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Home » The Ultimate Summer Bucket List for Families – Over 50 FREE and Fun Activities

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List for Families – Over 50 FREE and Fun Activities

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List for Families – Over 50 FREE and Fun Activities



Pool parties, water parks, barbecues and lazy days on the beach are all here! But you don’t have to break the bank this summer to enjoy tons of family fun.

Check out over 50 of my all-time favorite summer activities and ideas and see how many you can check off your summer bucket list! 🙂

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List : Over 50 free and fun activities for families to do this summer!

What’s in your summer bucket list this year? Here are great and fun ideas! 

1. Run through a sprinkler

Nothing says “old school” summer fun like setting up the garden hose and a sprinkler in the yard.

2. Catch fireflies

Save some glass jars and don’t forget to poke holes in the lids, decorate with your kids names, and send them out to collect fireflies.

3. Make ice cream sundaes

Invite some friends over, put together a DIY ice cream bar and have ice cream or sundae night with all of your favorite toppings.


4. Build sand castles

If you don’t live near a beach, bring the beach to your backyard. Buy some sand from your local hardware store and set up a sand castle making area in your yard.

5. Play baseball

It’s as simple as some baseball mitts, a ball, and a bat. Find a local ball field and get the whole family involved. Just playing outside would be great for the family!

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List : Over 50 free and fun activities for families to do this summer!

6. Make homemade lemonade or popsicles

Get a bag of lemons and squeeze away and make a big pitcher of the good stuff. Kids will also love helping and it could inspire a lemonade stand.

7. Collect seashells at the beach

If you can get away to the beach, go ahead and start a beautiful collection of unusual seashells. What a way to create summer memories.

8. Hit up the local gym

Mom and Dad need some time too, so hit up your local gyms in the area for their introductory free week offers. Most gyms have kids programs too.


9. Go paintballing

Paintballing is a great family activity which is suitable for most ages. You can go out and spent some quality time together in the sun, with an activity that is sure to make you laugh and smile. You could go to a course or get your own paintball and create your own course, whether it’s in some local woods or your backyard.

10. Plant a small garden

Just pick a spot in the yard or in a planter and start with some seedlings. Your kids will love watching their flowers or veggies growing.

11. Play on a Slip-n-Slide

Another way to stay cool is to play slip-n-slide right in your backyard. Think of the photo opportunities here!

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List : Over 50 free and fun activities for families to do this summer!

11. Make s’mores

On a cool, summer, night, get all the ingredients to make s’mores around your fire pit or make one in your yard. Yum!

12. Play with sidewalk chalk

Buy a big box of chalk from your dollar store and send the kids to the sidewalk to get creative. Turn it into an art show and have a winner with a prize too.

13. Plan a scavenger hunt

This takes a little planning, but it’s so much fun for everyone. Pick a day and head to a local park early to set up and then hunt away for the afternoon.

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List : Over 50 free and fun activities for families to do this summer!

14. Play hide and seek

Get the neighborhood kids together and have some fun with an old fashioned game of hide and seek, but set some perimeters especially if you have younger children.

15. Play at your local recreation center

Call the center and see what free drop in activities are coming up for all different age groups, especially if there is free swimming.


16. Plan a picnic

Get everyone’s favorite lunch packed up and some outdoor games and go to a local park for the day.

17. Play bingo

Get some boardgames and a set of bingo cards and when you hear the “I’m bored” words, bust them out!

18. Crank up the music and have a dance off

On a rainy summer day, this is a fun way to blow off some energy and capture some great video and laughs.

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List : Over 50 free and fun activities for families to do this summer!

19. Free movies at the park

Most towns have a park where outdoor movies are shown on a big screen, but if not, check your local library as well.

20. A trip to the local farmers market

Don’t wait for an early Saturday morning, grab the kids and enjoy an adventure picking out tons of fresh produce and then coming home and making a fresh dinner together.

20. Go on a road trip

This is my family’s most favorite summer activity! Pick a fun destination that isn’t too far away, pack the car and go on a road trip.


21. Bake cookies

Another rainy day idea, so make sure you get everyone’s favorites along with a lot of fun cake decorations and cake sprinkles for the kids.

