15 Things You Need to Have on Your Bucket List This Summer

Summer is here! School is out, warm weather has arrived, pools are opening all around and the sun is up most of the same hours we are. Because Summer is usually offers a more relaxed schedule, you should take advantage of the increase in self-directed time. We’ve prepared this list of fifteen things, grouped into five general categories, that you can do to make the most of this Summer.



1. DIY craft

Doing a craft or a DIY project is an inexpensive way to explore your more artistic or creative side. Walk through a craft store and let the items call to you. Maybe you miss sculpting with clay. Some pretty objects may inspire you to create a centerpiece for your patio table. If you’re too much of a tough guy for arts and crafts, get out the soldering iron or a blowtorch and invent something. Sources of ideas: Get an account on Pinterest, Make Magazine (also has an extensive craft section.)

2. Read something new

If you want to find something new, you can wander slowly through your local library or used bookstore. Start in the non-fiction starting with the 000 and work your way up the Dewey Decimal system. If you see a topic or a title that grabs your attention, pull it down and flip through a few pages. Keep grazing like this until you find something you are excited to read. You can do the same in fiction.

If you can’t get to a library, or bookstore, open Amazon.com. If you’re really wanting to explore new territory, open it in your browser’s Incognito or Private mode. Ecommerce tailors their content based on what you’ve purchased or searched before. By using these anonymous browser modes, you remove those biases and see the merchandise options in a fresh way.

3. Shift your routine for the better

It is easy to get really lazy in the Summer. The air is warm. The windows are open. You can hear the breeze and the birds. Because of the more relaxed schedule, you could also begin using those pleasant morning hours to change up your routine.

Summer may also be a great time to indulge in an afternoon nap. Many great authors and inventors took mid-day naps to reenergize.

Staying up very late can also be a fun stretch if you have something valuable to do. Stay up late talking with an old friend who is in town. Reconnect by calling a friend in a distant place to suit their timezone rather than yours.



4. Impromptu marshmallow roast with neighbors

If your local laws permit, a small fire, a bag of marshmallows, a box of graham crackers and some chocolate can make for a really good time. If you don’t have real roasting sticks, you can use tree limbs carefully pointed with a pocket knife, all metal coat hangers or even shish kabob skewers.

5. Meet a friend for morning coffee

Those tables outside your local coffee shop don’t get much action in cold weather. But now is the time when a very pleasant time catching up with a former co-worker can be shared as you watch the sun work its way up into the sky.

6. Hit an amusement park with a work team of another family

There is nothing like hearing your normally reserved co-worker or that stoic neighbor dad squeal like a little girl when plummeting down the hill on a roller coaster. The relationship changes, once you’ve shared a common scream with someone, you will have a deeper bond.



7. Paint a room in your home a new color

Paint is one of the biggest returns on your home DIY investment. For 30-50 dollars and often less than a day, you can make a dramatic change to your living space. The best part is, if you don’t like the new change, you can always do it again and try some other color.

8. Plant your favorite flower

There is a lot of talk about the mental and physical benefits of getting your hands in the soil. It is also not very expensive. Plus you get the added benefit of the added beauty and bright colors in your yard.

9. Spring cleaning

It isn’t just a thing for Spring anymore. Summer is a great time to give your home a deep cleaning. Tackle one area in a weekend. Or do a whirlwind pass through the whole house daily to keep clutter at bay. If your home is a wreck and you don’t know where to begin, a site like FlyLady is a great source of strategies and encouragement to win back a home that you feel good about.



10. Visit a local park

In Dayton there are many parks and outdoor Summer activities. There are the Five-Rivers Metroparks. Ohio also has State Parks close to Dayton, that you can explore. You could also take in a Dayton Dragons baseball game.

11. Visit a new restaurant and try something new on the menu

If you’re not the kind of person others describe as a courageous eater, there are ways you can explore without getting too exotic. Try a meat that you normally don’t choose. A lady I know gets some basic chicken entree every time she eats at a fancy restaurant. If she’d shake it up, she might find something else she really likes.

Here is another idea. If you’re not a vegetarian, there is no rule or philosophical reason why you can’t order a vegetarian option at a restaurant. I won’t tell on you. The tastes of vegetarian dishes are usually scintillating with vibrant flavors. Many of these items are also often surprisingly filling.

12. Make a new purchase

We’ve mentioned a few purchase ideas in the other list items. But don’t forget, shopping is an experience too. If you enjoy the hunt or make a game out of it, picking out a new item for your home that is just perfect, or finding an amazing new outfit to wear to an upcoming event can be a fun project.



13. Blow bubbles

What could be more appealing than making bubbles fly through the air and watching your kids, grandkids or neighbors leap about trying to catch them? A jug of bubble solution only costs a couple dollars. If you get clever with string, drinking straws or wire hangers and glycerine, you can become a giant of the bubble making universe!

14. Walk barefoot

The opening setup of the movie Die Hard gave us a memorable tip. One guy gives a tip to our hero John McClane on how to destress. He says you take off your shoes and socks and make fists with your toes gripping the carpet. In the movie it also puts our hero at a disadvantage when the bad stuff starts to happen. But the lesson can be learned. Taking off your shoes and socks is a surprisingly effective way to destress. If your feet are delicate and tender, go slow, find some smooth ground that isn’t too hot to walk on. Take your time. I often go the mailbox at the end of the drive in bare feet. Even when it is raining, the sensation is a special taste of different in an otherwise normal day.

15. Stare out the window

Taking a little time to looking out at the world, can be a treat. Indulging in a long peaceful look, watching kids and cars go by, observing how the trees sway and birds flit about can be very refreshing. Another variation, when others complain when the sky darkens because of rain moving in, take time to sit and watch a Summer afternoon transform into a rain shower or thunderstorm is a great way to recharge your personal batteries.

These are not the kind of list that you have to follow to the letter. It isn’t a prescription or a competition. Take from this list what inspires you. Print it out, stick it to the fridge, cross items off as you complete them. When Fall sets in and the temperatures begin to cool, you’ll be able to reflect on how rich the past season was. Make it a good one!


Photo credit: TourismPEI / CC 2.0

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