The Ultimate 2024 Summer Bucket List for Teens (2024)

When my daughter was small, every summer we created a family summer fun list full of outings, day trips, and fun activities around the house. Over the years, our summer fun list faded into the background as summer camp, road trips, sports, and other priorities came to the forefront. But with graduation fast approaching, it was time to rethink the summer fun list and turn it into a summer bucket list for teens.

This list was first created a couple of years ago when we needed to be creative about coming up with fun things to do. Now we have expanded this list to include activities that can be done both independently and with family or friends.

Why Create a Summer Bucket List?

Unless your teenager has a summer job or internship or is going to summer camp or on a service trip, they will have a lot of time on their hands. While teens may start with great intentions about all the fun things they want to do during their free summer, those plans often go by the wayside once they start sleeping in and going down the social media rabbit hole on their phones.

If you want your teen to learn to set goals and also have a fun and productive summer, a bucket list is a great way to start. It is a way to focus their intentions and to have a summer full of fantastic memories instead of a wasted summer spent staring at their phone.

Plus, with a summer bucket list for teenagers, every time your teen feels bored, you can point them toward the list and give them a place to focus their energy. And, if your teen has been struggling to find his or her place in a friend group or feeling a bit down, a bucket list of fun activities gives them something to look forward to all summer long.

Summer Bucket List for Teens

To plan our summer, I sat down with my teen and we created our own list, which I then in turn made into a summer bucket list that teens can do almost anywhere. I’d love to hear what other activities you put on your teen’s summer bucket list!

Fun Things for Teens to Do Outside this Summer

The Ultimate 2024 Summer Bucket List for Teens (1)

Visit a farm — no matter where you live, you might be surprised by the creative ways that local farmers have engaged with the community. So far we have visited a local farm to cuddle with goats (they also offer goat yoga), pick strawberries, pick our own flowers, and cut our own lavender. Just check with the farm first as some require reservations.

Hike in a local park — Try a new trail, let them guide the way, or bring a friend a let them explore. AllTrails is a great way to find local trails of varying lengths and difficulty. Check local parks, state parks, arboretums, and botanical gardens for ideas.

Stargaze — watch the weather for a clear night when the moon is waning and the stars shine brightly, then head away from as much light pollution as you can to watch the stars. Bring blankets and cozy up as you lay back and search for constellations. Or, check with your local observatories and see if they are offering any public stargazing events!

The Ultimate 2024 Summer Bucket List for Teens (2)

Go paddling — pick your paddle — canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard and head out on the lake, pond, ocean, or river.

Swim — head to a nearby beach, lake, or pool for a swim day. The nice thing is that teens can now carry their stuff.

Run a 5K — so many organizations like Girls on the Run offer running programs if there isn’t someone to run with. This is also a great way to train for fall sports.

Take a bike ride — jump on a local bike path and see how many miles you can clock.

The Ultimate 2024 Summer Bucket List for Teens (3)

Go to the zoo — there are also drive-through zoos and safari parks. We have found that teens aren’t too old to enjoy looking at animals. Just check to see if you need to buy timed-entry tickets before just showing up. Make it extra special with some fun behind-the-scenes or VIP animal encounters or be a “zookeeper for a day.”

Camp in the backyard — pitch a tent and camp in the backyard (or a local campground). Play a game of flashlight tag while you are out there or buy some sparklers and s’mores fixings.

Play mini-golf — whether it is with friends or family, a round or two of mini-golf is a fun way to be outside without too much pressure — unless you have a strong competitive streak! I’ve also found that my teen and her friends love Top Golf!

The Ultimate 2024 Summer Bucket List for Teens (4)

Float down a river — rent tubes or book a private rafting tour down a river this summer.

Watch a movie outdoors — visit a local drive-in or concoct an outdoor movie “theater” in your backyard.

Grow a garden — whether it is an herb garden, flower garden, or vegetable garden, tending your plants and watching them grow is so rewarding — especially when you can eat what you pick!

The Ultimate 2024 Summer Bucket List for Teens (5)

Take to the treetops — zip lines and tree-top adventure courses are fun for the family or your teen’s friend group.

Visit a farmers’ market — farmers’ markets are a fun place to buy local produce, meats, fish, dairy, baked goods, and other prepared items. It is even more fun consuming all the goodies you buy!

Go on a picnic — pick a park with a view and lots of space to keep to yourself and pack up a picnic basket. In our house, we love Uncrustables and frozen blueberries for picnics on hot summer days!