22. 4th of July BBQ

Plan a family BBQ with everyone’s input on the menu. Get sparklers to end the night with some more fun!

23. Make 4th of July t-shirts

Get ready for the BBQ with tie-dye t-shirt making. It’s so easy and with iron letters, the kids can put their names and the date on each shirt.

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List : Over 50 free and fun activities for families to do this summer!

24. Make homemade popsicles

Hit the dollar store for unique objects to make frozen treats in all summer long, or you can try making this fun patriotic ice pops recipe with the kids!

25. Fly kites

Another super easy and cost effective way to stay outdoors is to fly kites at your local park.

26. Camp in the backyard

Set up camp right in your own backyard on a cooler, summer night. Even have your kids invite some of their friends for a sleepover.


27. Outdoor concerts

Check out what’s going in your town or city for free outdoor concerts all summer long. Take a blanket and listen to some free music.

28. Play frisbee

It sounds simple, because it is. Grab some frisbee’s and get running around trying to catch all the crazy throws!

29. Drive in movie

This summer night entertainment is not on a classic one, but it can actually turn into a full blown extravaganza! With the snacks, the double feature, and friends and family. Go ahead and make a night of it!

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List : Over 50 free and fun activities for families to do this summer!

30. Plan a beach day

If you can, head to the beach for the day, but take all your supplies from home to save money.

31. Movie marathon

Let each family member pick their favorite movie, snacks, and settle in for a long movie marathon.

32. Break a Guinness World Record

Do some research and find a fun family involved world record to try to break this summer. There has got to be something!

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List : Over 50 free and fun activities for families to do this summer!

33. Make homemade play doh

Go online and find an easy recipe for play doh and then you will have hours of entertainment.

35. Go feed the ducks

Find a local lake or pond where the ducks like to hang out and take a bag a day old bread.

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List : Over 50 free and fun activities for families to do this summer!

36. Go on a hike

Lace up your sneakers and get everyone outdoors for a hike on a beautiful day.


37. Wash the cars

Here you can kill two birds with two stones and get your cars washed and keeps your kids occupied for a few hours! Also, they will cool off too!

38. Visit a street fair

All summer in most cities and towns are street fairs of all kinds. Pick a few and get them on the calendar.

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List : Over 50 free and fun activities for families to do this summer!

39. Visit a tourist attraction you’ve never been to in your town

Find something unique that has peaked your interest, but you have never checked out.

40. Go to a film festival

Whether it’s an indoor or outdoor festival, this can be an all day fun fest for everyone and kids are usually free of charge.

41. Have breakfast for dinner

Pancakes for all! Put away your normal dinner routine and get out all the breakfast goodies for family breakfast night.

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List : Over 50 free and fun activities for families to do this summer!

42. Water balloon fight

Cheap, easy, super fun, and who doesn’t love throwing water balloons?

43. Plan a block party with your neighbors

Ask your friends and neighbors to plan a summer block party and get all involved a themed event.

44. Go to your local pool

A one day pass is super low cost and if you are lucky enough to grab a season pass at a discount at the end of each summer, even better!


45. Watch fireworks

You don’t always have to wait until the 4th of July because a lot of towns offer weekend firework displays. Check your local paper or city’s internet page.

46. Have a fondue night

All you need is cheese, chocolate, and all the fixings for a big fondue night around the family dinner table.

47. Decorate your own t-shirts

Round out the Summer of 2017 with a T-shirt decorating day and add decals, iron on’s, and let the kids get creative to commemorate a glorious summer!

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List : Over 50 free and fun activities for families to do this summer!

48. Go berry picking

Find a local berry farm and get out there and fill you a basket or three! If you love strawberry picking, you’ll also love making this homemade strawberry slushie!

49. Free 7-11 Slurpee Day

This could be the best day ever on a hot, July day! Head to 7-11 on July 11th and get your free slurpee!

50. Record a music video

You don’t have to have “America’s Talent” to record a memorable music video right in your own home.

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List : Over 50 free and fun activities for families to do this summer!

51. Ride bikes

Go ahead and dust off the whole family’s bicycles, get the helmets, and go for a long bike ride.

