Adventures Life

Summer Bucket List 2017

Today is officially the first day of summer and we are celebrating with our Summer Bucket List for 2017!

I love kicking off the new seasons with a long list of fun things to do.

I’ve complied a list of 40 fun things to do this summer to keep you and your children entertained.

Summer Bucket List

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Summer Bucket List 2017

1.Go camping:  This is the first item on our summer bucket list this year because I am so excited to take our boys.  I feel like now that they are 2 and 3 it is the perfect time to go on our first family camping trip.  –Where are your favorite places to camp? This year we want to visit Hocking Hills and Indian Lake State Park.

2. Go to a splash pad: There are tons of options for splash pads all around Columbus and so far we have only been to the Scioto Mile Fountains.  This summer we have plans to check out the Powell Splash Pad and

3. Check out a new library: The new library in Grove City is absolutely amazing. We also love going to the main library downtown for Friday story time. This summer I hope to discover some more fun libraries in the area.

4.Visit a farm: Our favorite farm we have discovered so far is Slate Run Historical Farm. I’m sure we will spend a few afternoons there this summer but I also hope to discover a few more. Where are your favorite farms?

5.Watch fireworks:  Fireworks are something my boys have yet to experience. Since they don’t start until after 9pm and the boys usually are in bed by 7:30 or 8 it just didn’t seem like something we needed to do when they were babies.  Now that Tucker is a lively 2 year old I think this year we will finally start our fireworks on the 4th tradition.

6. Take swimming lessons: Last year Tucker was still so little and we never went to full size pools so I didn’t really consider swimming lessons for the boys. With all the talk about water safety and how quickly a child can drown in very little amounts of water, swim lessons are definitely  on our list this year. I’ve heard wonderful things about Goldfish Swim School and with my boys love of water and new obsession of swimming in the bathtub, I think swimming lessons just may be one of the highlights of our summer.

7. Make Popsicles: No summer is complete without out homemade Popsicles. Fill them up with any flavor you want and enjoy them out in the sunshine.

8. Go to the zoo: We absolutely love living so close to the Columbus Zoo.  If you live near a great zoo I recommend getting their season passes. This way you can take your kids as much as you want and plan to see certain exhibits at certain times of the day.  That way if you are only able to last an hour or two in the heat it’s not a waste of money.

9. Treasure Hunt: I take the boys on nature walks all the time through parks and trails. This summer I want to spice that up a bit with their first treasure hunt! Mikey has had a pirate theme since his baby shower and his first word was most likely “ARRGH!”  I’m looking forward to creating a fun treasure hunt and of course providing plenty of booty at the end.

10. Play with sidewalk chalk: A summer classic every child should experience. Draw your favorite things, play tic tac toe, or a game of hopscotch. The fun can last for hours with only a few dollars worth of chalk.

11. Go berry picking:  Last August we went to Blueberry Valley and had a lot of fun. A few weeks ago we got our fill of strawberries at Hann Farms.  Would love to find a farm to pick raspberries or blackberries at this summer.

12. Find a new park: We have our favorite parks in Grove City, and have explored quite a few around Columbus, but we have come no where near seeing all the parks this wonderful city has to offer. This will be our third summer in Ohio and I hope we get a chance to visit all the Metro Parks we haven’t had a chance to explore yet.

13. Finger paint: I found an awesome recipe for homemade finger paint here. Can’t wait to try it out!

14. Water balloons: You can’t have a summer bucket list without water balloons!  Combine two of my boys favorite things and we are bound to have hours of fun.  This year I’m trying out these Minion Water Balloons. The idea of filling up all these balloons and having them tie themselves just sounds too good to pass up.

15. Paint a rock: I recently learned about the Kindness Rocks Project and I am so excited to paint some rocks to spread love and kindness to others this summer.  My boys are avid rock collectors, so even though they might not be the best painters yet, I’m sure they will still love participating in this fun project with me.

16. Play in the sprinkler: We recently received this awesome Little Tikes Beach Ball Sprinkler from the boy’s Grandma. So far it has provided hours of entertainment! 

17. Make smores: If we don’t get to do this while camping we’ll be sure to have a few evenings around our fire pit in the backyard. 

18. Attend a baseball game:  As a kid this is one of my favorite summer past times. Growing up in Vero Beach, Fl we always had the Dodgers in town for Spring Training when growing up. Nothing says summer like a hot dog while watching a baseball game live in the stadium.

19.Play mini golf: This will be a first for the boys this summer as well. When was the first time you brought your kids to play putt putt? I’m sure they won’t be very good this year, but that won’t stop them from having fun.

20. Go bowling: My husband and I always loved going bowling, especially when they redid the Vero Lanes in our hometown.  We have yet to take the boys yet, but with all the high tech stuff I’ve seen in bowling alleys now, from the bumpers that rise out of the gutters, to the

21. Attend a movie: I’ve heard of theaters offering day time showing more suitable for younger children.  Now that my boys are 2 and 3 I think this summer will be a perfect time to introduce them to seeing a movie on the big screen. What movies are you looking forward to taking your kids to this summer?

22. Make lemonade: I’m talking fresh squeezed lemonade. My boys love helping me in the kitchen and this is a fun activity that they can really help with.

23. Visit a nature center: One of our favorite places to explore are our local Metro Parks. Battelle Darby Creek has an amazing Nature Center with a live stream running through it. I know a few of the other Metro Parks have nature centers too and we are excited to discover all they have to offer this summer.

