Organizing your Summer Days so Everyone Stays Chill


Organizing your bucket list for an epic summer of fun!

Has school let out for your kids or are you excitedly counting down the days? Are you dreading the long, hot, humid days waiting for you? No matter what you’re feeling, buckle up because the summer is here and it is time to enjoy your family’s summer bucket list. This summer is sure to be one for the books!

summer bucket list

It seems like life runs a whole lot more smoothly in my world when I know what to expect. While some people love surprises and the great unknown, small children most definitely do not.

Let’s talk about the plan

I say these five words to my children Making sure everyone has a chance to weigh in on the plan and is on board with it is an especially important aspect of keeping our days running smoothly. The summer offers a whole lot more flexibility in the plans we make. Personally, I function best with days having focus. Everyone knows what to expect on each day and themes offer a little guidance to keep everyone on track.

Use themes to focus your bucket list

First of all, using themes to focus your bucket list is only one of 1,001 ways to organize your days. We’d love to hear what works for yours! While the weather will play into the plans, of course, just having themes to scaffold the planning works wonders in getting everyone on board. I love sitting down with my family on Sunday afternoons and planning out the upcoming week. Additionally, I use my phone’s Notes app to keep track of ideas by the day which helps me fit everything in. Okay, here it goes!

Museum Mondays

Living in the D.C. area means we have access to more museums than it’s possible to experience! Museums are also perfect for the sweltering hot afternoons and, in D.C., the price is right! We are so spoiled with free entry to all of the Smithsonian museums. Our family’s favorites are:

Check out this LIST for many more museums to visit!

summer bucket list

Day Trip Tuesdays

summer bucket list

Pack a bag with all the essentials the night before so you are ready to roll out early in the morning. On Tuesdays, we love hitting the road and visiting new sites and old favorites:

Additionally, remember that road trips mean car naps which are always, always a beautiful thing!

summer bucket list

Wet and Wild Wednesdays

summer bucket listI grew up as a certified pool rat in the summers and it seems like a tradition I’ve passed along to my family. So while we are at the pool for part of most days in the summer, we make sure Wednesdays are water days at home, too. Wet and Wild Wednesdays include:

Thankful Thursdays

summer bucket list

Carving out time each week to focus on serving others is an important value in our family. Serving others can be as simple as writing a love note to a sibling or cleaning up the litter at the local park. Here are a few of our favorite ways to show our gratitude to others:

Foodie Fridays

summer bucket list

It’s so helpful to have a hand in the kitchen and the way our three boys eat, I definitely need it! Each Friday we have fun trying out a new recipe and turning meal prep into a game. Because weekends are almost always on the go, getting a head start on Fridays is key. Here are a few of our favorite ways to have fun in the kitchen together on Fridays:

Finally, we are so fortunate to live in an area with so much natural beauty and access to mountains, rivers, lakes and even the ocean! I hope your summer includes enjoying some live music with your littles. I’ll post next month on how our family hits up live music and our favorite local music venues. Leave a comment with something on your summer bucket list and enjoy an amazing summer of fun! And don’t forget to check out our epic bucket list here!

summer bucket list

This article was originally published in 2018, but have since updated it. 


  1. Love these ideas! Like museums, libraries are also cool, calm oases for hot summer days. It’s fun to visit different branches than our usual one during the summer.

  2. Love these ideas and plan on sharing them with my family! I really like thoughtful Thursday! Children benefit so much from the act of giving! Hope to hear from Stephanie!!!

  3. Love the themed activities. Can’t wait to do some of them with my grandchildren. Visiting local farms and doing strawberry or peach picking is also fun.

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