The Spire & Co Ultimate Summer Bucket List
Ah, summertime. Even if summer no longer means a couple of months off of school and responsibilities, there is still a hint of magic to June, July, and August. Growing up, I lived for the quintessential summer bucket list. Whether I made it myself with markers, glitter pens, and stickers or tore it out of the pages of a favorite magazine, it was the season for bucket lists.
And as the structure of your summer may have changed, the list will change slightly as well. But not to worry, I’ve snuck in some super fun throwbacks that will remind you of those nights spent running around catching fireflies.
Bonus: we added in a downloadable version of the checklist for your summer explorations.
Create your own summer reading list
When I was a little girl our local library would have summer reading competitions and it was such a motivator to read through books we didn’t have a chance to read during the rest of the year. If you’re like me, you probably have tons of books that you want to read but just haven’t gotten to them yet. Your middle school required reading lists may be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create one for yourself.
Volunteer for a cause that speaks to you
The summer is a great time to kickstart a volunteering for a cause you believe in. This can mean anything from helping rescue animals at a farm sanctuary to donating your time to women running for office.
Make the switch to eco-friendly
The summer kicks off with World Turtle Day! You can help these beautiful creatures by swapping plastic straws for sustainable, reusable options. Your wallet will also thank you, because most coffee shops offer a small discount if you bring a reusable cup.
Take in some local art
Support local artists this summer by attending community theatre shows. (If you live near a college, some theatre departments have summer stock shows that feature professional actors as well as students.) Visit museums or galleries. Take in outdoor block concerts. Soak up and celebrate the creativity in your neck of the woods.
Visit a farmers market and make a meal from your local finds
I love getting fresh produce. It just makes a meal taste that much better, and you’ll feel good knowing you’re supporting local farmers and their families. Plus, summer is one of the best times for produce, from strawberries to tomatoes to corn, and so much more. You’ll have an unending sum of possible recipes.
Get in touch with your inner child
Make chalk art, drink lemonade, try hula hooping again (it’s actually great exercise!) or build a pillow fort before binging Netflix. Anything that used to fill your summer during childhood, I encourage you to revisit.
Take a dance class
Have you always wanted to learn how to tap or if Zumba look is actually a super fun way to get your steps in? Summer sessions are a great way to test out dance classes without having to make semester or year-long commitments. It also makes a great date night, whether it’s with a friend or a significant other.
Pack a lunch and have a picnic
Embracing the outdoors with a picnic is such a quintessential summer thing to do. Visit a local park or even set up in your backyard to fuel up with a meal and some vitamin D (don’t forget sunscreen!).
Take a day trip to a nearby town
Don’t have the funds or time to jet off to your dream destination? Look no further than your own backyard. Even just a slight change of scenery can recharge your senses, and I bet you’ll find some really amazing places not too far from home to revisit in the future. (Pro tip: check out our step-by-step guide to planning a budget-friendly getaway.)
Broaden your horizons with e-learning
Maybe you don’t have time during the rest of the year to take some just-for-fun courses, or maybe you’ve always wanted to pick up another language. E-learning platforms like Coursera and Duolingo provide you quick and easy ways to increase your knowledge with a variety of courses, at little to no cost.
Go hiking and bring along a notebook to record the inspiration you draw from your surroundings
Hiking doesn’t necessarily mean that you need access to a mountain range, either (trust me, I’m in the New York City ‘burbs). Look for nature preservations or even a nice park to immerse yourself in the outdoors to cleanse your soul and seek inspiration.
Start creating a capsule wardrobe
In the midst of moving I realized just how many things were sitting in my closet that I just don’t use. The idea of a capsule wardrobe is daunting, especially when you’re the opposite of a minimalist. But being able to condense your belongings down to what really matters is so freeing. (Follow Emily’s “Creating A Capsule Closet” series for a step-by-step guide to creating a capsule wardrobe for yourself. Check out part #1 and part #2.)
Make your favorite summertime drink to enjoy with a loved one
This can mean wine slushies, summer fruit smoothies, an Arnold Palmer, a piña colada, whatever floats your pool float. Pick your favorite drink and share it with someone you love.
Visit a nursery or home improvement store and pick out a plant to brighten your space
Summer is just bursting with beautiful flowers and plants, and believe me there is a plant for every space. Whether you only have the room for a windowsill garden or a sprawling backyard, christen the summer with a new plant. (If you need some guidance, we have a guide on how you can start gardening no matter where you live.)
Make your favorite breakfast spread for dinner
Sure, you can do this year-round but there’s something about the summer that reminds me of being able to stay up later and indulge in my favorite breakfast foods. Oh, and you totally get a pass if your idea of breakfast is a bowl of your favorite cereal–completely valid.
Take a pottery class
Or any art class for that matter! Personally, I never thought I was any good at visual arts (I’m an actor, we don’t have to draw?) until I took an art class and I learned that practice is everything. Who knows, you may find a new hobby or side hustle.
Ah, s’mores. A summertime classic. And as I have learned over the years, there are a handful of ways to accomplish s’mores if you don’t have access to a roaring bonfire. Over a candle, in a toaster oven, a hot plate, you name it. For my fellow vegans, there are vegan marshmallows that achieve the melty goodness.
Create the quintessential summer playlist
Summertime has a distinct sound, but that sound can be different for everyone. For me, it’s a combination of the Beach Boys and the hits from the early-2000’s that blared over the loudspeaker at the pool growing up.
What's on your summer bucket list? Share with me in the comments!