The Ultimate 2024 Summer Bucket List for Teens (6)

Do a photoshoot in your hometown — meet up with friends and be a tourist in your own town and take pictures of each other in front of local street art, cool buildings, and scenic views.

Light sparklers in the backyard — teens are old enough to responsibly and safely play with sparklers in the backyard and will have fun creating videos and pictures as mementos.

Make s’mores — in our house, it isn’t summer until we have had our first fire pit and made s’mores.

The Ultimate 2024 Summer Bucket List for Teens (7)

Run through the rain — don’t let a rainy day make you sad! Running through a summer shower can be so fun — something mom didn’t always “let” you do when you were younger.

Go-karting — if your teen is old enough to learn to drive, this is a good summer to practice. But even if they aren’t, they can get a feel for the wheel with some outdoor go-karting (or indoors at a go-karting track).

Eat outside — outdoor dining can mean the backyard, visiting a food truck and eating in a park, or enjoying a patio restaurant (especially one with a view!)

Fun Things to Do with Teens Inside this Summer

The Ultimate 2024 Summer Bucket List for Teens (8)

Go rock climbing – if you haven’t tried indoor rock climbing yet, this is the summer to give it a try at a local climbing gym.

Bake a dessert — what’s the best thing to do with the berries you picked at the farm? Turn them into a cobbler! This is the perfect time to try to make your favorite summer dessert.

Take a cooking class — does your kid like watching cooking shows? Maybe they would like to develop their cooking skills. Many local restaurants and even colleges offer cooking classes for kids or as part of community classes.

Learn a new skill — want to learn to play an instrument, speak a new language, or take an elective you can’t get at school? Now is the time to explore your interests and figure out what paths you want to pursue. There are tons of free resources on YouTube and Khan Academy. Pick something fun that doesn’t feel like school.

Take an art class — after a stressful school year, it can be nice to tap into the creative side of your brain and your teen may love exploring different types of art classes including photography, painting, pottery, and more.

Plan a theme cooking night — pick a theme (a style of cuisine, a special ingredient, or something crazy and fun) and divide up the meal with everyone in the family making a different course. Then sit down and enjoy the feast.

The Ultimate 2024 Summer Bucket List for Teens (9)

Practice test skills — no one ever wants to think about the dreaded SAT or ACT but if your teen isn’t busy this summer, it is a perfect time to brush up on test-taking skills or enroll in a prep course.

Host a sleepover — once school is out, teens appreciate the opportunity to stay up late, sleep in, and spend quality time with friends.

Have a spa day — try at-home facials, get manicures and pedicures, or even try the fun kind of face masks.

Make a BFF scrapbook — the teen years go by fast. Create a scrapbook to pass around from friend to friend, with everyone adding a few pages — it will become a treasured monument to friendships.

Plan a craft night or visit a painting studio — there are so many painting and crafting classes that you can take together or online to watch to let your inner artist emerge.

The Ultimate 2024 Summer Bucket List for Teens (10)

Have a movie marathon — pick a rainy day or when it is just too hot to go outside to binge that movie marathon you have always wanted to do. Pick a series (Star Wars, Harry Potter…) or a theme (rom-com, social justice), get cozy, and settle in.

Livestream a Broadway show or concert — you do know that Hamilton is on Disney + right? So is the Taylor Swift Eras Tour. There are also other live performances you can stream on YouTube and Netflix (like Ben Platt’s Netflix special or the Miss Americana Taylor Swift documentary).

Create a vision board — teens spend a lot of time dreaming of the future, now is the time to create a vision board. What do you want in your life — travel? school? friends? relationships? activities?

Write in a journal — getting used to journal writing is a great way to warm up for writing college essays. Plus, later in life your teen will love looking back on their earlier years and memories.

Plan a dream trip — use this vacation planner to start mapping out a future trip. Here are some great ideas for trips with teens.

The Ultimate 2024 Summer Bucket List for Teens (11)

Learn a TikTok dance — everyone else is doing it, so why not join the fun? Better yet, challenge your mom or dad to learn along with you.

Host a book club — find a book you love (or think will be fun to talk about) and get your friends to read it and then host a virtual book club discussion. See our recommendations on books for teens.

Create a YouTube channel — be creative and find a way to stand out by creating a YouTube channel reading to kids, leading experiments, singing, or showing off your skills.

Research colleges — it isn’t too early to start narrowing down a list of schools you may want to check out and attending virtual college tours. Think about size, location, majors, activities, sports, and other factors important to you, and use a site like College Board to create a list.