52. Make a summer scrapbook

Instead of keeping all your photos in your Smartphone, print them throughout the summer and start a scrapbook.

53. Learn to hula hoop.

Hit the dollar store and buy several hula hoops and get those hips moving.

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List : Over 50 free and fun activities for families to do this summer!

54. Bring back hopscotch

Use the sidewalk chalk and get outside and draw large hopscotch grids. Get your kids to find some rocks and teach them the rules of this classic game.

55. Play kickball

Go to your nearest playground or if your backyard is big enough, get a game of kickball going for the whole family to work up a sweat,

No one said that summer had to be boring and even though most of us are on a tight budget, we can also have tons of fun this summer and every summer to come! Get out there and get creative with your summer activities and don’t let the cost of summer camps, sports camps, and every other type of high priced adventure out there keep you home. Make a list and check them off as you go along!

I hope these ideas for summer bucket list will make your summer more memorable and fun! Happy Summer! 🙂

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Jocelyn Brown
Jocelyn Brown

A former school teacher, Jocelyn Brown created Hip Mama’s Place in 2007. Her motto for this blog is: get inspired, create and share! Jocelyn loves sharing about food and recipes, crafts, DIY projects and her random travels with her family. She also loves all things social media, but her latest obsession is Instagram.

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45 Comments

  1. 07/23/2017 / 2:11 am

    Thanks for sharing… I will try these activities with my kids as well. I love all of these ideas!

  2. 07/21/2017 / 1:11 pm

    Wow! This is a detailed and exceptional list of ideas! I will love to try at least some of them!

  3. 07/16/2017 / 2:24 am

    These are fantastic! Especially number #3, #5, #11. I will try them with my kids for sure! Thanks for the list.

  4. 07/14/2017 / 8:03 pm

    This is definitely a fun summer bucketlist. I love a good summer music festival!

  5. sara
    07/13/2017 / 12:18 pm

    I love this summer list. My daughter just learned to hula hoop this week!

  6. 07/12/2017 / 2:35 pm

    these are all great ideas that will surely keep the family entertained and happy… thanks for the ideas, I’ll be doing as many of these as I can 😉

  7. 07/12/2017 / 1:42 pm

    This is my kind of list. We did the pool and the beach last week. They show free movies on the big screen, so we did that as well.

  8. My Teen Guide
    07/12/2017 / 8:25 am

    What an extensive list of activities to do this summer! I remember doing most of them as a child and my kids enjoyed the same activities too. Let me go ahead and send you link to my sisters and cousins. They still have young kids who would enjoy most of these activities you listed.

  9. 07/12/2017 / 2:37 am

    This is an awesome list. We have done most of these this year. I totally want to make those lemonade Popsicles.

  10. 07/12/2017 / 1:56 am

    So many fun ways to enjoy the sunmer! I think that you don’t really have to spend too much money making summer fun for the family. This list of activities is proof!

  11. Annemarie LeBlanc
    07/11/2017 / 11:08 pm

    Fantastic ideas! I love the setting up the sprinkler activity. It reminded me of my own childhood when gadgets were non-existent. When my kids were young, I made sure they got to enjoy summer by outdoor play. It was good for them because they were able to build their social skills and the physical activity gave them the right amount of exercise for their growing bodies.

  12. 07/11/2017 / 9:37 pm

    I used to catch fireflies on a nightly basis when I was younger. Thanks for the reminder to make special moments like this with my kids!

  13. 07/11/2017 / 9:25 pm

    This is a great summer bucket list! I bet our kids would love to do a lot of the things on this bucket list!

  14. 07/11/2017 / 7:22 pm

    So many great suggestions to spend some quality time with family in this summer. Loved the article.

  15. 07/11/2017 / 4:43 pm

    Your bucket list is almost same as mine it all involve the outdoor activities. Beach vacation is on top of my list.

  16. 07/11/2017 / 4:33 pm

    These are such great ideas! You really don’t have to spend a ton of money or go all out to have fun. There is so much to do to keep the kiddos busy. I will have to bookmark this!

