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A Kids’ Bucket List – 82 Things Every Kid Should Do Before They Grow Up

Kids' Bucket List - Almost 100 ideas and experiences that every kid should have. Some for boys, but mostly for girls. Year round fun for summer, winter, spring, and fall. These are the activities and things that all children should 'do before I die.' Awesome ideas for friends and family road trips and vacations. Mom and Dad will have great memories of childhood as well as their kids.

I grew up in a trailer home in the boonies, over the hill, through the woods, and across the dirt road from Old Grandma (who still lives there).

I remember distinctly the very first time I ever went into the big city (Pittsburgh). I gazed at the groups of people standing on street corners, waiting to cross, and the long lines of cars and the tall buildings. I saw people who looked different from me. I was completely in awe. I must have been about five years old.

My kids have had a decidedly different experience. They have iPads and live in the suburbs. They have only ever ridden their bikes on paved roads. They have been to Philadelphia and Washington DC and Baltimore, more times than they can count.

If you’re looking for a way to get your kids to take charge of their own entertainment, click over to this post where I have created a unique, card-based list of 150 of the best screen-free activities for elementary kids up through teens.

So with that in mind, I wanted to make a life list for my kids, things they have done and will do someday.

  1. Ride in a taxi – They did this in Philadelphia, and Grace can’t wait to do it again.
  2. Ride on a city bus
  3. Take the subway – New York City, June 2019
  4. Take a train – Grace went on the Strasburg Railroad when she was 3, but Allie never has. I would like to take them on an Amtrak train some day. – New Jersey Transit, June 2019
  5. Climb the Eiffel Tower (Grace and Allie added this.)
  6. Ride in an airplane – Did this on the way to our Disney cruise
  7. Play in the ocean – We take a family vacation to Ocean City, Maryland every year.
  8. Build a sand castle – Ocean City
  9. Get buried in the sand – Ocean City
  10. Collect sea shells and other beach treasures – Ocean City
  11. Catch a crab – Ocean City
  12. Become a Jr. Ranger at a National Park – Assateague Island in Maryland & The White House
  13. Ride on the Maid of the Mist under Niagara Falls – Doing this in September 2018
  14. See a movie at the drive-in theater (I’ve never done this in my 36 years.) – 6/2019
  15. Practice yoga – Girl Scouts
  16. Swim in a wave pool – Hersheypark
  17. Ride rides in an amusement park – Hersheypark
  18. Ride a roller coaster – Hersheypark
  19. Learn to ice skate – Grace took lessons, but Allie hasn’t.
  20. Have dinner at the Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon
  21. Look out from the top of the Washington Monument
  22. Tour the White House – November 2015
  23. See the Statue of Liberty in person – June 2019
  24. Go on a cruise – December 2017
  25. Visit Walt Disney World – December 2017
  26. Attend a home Penn State football game in person – I think the Blue & White game counts.
  27. Perform in a play – Grace has, but Allie hasn’t.
  28. Visit China (Grace added this.)
  29. Visit Mexico (Grace added this.)
  30. Visit Japan (Grace added this.)
  31. Swim with dolphins
  32. Go on an eco-safari in Africa
  33. Hike to a waterfall
  34. (The rest go back to my own childhood. I don’t want them to miss out on the fun that I had as a kid, despite all the yuppy experiences they’ve had.)
  35. Learn to play an instrument – Grace & Allie take piano lessons.
  36. Swim in a creek – Near our house
  37. Swim in a lake – Also near our house
  38. Roll down a really big hill – At a local park
  39. Camp out – They have both done this.
  40. Fly a kite – At the beach
  41. Pick cherries from a tree – At Strite’s Orchard in Harrisburg
  42. Pick apples from a tree – At Strite’s
  43. Pick and eat raspberries – At home
  44. Make mud pies – At home
  45. Climb a tree – At home
  46. Make a whistle from an acorn cap – Aunt Amanda taught them this, but they haven’t gotten good at it yet.
  47. Feed the birds – At home
  48. Catch tadpoles
  49. Grow a garden – At home
  50. Cook over a camp fire – At home
  51. Climb a mountain
  52. Find a geocache – June 2016
  53. See the Northern Lights
  54. Watch a meteor shower
  55. Care for a pet – At home
  56. Explore a cave
  57. Have fun at a carnival – I think the York Fair counts.
  58. Milk a cow
  59. Go roller skating – Near our house
  60. Take a boat ride on the river – With my uncle and Old Grandma and also on the Pride of the Susquehanna in Harrisburg
  61. Sell Girl Scout cookies – They have both done this.
  62. Tie their own shoelaces – They can both do this.
  63. Learn to cook with a recipe
  64. Learn how to handle money
  65. Create a painting
  66. Make jam from fresh fruit
  67. Roast marshmallows & make s’mores – Frequently in the summer
  68. Learn to crochet or knit
  69. Visit an art museum
  70. Visit a science museum – Whitaker Center in Harrisburg
  71. Go to vacation bible school – yearly
  72. Learn to sew
  73. Get a manicure at a spa – Grace has done this, but Allie hasn’t.
  74. Volunteer at a homeless shelter
  75. Volunteer at an animal shelter
  76. Learn a second language
  77. Sign up for a library card – both have library cards
  78. See a broadway-style show – Saw Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway, June 2019
  79. Travel to a third world country
  80. Join the scouts or 4h
  81. Run a 5k – Both girls have walked 5Ks with me.
  82. Go whale watching
  83. Swing on a tire swing – There is a tire swing at the elementary school near our house.