Learn to do laundry — it may not be fun but someday you will be on your own or off at college and it isn’t cool to shrink your sweaters or turn all your clothes blue so learn how to do your laundry now when you have someone to guide you.

The Ultimate 2024 Summer Bucket List for Teens (12)

Experiment with a new look — you don’t need to reinvent yourself but maybe now is the time to try out a new hairstyle, hair color, fashion style, or makeup.

Learn to meditate – middle school and high school are stressful, especially now. Guided meditation can be a great way to calm the brain and just breathe so you can live in the moment and release some of those worries. Find suggestions on YouTube or try out the Calm app.

Create a time capsule — these are crazy times you are living through. It is the perfect time to create a time capsule with your favorite photos, music, movies, and foods. Make sure to include some headlines from this time too.

Support a cause — do you feel activated to take on a cause that is important to you? Whether it is anti-racism, Black Lives Matter, the environment, LGBTQ rights, or anything else there are tons of ways to get involved online, learn to be an ally, and share resources.

Make homemade ice cream — it is summer and you need to cool off so learn to make your own homemade ice cream, juice popsicles, or other frozen treats.

Learn personal finance skills — adulting is coming and it is time to learn some basic skills. Set up a bank account, get a debit card, and learn to balance a checkbook.

Clean out closets — it is time to sort through those toys you don’t play with anymore and the clothes in the back of your closet that no longer fit and donate them to a local charity.

Join a campaign — are you political? This is the moment to volunteer for a campaign and see how you can help. Remember, local races matter too!

Download and print the summer bucket list for teens

Save this on Pinterest

The Ultimate 2024 Summer Bucket List for Teens (14)

The Ultimate 2024 Summer Bucket List for Teens (15)

Tamara Gruber

Tamara Gruber is the Founder and Publisher of We3Travel. A former marketing executive and travel advisor, Tamara is an award-winning travel writer and recognized expert in family travel. Tamara is a member of SATW and the Adventure Travel Trade Association, and serves on the Board of the Family Travel Association. She is also the publisher of and the co-host of the Vacation Mavens travel podcast.

The Ultimate 2024 Summer Bucket List for Teens (2024)


What is the most common thing on a bucket list? ›

Without a doubt, the most popular experience on someone's bucket list had to do with travel—and 77% of our survey indicated that they had some sort of travel goal on their personal lists.

What is the high school bucket list show? ›

Premise. Three childhood best friends set off on a quest to make the best out of their final two years of middle school by making a list of 100 things to achieve before they set off to high school. Along with the list and help from their guidance counselor, they make it through the highs and the lows of middle school.

What is your bucket list answer? ›

A bucket list is a list of experiences someone wants to have at some point in their life. They're a fun method of life-planning that can include professional and personal goals or anything else you can imagine. Your list will undoubtedly differ from your mom's, friend's, or coworker's — and that's okay.

What is your bucket list essay? ›

I believe that bucket list items don't necessarily have to be activities that we want to complete before we die, but also, life improvements that are necessary but at the moment are difficult to obtain. First, Traveling all around the world has always been my goal since I was little.

Why make a summer bucket list? ›

A summer bucket list lets you indulge your daydreams and think about all the things you, and your family or friends, want to do during the short season. It helps you make the most out of your time, so you don't feel disappointed by all you didn't do come the first day of fall.

What is a lifetime bucket list? ›

A bucket list is a list of the experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime. A bucket list is an itemized list of goals people want to accomplish before they “kick the bucket” — or die.

How do I fulfill my bucket list? ›

The best approach to bucket list ideas is to engage with the excitement of picturing these experiences in advance and the joy of ticking them off one by one. Remember, a bucket list isn't set in stone. It's a dynamic list that can evolve with you over time. As you grow, learn, and change, your bucket list can, too.

What's in my bucket activity? ›

Steps for attention bucket –

“I have something in my bucket, in my bucket, in my bucket, I have something in my bucket, I wonder what it is. (Sing and sign as shown in the video. An adult will then take out an item from the bucket, name the item and demonstrate using the toy. (Child is required to sit and observe).

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Errol Quitzon

Last Updated:

Views: 6140

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (79 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Errol Quitzon

Birthday: 1993-04-02

Address: 70604 Haley Lane, Port Weldonside, TN 99233-0942

Phone: +9665282866296

Job: Product Retail Agent

Hobby: Computer programming, Horseback riding, Hooping, Dance, Ice skating, Backpacking, Rafting

Introduction: My name is Errol Quitzon, I am a fair, cute, fancy, clean, attractive, sparkling, kind person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.