As a kid, I looked forward to summer all year long and though there were a few long, lazy days in between, the span between Memorial Day and Labor Day always seemed to fly by. Make the most of your summer with a Family Bucket List: fun ideas of things to see and do together this summer. Here are some tips:
1. This is not a "to-do" list. You probably have projects or task you'd like to accomplish this summer like redoing your laundry room, sanding your deck or whatever. That is a different list. Everything on your summer bucket list should be fun or relaxing.
2. Make it collaborative. Unless you have very, very young children, every member of the family should brainstorm ideas for your list. Even 2-year-olds will have ideas of things they'd like to do. Ideally the ideas will be fun for everyone in the family, but it's okay if some ideas are geared toward one person in particular. The kids tag along antiquing with you one weekend and you take them go-kart racing another.
3. Find out what's happening in your area. Does your town or city post events on an online calendar? Check your state's tourism bureau website. Maybe you'll discover a parade or festival you didn't know about or a traveling show. Find out what movies are coming out this summer that you'll want to note their release dates. Consult your public library's calendar for its summer events and activities.
4. Balance pay activities with free ones. You don't need to spend a ton of money to have a great summer. Include plenty of free or low-cost ideas on your list like a scavenger hunt, a special movie night at home with popcorn and neighbors, geo-caching, a sprinkler party, kite flying, etc.
5. Display your list. Hang up your list where everyone can see it - this will better your chances for really using it this summer. When you're planning out your weekend or find yourselves with a few free hours during the week, take a look at your list and see what will work with your time frame and the weather.
You might not get to everything on your family's list this summer and you'll surely come up with spontaneous ideas too, but having a list waiting in the wings will help you maximize your free time so you don't get to Labor Day with regrets of squandering the summer.
Here are a few items on my family's Summer Bucket List. Add your own in the comments to give everyone more ideas!
- Go berry picking
- Take the subway out to Coney Island
- Attend New York State Festival of Balloons
- Ride bikes along the Belt Parkway Promenade
- Visit Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
- Eat lunch at the Red Hook Ballfields
- Take the ferry to Governor's Island
- Go sailing with our friends who live on their sailboat
- Watch free Shakespeare in Carroll Park
- Go to a playground we've never been to before
(Image: Carrie McBride)