Family Summer Bucket List


It’s true, summer is a long way off. However, this recent little amount of cold and snow we got has me dreaming of warmer days. It also has me in planning mode on what to do with these wild children we will have. NotSoLittleDude will most likely be here for the summer again. I am fairly certain that my nephew and niece (should come up with nicknames for them too) will be here for a bit as well. We are going to be a busy family this summer.

I asked Wildchild what he wanted to do this summer. He was very adamant that we have a squirt gun fight. So, that is definitely part of the plan now. I’m picturing an adults versus children epic battle. I also asked NotSoLittleDude what the family should do this summer, and got “I don’t know.” I am pretty sure that is the typical preteen response. He did seem excited for the suggestions his father and I came up with. He’s a homebody, so I don’t blame him for not wanting to come up with plans. Luckily, most of them have us sticking home for the most part.

Budget Friendly Family Summer Bucket List:

  • Camping (both in the backyard and eastern Washington)
  • Hiking
  • Zoo
  • Aquarium
  • Stargazing from the backyard and while camping
  • Water Balloon Fights (these look awesome)
  • Backyard movie night (this projector seems reasonable)
  • Fishing
  • Gold Panning
  • Preserving our garden harvest
  • Teach Wildchild to swim
  • Practice shooting compound bow
  • Backyard Jenga or Yahtzee
  • Ferry Ride
  • Build a playhouse (here’s a plan we like)

Since being on this debt free journey, we need to keep our bucket list budget friendly. That should be fairly easy to do because a lot of the items on our bucket list are local. Plus, we are far enough out from summer that we can create sinking funds. In case you are wondering what a sinking fund is, here is an awesome link explaining it.


Honestly, since we live pretty far out now it is likely that the Zoo will be more expensive than unusual. I think it cost us close to $100 just to get in last time. That is not including parking either. We are pretty good about taking our own food with us. However, we often fall prey to the Zoo store for the experience of getting a Zoo themed toy. We will have to be strong next time to keep the costs down.

Another potentially expensive family bucket list item is camping. We have all the necessary gear, though some of it may need to be replaced like sleeping bags. As long as we plan out meals and road trip snacks, we should be able to keep the costs relatively low. We will also try to camp on forest service roads or DNR designated spots to keep that cost down. All we would really need is a Northwest Forest Pass and/or a Discovery Pass. Plus, we have a family friend with a substantial amount of land that we could go camping on if we wanted.

Well, that’s a little of what we have planned for the summer. I am sure this list will grow a bit by the time summer actually rolls around. Do you have any exciting plans for the summer? Share them in the comments, let’s give each other some ideas!


- Barbara

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