Affordable Summer Bucket List Ideas

Make the Most of Summer With These Fun, Affordable Ideas

Is it just me or is summer perhaps the most fleeting of the seasons? We wait so long for its arrival, only to blink and see it gone for another year. Living where I do, summer is undeniably the shortest season and its brevity has trained me to make the most of the warm weather while it’s upon us. While I’d love to have endless cashflow to spend the summer poached up on a beach somewhere with a stiff drink in hand, that’s definitely not my reality. And — I’m guessing — it’s probably not yours either.

But lack of cash and time doesn’t mean squandering our summers away. In fact, there are plenty of affordable ways to make the most of the season. Check out my list of 85 activities below to get the inspiration flowing and enjoy a fun-filled (budget-friendly) summer.

Go Camping (or “Camping”) — Just Get Outside!

  • Have a bonfire.
  • Make s’mores (even if it’s in the oven or microwave!).
  • Camp out in the backyard.
  • Actually go camping!
  • Star gaze.
  • Go for a hike.
  • Simply walk in nature.
  • Pick a bouquet of wildflowers.
  • Go for a bike ride.
  • Go skateboarding.
  • Go rollerblading.
  • Go canoeing.
  • Go kayaking.
  • Rent a cheap Air B&B and explore a new town.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Sit outside on the porch or the patio.
  • Watch the sunrise.
  • Watch the sunset.
  • Enjoy coffee on your porch, patio or front step.

Enjoy Beachside Simplicities

  • Collect seashells.
  • Take an evening walk on the beach.
  • Hit the beach early and enjoy the silence and tranquility.
  • Go swimming.
  • Walk the boardwalk.
  • Build a sandcastle or sand sculpture.
  • Wade in the water.

Relish in Agritourism

  • Visit a farmstand and buy fresh produce.
  • Visit a farmstand and buy fresh dairy.
  • Visit a lavender field.
  • Visit a greenhouse.
  • Visit a nursery.
  • Visit a flower field.
  • Visit a farmer’s market.
  • Go blueberry picking.
  • Go strawberry picking.

Make the Most of Rainy Days

  • Rent a movie and pop your own popcorn.
  • Invite your friends over for a game night (don’t forget the wine!).
  • Give yourself a mani, pedi.
  • Watch and follow a paint and sip class on YouTube.
  • Try one of those Pinterest crafts you’ve had pinned for months (or years).
  • Read a book.
  • Flip through a magazine.
  • Treat yourself to an in-depth skincare routine.
  • Sit under cover and listen to the rain.

Have Fun with Food

  • Visit an ice cream stand.
  • Make lemonade from scratch.
  • Get creative on the grill (pizza, veggies, you name it).
  • Bake a summer-inspired dessert.
  • Incorporate your fresh veggies and dairy (see farmstand visit above) into a wholesome meal.
  • Try a new coffee shop.
  • Try a new brewery.
  • Try a new affordable restaurant.
  • Go on a wine tour.
  • Scout out a food truck and taste something new.
  • Experiment with new smoothie recipes.
  • Make yourself a fancy mixed drink and pretend you’re on a beach vacation.

Get Your Hands Dirty

  • Try your hand at gardening.
  • Plant flowers around your home.
  • Plant an herb garden.
  • Craft a floral wreath.
  • Make flower crowns.
  • Paint something.
  • Make something (anything!).
  • Just put your phone away for an hour and do something creative.

Explore Your Community

  • Explore a local park.
  • Take your kids to a local playground.
  • Attend a play.
  • Attend a parade.
  • Watch fireworks.
  • Go to your county’s fair.
  • Go to the your state’s fair.
  • Attend a drive-in movie.
  • Go to a museum — most of them are free or cheap to get into!
  • Go to a zoo.
  • Go to a nature preserve.
  • Go to a wildlife preserve.

And Last But Certainly Not Least — Get Ready for Fall!

OK, don’t kill me or write me off! Fall is by far my favorite season — I just can’t help myself! I appreciate summer for what it is (and love it!) but come August, I can’t help but get a little excited over the prospective of pumpkin spice and changing leaves. Here are some ways to celebrate the summer to fall transition:

  • Visit a sunflower field.
  • Visit a cider mill.
  • Explore a corn maze.
  • Go pear picking.
  • Go apple picking.
  • Plan all of the hearty, comforting meals you’re going to make once the weather turns.
  • Plan all of the aromatic desserts you’re going to bake once the weather turns.
  • Plan fall crafts.
  • Start planning a Halloween costume.

Do you already have a summer bucket list written? Exciting plans for the warmer moths? I’d love to hear them! Share with me in the comments section below!

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