  17. Kathy
    07/11/2017 / 4:26 pm

    This is a great list. I actually just made a summer bucket list the other day as well. My daughters and I are going to try to do most of them this summer.

  18. Rosey
    07/11/2017 / 3:36 pm

    What a fun idea to make a sand pit in the yard for castle building. What kid wouldn’t love that idea??

  19. 07/11/2017 / 11:28 am

    Awesome list of things to do during the summer that allows you to make memories with the kids as well! I just love being under the sun and doing different activities!

  20. 07/11/2017 / 4:42 am

    My kids loved to fly kites during summer when they were younger. This is fun list.

  21. 07/11/2017 / 3:51 am

    This definitely gives me the idea to have my son do a Summer Bucket List so I know more of what HE wants to do! This is so good, and it ensures he has a great summer

  22. Mary Edwards
    07/11/2017 / 3:49 am

    Love all of these ideas. It’s too hot for the park in Florida in the summer, so we spend tons of time in the pool, water parks,or at the library!!

  23. 07/11/2017 / 3:24 am

    This sounds like a pretty sweet bucket list to me!! I have a few of your items on my personal summer bucket list!!

  24. 07/11/2017 / 1:36 am

    We love making popsicles together, especially red white and blue ones. I also like to spend as much time together outside as possible, thanks for the suggestions.

  25. 07/11/2017 / 12:55 am

    This is a great list!! One of the things I want to do this summer is catch fireflies!! I have never seen one, never less caught one!

  26. 07/10/2017 / 11:58 pm

    Aww, these are such fun ideas! Some of our summer gear is still in the storage shed! I should bring everything out.

  27. Claudia Krusch
    07/10/2017 / 11:28 pm

    These are all fun things to do with the kids. I love organizing a scavenger hunt for the kids. It is so fun to think up the clues and hide the treasure.

  28. robin rue
    07/10/2017 / 9:19 pm

    We’ve already done a bunch of these and hope to do a few more before the summer is over!

  29. 07/10/2017 / 9:19 pm

    Great suggestions! Many of these are on our summer bucket list too! We love doing backyard drive ins – we do it 1x a week and invite all the neighborhood kids over – so much fun!

  30. Pam Wattenbarger
    07/10/2017 / 8:06 pm

    Love all of these ideas! I have never thought of making a summer bucket list but it’s a neat idea.

  31. 07/10/2017 / 8:01 pm

    This is such a fun list. I’m going to keep it in mind for sure. I’m going to get that free slurpee 😉

  32. 07/10/2017 / 7:29 pm

    WOW! This is an EPIC list of great ideas!
    I am always up for a slip-and-slide! Brings back great memories!
    I am also a huge fan of farmer’s markets!
    I am bookmarking this list THANK YOU !

  33. 07/10/2017 / 7:12 pm

    What an awesome list of summer family fun suggestions and hooray for being free! I definitely plan to incorporate a few of these into our schedule, starting with an ice cream sundae bar.

  34. 07/10/2017 / 5:46 pm

    What a fun bucket list for summer! So many bucket lists are just for kids, or something along those lines, but this is a great list of activities that the whole family can do together.

  35. Meagan
    07/10/2017 / 5:29 pm

    Some of these are really fantastic. I am all about Summer fun that doesn’t break the bank.

  36. 07/10/2017 / 5:22 pm

    These are great ideas. I love that you shone a light on the fact that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to have a great time. Heck, you don’t have to spend ANYYTHING!

  37. 07/10/2017 / 4:28 pm

    Fun list! What I love is that some of these ideas are so simple and cheap, yet lots of fun. I can’t remember the last time we fed the ducks, and I’m sure my kids would have a blast.

  38. 07/10/2017 / 4:09 pm

    If you do half those things you will be busy the whole summer. I love the view from that hike, that would be my favorite thing to do with the kids .

  39. 07/10/2017 / 1:34 pm

    I love your bucket list! I might suggest to Hunt for Fireflies instead of catching them. Is it just me or are they really rare these days? We need to keep all we can!

  40. 07/10/2017 / 1:31 pm

    This is such a great list! The only thing better than family fun is FREE family fun! Thanks so much.

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