101 Delicious and Memorable Summer Bucket List Ideas for 2023
May 16, 2023
Can you believe it’s nearly summer? I don’t know about you, but I’m extremely ready! Los Angeles had one of the rainiest seasons we’ve seen in years, so I’m counting down until it’s time to dust off the flip flops, grab my sunnies and make my favorite iced beverages.
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a laid-back homebody, I’ve got you covered with the ultimate Summer Bucket List Ideas for 2023.
This post is all about Summer Bucket List Ideas for 2023.
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Why You Should Make a Summer Bucket List
Now, let’s talk about Summer Bucket List challenges. Isn’t life more fun when it’s spontaneous?
A bucket list is not just a list of random activities; it’s a carefully planned list of experiences that help you break out of your normal routine and make core memories (any Inside Out fans?).
Sometimes planning with a checklist goes a long way in pushing you a little further past your day-to-day routine. Instead of sitting around thinking about what to do, you pull out your bucket list and get on your way.
Here’s an example… hiking Half Dome has been on my husband’s summer bucket list for years. But that’s not something you can just wake up and decide to do on a whim! Making a bucket list and talking about it with your spouse of your friends keeps you in the “adventurers” mindset and gives you even more motivation to make things happen. We ended up hiking the Half Dome Cables last summer and it was one of my absolute favorite memories! You can read all about it here.
It’s all about stepping out of your comfort zone, trying new things, and challenging yourself to find new ways to enjoy the simple blessings of life. Summer goes away faster than it comes, so this list will help you make the most of it!
What I’m Focusing on This Year
Of course, tasty food is ALWAYS a focus of mine. So I made sure to include plenty of fun recipes and tasty summer cocktails.
Some of my favorite summer memories are centered around food. Plus, you can find gorgeous fruits and veggies that are in season during the summer like watermelon, peaches, pineapple, citrus and heirloom tomatoes. I grabbed these photos of tomatoes and pomelos from LA’s Hollywood Farmers Market, which I highly recommend.
Oh, and don’t worry, I’ve thought of a little something for everyone. Whether you’re a crazy adventurer, a foodie, a teen, a couple, a family with kids, or making plans with friends, these Summer Bucket List Ideas have got you covered.
Summer Bucket List Ideas for 2023
For All Ages
Get a fire pit and make s’mores. For extra fun, use your favorite chocolate candy like Reese’s peanut butter cups or York Peppermint Patties instead of Hershey’s chocolate.
Go biking on a warm sunny day.
Create an outdoor movie theater in your backyard. We use this outdoor pop up screen from Amazon with a projector and it stores really compactly when not in use. You can put it together in under 5 minutes.
Pack a blanket and go stargazing.
Go ice blocking down a grassy hill.
Volunteer at a local non-profit.
Celebrate Christmas in July.
Drink from a coconut, a carved out pineapple shell or a mini watermelon.
Get off the grid and spend one whole day without your phone.
Snag a free slurpee at Seven Eleven on July 11th.
Go to a bookstore and pick out a book to read for the summer.
Start a summer workout challenge. I’m currently doing the Game Changer challenge from Les Mills, and loving it! There are plenty of other options on YouTube as well.
Watch the sunset.
Dance in the rain.
Go on a hike.
Spend a day geocaching for hidden treasure.
Go all out for 4th of July! Buy a red, white and blue outfit. Plan 4th of July snacks. Get fireworks or sparklers. Decorate. Find a 4th of July playlist. Be thankful all day for the freedom we are blessed with every day!
Make cookies for your neighbors. If you don’t know them, it’s a good chance to say hello and do something nice. You’ll be amazed how much it can make someone’s day. And yours!
Go shopping and add new items to your summer wardrobe. To make things more fun, go with your spouse or friend and buy an outfit for each other.
Visit a farmer’s market. I enjoy this year-round, but let’s be honest, it hits just right in the summer!
Visit a state park and spot as much wildlife as you can.
Have a summer “Chopped” challenge and work in teams to create dishes from a basket full of ingredients. If you want to make a full meal of it, designate one team to make an appetizer, another for the entree, and another for dessert.
Gather friends and hold a pickle ball or volleyball tournament.
Go to the beach and have a sandcastle competition.
Float in tubes on a lazy river.
Have a BBQ potluck. Fill a wheelbarrow or inflatable kiddie pool with ice and have everyone bring bottled drinks to share.
Host a summer color game night. Assign everyone / every couple a different color and ask them to dress in that color and bring a food board in that color.
Go to a karaoke night, or have a backyard karaoke party.
Have an ultimate water fight with super soakers, buckets of water and obstacles.
Host a terrarium party and create your own succulent gardens. Of course you can pair this with amazing summer drinks and snacks!
Have a paint and sip night. Everyone can paint whatever they want on blank canvases, or you can order these pre-drawn canvases. If you want to paint your pet or favorite scene, send in photos to Artist By Numberand they’ll send you a custom paint by number canvas!
Take a cooking class.
Make the dish I’ve been craving for summer… peach, burrata and fresh basil salad.
Do a food crawl at your favorite restaurants, or new restaurants you want to try. Have an appetizer at one place, dinner at the next, and dessert somewhere else.
Add fresh mint to every single smoothie you make this summer. Or even your water or iced coffee. It’s a game changer!
Buy fresh strawberries and use them in a summer dish like strawberry shortcake or in a salad.
Try a new brunch spot every month this summer.
Pack a picnic and take it to the beach or a park.
Make homemade pizzas. Get creative with your toppings! Trader Joes sells great ready-to-cook dough.
Make homemade ice cream. My eyes are set on this recipe below for Fresh Peach and Goat Cheese Ice Cream.
Make a homemade berry pie. Bonus points if you go berry picking at a local farm to get the berries!
Grill kabobs on the grill incorporating summer foods like grilled peaches, pineapple or corn.
Cold brew iced tea at home.
Make a big batch of fruit water to sip on all day.
Make your own sushi. I bought this bamboo mat set from Amazon and it works great.
Buy fresh peaches and incorporate them into your favorite summer drink.
Make a panzanella salad with fresh heirloom tomatoes.
Make a colorful summer fruit cookie pizza. I used to love these as a kid!
If you don’t already have a travel rewards credit card, get one this summer so that you have plenty of points to use for an epic trip next summer. We use the Southwest Rapid Rewards card with companion pass and haven’t paid cash for a single flight in three years!
Plate & Compass is a food and travel blog written by Hannah Falkosky. After quitting her job and spending 8 weeks in Europe on just a few thousand dollars, she found her love for budget travel and sharing tips to help others explore the world.
She also spent 15 years working with award-winning chefs and developed a love for artful food and cocktails. Hannah is now based out of Los Angeles, and when she’s not traveling she makes it her mission to explore the best restaurants and cocktail bars while living life to the fullest.