Our 2013 Summer Bucket List for a Happy Family

family pic 064

Yes, Daddy has a funny smile but since the blog writer and the babies look great, this photo wins.

I love being creative, Pinterest sucks away hours of my life, I’ve been hoarding Family Fun, Crochet Today and other crafty magazines for as long as I can remember, and I’ve got about 5 million bookmarks on my laptop. But, I’m also the type of person that needs sticky notes in every room just to remember to take my vitamins. Too often I read an article and say, “We should totally do that!” and then completely forget about it. Or, after the kids are asleep, I think to myself, “Oh man, we should have done X fun thing today!” but, of course, it’s too late. So, when I found out about The Summer Bucket List Challenge last year and again this year, I joined excitedly – an easy way to ensure we’re not missing out on those special little things that create memories and make childhood magical? Yes, please! Plus, there are honestly no cons; it’s all-inclusive, pure fun.

But I still have a few other reasons why I like the Bucket List Challenge anyway:

  1. Literally writing out and displaying our Bucket List in the living room, where we’ll walk past the list multiple times a day, makes it impossible not think about which activity you could make time for (and for visually oriented people like me it’s even better).
  2. Since the Summer Bucket List Challenge is public, that makes everyone online my new accountability partners.
  3. I’m addicted to photo books and The Bucket List will make a great one!
  4. Did I mention I’m also an obsessive list maker?

This year’s Summer Bucket List Challenge, sponsored by The Happy Family Movement, begins on May 20 and lasts until Labor Day, Sept 2. (It’s free and fun so if you haven’t signed up yet, click here now – you won’t regret it). That time frame gives us exactly 3 months and 13 days to create some serious summer memories. Now, 13 has always held a special place in our family – it’s the day Nick and I decided to get married and we always try to do something small and special whenever a 13th falls on a Friday. So… I’m pretty sure this is some sort of cosmic sign that we’re destined to have The Best Summer Ever thanks to our Bucket List!

If you’re a long-time follower of my blog, I admit we did not publicly participate much last year because Number 2 arrived and the season turned out to be an overwhelming blur of preparing, caring and adjusting – more so than I ever imagined it would be. But, now that we’ve had time to get used to our new family dynamic and Number 2 is a little older and less demanding, we are SO READY!

What to do with 15 weeks, 105 days or 2,520 hours of potential fun? In order to make sure our list wasn’t overwhelming, my husband and I voted on 2 activities per week (or 30 total), with the option to add more (which we quickly did). We also decided we should add in some Adult Only dates too because we’re terrible at making them happen and because happy parents = a happy family. So, (drum roll, please) here is our 2013 Summer Bucket List:

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  1. Make Gak
  2. Go on a scavenger hunt
  3. Get ice cream from an ice cream truck (must be playing music)
  4. Ride bikes
  5. Go berry picking
  6. Go grocery shopping with O’s own cart and list
  7. Visit a farmer’s market
  8. Attend a baseball game
  9. Go swimming (first time!)
  10. Take advantage of BOA’s Free Museum Day
  11. Watch fireworks
  12. Play with water balloons
  13. Visit Sandy Hook beach (if re-opened)
  14. Go bowling (first time!)
  15. Visit the local zoo
  16. Trip to Boston
  17. Use sidewalk chalk
  18. Visit the Camden Aquarium
  19. Have a picnic
  20. Visit the Central Park Zoo
  21. Airbrushing
  22. Trip to California (first airplane!)
  23. Make stained glass with tissue paper
  24. ADULTS: Zip-line date
  25. ADULTS: Miniature Golf
  26. Bike on Governor’s Island
  27. Find a new fun park
  28. Play with bubbles
  29. Make popcicles (first time!)
  30. Ride a carnival coaster
  31. Have a one color meal
  32. ADULTS: Go to the movies
  33. Go on a firefly walk
  34. Visit Sesame Street Place

This year we’re going to document the things we cross off our List with lots of pictures. Stay tuned! Have you signed up yet? Do it NOW!!

Our Summer Bucket List


I found this on another blog and I’m glad I did! First of all, I love making lists period (have I mentioned this before?). So making a specific summer fun bucket list is something I’d naturally gravitate towards and one I haven’t done before. I’m going to try to make sure that my list includes both family fun activities and some mommy fun stuff too. Still a work in progress obviously, but wanted to post the first few things that came to mind.

  1. Have baby #2 and recover
  2. Make sure little O still feels loved, secure and hopefully not too jealous of the new baby
  3. New Jersey State Fair – we miss this every year! And it’s usually in Secaucus which is one stop from Penn Station. Even though O is probably still too short for any of the rides and my prego belly is going to keep me off the fun rides, there’s usually still a petting zoo, fun demonstrations, carny food, etc.
  4. Make initial pancakes (and decorate with whipped cream)
  5. Central Park Zoo – ashamed to admit we still haven’t been here
  6. Make fruit popsicles
  7. Bronx Zoo again – we’ve been to this one but didn’t make it through the whole thing cause this zoo is Huge! Maybe an elephant or camel ride too?
  8. Use the new sand and water table that O got for her birthday from her Auntie & Uncle
  9. Paint with O using the Glob paint kit I just got (probably after newspapering the entire kitchen)
  10. Finally try that Turkish restaurant near our house
  11. Make room for another family member? (no, not #2 – he’s already got space)
  12. Catch fireflies
  13. Go to the beach (more than once!)
  14. Stay up late to watch the fireworks on the Fourth of July
  15. Attend storytime at the local library
  16. Ride our bikes with toddler trailer (at least until hubby refuses to let me ride anymore due to the unfortunate combination of clumsiness + prego belly)
  17. Make homemade ice cream (decaf coffee choc chip for mommy!)
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