Do you want to have fun and make long-lasting memories with your family? Start by creating a bucket list for families!
What is a Bucket List?
The idea of a bucket list came from the term “kick the bucket,” a slang phrase meaning “die.” So, a bucket list would be a list of things you want to do before you die.
Most people probably have an informal bucket list of things like:
- graduate from college
- get a good job
- buy a house
- have a family
Bucket list ideas are often specific activities or adventures that you want to experience during your life.
So, what things do you want to experience during your lifetime?
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What is a Bucket List for Families?
A bucket list for families would be a list of things that your family wants to experience together.
When you create a fun family bucket list, you will have more ways that you can connect with your family and make loving memories.
As a single mom, I know how hard it is to find time to spend with your family. Making a bucket list and setting aside time to try these things can foster connection and help you develop close bonds with your loved ones.
(Incidentally, there was also a popular movie about bucket lists called The Bucket List, starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson.)
How Do I Make a Family Bucket List?
First, take some time and sit down with your family and write down ALL the things that you want to experience.
You can start by asking what are the things that your family likes to do together for fun?
My kids are always saying things like Mom, can we do this one day? or Mom, can we go on a trip to…?
Brainstorm together and write everything down, even the crazy ideas.
Then, you can organize by category: things to do, places to visit, or experiences to try.
Ask questions and talk about your favorite activities to do together as a family.
Do you need some help to get started?
Check out these simple bucket list ideas!
Simple Bucket List for Families
- Pick local berries
- Star gaze and look for constellations
- Have a Yes Day!
- Swim at the beach
- Visit a local museum
- Collect seashells, rocks, pinecones, or leaves (and use them to decorate your home!)
- Camp (in the living room or outside!) – (or try glamping instead)
- Try a new food or new restaurant
- Ride a horse
- Tour a local factory or shop
- Visit and explore tide pools
- Have a water balloon fight
- Throw a neighborhood block party
- Set up an outdoor movie night in your yard with a projector
- Have a fancy dinner (get out the china dishes and put on your best clothes!)
- Do a home work out
- Let your kids prepare and cook a dinner
- Play mini-golf
- Open a bank account for your kids and teach them about money
- Attend a play at your local theater
- Drive around and hit up the garage sales in your area
- Play board games/have a family game night
- Tend to or start a garden
- Make smores
- Research more about your family tree (you can use Ancestry.com)
- Get your art supplies out and have an arts & crafts day
- Learn a new language
- Visit a museum
- Build a fort (indoors or outdoors)
- Start a scrapbook
- Go on a hike
- Go fishing
- Play charades or karaoke
- Tie-dye some clothes
- Do a home project together (fix something around the house, build a treehouse, paint a room…)
- Have a baking contest or a video game tournament
- Do some science experiments
- Start a family savings account (or a bucket list savings account or a fun vacation savings account…)
- Try bowling, ice skating, or roller skating
- Visit and tour a local farm
- Go on a picnic
- Dress up – in fun costumes or fancy clothes
- Put on a family talent show
- Go to a carnival
- Have a movie night (and make it a marathon by watching all the sequels in a row!)
- See a drive-in movie
If you are up for more adventure and have room in your budget, consider writing down a travel bucket list.
Here are some ideas to get you started…
Travel Bucket List for Families
- Travel to a foreign country
- Go whale-watching
- Get out on the water somewhere and have fun – try paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, jet skiing, or boogie boarding
- See a national park or landmark – like the Grand Canyon
- Stay in a treehouse
- Go rafting
- Take a hot air balloon ride
- Visit a hands-on museum or discovery center
- Visit a place connected to your family heritage
- Go mountain climbing
- Take a long family road trip to someplace you’ve never been before
- Attend a special concert or play
- Go to an amusement park
- Travel to a new destination you have never been to
- Attend a sports event
- Visit a zoo, aquarium, or wildlife park
- Visit every single US state!
