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339 Best Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults

Are you looking for fun and unique activities that are more exciting than the usual?

Are you wondering how to fit all that you want to do into your daily life and budget?

This epic list of 339 summer bucket list ideas for adults has you covered!

Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults - Cover Photo

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About the Author - Dr. Angela Caveney


Ah, summer—the season that embodies the essence of fun, sun, and the pursuit of happiness.

Are you an empty nester or newly retired and hoping for a bit of reinvention?

Or maybe you and your partner aim to rekindle your connection during the more relaxed summer months and are looking for some great dating ideas.

The sunshine season is the perfect time to take a step back, reignite old passions and get out of our comfort zones by trying some new things.

Ready to make this summer legendary?

Wondering how to find time?

Before we get started, I'd like to address the most common question I hear from my friends, family members and therapy clients when I start talking about bucket lists, as well as about trying out new activities more generally.

"I'm so busy! How do I find the time to do everything I want to do?"

The first step to answering this question is to make sure you know your core personal values inside and out.

Next, you need to have a solid idea of the goals you have for what you want life to look like.

With these things clear in your mind, it then comes down to understanding that you DO have time... for the things that are most important to you.

Not convinced? (It's ok. Most people aren't. It's a different way of looking at life.)

This article about slowing life down will help.

Now...let's get to it!

Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults - Outdoor ideas

Outdoor Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults

Free outdoor activities

  1. Watch a sunrise from a hilltop

  2. Go for a full moon night walk

  3. Learn to identify constellations and stargaze

  4. Swim in a natural body of water

  5. Hike a local trail you’ve never explored

  6. Camp in a national forest

  7. Birdwatch in a wildlife preserve

Low cost outdoor activities

  1. Have a picnic in the park with homemade sandwiches

  2. Rent a kayak or paddleboard for a day on the water

  3. Spend a day fishing or crabbing

  4. Rent a bike and explore a scenic trail

  5. Visit a botanical garden or arboretum

  6. Buy a hammock and set it up for a day of relaxation in nature

  7. Attend a workshop on foraging - and then go do it

  8. Visit a state park you’ve never been to

  9. Rent equipment and go snorkeling in a local reef

  10. Attend a workshop on wilderness survival skills

  11. Rent a mountain bike and explore off-road trails

  12. Buy a fishing license and go fishing

  13. Attend a local outdoor photography class

  14. Take a horseback riding lesson in a scenic area

Expensive outdoor activities

  1. Go on a guided overnight camping or backpacking trip

  2. Take a hot air balloon ride at dawn

  3. Enroll in a surf school

  4. Book a weekend at a remote cabin in the woods

  5. Join a guided scenic photography tour

  6. Go on a sailing or a yacht day trip

  7. Take a helicopter tour of a national park

  8. Rent a luxury RV for a week long road trip

  9. Take a scuba diving certification course

  10. Book a safari

  11. Attend a luxury yoga retreat in a natural setting

  12. Go on a guided fly fishing trip to a renowned river

  13. Book a multi-day guided rafting adventure

Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults - thrill ideas

Thrill-Seeking Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults

Free thrill seeking activities

  1. Cliff jump at a local swimming hole

  2. Participate in a flash mob

  3. Street luge down a steep hill

  4. Parkour in an urban park

  5. Skinny-dip at a secluded beach during a full moon

  6. Explore caves

Low cost thrill-seeking activities

  1. Bungee jump off a bridge

  2. Take a kite boarding lesson

  3. Whitewater raft on a challenging river

  4. Zipline through a forest canopy

  5. Hang glide off a small cliff

  6. Sandboard on desert dunes

  7. Skydive in a wind tunnel

Expensive thrill-seeking activities

  1. Skydive from an airplane

  2. Base jump with a wingsuit

  3. Go shark cage diving in open water

  4. Try heliskiing in remote mountains

  5. Go deep sea fishing for marlin or tuna

  6. Participate in a desert rally race

  7. Take a submarine tour of underwater wrecks

Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults - cultural ideas

Cultural Summer Bucket List Ideas For Adults

Free cultural activities

  1. Attend a free outdoor art festival

  2. Participate in a community mural project

  3. Visit local historical landmarks

  4. Explore ethnic neighborhoods in your city

  5. Attend a free lecture or workshop at a museum

  6. Join a cultural exchange meetup group

  7. Go to a free outdoor theater performance

  8. Enjoy free admission days at museums

  9. Walk through a public sculpture park

  10. Attend a poetry reading in the park

Low cost cultural activities

  1. Buy tickets to a local cultural fair

  2. Attend a live ethnic music concert

  3. Take a cooking class of a cuisine from a different culture

  4. Visit a cultural exhibition at a community college

  5. Go to a film screening of foreign films

  6. Participate in a traditional dance workshop

  7. Attend a book talk by an author from another country

  8. Visit a botanical garden with plants from around the world

  9. Join a guided historical or cultural walking tour of your city

Expensive cultural activities

  1. Book a cultural immersion workshop

  2. Take a guided tour abroad focusing on local arts and crafts

  3. Attend a high-end cultural gala or fundraiser

  4. Join an exclusive wine tasting tour in a renowned region

  5. Book a private guided tour of ancient ruins

  6. Enroll in a master class in a traditional art form

  7. Attend a renowned international film festival

  8. Take a luxury cruise focusing on cultural exploration

  9. Enroll in an intensive language immersion program

Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults - culinary ideas

Culinary Summer Bucket List Ideas For Adults

Low cost culinary activity ideas

  1. Host a potluck dinner with a summer theme

  2. Make homemade ice cream

  3. Have a backyard BBQ

  4. Create your own summer fruit water infusions

  5. Forage for wild edible plants and make a salad

  6. Bake a pie with berries you pick from a local farm

  7. Start an herb garden and use your herbs in recipes

  8. Cook a meal over a fire

  9. Visit a local farmers' market and prepare a meal with your finds

  10. Experiment with making different flavored BBQ sauces

  11. Attend a wine tasting at a local vineyard

  12. Try out a new summer cocktail recipe each week

Expensive culinary activity ideas

  1. Dine at a Michelin-star restaurant with a summer tasting menu

  2. Book a culinary vacation focused on summer cuisine

  3. Go on a gourmet food cruise

  4. Join a luxury wine club for the summer

  5. Take a guided tour of famous eateries in a major city

  6. Rent a beach house and hire a personal chef

  7. Go on a seafood tasting tour along the coast

Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults - fitness ideas

Fitness Related Summer Bucket List Ideas For Adults

Free fitness goal and activity ideas

  1. Join a park run in your local area

  2. Start a daily yoga challenge with online videos

  3. Take a long-distance bike ride on a trail

  4. Organize a hiking group with friends or family

  5. Swim laps in a community pool

  6. Try out outdoor body weight workouts

  7. Participate in a community clean-up while jogging (plogging)

  8. Practice Tai Chi or Qigong in a local park

  9. Commit to walking 10,000 steps a day

Low cost fitness goal and activity ideas

  1. Sign up for an outdoor boot camp

  2. Take beginner lessons in a sport you’ve always wanted to try

  3. Get a jump rope and master jump rope workouts

  4. Buy and learn to use resistance bands for strength training

  5. Enroll in a community sports league

  6. Purchase a month-long trial at a local gym or fitness center

  7. Invest in a good pair of running shoes and start a "Couch to 5K" program

Expensive fitness goal and activity ideas

  1. Hire a personal trainer

  2. Sign up for advanced sports lessons (e.g., scuba diving, rock climbing)

  3. Book a cycling or hiking tour in another country

  4. Enroll in a martial arts or boxing gym

  5. Buy a membership at a climbing gym

  6. Buy a paddleboard or surfboard and take up water sports

  7. Invest in a home gym system

  8. Register for a triathlon or marathon and hire a coach

Summer Bucket List Ideas for Seniors

Summer Bucket List Ideas for Seniors

Free senior activity ideas

  1. Join a senior walking club in a local park

  2. Participate in a free art class hosted by a community center

  3. Attend a "seniors day" event at a local museum

  4. Enjoy a morning of bird watching

  5. Take part in a library book club specializing in classic literature

Low cost senior activity ideas

  1. Enroll in a Tai Chi or gentle yoga class designed for seniors

  2. Take a pottery or painting class offered at a discounted rate for seniors

  3. Enjoy a leisurely tea tasting at a local tearoom

  4. Attend a matinee movie or play

  5. Visit a planetarium that offers a senior discount

  6. Attend a workshop on genealogy

Expensive senior activity ideas

  1. Book a scenic train ride through the countryside

  2. Enjoy a weekend retreat at a wellness center that offers programs for seniors

  3. Go on a gentle river cruise focusing on nature and wildlife

  4. Attend a concert series or theater subscription tailored to classical tastes

  5. Splurge on a professional family photo session for your entire extended family

  6. Stay at a resort that offers tailored programs for senior wellness

Creative Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults

Creative Summer Bucket List Ideas For Adults

Free creative activity ideas

  1. Organize a neighborhood scavenger hunt with unique, local landmarks

  2. Start a "book and hike" club and discuss books at the top of a hiking trail

  3. Host a driveway art gallery day, featuring local artists and neighbor's artwork

  4. Create a community garden mural project

  5. Participate in a city-wide "hidden rocks" hunt, painting and hiding rocks for others to find

  6. Offer a free class teaching a skill you already have

  7. Organize a "flash mob" dance or choir performance in a public area

  8. Run a DIY canoe day at a local lake with homemade boats

Low cost creative activity ideas

  1. Rent quirky bikes or scooters to explore a city’s art district

  2. Take an improv comedy workshop

  3. Attend a Murder Mystery Dinner

  4. Start geocaching

  5. Host a themed costume picnic in a park (e.g., 70s disco, superheros)

Expensive creative activity ideas

  1. Book a private flight lesson for an afternoon

  2. Sign up for a behind-the-scenes tour of a local distillery, including tastings and mixology classes

  3. Organize a private screening of a favorite movie in an old theater, with themed decorations and costumes

  4. Attend a workshop in another country focusing on a unique skill (e.g., glassblowing in Italy)

  5. Rent an exotic sports car for a day of scenic driving

  6. Book a private island day trip with snorkeling and a beach picnic

Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adult Gatherings

Social Gathering Summer Bucket List Ideas

Free social gathering ideas

  1. Create a beach bonfire night

  2. Host an outdoor movie night

  3. Create a sunset hiking group

  4. Form a group to volunteer at a local event for a cause you care about

  5. Organize community yoga in the park

  6. Plan a poetry reading under the stars

Low cost social gathering ideas

  1. Sing your heart out during karaoke night at a local bar

  2. Embark on a thrift shopping spree

  3. Solve mysteries together in a mystery escape room challenge

  4. Compete in a friendly mini-golf tournament

  5. Host an ice cream social

  6. Glide across a lake in rented paddle boats

Expensive social gathering ideas

  1. Enjoy a weekend group getaway at a cabin

  2. Organize a group vineyard tour and tasting

  3. Enjoy a gourmet cooking class with a local chef

  4. Charter a party boat for a day

  5. Plan a group spa day

  6. Organize a group guided hiking or kayaking tour

  7. Attend a high-profile sports event as a group

Personal Growth Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults

Personal Growth Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults

Free personal growth goals and activities

  1. Create (and follow) a morning routine

  2. Start a gratitude journal

  3. Try bullet journaling

