Fun things to do in summer

We just celebrated the long Fourth of July weekend. This usually marks the midpoint of summer, which means the longer days, sunny skies and relaxed schedule of this season are flying by. 

While it seems to be going quickly, there really is still plenty of time left to enjoy sweet summertime, and check all of those items off your summer bucket list. 

Do you and your family make a summer bucket list? It’s something we do every year, and we hang it right by the calendar. It’s our tangible reminder 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. 

There’s still plenty of time to give it a try and make your own list this year. 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. 

Summer Bucket List ideas:

  • 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, rollerblading, 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 campout. Whether you like to camp or not, a backyard campout is the perfect way to spend a summer night. Pitch a tent and enjoy the sounds of nature, 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! Ride your bikes or scooters to the bakery, and this can be the reward waiting at the end. 


  • Catch a Dayton Dragon’s baseball game. The hometown baseball team is back in action and a night at the ballpark is fun for the whole family. 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 reasonably priced, there isn’t a bad seat in the house, and there is plenty of food and beverage options available for everyone. Plus, there are fun games, trivia, and activities each inning, so there’s never a dull moment. 


  • 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 about 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 after dinner. Whether you have a familiar favorite you love to 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 has a great list of area farmer’s markets hours and events. You can find it here


We hope you have fun crafting your bucket list and creating summer memories to last a lifetime. After all, life is to be celebrated and we’re happy to be along for the ride. 

Happy summer, friends!