- Go snorkeling
- Hike in the desert
- View wild animals in their natural habitat
- Visit a hot springs
- Hike in the desert (Arches National Park is beautiful)
- Hike in the rainforest (the Hoh Rain Forest is lovely as well)
- Visit a historic city
- Take your family in an RV on a trip (like Robin Williams in the movie RV!)
- Travel to visit well-known theme parks – like Disney World or Universal Studios
- Visit water parks (like Great Wolf Lodge)
- Go camping or glamping somewhere far from home
- Take a backpacking tour somewhere
- Take a tour to learn more about history
- Participate in a volunteer trip – there are a lot of organizations, like International Volunteer HQ, Project Abroad, or Give Kids the World
- Stay on a farm
- Take a winter trip to experience the snow
- Take a desert trip
Up for some absolutely crazy fun times?
Check out these crazy fun bucket list ideas!
Crazy Fun Bucket List Ideas
- Take surfing lessons
- White water raft
- Go in a submarine
- Participate in a marathon (you can walk it!)
- Go on a safari
- Dog sled
- Visit all 7 continents
- See the Northern Lights
- Scuba dive
- Live in another country
- Stay overnight in a castle (or a treehouse)
- Go on a cruise
- Sleep in a yurt
- Stay on a houseboat
- Attend the Olympics
- Hang glide
- Dye everyone’s hair a funky color
- Eat unusual foods (like Bear Grylls does in You vs. Wild ha!)
Are you unable to take a lot of time off of work?
No worries! You can still have fun and make loving memories with your family for free or very little money and on the weekend!
Budget-Friendly Bucket List Ideas
- Family bike ride
- Build a fort in the living room (or at a local beach with driftwood)
- Make a new recipe (use what’s already in your cupboard!)
- Have an arts and crafts day
- Learn a magic trick
- Put on a play
- Build a snow fort
- Watch a sunrise/sunset together
- Start a family savings account
- Start a new family tradition
- Create an obstacle course
- Read together
- Plant a family garden
- Fly a kite
- Write letter to your future selves
- Go indoor rock climbing
- Eat any meal you want – breakfast for dinner, ice cream for breakfast
- Start a water balloon fight
- Go 24 hours without internet or TV
- Write a song
- Have a pillow fight
- Go on a rain walk and splash in puddles
- Have a movie marathon (borrow movies from the library or your use your own movies)
- Play a board game (we really like this one and this one!)
- Create your own new game or board game (get the creative juices flowing!)
- Read a book series together (try this set or this one – two of our favorites!)
- Have a family game night (and give out prizes!)
- Create a family tree or photo album
- Learn a new language (there are tons of free online videos)
- Visit a new playground
- Paint pottery (like mugs or plates) and use them for dinner or special occasions (like birthdays or special holidays)
- Teach kids about money
- Learn the US states (and capitals)
- Make a comic book
- Have a family reunion
- Look through photo albums
- Have a food fight
- Declutter toys and clothes and donate
- Do a digital detox (for a day, week, or a month!)
- Create a family cookbook using favorite recipes
- Do something kind for a neighbor or friend
- Teach kids a life skill (to do laundry, cook, etc.)
- Build sandcastles at the beach
- Surprise your family with breakfast in bed
- Lego building competition
- Make a puppet show together
- Set up a scavenger hunt around the house
- Find a pen pal family and write and send pictures
- Set up a Lemonade stand
- Do some puzzles together
- Create a family movie
- Fill up a family time capsule
Final Thoughts on Creating a Bucket List for Families
Lastly, I’ll just leave you with this – I know that my two girls would tell me that their most fond memories are not the few, big, exciting trips that we have taken, but the small, fun, tight-knit experiences we have had together (like making pancakes every Saturday morning or going to the pumpkin patch every fall or having movie nights with popcorn in our pjs).
The goal of a family bucket list isn’t to do all of the most amazing things or to “show off” to other families, but rather to pick a few things that your family can do together and enjoy! And it’s fun to check them off the list!
Find out the things that you and your kids like to do together as a family and do those!
What experiences and adventures are on your bucket list for families? What would you add to this list?