24. Go out for ice cream: You can read all the reasons we love Graeter’s Ice Cream, but can you believe we’ve lived in Columbus for two years now and have not tried Jenni’s. This summer I plan to change that.  Where are your favorite places to get ice cream near Columbus?

25. Go to the fair: This is a summer necessity in our home. My husband and I both love going to fairs, something about all the lights, fun games, and food that makes it a must do on our list every year. Last year we went to both our county and state fair. So looking forward to when the Ohio State Fair is here in July.

26. Go canoeing: Our plan for Father’s Day was to take the boys out canoeing for the first time. Unfortunately the weather didn’t agree with us that day so now it’s been added to our summer bucket list. My dad owned a small kayak shop when I was little and I used to love spending my summers out on the river. I hope to make some of those same fun memories with my boys. Any tips on the best places to take toddlers canoeing? Some of the places I found say 8 and up.

27. Visit a farmer’s market: I’ve been doing my research and there are so many Farmer’s Markets surrounding Columbus that we could literally visit one ever day. We’ve walked through the Grove City market on Broadway last year, but this year I’d like to find a bigger one. Our first stop will be Clintonville Farmer’s Market where I hear you can actually meet the Farmer’s on Saturdays.

28. Tour a fire station: This is something I’ve been promising to my boys for awhile and still have yet to do. Hoping to check it off our list this summer.

29. Build a fort: This is another favorite past time from my summers as a kid. We would build forts with our couches, our beds, and even made some awesome ones outside.

30. Volunteer: I believe teaching your kids about kindness and helping others is something that should be started at a very young age. This summer I’d like to find some fun way to volunteer with my boys.  If anyone knows of anything in the Columbus area that needs volunteers this summer please let us know!

31. Build a sandcastle: This may be a little harder to do this year since we have yet to find a beach to go to in Ohio. But I know a few parks with sandboxes so if that’s what I gotta do to check this off our list I’m not above it.

32. Fly a kite: We flew our first kite with the boys last month. They absolutely loved it, until they flew it into a tree.  Hoping to up our kite flying skills this summer.

33. Go on a train ride: Mikey has been begging for this since his train obsession began last year. We did ride the train at the Columbus Zoo but left a bit disappointed with the ride.  I’ve read that the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway offers some great train rides with lots of beautiful scenery.

34. Go on a picnic: This is one of my favorite things to do in the summer up here. Spreading out our big blanket at one of our favorite parks and enjoying a picnic lunch together. I love how something so simple can create ever lasting memories.

35. Find a beach: Calling all Ohio Natives! Where is the closest beach? Last year we spent 10 days in Florida over the summer so we got our beach days in. This year we will be in Ohio all summer and would love to check out some type of beach near by.  Please leave any and all recommendations below.

 36. Play ‘Simon Says’:  It’s always good to keep some items on the list for rainy days and this is ours. Simon Says is a great way to work on getting your little ones to listen and follow directions. I’m thinking I’ll change this one to “Mommy Says” and initiate games when needed.

37. Make homemade pizza: I’ve found some new recipes to try to make our own pizza dough. Being that pizza is and forever will be my favorite food, this is something I hope to have fun doing with my boys for years down the road.  Nothing better than picking all your own toppings and dressing up your very own hand tossed pizza.

38. Catch lightening bugs: This is something we never got to experience as kids growing up in Florida. But I do have memories of going to my family reunion in Iowa when I was 3 or 4 and catching fireflies. It’s such a magical part of summer for kids and I can’t wait to get our boys out in the backyard to catch some on their own.

39. Plant a garden: The boys received little chia pets in their Easter Baskets this year.  They absolutely loved planting them and watering them everyday.  This summer I’d like to up the ante and plant a small herb garden.  I might even try to do indoors.

40. Visit a museum: Last summer we had a family membership to COSI and spent a lot of time there. This summer we’d like to check out some museums we have yet to go to.  The Ohio History Center and the Central Ohio Fire Museum are at the top of our list.  Where are your favorite museums?

View from COSI downtown Columbus
View from COSI of Downtown Columbus

What’s on your summer bucket list?  Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with all the daily chaos.

I’ll try to keep this post as updated as possible with links as we check items off our bucket list.

Happy Summer!


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  1. Such a fun list! Going to a fire station is something that we MUST do soon. James is obsessed these days! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great list!! We have already knocked off quite a few of these! Ours is a tad bit different with us living in the country, but very similar! I love it!

    1. ChaosinMommyhood says:

      Ours has changed since moving from Florida. Love living somewhere with actual seasons now.

      1. Oh gosh! I can imagine. My sister in law recenlty moved to Florida and they were at the beach on Christmas day. She constantly posted about how warm it was when she new we were freezing (and that was in Texas!). I honestly can’t imagine living anywhere else where it gets too cold for long months or too warm for long months. Texas has bipolar weather, but it’s not so bad!

  3. Those are all great ideas! Our summer bucket list is full of a lot of what you’ve listed and taking on some new hiking/biking trails. 🙂

    1. ChaosinMommyhood says:

      We love finding new trails to hike

  4. […] The rest of the week seemed to fly by, holidays mid-week always seem to make the days go by faster.  We had some evening walks around the neighboorhood, Mikey practiced riding his bike some more and the boys had their first ice cream truck experience, something that totally should have been on our Summer Bucket List. […]

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