Having graduated from high school in the early 90’s, my summertime mantra will ALWAYS be Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (Will Smith for you youngsters). Every time I hear it play, I can feel the sun on my face, smell the chlorine from the pool and taste the burgers, fresh from the grill.
As summer approaches, I find myself humming this little ditty and planning out our summer bucket list. Last year, I blogged about some of our favorite bucket list adventures. This is our third summer of having a bucket list, and we all LOVE it! I thought I’d share a little about my process for putting ours together, and some of the things we will add to our list this summer. So, here you go, five steps to a fun, easy, summer bucket list.
1. When planning our bucket list, the first thing I do is check the events calendar for our local library. The libraries in the KC area offer SO many amazing things for families to do for FREE! I sign us up for anything I think the boys will enjoy, and then add them all to our family calendar.
2. Next, I check community websites for events and activities. Start with our annual summer guide. My other favorites are KC Parent, Macaroni Kid, and KC Tot Spot. Macaroni Kid offers listings based on where you live, so it’s easy to find fun things to do in your own neighborhood. Pinterest is also a great place to get ideas; just do a search for “Summer Bucket List.”
3. I limit the amount of scheduled activities. I don’t want to have to be somewhere every Tuesday at 2 p.m. If the day is just right for a picnic at the park, I want be able to pack up and go! I know this won’t always be the case as the boys get older and are more involved, but for now I think it’s so important to allow for lots of unstructured time and spontaneity.
4. Since my money tree has yet to bloom, I try to find ways to save money on our adventures. Many places and activities have free admission days or times of the day when tickets are discounted. For instance, did you know that The Springs Aquatic Center offers Splash and Play from 9-11:30 a.m., Monday-Thursday? The family pool and spray ground are open for parents and their children ages 5 and under. Also, the Arboretum and Botanical Gardens are free on Tuesdays.
5. Finally, I compile a list of things we want to do and display them in some way in our home. Last year, I made a simple bunting and attached each of our bucket list items to it, and strung it across our dining room. It made it easy to see what we still needed to accomplish, and the boys loved marking things off of our list.
We love our summer bucket list. Now that the boys are a little older, I’m also adding a service learning activity. This summer, we will be delivering Meals on Wheels once a week.
Summer is such an amazing time to relax, reflect and reconnect with our friends, families, and community. So grab a pen and paper, pour yourself a tall glass of lemonade, crank up the Will Smith, and get started on your own Summer Bucket List.