Our Family Summer Bucket List 2021

family summer bucket list

It’s now a fully fledged yearly tradition to write our family summer bucket list post. Well 4 years now, and counting!

It’s here

As I sit here in the garden, sun beaming down on my back (whilst leaning into a cardboard box I am using so I can actually see my laptop screen no less) I honestly can’t believe I am writing this with restrictions and travel limits still in place. Maybe it was naive but to think we would be in a somewhat very similar place to a whole year ago when it all seemed like there was a promise of it being short lived and acute feels strange. Yet here we are and whilst all I really want to do is stop and wait for it all to be over. The nature of life, and childhood is that whatever today looks like. We will never get it back.

Now this is not me telling you to appreciate every moment because sometimes the summer life juggle and the parenting juggle is so much you cannot wait for bedtime. That’s totally ok. Also to whisper under your breath ‘when is school back’ and ‘do they ever stop talking’ every now and then is ok too.

However I have had far too many moments this year, from the obvious global events to losing my Dad and too many other family health worries, which have led me very much down a path of a ‘life’s too short’ mentality.  

So for me, this summer, I will appreciate the time we do have. Whatever it looks like. 

Ok so losing the first week to isolation wasn’t exactly on the plan but I guess this is exactly what I am talking about. And we are very very lucky that whilst some other people are sweating on the school run we finished early and are spending days in the paddling pool with cocktails trying to convince ourselves it is way more far flung than our own back garden with still 5 1/2 clear weeks to enjoy. 

Here goes nothing, Summer 2021 we’re ready for you…

  • Strawberry/Fruit Picking (We go every year to the same place and I am just hoping there is enough dry weather and indeed strawberries left by the time we can make it!) 
  • Paddle Boarding 
  • Kayaking on the River
  • Family Holiday  (Scotland here we come after we fell in love with it last year)
  • A ‘Fancy’ Picnic
  • Meet School Friends In The Park 
  • Visit an Old Sweet Shop (or make a sweet shop at home) 
  • Fly a kite
  • Visit a Waterfall 
  • Teach Roma to Swim  
  • Baking Contest
  • Watch some Fireworks 
  • Water Balloon Fight 
  • Visit a National Trust 
  • Toast Marshmallows 
  • Stargaze – Sleep Under The Stars
  • Have a BBQ 
  • Watch the Sunset
  • Watch the Sunrise
  • Wild Swimming
  • Read a Book Together 
  • Summer Dance Party
  • Make Healthy Ice Lollies
  • Random Act of Kindness
  • Bake Cookies
  • Visit Aunties House
  • Unplugged Day 
  • Watch a Movie at Home 
  • Skim Stones 
  • Pyjama Day 
  • Make A Mocktail
  • Take a Road Trip 
  • Visit a Beach 
  • Collect Shells 
  • Spot Shapes in Clouds
  • Make up a Dance
  • Wash the Car
  • Play Cards 
  • Children Choose Dinner 
  • Visit a Photobooth
  • Make Pizza Dough
  • Stay up late 
  • Explore the Woods
  • Family Bike Ride
  • Sleepover at Grandparents
  • Face Painting
  • Write a Story 
  • Splash in the Rain/Watch a Thunderstorm 
  • Paint our Nails
  • Take a Family Photo
  • Paint Rocks
  • Go To a Climbing Wall
  • Play Mini Golf
  • Family Games Night 
  • Breakfast for Dinner 
  • Have Fun 


Summer Loving

I don’t know about anyone else but I don’t feel like we have had much of a taste of summer yet this year.

I mean don’t get me wrong there have been pockets of sunshine here and there but you know that prolonged time when everyone complains about the heat as us brits just cannot deal with it? Due to the lack of air conditioning I might add. And the fact that we don’t want to spend fortunes on fans that only require use for a few short weeks of the whole year.

But those weeks, hopefully months when you forget about layers and coats and it’s all about ice lollies, sun cream and re filling the paddling pool for the 100th time before there is a hosepipe ban. Something that never fails to transport me back to the 80s. Is it just my imagination or did that used to happen way more back then than it does today?

Last year it definitely felt like we had had those weeks. In May before the holidays were even on the horizon and we were all juggling with home school life. So fingers crossed we have a long summer of dry weather for a proper old school holidays together enjoying the simple moments and making lasting memories out of them. Simple outdoor fun together. 

We are not going abroad again (each to their own but we just don’t feel comfortable and the guidelines change every 5 seconds) so although the ‘rules’ have relaxed we will still be keeping it simple and as always making the most out of the ordinary.

Planning and Expectations

I am not sure whether I am more relaxed, more stressed and distracted, more used to being at home with them or maybe have finally accepted this familiar pre summer feeling but whilst I have nothing planned yet, I feel as prepared as I ever do. However prepared and planned I am the summer still comes, the summer still goes and we still make memories and have fun. So I guess I just worry about it less these days.

It won’t all be roses and there will be a lot of chilling and doing our own thing, and squabbling and refereeing! But focusing on that one little moment can mean more than anything. 

With that in mind I don’t feel like I need to tick them all off, we never do. But it’s a great old list to look back on and to inspire the adventures of ‘I am bored’ inevitability. We’ve been at home long enough together to know that quality over quantity is where it’s at and all anyone benefits from (and yes that’s adults as well as the children) is choosing to be present in that moment whatever it is. If you do nothing on this list but give undivided attention a little every day; you’re winning at this whole summer parenting deal.

I want to use it to remember that being alive, is a total privilege.

I hope you found something to do too.

Happy Summer.

Let the fun begin…

When we thought it might have been ‘coming home’ even for a little while!


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