Do you want to be the fun mom who packs the summer with adventures and goals? Do you have lots of great ideas but find yourself lacking motivation when our Boston summer finally rolls around? Does a summer bucket list for your kids feel just out of reach?
I am right there with you. With nothing planned, my kids get bored and whiny. But with goals that are too grandiose, we never actually accomplish anything. This year, I’m trying something different.
I’ve put together eight themed summer bucket list “bingo boards” for my kids. All the activities are local, most are cheap or free, and a lot can be done from our home. Each week we can play for bingo, complete the whole board, or simply pick a few activities.
Want to join the summer fun? Download the summer bucket list boards here, or click on the individual boards pictured below! To customize the bingo boards with your own activity ideas, use this Canva template or upload this blank board into Google Slides to edit as you wish! (My kids are 10, 9, and 6, and these activities are geared toward their ages.)
Wicked Local Week
- Eat Boston Cream Pie
- Take a Duck Boat tour ($$)
- Get a museum pass from the library and visit the Museum of Science, Children’s Museum, or Aquarium
- Climb the Bunker Hill Monument!
- Walk part of the Freedom Trail
- Visit the new MLK memorial
- Take the T to Harvard Yard — and stop by the Alexander Kemp playground in Cambridge Common, too!
- Take in a summer outdoor movie!
- Take the kids to a Red Sox game ($$)
- Visit the Copley Square library
- Read a book to someone
- Write a letter
- Complete a Read Your Way to Fenway entry form!
- Finish reading five books
- Write your own story
- Make a book-themed shadow box
- Visit Beacon Hill Books and be sure to take a picture in the Harry Potter door!
- Pick a book (from your shelves) to send to a friend!
Learn a New Skill Week
- Master tying shoelaces
- Learn basic knife skills — cut a cucumber up for snacks, etc.
- Kids do laundry day!
- Bake a loaf of bread together
- Learn how to drive — go karts! ($$)
- Parents teach kids how to use a tool
- Kids teach parents something new!
- Home Depot DIY class for kids
- Learn how to say “I love you” in three new languages
- Go to Boston’s Chinatown for dim sum or to get bubble tea or visit a bakery
- Go to the grocery store and pick a new veggie or fruit you’ve never tried — and learn how to prepare it!
- Order takeout from a new place
- Make cookies for a friend and deliver them
- Kids make Mom/Dad coffee!
- Handwrite a recipe card and share it with a friend
- Eat breakfast for dinner
- Have dessert for breakfast
- Visit Haymarket or a local farmers’ market
- Visit the Museum of Fine Arts and find one piece you really love ($$)
- Draw with sidewalk chalk
- Make a picture for Grandma/Grandpa or a special friend — and mail it!
- Cut up an old magazine and make a collage
- Finger paint — no matter how old you are!
- Set up a sheet outside or in the shower and make splatter art or Jackson Pollack-style artwork
- Go on a mural hunt in Boston — take pictures!
- Decorate a pillow case with fabric pens or Sharpies so you can sleep on happy thoughts!
- Take in a summer outdoor concert
- Visit Mirabella Pool or another local pool to cool off!
- Watch planes and trains (and swim!) at Constitution Beach
- Have a water balloon fight!
- Try a Harbor Islands Cruise ($$)
- Make a lemonade stand
- Bike around a reservoir
- Wash the car or go to a car wash!
- Check out a new splash pad in the city!
- Kayak on the Charles ($$)
- Go for a short hike in the Blue Hills or elsewhere!
- Go to a local pick-your-own farm for fruits or veggies
- Take a trip to NH and climb a mountain!
- Bike somewhere you would normally drive
- Plant something!
- Watch a nature show
- Visit the zoo (or aquarium) ($$)
- Make a pressed flower bookmark
- Get out binoculars or a magnifying glass, and see how many different birds or bugs you can spot in a day!
Role Reversal Week
- Kids stay up late — and parents go to bed at kids’ bedtime
- Kids are in charge of all meals for one day
- YES day
- Kids make sure we leave on time!
- Unlimited video games day
- Kids do all dishes and laundry day
- Go to work with Dad/Mom day!
- Kids must use the phrase “back when I was young” as often as possible
- Dad jokes day — bonus points for the joke Dad finds the funniest