The 5 Experiences Topping Our Family Summer Bucket List
The sun is shining again and thunderstorms are predicted this week so I’m calling that a win in the summer is almost here category. Every summer, our family sits down and creates a little to do list–a family summer bucket list if you will. This year, the kids are a little bit older and have realized how much we can do with just a little planning. I’ll include a short list of must-haves for your summer survival kit to go along with our top 5 things on our family summer bucket list.
Get Your Summer Survival Kit Ready Now
What’s summer without sunscreen and lots of it? With little ones under 10, I’ve found that a face stick and a waterproof spray of some sort are must-haves. Add in some aloe, insect repellant, a bottle of calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream, some bandaids and triple antibiotic ointment and you’ve got the perfect survival kit for outdoor lovers! Snacks need to be plentiful and planned out. I’ll restock the fresh fruits, veggies and dairy items every few weeks but I bulk buy non-perishables. Lastly, I keep a bag stocked for the pool with towels, toys, and sunscreen. This year, I really wanted to add a versatile bag specifically for our family summer bucket list outings. Luckily, last week Twelvelittle sent me the cutest On-The-Go Backpack to try out. It’s going to be perfect for all of our plans–especially with 3 kids with a wide range of ages and needs.
Whittling Down the Family Summer Bucket List
We are a family of 5 with lots of activities, 2 active kiddos, a very active toddler, 2 jobs and a mix of interests. How in the universe will we ever be able to create a list that isn’t completely overwhelming and has something for everyone? I’ve found a family meeting with some paper, markers, a map and the family calendar gets the job done quickly. Everyone gets to make suggestions or write their own list and then we compile what becomes our family summer bucket list. Here are our top 5 excursions on the 2019 list.
5.) Museums, museums, museums!
We live in a fairly large metropolitan area so there is no shortage of museums to visit. Since all are inside, we will add these to the dog days of summer when it’s too hot to move or breathe outside. We can easily fit snacks for everyone in the On-The-Go Backpack as well as diapers for the baby, light sweatshirts for all three in case it gets cold inside and a drink for everyone. On our family summer bucket list, we list every museum we can think of that interests us and hope to make it to as many as possible. Topping our list are museums with dinosaurs, money, and sports. Museums typically have discounted or free rates at various times during the week so with a little planning this is a cheap but fun way to get out of the house.
4.) Swimming and Water Parks to beat the heat!
All 3 of our kids are water babies. We start the summer with 2 weeks of swimming lessons and usually go to the pool 3-4 times a week. This summer the big kids are wanting to try water parks too, therefore we are planning one trip mid-summer so they can experience bigger slides and water rides. This is a great time to check and make sure we have enough properly fitting floaties, towels and replace what isn’t up to standards. I’m so excited to find that the On-The-Go Backpack from Twelvelittle is waterproof which means it’s perfect for when we go to swimming lessons and the water park. No need to lug around a ginormous swim bag to fulfill this part of our family summer bucket list.
3.) Get Lost In The Great Outdoors
Camping! Hiking! Fishing! S’mores! We each had a different favorite outdoor activity for our family summer bucket list. Thankfully they can all be accomplished in one trip. Our survival kit gets used a lot on this one. Insect repellant, sunscreen and menu planning can make or break this experience. Rather than take the big swim bag, we will once again utilize the On-The-Go Backpack for our go-to diaper bag/swim bag/hiking bag. It is versatile enough to work perfectly in any of those capacities. Thus helping us decrease the amount of “stuff” that makes it into our campsite. My goal for camping this summer is to minimize what we take with us and focus on the memories we’ll be making.
2.) Road trips Make the Best Vacations!
Overwhelmingly, everyone in our family mentioned wanting to go on a road trip this summer. There’s something freeing about hopping in the car and heading out on the wide open road. Packing for a road trip can become its own spirit animal. Utilizing backpacks for the kids’ clothes means one less bag my husband and I have to lug around. Since our toddler doesn’t have a backpack, I’ll pack the On-The-Go Backpack with her things. Additionally, a quick trip to any dollar store and a library will stock an entertainment bag with books, crayons, toys, notepads, games, magazines and movies. Lastly, I pack a small convenience store in a cooler so we can have snacks along the way. It’s no wonder a road trip almost reached the top of our family summer bucket list!
1.) Family Time Is The Most Important Time
I grew up in a big family that is spread throughout the midwest. Every summer, my first cousins and their families gather together for cousin vacation. We’ve learned it’s really all about finding a place where we can simply be together. This is by far the #1 thing our kids look forward to all year long. If family time hasn’t been on your radar recently, I can’t recommend enough adding it to your family summer bucket list. Our cousin vacation is a quick 5-hour road trip. Therefore, I can implement most of the previously mentioned road tripping plans. Since we have access to a fire pit and a game room for game nights, we pick up supplies for s’mores and appetizers. Truly this is our favorite pick on the family summer bucket list.
Honorable Mentions That Are High On Our Family Summer Bucket List
There are so many amazing things we love about summer that just didn’t quite hit our top 5. Small things like getting shaved ice, riding bikes and making homemade ice cream. Or big things like summer camp, playing summer sports and several trips to the zoo. We also love library scavenger hunts, story times and movie nights on the couch (or outside!). The common denominator in our list is family and snacks. We’ve found that as long as we are together, the memories made and lessons learned are unmeasurable. Enjoy!!