Don’t miss a single thing! Summer Bucket List Must-Do’s!

It never fails. Every August 20th or so I start crying in my soup about all the stuff I *wanted* to do during the summer but *just didn’t get to it*. For that matter, what exactly *did* I do?

This summer is going to be different. I’m making a Bucket List. We’re going to do so much, and have so much fun, the kids will be begging to be bored again. Ha!

When creating and using your Bucket List, there are a few things you’ll want to take into consideration. Such as…

#1 Make a ridiculously large list
When you compile your bucket list, include anything and everything you might like to do at some point during the summer, even if you know you couldn’t possibly get to them all. You never know— you may refer to the list on a day when you have only a couple hours, or it’s raining, or you also have the neighbors’ kids, or NO kids (see #2). A big list will give you plenty of options.

#2 Include parent-only activities on the list, too
Who says kids should have all the fun? Be sure to add some activities that you and your spouse/friend/family/dog would be interested in doing. Personally, going to the beach ALONE with an iced coffee and a good book is truly my idea of paradise. Besides, Nana needs some QT time with the kids.

#3 Get the kids involved, but don’t let them dictate
Sometimes I mistakenly get my kids too involved with a decision and it ends up biting me in the rear because even though we’ll choose something fun to do, they didn’t agree with the day’s choice and are complete stinkers the whole way there. You know the game. Instead, have the kids help you compile the initial list; then on your “activity” day, YOU choose three options (based on cost, weather, your patience level, etc.) to draw randomly out of hat. No arguments. Done.

Ok, go! Low on ideas for family activities? Here, steal a few of mine.

  1. Market Square Day (second Saturday in June)

  2. Kittery Block Party (third Saturday in June)

  3. Lobster boil at home (bust out the bibs and crackers!)

  4. Hit up the local Farmer’s Markets, yum!

  5. Go on a Whale Watch

  6. Fried Captain’s Plate. Ya, I said it.

  7. Camping trip (You don’t have to go far, there are campgrounds as close as Exeter NH!)

  8. OR pitch a tent in the backyard!

  9. Ride bikes around Plum Island and Mass Audobon’s Joppa Flats

  10. Matinee picnic at Prescott Park for “Mary Poppins”

  11. An American Celebration! at Strawbery Banke

  12. July 4th Fireworks

  13. Bust out the lawn sprinkler and watch the kids go nuts.

  14. Hampton Beach Children’s Festival (August)

  15. Outdoor movie night at Prescott Park

  16. Cook or bake something with the kids (my son loves making a homemade apple pie)

  17. Free Stargazing session at UNH Observatory (June 16, July 7 & 21)
  18. Catch a $1/$2 movie at the O’neil Summer Kids’ Series

  19. Clean out the kids toy box and donate to a local do-gooder thrift shop (with the kids!)

  20. See the Hampton Beach Sand Sculptures (June)

  21. Visit 80+ museums around MA with free admission Free Fun Fridays (June 29-August 31).
  22. S’mores. Often.

  23. Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse Tour

  24. Make homemade fruity popsicles.

  25. Spend a cool, sunny morning searching for sea glass.

  26. Mini-Golf (we love the course at Sagamore Golf Center– kids under 6 are free!)

  27. Chow down at the Portsmouth Greek Festival (August)

  28. More eating at Stratham Fair!

  29. Ice Cream & Sunset Trolley Rides at the Seashore Trolley Museum!

  30. Educational Lobster Boat Tours out of Rye Harbor for only $13!

  31. Kids Sail Free days on the Piscataqua at Gundalow Company

  32. Canobie Lake (Turkish Twist, anyone?)

  33. Build a sandcastle that your kids can be proud of (don’t forget the moat).

  34. Butterfly Kingdom and other fun at York’s Wild Kingdom

  35. Hit up one of the local lakes!

  36. Dinnertime picnic outdoors.

  37. Pick-your-own (whatever’s in season!) peaches, berries, ya.

  38. Play ball! Manchester Fisher Cats baseball!

  39. Great Bay Discovery Center is beautiful, and FREE!

  40. Have Hot Fudge & Banana Splits for dinner (not only limited to summer)

What’s on your Bucket List? Share with us some new ideas in the comments below!

4 Responses

  1. Lucinda G.

    You have Gundalow on the calendar twice. How about taking in a weekly outdoor concert in York Beach or South Berwick?

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