Making a summer bucket list with your kids is a fun and easy tradition to start out the summer. Everyone’s into making bucket lists these days. And as I’m a list-lovin’ writer, I’m jumping right in!
Originally posted in 2013 but with updates in red for 2017!
Here’s our Summer Bucket List for Kids & Families
Although most of these ideas can be done anywhere in the U.S., where applicable, I have specific Connecticut-area links for my local readers! All the ideas here are free or low cost (sometimes making use of library passes, etc).The $ sign in front signifies that the activity may cost a small fee (generally under $5/person).
- $ Ride a carousel – I don’t know why but this is top on my list! Check out The Carousel in Bushnell Park – Saturday-Sunday from 11am-5pm – Rides are just $1
- Have a backyard campout
- Roast marshmallows (or is it toast?)
- Play at the beach
- Build a sand castle (see above!) See my favorite items for the beach and pool!
- Fly a kite – Hammonassett State Park should be great for this, and Riverfront Park in Glastonbury is as well!
- Look for butterflies, ladybugs, and birds – keep a nature journal!
- Hike a trail – we love the rails-to-trails easy walking trail in Bolton at Steele’s Crossing Road and Airline State Park in East Hampton
- Visit the library – check out the awesome playroom at the Noah Webster Library in West Hartford
- Visit a museum – FREE Second Saturdays For Families at Wadsworth Atheneum lets the kids enjoy art connected to crafts and docent-led tours!
- $ Ride a pony
- $ Pick strawberries – we love the berry patches in our area
- $ Pick blueberries – see above!
- $ Attend a farmer’s market – We finally did get up at 6 am to visit the Hartford Regional Farmer’s Market… people say you have to get up super early to get the best deals, but there was plenty still available at 7 am!
- $ Go out to breakfast – our favorite spot is still First & Last Bakery, and we’ve also checked out Center Perk and Cosmic Omelet, both with lots to offer!
- Have fun at a cool playground
- Cool off at a splash pad – Wolcott Park is clean, and with a playground adjacent. Read a detailed review at Out and About Mom.
- Ride bikes – our Tricycoo and the Cocoon by Joovy will get some action this summer! We like to ride on the paved trail at Great River Park, which is also a great place too…..
- Watch fireworks!! (Click here to see fireworks events in Connecticut for 2017!)
- Make s’mores.
- Read 100 books.
- Go on a picnic – Hill-stead Museum in Farmington is great, or Wickham Park in Manchester (parking $).
- Visit a kid’s museum*
- Go to the aquarium* – Maritime Aquarium of Norwalk has seal feedings, sharks, and IMAX movies, plus a sting ray petting tank and more! Mystic Aquarium has marsh trails, penguins, and a cute little shopping village next door, plus an awesome habitats exhibit!
- Visit the zoo*
- Swim at your local pool (if you don’t have one in your town, many towns sell non-resident passes)
- $ Run in a race – The Summer Grand Prix Cross Country is a fun 5-night series at Wickham Park. Kids can do the 1 mile, adults the 2.6 cross country race.
- $ Eat ice cream –
- Go cloud watching – Elizabeth Park is a lovely spot.
- Make gigantic bubbles
- $ Go mini-golfing
- Watch trains – a visit to the Connecticut Trolley Museum is exciting! Or visit the Danbury Railway Museum!
- Have a play date in the car (DVD player, snack)
- Attend an outdoor concert – Great River Park in East Hartford has free Summer Pops concerts
- Find a waterfall – there are dozens of hidden waterfalls in Connecticut just a short hike away!
- Visit a farm – Try Fish Family Farm in Bolton or Hurst Family Farm in Andover.
- Watch a baseball game – Hartford has a new minor league team – the Yard Goats! And the New Britain Bees now play in the former Rock Cats stadium.
- Do science experiments in the kitchen!
- Prepare and can homemade jams – you know, after you pick berries? 🙂
- …Daydream about more things to do!
*Free or discounted library passes usually available!