  4. Commit to reading one book a week

  5. Learn a new language online

  6. Set and review personal monthly goals

  7. Begin a 30-day fitness challenge

  8. Practice public speaking

  9. Create a vision board for your future

Low cost personal growth goals and activities

  1. Enroll in an online course to learn a new skill

  2. Buy a plant and learn how to care for it

  3. Join a social club

Expensive personal growth goals and activities

  1. Hire a personal coach or mentor

  2. Attend a spiritual retreat or workshop

  3. Travel with purpose

  4. Get a comprehensive health and wellness check-up

Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults to Give Back

Bucket List Ideas for Adults To Give Back

Free ways to give back

  1. Help at a local food bank

  2. Volunteer for beach clean-up days

  3. Assist at animal shelters

  4. Offer to tutor students online

  5. Join a local park restoration project

  6. Engage in senior citizen companionship programs

  7. Spend time building homes with a housing charity

Low cost ways to give back

  1. Buy and distribute care packages to the homeless

  2. Create handmade gifts for children in hospitals

  3. Sponsor a local youth sports team

  4. Host a charity garage sale

  5. Buy supplies for a community beautification project

  6. Purchase and donate books to local schools or libraries

Expensive ways to give back

  1. Fund a scholarship for deserving students

  2. Sponsor a child's education in a developing country

  3. Donate to fund a well in a village lacking clean water

  4. Invest in medical equipment for underfunded clinics

  5. Sponsor an exhibition or event for emerging artists

  6. Contribute to the rescue and rehabilitation of endangered wildlife

  7. Make a significant contribution to disaster recovery funds in crisis-hit areas

HIstory themed Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults

Historical Exploration Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults

Free historical exploration activity ideas

  1. Join a community archaeological dig or historical preservation project

  2. Research your ancestry at a public library

  3. Volunteer at a historic site or event

  4. Attend a reenactment of a historical event

Low cost historical exploration activity ideas

  1. Rent a metal detector and explore local areas for historical artifacts

  2. Buy a historically themed board game to play with friends and family

  3. Visit a nearby historic village or colonial farm

  4. Attend a history book club or discussion group

  5. Subscribe to a history magazine or journal

  6. Visit smaller, lesser-known museums dedicated to specific historical events or periods

  7. Attend a vintage or antique fair to learn the history of different items

Expensive historical exploration activity ideas

  1. Book a guided historical tour in another country

  2. Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites

  3. Take part in an overseas archaeological excavation as a volunteer

  4. Attend a high-profile history conference or symposium

  5. Go on a historical exploration themed cruise (e.g., Viking history, Mediterranean civilizations)

  6. Book a private tour of historical archives or libraries

  7. Stay in a historic castle, manor, or estate that offers historical experiences

  8. Participate in a culinary tour that explores the history of specific cuisines or cooking methods

Gardening Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults

Gardening Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults

Free gardening activity ideas

  1. Plant a bee-friendly garden with native flowers

  2. Participate in a seed swap event

  3. Grow vegetables from kitchen scraps

Low cost gardening activity ideas

  1. Install a simple drip irrigation system for your garden

  2. Take a workshop on organic gardening techniques

  3. Build a raised bed vegetable garden

  4. Build a worm composting bin

  5. Plant a pollinator garden

  6. Buy and plant a fruit tree in your yard

  7. Purchase a bat house to encourage natural pest control

  8. Start a community garden

Expensive gardening activity ideas

  1. Invest in a high-quality greenhouse

  2. Hire a landscape architect to design a sustainable garden

Eco Friendly Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults

Green Living Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults

Free green living friendly activities

  1. Start composting

  2. Build a bird feeder from recycled materials

  3. Join a local volunteer tree-planting initiative

  4. Volunteer for beach clean-up days

  5. Ride your bike to work

  6. Conduct a DIY eco-friendly home products workshop

  7. Host a clothing swap

  8. Organize a community clean-up day

Low cost green living activities

  1. Organize a community tree planting day

  2. Attend a workshop on sustainable living practices

  3. Buy a rain barrel to collect and store rainwater

  4. Invest in a few beneficial insect colonies, like ladybugs or praying mantises

  5. DIY recycled paper and embed wildflower seeds for plantable art

Expensive green living activities

  1. Install a green roof or living wall

  2. Take an eco-tourism trip to a rainforest

  3. Enroll in an organic farming course and stay at an eco-lodge

  4. Book a sustainable cooking class in a foreign country

  5. Invest in solar panels for your home

  6. Take a permaculture design course

  7. Purchase an electric bicycle for emissions-free transportation

  8. Attend a retreat focused on permaculture and sustainable living

  9. Take a scuba diving course with a focus on marine conservation

