Don’t miss a single thing! 35 Summer Bucket List ideas for family fun in Greater Portland!
It never fails. Every August 20th or so I start crying in my soup about all the stuff I *wanted* to do during the summer but *just didn’t get to it*. For that matter, what exactly *did* I do?
This summer is going to be different. I’m making a Bucket List. We’re going to do so much, and have so much fun, the kids will be begging to be bored again. Ha!
When creating and using your Bucket List, there are a few things you’ll want to take into consideration. Such as…
#1 Make a ridiculously large list
When you compile your bucket list, include anything and everything you might like to do at some point during the summer, even if you know you couldn’t possibly get to them all. You never know— you may refer to the list on a day when you have only a couple hours, or it’s raining, or you also have the neighbors’ kids, or NO kids (see #2). A big list will give you plenty of options.
#2 Include parent-only activities on the list, too
Who says kids should have all the fun? Be sure to add some activities that you and your spouse/friend/family/dog would be interested in doing. Personally, going to the beach ALONE with an iced coffee and a good book is truly my idea of paradise. Besides, Nana needs some QT time with the kids.
#3 Get the kids involved, but don’t let them dictate
Sometimes I mistakenly get my kids too involved with a decision and it ends up biting me in the rear because even though we’ll choose something fun to do, they didn’t agree with the day’s choice and are complete stinkers the whole way there. You know the game. Instead, have the kids help you compile the initial list; then on your “activity” day, YOU choose three options (based on cost, weather, your patience level, etc.) to draw randomly out of hat. No arguments. Done.
Ok, go! Low on ideas for family activities? Here, steal a few of ours.
- Catch a flick at the Saco Drive-In Theater!
- Canoe Tours at Scarborough Marsh
- Hit up the local Farmer’s Market yum!
- Go on a Whale Watch
- Visit to the Lobster Shack
- Camping trip (You don’t have to go far, there are campgrounds as close as Freeport, ME!)
- OR pitch a tent in the backyard!
- Ride part of the Eastern Trail!
- Summer Movie Series at Buglight Park (Thursdays in July)
- July 4th Fireworks in Portland, set to music by the Portland Symphony Orchestra!
- Bust out the lawn sprinkler and watch the kids go nuts.
- Yarmouth Clam Festival (July)
- Take a ferry and ride bikes around Peaks Island
- Help the kids set up a lemonade stand.
- S’mores. Often.
- Attend at least one of LLBean’s cool events at their Summer in the Park series
- Make homemade fruity popsicles.
- Pick-your-own (whatever’s in season!) peaches, berries, ya.
- Ice Cream & Sunset Trolley Rides at the Seashore Trolley Museum! (not happening 2016)
- Funtown Splashtown, ‘nough said
- Hot day in July? Go ice skating!
- Spend a cool, sunny morning searching for sea glass.
- Go see Circus Smirkus, the coolest circus performed by kids (August)
- Portland Chamber Music Fesival’s annual Children’s Concert, free! (August)
- Take your little ones to one of the City of Portland’s splash pads
- Go see a Seadogs baseball game (especially family-friendly are their Kids Club games!)
- Build a sandcastle that your kids can be proud of (don’t forget the moat).
- Maine Wildlife Park
- River swimming at Dundee Park!
- Dinnertime picnic outdoors.
- Discover the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (its worth the trip – especially for their summertime Fairy Fridays!)
- Have Hot Fudge & Banana Splits for dinner (not only limited to summer)
What’s on your Bucket List? Share with us some new ideas in the comments below!
We like to make sure we are active and that our activities include our new dog as much as possible.
Hike/explore Macworth Island in Falmouth
Hike Bradbury Mtn. in Pownal
Waterfall hikes in Grafton Knotch-outside of Bethel
Explore Portland day-hit as many playgrounds as possible and find a fun place for lunch and or dinner (outside)
Catch a performance at the Ogunquit Playhouse
Bike local paths (such as Windham and Brunswick bike paths)
Just a few summer activities our family likes to do….
Awesome list, thanks for the recommendations!
Do you have more FREE or VERY CHEAP ideas?
I have 3 kids and summer activities get sooo expensive, especially while saving for our house!
Thank you in advance!
Thanks for asking, we’ll work on this!
Pineland Farms has many family activities, as well as a nice little outdoor play area and animals to be visited year round. They also have a nice deli/bakery to get lunch at, and ice-cream! Yum!
Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport – same as Pineland. Food stuffs and family activities.
Wolfe’s Neck State Park has lovely hiking trails along a shoreline and great places to tidal pool when the tide is low.
For the poster who was wondering about free and cheap activities–check the schedules of local libraries. They often have free programming.
But, if you’d like to learn about lobstering this summer, come take a lobster tour with Captain Jay! http://www.westwindlobstertours.com
Aquaboggan is lots of fun; very clean; less crowded; and great prices. Worth a visit for sure. Also, smaller family friendly hikes like Bradbury Mountain and Mount Agamenticus are worthwhile.