When we were kids, we couldn’t wait for school to be let out and to be able to spend the summer without a care in the world. Now that we’re adults, that feeling still hasn’t gone away. But, how many summers have slipped by because we were bogged down with work, social commitments and yard work? Before you know it, the summer has slipped past you and the things you wanted to do never got checked off your list. This year, you’ll do better because Create the Best Summer Ever: Ultimate Summer Bucket List has got you covered.
“Aaah, summer – that long anticipated stretch of lazy, lingering days, free of responsibility and rife with possibility. It’s time to hunt for insects, master handstands, practice swimming strokes, conquer trees, explore nooks and crannies, and make new friends.” – Darrell Hammond
Summer comes only once per year, so it’s up to you to make sure you enjoy every moment of it. When you become in-tune with the seasons and embrace the gifts each one has to offer, your life will become richer and more magical.
Pick the ideas from the list below that you want to experience to create the best summer of your life.
Create the Best Summer Ever: Ultimate Summer Bucket List:
1) Homemade popsicles.
Popsicles go hand and hand with summer. You don’t have to wait for the ice cream truck to circle your neighborhood to enjoy a cold treat on a hot afternoon. There are so many delicious recipes to try made with real fruit and good-for-you ingredients. For an extra bonus of fun, you can make your favorite cocktail into a popsicle and really have a yummy summer experience. I really love this set of popsicle molds here.
2) Blended Drink topped with an umbrella.
Ok, it’s started to look like I have a one track mind, but you know you want one. There’s something about a cool blended frozen drink with an umbrella that signals your brain to kick your shoes off and finally relax. Even if you’re sitting in your own backyard, a frosty cocktail can transport you back to your last beach vacation with your toes in the sand. I give you permission to recreate your trip. You’re welcome.
You should also check out these fancy schmancy Hibiscus Flower Straws at Amazon – they might be even cuter than an umbrella. You can find them here.
3) Find the hammock that calls your name.
You deserve to enjoy this summer, so make sure you really get the perfect hammock to kick off the start to your amazing summer. It’s finally ok to spend a day doing absolutely nothing and this is the year. This one looks cozy.
4) A novel idea.
It’s time to dust off those unread books and start diving in. Lose yourself in a romance novel, a memoir or finally start planning that business you’ve always wanted to start. This one looks good enough to get lost in:
5) Take your four-legged friend out on adventures.
Find the best places to take your canine friend and make a plan to hit every spot by the end of summer. Does your dog love to go swimming? A trip to the beach or a lake is order. When was the last time you went on a hike with him? Not only should this be the best summer of your life, it should be the best summer of your best friend too. Keep in mind dogs only live for a few short years – so make every moment count.
6) Summer festival & fair magic.
Pick out a couple of festivals and fairs to hit this summer and turn it into a family affair. If you’ve already gone to all the local ones, look for festivals and fairs out-of-town that peak your interest. Here’s a few that might be exactly what you’re looking for:
Sandcastle Contest in Cannon Beach, OR offers sand artists creating amazing works of art with sand. A parade, bonfire, and a 5k fun run or walk are just some of the other activities going on the same weekend. There are also other Sand Sculpture Contests located throughout the United States.
The Mermaid Parade in Coney Island is where you want to be if you love mermaids. This is an adventure that you won’t soon forget!
Maine Lobster Festival has a Sea Goddess Pageant, a seafood cooking contest, a lobster parade and the great International Lobster Crate Race. You had me at lobster rolls.
State Fair of Texas is the largest state fair in the United States. Sometimes bigger is better. How about making it an annual trip to visit a different state fair every year?
7) Dine alfresco.
Do you have a list of restaurants that you’ve been wanting to try? Pick the ones that have outdoor dining and put those to the top of your list for the summer. If you prefer to dine at home, make your outdoor dining area a pleasure to enjoy your meals at and start enjoying your backyard again.
8) BBQ king or queen.
It’s time to roll up your sleeves and create that secret sauce you’ve been dying to master. All you need is a grill, apron and your favorite cut of meat. By the end of the summer you will have developed the best bbq sauce your family and friends have ever tasted, and you will have officially earned your crown.
9) The biggest catch.
Plan that dream trip with you buddies to go fishing and you will have stories to tell for years. Whether you want to go salmon fishing in the Pacific Northwest, trout fly fishing in Montana, or if Baja California Sur is where your adventure awaits – it’s time to stop dreaming and throw your line in the water.
10) Bonfire bonding.
My cousin lives on a farm and has a bonfire every Friday night. Everyone is invited and they never know how many people are going to show up. They make it a potluck, so everyone contributes food and beverages to the weekly event. Start your own tradition by creating an annual bonfire that everyone would love.
11) Document the season.
Take pictures every day of summer from start to finish. Pick the your favorite picture of the day and put it on your social media channels. This challenge will encourage you to seek out more magical moments.
12) Fresher is better.
Summer is the prime season to taste most fruits and vegetables at the peak of their flavor. Tomatoes, corn on the cob, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, watermelon, and greens are just some of the things that tastes the best during this time of year. Make sure you get the freshest food available by growing some of your own food and eating it right after you pick it.
13) Unplug and unwind.
Remove yourself from the daily grind by renting a cabin in the woods. You may only have a weekend to rejuvenate your soul, but I promise you it will be worth it. There is something so wonderful about being connected to nature and enjoying the simple pleasures it offers.
14) Outdoor movies.
Turn your backyard into an outdoor theater by investing in an outdoor projector and screen. You could hold monthly movie nights and invite all your neighbors and friends. It’s now possible to have something so decadent like this at a low price. For the low price of $299 for this outdoor movie projector, you can entertain friends and family all summer long. Look at this amazing outdoor screen for only $89.99. Pass the popcorn, please.