  10. Convert your diesel garden machinery to electric

Arts and crafts Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults

Arts and Crafts Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults

Free arts and crafts activity ideas

  1. Sketch a sunrise or sunset from your favorite outdoor spot

  2. Create nature-inspired mandalas from found objects

  3. Host a beach art day with sand sculptures and driftwood art

  4. Organize a photography walk in your local park

  5. Participate in a community mural painting

  6. Craft handmade greeting cards from old magazines and scraps

  7. Try your hand at urban sketching in your city

  8. Host a free art class for your neighbors

Low cost arts and crafts activity ideas

  1. Attend a local craft fair and support artists

  2. Take a pottery painting class

  3. Get a small weaving loom and start weaving

  4. Sign up for a stained glass art workshop

  5. Enroll in an online calligraphy class

  6. Build and decorate a fairy garden in your backyard

  7. Take a silk-screen printing workshop

Expensive arts and crafts activity ideas

  1. Attend an art retreat

  2. Sign up for a multi-week glass blowing class

  3. Purchase a professional-grade sewing machine for fashion design

  4. Enroll in a metalworking course to create jewelry or sculptures

  5. Buy an advanced woodworking toolkit for crafting furniture

  6. Take part in a landscape painting course in an exotic location

  7. Invest in a quality pottery wheel and kiln for ceramics

  8. Join a leather working class and make your own handbags or wallets

Music and Dance Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults

Music and Dance Related Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults

Free ways to enjoy music and dancing

  1. Attend a free outdoor concert or music festival

  2. Host a backyard dance party with friends

  3. Participate in a community drum circle

  4. Create and share a summer playlist with friends

  5. Learn a new dance style through online tutorials

  6. Organize an acoustic open mic night

Low cost ways to enjoy music and dancing

  1. Take a beginner's class in a dance style you’ve always wanted to try

  2. Buy tickets for an outdoor amphitheater show

  3. Buy a ukulele and learn to play summer tunes

  4. Attend a local salsa night at a nearby club

  5. Buy a harmonica and learn to play blues by the bonfire

  6. Purchase a DIY instrument kit and build your own

Expensive ways to enjoy music and dancing

  1. Attend a famous music festival in another country

  2. Take private dance lessons from a renowned instructor

  3. Join a luxury dance retreat in an exotic location

  4. Book a trip to Broadway and watch several musicals

  5. Buy an electric guitar and take lessons

  6. Invest in high-end DJ equipment and learn to DJ

  7. Enroll in a songwriting workshop in a scenic location

  8. Purchase front-row tickets to see your favorite band live

  9. Book a cabin for a secluded songwriting retreat

  10. Take a ballroom dancing cruise

Book Related Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults

Book Related Summer Bucket List Ideas for Adults

Free book related activity ideas

  1. Join a local library’s summer reading challenge

  2. Organize a book swap with friends

  3. Start a book club (can be virtual)

  4. Write a short story or poem

  5. Participate in a public library book discussion

  6. Volunteer at a library or community literacy event

  7. Explore free ebooks and audiobooks from your library's digital resources

Low cost book related activity ideas

  1. Attend a book signing or author talk at a local bookstore

  2. Buy a novel from an independent bookstore

  3. Subscribe to a literary magazine for a year

  4. Purchase a journal specifically for book notes and reviews

  5. Purchase a used set of classics you’ve never read

  6. Attend a writing workshop at a community center

  7. Order a literary-themed cookbook and try recipes inspired by your favorite novels

Expensive book related activity ideas

  1. Attend a writer’s conference or literary festival

  2. Sign up for a “bookcation” - a vacation themed around a novel's setting

  3. Take a masterclass with a bestselling author

  4. Get a first edition of your favorite book

  5. Book a literary tour in a famous author’s hometown

  6. Subscribe to a premium book subscription box

  7. Invest in a rare or antique book collection

  8. Have a custom bookshelf built for your home library

  9. Commission artwork inspired by your favorite book or character

Final Thoughts

I hope you found inspiration in this article about summer bucket list ideas for adults!

Creating your summer bucket list is about more than just scribbling down adventures and dreams. It's a heartfelt commitment to exploring all that life has to offer.

Whether you're soaking in the pages of a treasured novel, expanding your knowledge of an unfamiliar culture, or simply finding the courage to dance like no one is watching, each item on your list is a step closer to a life well lived.

Echoing the timeless wisdom of Emmerson, "Life is a journey, not a destination." Why not make sure that your journey is an epic adventure?

About the Author

Angela Caveney, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist, Neuropsychologist and Founder of The Trybe Women's Social Club. Her absolute favorite things to do are to help women find their people, rediscover themselves and thrive throughout midlife. She can be reached directly at

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