What am I missing?

Download a printable version of the list below. Print one out and check off the items as your kids do each one.

If you’re looking for a way to get your kids to take charge of their own daily entertainment, click over to this post where I have created a unique, card-based list of 150 of the best screen-free activities for elementary kids up through teens.

The ultimate list of screen-free activities for kids and teens - These are the best things to do when you're bored during the summer, on weekends, or anytime. Fun, simple, and easy play ideas for parents, children, and students. Great for rainy days, outside days, learning, eating, getting active, and more. Perfect for at home but could be adapted for school.

Kids' Bucket List - 61 ideas and experiences that every kid should have. Some for boys, but mostly for girls. Year round fun for summer, winter, spring, and fall. These are the activities and things that all children should 'do before I die.' Awesome ideas for friends and family road trips and vacations. Mom and Dad will have great memories of childhood as well as their kids.

Kids' Bucket List - Almost 100 ideas and experiences that every kid should have. Some for boys, but mostly for girls. Year round fun for summer, winter, spring, and fall. These are the activities and things that all children should 'do before I die.' Awesome ideas for friends and family road trips and vacations. Mom and Dad will have great memories of childhood as well as their kids.

© 2015 – 2019, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

16 thoughts on “A Kids’ Bucket List – 82 Things Every Kid Should Do Before They Grow Up”

  1. I love this list! How about some snow items? I know you all live where you get plenty of snow, but so many kids don’t and making snowballs, snow angels, building a snowman, etc. is something every child should do at least once!

  2. Go to all 50 states. I’m still working on this. We just climbed a mountain(ok, a big hill-it’s the high point of our state) with my daughter and 4 year old grandson.

  3. If you’re still around Pittsburgh, try buttermilk falls in Chippewa. It’s an easy hike if the kids are young. Not a crazy rainforest waterfall, but enough to be neat.

    Otherwise, if you ever make it towards Seattle, the Olympic Penninsula has a rain forest, glacier carved lake, hot spring, and waterfall. An amazing camping experience/bucket list cross off. …there’s also a drive in 🙂

  4. For number 14, find one near you! Drive-ins are awesome. We go about every two weeks to Benjie’s drive-in just north of Baltimore. http://www.bengies.com/ . We live about 50 minutes away but we love it so much that it’s worth the drive.

  5. Serve at a homeless shelter
    Serve at an animal shelter or sanctuary
    Learn a different language
    Get a library membership
    See a Broadway production at a local Performing Arts Center
    Donate to Blessings in a backpack or similar charity
    Travel to a third world country (as a teen)
    Become active in a local club that interests them
    Run a 5K
    Help plant and maintain a garden

  6. Haha…#51 “find a geocache”… found one while on a hike when visiting home (which is NY, but my kids and I live in Africa) and saw this Tupperware out in the middle of nowhere and thought..oh what a waste of a good container that someone left out in the middle of nowhere.. so I brought it home…only to open it later and discover it was a geocache. Doh! Needless to say we brought it back the next week. So…can tick off #51…lol

  7. Learn recipes
    Learn about how to handle money. Open a bank account.
    Create a painting
    Make jam from The raspberries . Canning
    Have a show at home on a rainy day. Karaoke style 🙂 we created a stage with curtains (sheets) Christmas lights, served juice and soda in fancy glasses. We also made id’s for the adults to get in lol oh and fake money to pay for drinks
    Go camping, make s’mores
    Learn to chrochet (you tube videos)
    Visit an art museum. Then paint a painting and hang on the wall
    Go to vacation bible school at a nearby church.
    Learn how to sew. Teach how to sew a button or take a class at local craft store.
    Learn about journaling
    Girls Spa day! Take them to get their nails painted. 😉

  8. Please don’t swim with dolphins in captivity! You can swim and see sea turtles in Mexico in the wild, but supporting dolphins in captivity is just wrong. The rest of the ideas are sure great though.

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