Going into summertime, it’s a good idea to make a loose schedule for yourself and the kids. Mark major events on your calendar so you can see where you have openings for summer fun. Then, make a summer bucket list of ideas for kids! Making a summer bucket list is a fun and easy tradition to start the summer. This free and low-cost summer bucket list for kids will get you started! Plus, if you live in Connecticut, I’ve include area ideas and links to match the ideas!
Updates in red for 2019!
Summer Bucket List for Kids & Families
Most of these summer bucket list for kids can be done anywhere in the U.S. For my local readers, I have Connecticut-area links! All the ideas here are free or low cost (sometimes making use of library passes, etc).
- $ indicates the activity may cost a small fee (generally under $5/person).
- * indicates you can probably search for a free/library pass.
Outdoor activities to put on your Summer Bucket List
Outdoor at Home
- Have a backyard campout
- Keep a nature journal! Look for butterflies, ladybugs, and birds! (Check out my bird watching for kids guide)
- Make s’mores – Use a backyard firepit to have a safe fire at home!
- Make gigantic bubbles
Outdoor Water Fun
- Play at the beach! Here’s some Connecticut favorites – parking is free!
- Build a sand castle – In your sandbox or at the beach! Bring these favorite items for the beach and pool or keep it minimal with these must-have swim items for kids.
- Fly a kite – Hammonassett State Park is great for this, and Riverfront Park in Glastonbury as well!
- Cool off at a splash pad – Wolcott Park is clean, and with a playground adjacent. Read a detailed review at Out and About Mom.
- Swim at your local pool – many towns sell resident and non-resident passes.
Outdoor Nature Fun
- 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.
- The AllTrails app shows you what’s local
- Don’t forget your essential hiking gear!
- Find a waterfall – dozens of hidden waterfalls in Connecticut just a short hike away!
- Go cloud watching – Elizabeth Park is lovely.
- Visit a farm – Try Fish Family Farm in Bolton or Hurst Family Farm in Andover.
- Go on a picnic
- $ Pick strawberries – we love these berry patches in eastern Connecticut:
- $ Pick blueberries – see above!
Outdoor Local Fun
- Free-$ Visit a farmer’s market – Visit the Hartford Regional Farmer’s Market on Saturdays
- Have fun at a cool playground like Jonathan’s Dream in West Hartford.
- Ride bikes – our Tricycoo and the Cocoon by Joovy always got lots of action in the summer! Now the boys are riding their own bikes! We like the paved path at Great River Park in East Hartford.
- Watch fireworks!! (Here’s a list of fireworks in Connecticut 2019!)
- Visit the zoo*
- Watch trains – the Connecticut Trolley Museum is exciting! Or the Danbury Railway Museum!
- Attend an outdoor concert – Great River Park in East Hartford has free Summer Pops concerts June 8, July 20 and August 24 from 7-9 pm
- Watch a baseball game – Hartford’s minor league team, the Yard Goats! Or the New Britain Bees play in the former Rock Cats stadium.
- $ Go mini-golfing
- $ Run 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.
- $ Ride a carousel – Visit The Carousel in Bushnell Park – JUNE Saturdays & Sundays 11-5 – Rides are $1
- $ Ride a real pony – look for a local farm that offers pony rides for a small fee.
Indoor Activities for your Summer Bucket List
These indoor activities for your summer bucket list are perfect for rainy days!
Indoor Fun at Home
- Have a play date in the car – Fold the seats down, lay out some blankets. Then watch a movie on a portable DVD player and have a snack!
- Do science experiments in the kitchen!
- Prepare homemade jams – you know, after you pick berries? 🙂
- Play a board game!
- Learn a new craft
- Create an indoor obstacle course
- Listen to Classical Music and draw – your kids will be hooked on these narrated classical music CDs!
- Enjoy a Rainy Day! It happens in the summer! Here’s 25 rainy day ideas!
Indoor Fun Out & About
- Visit the library – check out the 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, crafts and docent-led tours!
- Complete a summer book challenge! One year we set a goal to read 100 books, but pick your own number and go for it. Also, most libraries have programs with fun goodie bags and prizes!
- Visit a kid’s museum*
- Go to the aquarium*
- $ Eat ice cream –
- MilkCraft Bubble Waffles have to make it onto your list! So scrumptious!
- Cows and Cones in New London is on our bucket list
- Robb’s Farm in South Glastonbury is another favorite for homemade ice cream (and the prices are great!)
- Mystic Seaport is a great spot! Grab an ice cream and watch the drawbridge go up and down!
- $ Go out to breakfast
What’s on your Summer Bucket List? If you’re in Connecticut, what do you recommend?