Last year when I heard about the Summer Family Bucket List Challenge by The Happy Family Movement, I immediately signed up. We sat down together as a family and brainstormed things we wanted to do during summer vacation. (You can see my list here)
The challenge is back this summer and you can sign up here. We did! It officially begins on May 20, 2013 and you can enter to win prizes, get inspired by other family’s bucket lists, view adventure guides as well as have access to other travel resources. There’s even a facebook community you can join!
Last year I made a garland with each activity listed on a separate index card attached with a mini clothespin. After we did the activity, we’d put up something from the activity by the card (like a program, ticket stub, photo or brochure) and by the end of the summer we had a very fun, visual way to remember our summer vacation! I decided to do something similar this year as well.
The year before last, without a plan in place, the summer ended in a blink of an eye and all those things we had in our brains that we wanted to do, never got done. While we didn’t accomplish EVERYTHING on our bucket list last summer, we did most of them and I really have the Summer Bucket List Challenge to thank.
We are so excited about this year and my kids (my 7-year-old daughter, Annie, and 11-year-old son, Jackson), my husband and I are already thinking about fun things to do with the extra time off. We are crossing a BIG bucket list item off our list before summer even starts. We have a trip to DisneyWorld planned in May! We’ve never been and we are so excited! I also have a bucket list trip to Paris in June planned with my mom and two sisters. It’s always been my mom’s dream to go. She is retiring this year and we are taking her abroad to celebrate the beginning of the new journey in her life!
But the bucket list challenge isn’t just about big vacations and high-dollar trips. In fact, it’s more about the little things that we feel we’ll always have time to do so we never really do them…like taking a picnic in the park, a bike ride on the beach… or a neighborhood walk to feed the ducks! You can in this post see we crossed this one off our list right as summer started (and you can get a glimpse of the my index card garland)!
Some of the items we didn’t get to like fishing and visiting the observatory have made it on this year’s list. Annie has been bugging me since last summer to learn to sew and I keep telling her “when we have more time”. So, you guessed it, it’s on our 2013 summer bucket list and we plan to take a class together in July.
Since I work from home full-time and my husband works from home part-time, we have more flexibility to do things like take a family bike ride or a short swim at the neighborhood pool. Our lives have changed a bit since last summer, too. I lost 55 pounds and embarked on a healthier lifestyle which we have all embraced. We ran our first fun run together last weekend and we have many items on our list this year that are more physically challenging then ever before (like participating in a mud run, going water skiing and trying to parasail).
Really though, the items on the list aren’t the most important things about the summer bucket list. Whether or not we go fishing this year (although we hope to!) isn’t what it’s really about (at least to us). What it means to us is to make time to do things together as a family. So many times during the school year we get going in a million directions with homework and after-school activities like scouts and sports… we don’t have time to really visit. Carving out time to do things together during the summer months when time is more on our side is a great way to re-connect. Even planning the outing or trip together can be a fun time in itself!
(If a visit to Aquatica or SeaWorld is on your Summer Bucket List, visit about our trip last year here when we crossed it off our list. We included tips that might help you plan your visit!)
- Go to the beach
- Go fishing
- Visit the observatory to see the stars
- Go water skiing
- Go bird watching
- Do a mud run
- Go parasailing
- Participate in 2 family fun runs
- Learn to sew
- Sculpt with clay
- Keep a journal
- Have “date nights” both time for mom and dad to go out alone, plus time for each parent to spend time with each child doing something fun
- See a concert with lawn seats at The Woodlands Pavilion
- Invite a different family over for dinner every couple of weeks
- Have a talent show
- Pitch a tent in the backyard and “go camping” Make smores and tell ghost stories.
- Face our Fears – pick a thing we each have always wanted to do but were afraid to … and try it
- Go snorkeling
- Go to Aquatica and try out some new adventures in San Antonio while we are in town
- Go to the Drive-In Movies