How to Turn Up Your Summer with Weekly Bucket Lists

If you are half as excited about the upcoming summer season as I am, you probably already have a growing list of things you would like to do before the cold creeps back in. Or, maybe you would like to fill your summer days and nights with new experiences, but aren’t quite sure what to do. Like any other goal, putting together a timeline can ensure the task gets done, so why not give your hot weather ambitions the same treatment?

Spend some time researching what is available in your area (or afar—vacation time!) in terms of new and exciting elements to add into your day. Do you want to be more adventurous? Tap into your spiritual or intellectual side? What about finding new ways to give back? Here are some ideas to get started creating weekly bucket lists so your summer can be most fulfilling and exciting:

reading in summer

Read a new book each week

Many were inspired to embark up on the 52 in 52 Book Challenge in January, yet perhaps the summer is your optimal time for lounging in the sun with a good read. Join a face-to-face or online book club, like Real Simple’s, for suggestions and get in touch with your inner bookworm.

veggies in summer market

Try a new cuisine or food each week

Warmer weather means abundance in fresh fruits and vegetables—perhaps some that have never made it onto your plate. Even if you do not consider yourself a culinary master, plan some dishes that are unique to your palate. By the end of August you will find yourself with a slew of new skills and recipes to keep your tastebuds excited until next summer.

art gallery in summer

Explore a new area each week

Whether you have lived in the same location for years or you are a newbie to your neighborhood, there are always new spots waiting to be explored around you. Have you looked into all the nooks and crannies of your local park system? What about art galleries or local musical acts? Try walking through an area where you usually drive and see what you discover along the way.

biking in summer

Mix up your fitness each week

Variety keeps us on our toes—a philosophy, when applied to exercise, gives our bodies a great workout and our minds fulfilling new challenges. This summer try out an activity you have never done before. Team sports? Hiking? Trampoline classes? Hot yoga? Water skiing? All are guaranteed to get your blood pumping and you just might find your new favorite way to get pumped.

volunteering in summer

Volunteer somewhere different each week

Use your summer-derived energy to also give back when you can. There are always places looking for a helping hand; it’s just a matter of connecting with them. Spend some time with shelter pets, organize cans for a food drive, stuff envelopes for a nonprofit or register athletes for a charity run. Expanding the ways we give our time to our communities provides a great emotional return for ourselves, as well, so we can keep moving through summer with a happy heart.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Justin M
Justin M7 months ago


Danuta W
Danuta W7 months ago

thank you for posting

Clare O
Clare O7 months ago

Don't call it a weekly bucket list as that implies you are shortly going to die. Not he most cheerful way to spend a summer.

Clare O
Clare O7 months ago

plenty you can do for free or cheap

Clare O
Clare O7 months ago

good idea

Clare O
Clare O7 months ago

explore your area and support your local businesses

Camilla Vaga
Camilla Vaga7 months ago


Sue H
Sue H7 months ago

Helpful suggestions, thanks.

Peggy B
Peggy B7 months ago


Elisa F
Elisa F2 years ago

Awesome ideas! Thanks for sharing.