideas. You know, in case you’re in the market.

Take a road trip

It doesn’t even have to be far. Pick a destination ahead of time or just get in the car with a stash of snacks and drinks and see where the road takes you.

Watch the sunset

If there’s a famously great spot to view sunsets in your area, take a trip and make an event of it.

Catch (and release) fireflies

Or just chill and watch them blink to each other like little yellow stars in your own backyard.

Make s’mores over the bonfire 

Get a super sweet s’mores kit. Then get those marshmallows just right.

Spend the day in your hammock

Get your drinks (or drinks, for the legal drinking age crowd), snacks, books and sunglasses. Don’t forget your sunscreen. Not sure what kind to use? Here’s some helpful info on sunscreen ingredients to help you decide what’s right for you.

Have a movie marathon 

There are bound to be some rainy or sweltering hot days when staying indoors just sounds like more fun. These are the perfect time for watching movies in the cool dark. Until the movie theater is an option, watching in the comfort of your own home will work just fine. Watch the extended versions of your favorite trilogies. Or choose a theme: a franchise, a genre, originals and remakes, or movies based on books you’ve read to determine once and for all which is better.

Hit up a drive-in movie

They’re baaaaaack! Check out our post on how to have a great drive-in movie experience.

Learn something new 

Try a new subject. Always wanted to know more about how the weather works or different cultures? Learn a new skill like sewing, gardening or HTML coding. Or learn how to relax and not feel guilty or restless about it. Suddenly, learning everything there is to know about the weather sounds pretty easy.

Do summer crafts

Hey, this can include anything from making sandcastles or flower bouquets to summer-themed scrapbooking or building your own slip-n-slide.

Go swimming, kayaking or go to a water park

Classic summer activities. When it’s hot out, it’s natural to want to hang out and have fun in the water. Running through the sprinkler or a water balloon fight will get the job done in a pinch, too.

Enjoy an at-home date night 

Set aside time with your BFF, significant other or yourself.

Build a blanket fort

These never stop being tons of fun. Keep it indoors with blankets, or make one outdoors with quilts and beach towels!

Make homemade ice cream, smoothies, root beer floats, popsicles or snow cones 

You’re hot. They’re cold. It’s the beginning of a short, beautiful friendship.

Pick your own blueberries

Dare you to pick more than you eat.

Get artistic with sidewalk chalk 

Create a mural or a giant comic page with panels and tell a story. Here are some creative sidewalk chalk ideas. And just like adults still do coloring books, they can also have fun with sidewalk chalk, in case you needed permission or something.

Take your Frisbee game to the next level

Whether you’re playing with the dog or the whole gang, it’s always satisfying to watch a flying disc glide through the air.

Go on a scavenger hunt

Here are some fun ideas for summertime scavenger hunts: some for the family and some for the adults.

Run a 5K

Of course, please be sure to consult your physician before beginning any new exercise or physical activity to ensure that you’re healthy enough to engage in that activity. Once you get the go-ahead from the doc, get out there and get in the race! Just do it slowly, as counterintuitive as that may sound. Take it slow. If you’re going from couch to 5K, be sure to do some research! Here are some pointers for getting started running. Dozens of virtual races are available now, so you can still get a medal even if you’re running on the treadmill or on a running path in your area. Just remember to be safe and have fun!

Create your own summer bucket list playlist

Remember the fun you have this summer every time you give it a listen.

Give yourself a reading challenge


  • A book you’ve always wanted and planned to read, but never have 
  • Outside of your comfort zone, whether it’s a different genre, culture, topic, etc.
  • More books than you’ve read in a summer, or set a goal of a book a month

And find people to talk about it with! That could mean starting or joining a book club or finding an online book forum.

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