Summer is here! While I typically stick to the traditional “summer doesn’t start until June 21”, it’s fun to start planning summer stuff early. So to kick off June, here’s a summer bucket list for kids and free printable.
This summer is looking like it will be much easier on families than last year’s pandemic summer. So more of a hybrid pre-2020 summer and pandemic life summer. Still some social distancing, more travel, fewer events, but still lots of fun. I’m hopeful! Let’s get outside! And as every year, summer will fly by and we’ll feel like we’re running out time to experience all our summer favorites. So here’s an updated and kid-friendly summer bucket list and free download to print out.
Summer Bucket List Ideas – Kids and Preschoolers Activities
- Gardening and harvesting from the garden – this is a great ongoing activity kiddos can help with
- Nature walks and summer hikes
- Water play
- Build a treehouse or backyard fort. For example, as a kit or DIY or even a popup fabric tent
- Go berry picking – strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries are all great picks for kids
- Visit a fountain to wade and play in
- Go to a local beach or river for water play – swimming, floating, sand, rocks – whatever floats your boat. ;)
- Sidewalk chalk and games – hopscotch or art
- Visit local swimming pool, sign up for swim lessons, or just put out the kiddie pool
- Picnic in a park – or a socially distanced BBQ
- Celebrate 4th of July and teach kiddos about fireworks safety and sparklers and pop-its are always fun
- Farmers market visits – pick out favorite summer fruits and veggies
- Try a new smoothie recipe or make popsicles with smoothie leftovers
- Visit one new area park a month (look for new nature parks in your area!)
- Make ice cream or visit every ice cream shop in your area
- Celebrate Father’s Day!
- Celebrate and learn about summer solstice – with a farewell to spring
- Make sure everyone in your family has a hat and sunglasses, in addition to kid-friendly sun screen
- Do a backyard fire – roast s’mores!
- Check out summer books from the library
- Read a new book – a beach read or non-parenting for yourself
- Try a seasonal drink – (ahem a summer beer for the adults and a lemonade for the kiddos)
- Do a biking day around town – even balance bike or first pedal bike can do a neighborhood day!
- Rent a kayak, canoe or SUP on a lake or river – don’t forget life jackets! Be on a boat = summer!
- Go camping – even if it’s in your backyard! (Tips for camping with toddlers). And my family camping checklist. Plus, if area camping is all booked out, check out Hipcamps (it’s like Airbnb for camping on private land, <<that link gets you $10 off your first trip).
- Water play outside – or even build a mud kitchen
- Eat your meals outside – upgrade your outdoor dining
- Play or make yard games – croquet and any tossing games are favorites like bocce
- Plan a fun summer road trip adventure – a small getaway like camping, the beach or mountains. Here’s a list of our favorite travel gear for baby and kiddos.
- Day trip – check out cool and close places you haven’t been
- Start planning a kids fall bucket list!
- Say “goodbye” to summer with learning about and celebrating the autumnal equinox
Summer Holidays 2021:
Summer is technically June 20 – September 22 in 2021. Sometimes people use full months as seasons – a la summer is June, July, and August. But this list follows the more technical summer season from the first day of summer (June 20) to the Fall Equinox (September 22).
- June 20 – Summer Solstice
- June 20 – Father’s Day
- July 1 – Canada Day
- July 4 – Independence Day (US)
- July 14 – Bastille Day
- September 6 – Labor Day
- September 12 – Grandparents Day
- September 18 – Oktoberfest Begins
- September 22 – Fall Equinox
Portland Area Summer Outings & Events:
Most events and seasonal activities this summer still have a more independent vibe. But not as virtual or non-existent as 2020 was. Phew! Here in the Portland area, there are still a lot of fun local activities. So mix in some local “events” and activities with independent outings and home activities! Check your local tourism website for seasonal ideas. Or just search for some summer events + your city. Until all the COVID-19 stuff is over, this summer will obviously be different than past years, but here are some of activities we can hopefully still enjoy in some aspect!
- Pedalpalooza – June, July, & August this year
- Yurt or cabin camping – May/June
- Portland Rose Festival – June
- Street fairs – Mississippi Street Fair, Hawthorne Street Fair
- Movies in the Park/Music in the Park – Parks Dept Summer Free For All
- Sunday Parkways
Summer Bucket List for Kids: Free Printable
Here is your free bucket list printable! I made these for my kiddo and nieces and nephew. And here’s a printable – to fill with ideas from the list above! Download here.
As usual, I hope this idea list gets you started on some fun summer adventures and plans! Remember this list is intended to be fun and give you some ideas for things to occupy your kiddos. If it’s stressful or a production – especially in light of a pandemic – please skip it!