Here’s a list of simple, easy, and inexpensive ways to squeeze the most out of every moment this summer.

1. Go to a drive in movie. Bring blankets and snuggle in the fresh air while watching the big screen.

2. Take your kids night swimming. Splash each other underneath the light of the moon.

3. Have a picnic by the river. Try to skip rocks and lose yourselves in the constant motion of the rushing water. (We love this picnic blanket because it’s water-resistant and folds up for easy packing. Plus, it’s CUTE!)

4. Read Peter Pan out loud, by flashlight in a tent, outside underneath the stars, or on the front porch.

5. Go camping, even if it’s just in the backyard.

6. Visit a strawberry patch. Gorge yourself on berries and fill buckets to make homemade strawberry ice cream. (This automatic ice cream maker will have fresh, homemade ice cream or frozen yogurt on your table in no time.)

7. Grab a bottle of wine, juice boxes, cheese and crackers, and friends and head to a local park for live music. Enjoy snippets of real grown-up conversation over the sound of your children’s laughter and instruments in the background.

8. Attend a county fair. Stuff yourself with homemade pie, delight in the baby animal barn and watch 4-H kids beam with pride as they care for and show their animals.

9. Pick your own sweet corn and watermelon. Savor the flavors and textures of summer food, the warm melted, dripping butter and the sweet, cool melon next to a grilled hamburger.

10. Stay up late, chase fireflies and roast marshmallows around a fire.

11. Go to a little league game. Cheer for both sides as you lick a melting Sno-Cone.

12. Go fishing. Find a calm spot by the water, cast your pole and see what bites.

13. Join the summer reading program at your local library. Challenge each other to read more and make a list of all the new things you have discovered through the magical world of books.

14. Escape the heat of a summer day with a matinee at the local theatre. Enjoy the bracing cold of air conditioning and get carried away by the story on screen.

15. Have a family water fight. Compile a full arsenal of water balloons, squirt guns, hoses and buckets. Don’t stop until everyone is completely soaked.

16. Make fresh squeezed lemonade. Try different combinations of fruit juices and varying amounts of sugar to compliment the tart lemons and write your own secret family recipe.

17. Hike or bike a new trail. Pack snacks and water and pretend to be explorers, make a list of your discoveries.

18. Make a summer playlist. Have each family member pick five favorite songs, compose a playlist and blast the sounds of summer every chance you get.

19. Go barefoot. Feel the different textures between your toes: cool water, scratchy grass, sticky sand, the warmth of your pet’s fur.

20. Search for shooting stars, make a wish that the long, lovely days of summer could last forever.


And Bonus Bucket list #21! Take a few photos every time you complete a bucket list item with your kids and at the end of the summer put together a book to preserve your memories. We love the variety from Mixbook.com! And don’t get caught trying to snap a picture without storage on your phone. Picture Keeper is a life saver for us! It’s the quickest and easiest way to automatically backup your photos.  Just plug in your Picture Keeper, click “Start Backup,” and it automatically finds and saves all your pictures. That’s it!

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Kelly Bay

Kelly Bay is a business owning, beer drinking, girls’ weekend loving mom of three who often falls asleep on dates night with her husband. She resides in rural Iowa and enjoys writing, day drinking and not cleaning her house. Kelly’s work has been featured on Scary Mommy, Sammiches and Psych Meds and Parent.co. Read more of her thoughts on parenting, mindfulness, friendship, marriage and finding joy in the chaos at http://beerandjunk.com/