Our Epic Summer 2021 Bucket List is HERE

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Resources for Families

Every year, the whole Kidlist team gets excited to put together our annual summer bucket list. This year, we were extra excited for outdoor fun, amazing summer camps, making memories at home, local museums opening up, free events, and more. We hope this guide helps inspire your family to make your own bucket list together; use our #sharekidlist tag on Instagram so we can check them out!

This article is sponsored by DuPage Children’s Museum.

DuPage Children’s Museum is Open!

DuPage Children’s Museum
301 N Washington Street
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 637-8000

Play More this Summer at DuPage Children’s Museum
Explore, play, wonder, build, create, and discover! Every visit to DuPage Children’s Museum is an adventure in fun and learning. Get the wiggles out and make some noise in Move & Groove, build with real tools in the Construction House, explore the forces of gravity in Make it Move, and let imagination soar in Creativity Connections – the possibilities are endless! DCM’s youngest guests can exercise both mind and body in Young Explorers, specially designed spaces for ages 2 years and under. Children and their grownups will have a blast playing and learning together.

There’s always something fun going on at DCM – watch for more information coming soon about outdoor summer events. Plan your visit today! Pre-registration is required. dupagechildrens.org/visit

2021 Summer Bucket List

Fun Places to Go Summer 2021

Ideas for Summer Fun Close to Home

  • Make your own grilled pizzas! Depending on their ages, kids can help make the dough, cut up toppings, spread the sauce, or sprinkle the cheese.
  • Make an outdoor fairy garden or a construction zone.
  • Go camping in the backyard! Be sure to do a fire and make s’mores or campfire banana boats.
  • Make a sun dial.
  • Have a water balloon fight
  • Grow a new vegetable or herb in a pot or your yard and eat it.
  • Plant a native plant that supports bees or butterflies! Check out The Morton Arboretum’s guide to growing a butterfly garden.
  • Work on writing: cursive, calligraphy, or brush lettering! Local bookshops sell workbooks where you can practice right alongside the instructions.
  • Make a family journal or scrapbook about your experiences during the pandemic. 
  • Bigger kids can learn to mow the lawn!
  • Make a play and perform it for your loved ones.
  • Plan a family book and movie challenge: Read the book together, then have a special family movie night to watch the movie. Talk about the differences, similarities, and what the kids liked about
  • Create pointillism art with paint and q-tips.
  • Make a mosaic garden stone from broken dishes.
  • Run through the sprinklers — or have the kids build their own PVC sprinkler!
  • Teach the kids to wash the car.
  • Find a church offering stay-at-home Vacation Bible School options with all the supplies you’ll need to put on your own camp at home!
  • Enjoy ice cream from a local shop.
  • Make homemade treats like mason jar ice cream or popsicles.
  • Hunt for treasure with geocaching!
  • Try a take-home kit from a local business. Many pottery shops, painting studios, and bakeries are offering kits.
  • Paint some kindness rocks together, then go on a walk and have fun planting them around your community.
  • Hike a trail together! Check out our list of the best hiking trails for kids. Go early to beat the crowds (and the heat).

Places to Add to Your Summer Bucket List

If you prefer to see a menu of places to go so you can create your own bucket list of destinations you haven’t been or want to go again this summer, head to our Map of Things to Do with Kids or our Map of Outdoor Fun! There are bulleted lists there with links to all of our location profiles so you can make your own list and get tips before go.

Free Summer Bucket List Printable

This year we made squares with individual ideas that you can cut out and tape to a calendar to plan your summer days or put them in a jar to pull out each morning!

Click on the image below for the printable version of the summer bucket list squares, then pick and choose what you would like to do with your kids. We even included six empty squares at the end so you can write-in your own bucket list items. Enjoy!

Here’s a tip: If you are looking for specific places to go in any of the categories on our bucket list, search up “kidlist ___”. For example, you can type into Google “kidlist splash pads” or “kidlist summer festivals” and our guide will pop up full of ideas and specifics!

Summer Camps for 2021

Camps are happening all over the suburbs! While some may be full, others still have spots available. Click here to check out local summer camps.


Don’t forget to share your adventures on Instagram with the hashtag #mykidlist! We love seeing all the family fun going on in our communities.

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