Ahh, summertime is here! We are so excited for the longer days, sunny skies and relaxed schedule that comes with this season. 

Have you and your family ever made a summer bucket list? We make one every year, and hang it by the calendar. It’s a fun way to remind us to try something new, or return to a few of our favorite activities. Everyone gets to contribute an idea or two, and we try to check off as many items as we can before school starts in the fall. 

The best part about the Summer Bucket List? The items are often simple and low-cost, but have a high impact on our summertime memories. 

I encourage you and your family to give it a try this year. As things are opening up and returning to “normal”, this is a great way to get outside, have some fun, and make those memories with those you love. 

Need ideas? We’ve rounded up some inspiration for you. You can use our list, add to this, or get creative and make up your own. 

Ideas for a Summer Bucket List:

  • Take a hike. Eastwood MetroPark’s has great trails for hiking. We recommend checking out the Mad River Trail, which is 6.6. Miles and relatively flat. This offers an easy workout even children can handle, whether biking, skating or walking.
  • Get ice cream from the ice cream truck. This is a classic summer activity and you don’t have to leave your yard! When you hear the familiar jingle in your neighborhood, grab some spare change and treat the family to an ice cream cone. 
  • Play putt-putt. You don’t need to be a golfer to have fun playing miniature golf. It’s a guaranteed good time for everyone to grab a putter and play the game. The new Trails Miniature Golf course (located behind Skateworld of Kettering) is surrounded by trees and a natural stream, creating a perfect atmosphere for a round of putt-putt. 
  • Catch lightning bugs. Forget the early bedtime. Let the kids stay up until the stars come out and the glow of lightning bugs dots the night sky. Then give them a jar and watch them giggle and run as they catch the glowing bugs. 
  • Pitch a tent and have a backyard camp out. Whether you like to camp or not, a backyard camp out is the perfect way to spend a summer night. Pitch a tent and enjoy the sounds of nature (maybe once the cicadas are gone!), and sleep outside. When you’re in your backyard, the conveniences of running water and indoor plumbing are close, but it can still feel adventurous in the tent. 
  • Enjoy a pizza lunch at Ashley’s. Did you know Ashley’s makes fresh pizza daily? We serve it during the lunch hour and it’s delicious, if we may say so ourselves. Forget making lunches one week day and swing by with the bakery to pick up a slice or two…or a whole pizza pie! 
  • Catch a Dayton Dragon’s baseball game. The hometown baseball team is back in action and fans are welcome this season. There’s a reason baseball is America’s favorite pastime – there’s nothing quite being in the stands for the live action of a game. Tickets are reasonable for the whole family, and you can still enjoy a hot dog while you watch the team play ball. 
  • Run through the sprinkler. Nothing beats a hot summer day like running through the sprinkler in the backyard. Gather some neighborhood kids, roll out the hose, and let the fun fly. 
  • Go bowling. If you need a way to beat the heat or the rainy day blues, head to a local bowling ally and have some fun. Capri Lanes in Kettering offers a variety of events and bowling options for all skill levels.
  • Get donuts for dinner. When in doubt for what to have for dinner, make breakfast! It’s a hit no matter what you serve – eggs, pancakes, waffles, quiche  or maybe a combination of all of these! Pick up a dozen donuts from Ashley’s to serve, too, and this will be the favorite meal of the season!
  • Have an outdoor movie night. Take your movie night up a notch and watch your favorite flick outside! If you don’t have a portable movie screen (perhaps a friend or neighbor does!), you can always hang a white sheet or project a movie on your garage door. Open it up to friends for a neighborhood affair or keep it small with just your family. Grab some comfy blankets, fluffy pillows and freshly popped popcorn and you’re all set. 
  • Have a family game night. Summer schedules may be more relaxed with no set school day, but that doesn’t mean our days aren’t full. Relax and reconnect with your family over board games. Whether you have a quarantine favorite you can play, or you prefer something simple like a deck of cards, the whole family will have a good time when you slow down and bust out the board games again.
  • Visit a farmer’s market. Summertime is the best time for fresh fruits and veggies. And there’s no better place to pick ripe, delicious fruit and fresh, in-season vegetables, than at a local farmer’s market. Lucky for us, the Dayton area is teeming with options. Dayton Local.com has a great list of area farmer’s markets hours and events. You can find it here
  • Watch fireworks. We love watching fireworks light up the summertime sky. Many fireworks displays and celebrations are back this year for the 4th of July holiday. With events happening for a few days before and after Independence Day, hopefully a time works with your schedule and check this item off your list!

Happy Summer!