15) Infuse your water.
Summer means you will be drinking even more water than usual. Try experimenting with infusing your water with different blends to encourage your resolve to drink more this summer. How about trying citrus water by adding slices of lemon, oranges and grapefruit to your water pitcher? Strawberries, limes and mint make a delicious combination. Everyday make a new gallon of infused water and toast to a better functioning body.
16) Be like grandma.
Grandma knew that summer means produce and produce means saving as much as you can by preserving the harvest. This summer make sure you follow her wisdom by canning, dehydrating and making jam from all your hard work. Throughout the summer my dehydrator is buzzing with life so I can enjoy the bounty all winter long. I invested in this dehydrator (here) because I use it so much!
17) Epic 4th of July
You’ve enjoyed the 4th of July every year, but it’s time to experience the best this holiday has to offer. Throughout the country, fun celebrations take place and it’s time to shake up your routine by experiencing 4th of July in another state. Here’s a listing of places that know how to do the holiday right:
Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show in San Diego, CA – this is one fireworks show I personally have been to. Nothing compares to having fireworks reflect off of water as well as seeing them in the sky. Four different barges launch fireworks over San Diego’s Big Bay.
Brunswick’s Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration in Georgia – free watermelon slices, water balloon toss, hula hoop contest, and sack racing are just some of the things that make this event a family favorite.
Let Freedom Sing! July 4th in Nashville, TN – you already know that Nashville knows how to entertain, but what you may not know is they outdo themselves for the 4th of July. This is a celebration you wouldn’t want to miss.
18) Change your mode of transportation.
Make your bike take center stage this summer as your primary source of transportation. You save money and get in great shape at the same time. Get yourself some accessories for your bike like this cute basket to be able to run errands and enjoy the scenery at the same time.
19) The smell of summer.
Open up your windows and let the fresh air in. Spray your favorite nontoxic scent throughout the house to signal the start of summer. Do you love the scent of lavender? How about lemongrass? Make sure all your senses are enjoying this change of season.
20) Nature scavenger hunt.
Create a nature scavenger hunt for your family. Plan a hiking excursion and provide a list of things to collect while hiking. Provide jars to carry along to store your found treasures. For items not to be gathered, a photo of the item is required. Let the winner pick his or her favorite restaurant to celebrate in at the end of the day.
21) August Perseids meteor shower.
The Perseids meteor shower is the most popular star-gazing night of the year. Make sure to enjoy the show by driving away from the city lights and enjoy taking in this night sky show. The peak night will be August 12th, so put that date on your calendar and be witness to a magical night.
22) Perfect picnics.
Make a plan this summer to picnic all over your area. Every week plan a different place to enjoy and you can even pick a different part of the day. There is no rule that you can only have a picnic for lunch. How about a sunrise breakfast? A happy hour appetizer basket? A midnight feast for two? It’s time to pull out that picnic basket and use it for once and all.
23) Small town road trip.
Last summer my sister, niece and I went on a small town road trip. We spent an entire week driving to small towns and experiencing all the amazing things they had to offer. We drove one day three hours away to try a restaurant recommended by a friend. The area was so amazing, we’re planning another trip this year to go back. What small towns in your area haven’t you seen? It’s time to pile in the car and hit the road.
24) Camping or glamping.
Spend at least one weekend camping or glamping if you don’t like roughing it. It’s important spend time in Mother Nature with family and friends without the interruptions of daily life. Camping allows you to spend time with those you love and reconnect with the divine universe.
25) Garden tours.
Every year I go on at least one garden tour and photograph the best ideas for my readers. Last year’s garden tour blog post is here. This year, I will be going to at least two. Check out your area for garden tours put on in your city and enjoy the labor of love that these garden hosts offer.
26) We all scream for ice cream.
Making homemade ice cream is so easy, isn’t silly we don’t do it more? Nothing compares to homemade treats, so try out all those ice cream recipes you’ve been meaning to make and reward yourself on a hot summer day. For $54.99 this Cuisinart Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt maker is a wise investment to cool summers.
27) Music to my ears.
Take the time to go to at least one outdoor concert this summer. My friend just took her daughter to a U2 concert so she could experience her mother’s favorite band. Now her daughter wasn’t too impressed with those “old guys,” but they created a memory that will last in both of their minds forever.
28) Treasure hunting.
No, not for gold. Flea markets are my weakness and I love finding new ones to go to. There are so many amazing events all over the country, it can be hard to pick which one to experience. Nothing gets my adrenaline pumping like entering the gates of a large flea market. It’s like the world’s largest Easter egg hunt for adults. Plan a trip and score some treasures. Here are some of the biggest flea markets in the United States:
Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, CA. This is not your ordinary flea market, on top of being loaded with amazing items, you’re bound to run into a celebrity or two. Every time I went to this I bumped into Diane Keaton. Every. Single. Time. Rachel Ashwell – the person that created Shabby Chic is also always there. They have this flea market every month.
Brimfield Antique Show in Brimfield, Massachusetts. I’ve heard about this flea market for years. It’s still on my personal bucket list. This is the largest antique show in the United States. I’m going to have to bring a moving truck if I go.
Springfield Antique Show & Flea Market in Ohio. If you reside in the midwest, then this is the show for you. It has over 2,500 vendors to search for new additions to your collections. The market will take place in June and August this year.
We’ve reached the end of Create the Best Summer Ever: Ultimate Summer Bucket List. I hope you enjoyed it.
Let me know what you’ve got planned for this summer and what your favorite traditions are in the comments below.
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