How to Make a Family Adventure Bucket List

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Family Adventure Bucket List

Today we are making an easy family adventure bucket list for day trips to take on summer break.  See how easy it is to make and learn how we are going to use ours!  What destinations are on your family travel bucket list?

Summer Bucket List Jar

You probably know by now how much we LOVE traveling with our kids.  It’s true – we really do love it. We see so much educational value in travel and thanks to starting off both kids with travel when they were very young, they have both grow into amazingly patient, seasoned travelers who make it easy to go out and explore.

I am setting some pretty high goals for our summer when it comes to day trips with the kids. I was trying to think of a way to plan out some fun trips and also allow for our schedule to be fairly flexible. Last summer we took Lily for an audition that happened to be right in the center of Philadelphia’s “Old City” district.  So much history within those blocks of Philly!

In just one afternoon, we toured the US Mint, saw Betsy Ross’s house, Independence Hall and also the Liberty Bell. It was a great reminder of how many things there are to see and do in Philadelphia.  I’ll bet the same can be said for any major city that you might live near.  We are about an hour from Philadelphia and that got me thinking about all of the other cool places we could visit within about an hour from our home.

Family Summer Bucket List

I have seen all sorts of family summer bucket lists.  Many of them are generic, non-geographic specific lists of fun things to do as a family during the warm summer months.  Typically they include activities like roasting marshmallows over a campfire, watching a sunset, picking wildflowers, etc. For our list, I wanted to focus specifically on day trips.

My goal is to choose one day every 1-2 weeks during summer break when we are going to go on a day trip. Next on my list was to come up with a couple dozen destinations.

Keeping the Cost Low

I decided that I wanted to avoid super pricey destinations, for example theme parks, water parks, etc.  Those are places we might save for weekends when we plan for an overnight stay and/or when Bob can join us instead of just me and the kids.  I added ideas to our list that are free or have a minimal admission charge.

How to Pick Destinations for Your Family Summer Bucket List

If you live anywhere me (Philly suburbs), you can use my extensive Eastern Pennsylvania Road Trip Guide (100+ Day Trip Destinations) as a great starting point.  I used this list to make choose a bunch of the destinations that ended up in our “maybe” pile.

I also highly recommend pulling out any local coupon books you might have.  We purchased a KidStuff coupon book through a fundraiser at Lily’s school last fall.  This book is full of coupons for local restaurants, stores and attractions.  It ended up being such a great place to find possible day trip destinations!

Another idea for destinations is to find a local/hyper-local blog near you and see if they have a list of family friendly attractions.

Popsicle Stick Bucket List Jar

I want to show you how I decided to put our list into a tangible object that allows for an element of surprise.  I used a mason jar, popsicle sticks, a pen and a Sharpie marker.

Popsicle Sticks Mason Jar Sharpie

I took about 2 dozen popsicle sticks.  On each stick, I wrote a different day trip destination on one side. Since we will be choosing destinations randomly, one thing I needed to take into consideration was how to differentiate between outdoor and indoor attractions. That’s where the Sharpie came in handy. On the OUTDOOR destinations, I marked the very top of the stick (front and back) with a black mark.  That way, if our day trip day is rainy, we will be able to avoid choosing an outdoor attraction!

Summer Craft sticks

I then placed all of the sticks in our jar,  with the destination ends pointing down.

My plan is to let the kids take turns picking a stick out on the nights before our intended day trips. We will get through as many of these sticks as we can during the summer months and then we will hang on to the jar for other school breaks or weekends when we decide to go explore!  As new ideas for destinations come to mind, I will write them on a stick and add these to our jar.

I am so excited to already have a plan in place for the summer ahead!  We had a snowy winter this year and Lily’s district ended up with a bunch of snow days to make up that were tacked on to the end of the school year.  This means that she will be in school into the second half of June.  The week after school lets out, both of the kids will enjoy a week at pony camp and I will use that time to pre-plan as much work on the blog and my social media accounts as possible.

My goal is to take our first day trip from this summer adventure bucket list jar the last week of June.

summer bucket list

Do you have a summer bucket list?

How does your family “do” summer break?  Are the kids in camp all summer?  Do you travel?  Do you all stay at home?  Mixture of all of these things? We try our best to give the kids a balance between camp, travel and a whole bunch of days to just BE.  They can be bored, lazy, go swimming, relax, play in the woods… they get a number of days to have a good old fashioned summer to be kids and enjoy some unstructured screen-free play time.

As much as I love a good schedule, I find that downtime is just as important for my whole family!


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Family Adventure Bucket List

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