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13 Budget Friendly Summer Bucket List Ideas 

Summer is the perfect time to embrace the sunshine, spend quality time with loved ones, and create lasting memories. But you don’t need a hefty budget to make the most of the season. Here are 13 budget-friendly summer bucket list ideas that will keep you entertained and won’t break the bank. 

13 Budget Friendly Summer Bucket List Ideas! 

Various vegetables in wooden bins and baskets at a farmer’s market.

1. Visit a Farmer’s Market 

Spend a morning exploring a local farmer’s market. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, sample fresh produce, and even pick up some ingredients for a homemade meal. It’s a great way to support local farmers and discover seasonal treats. 

2. Hike a Local Trail 

Find a nearby hiking trail and spend the day immersed in nature. Hiking is a fantastic way to get some exercise, enjoy beautiful scenery, and clear your mind. Make sure to bring plenty of water and some snacks! 

Red and white popcorn bags filled with popcorn sit in a pink tray.

3. Host a Movie Night Under the Stars 

Transform your backyard into an outdoor theater. Hang a white sheet for a screen, set up a projector, and invite friends over for a movie night. Don’t have a projector? Use an extension cord to bring your TV outside! Pop some popcorn and bring out cozy blankets for a memorable evening under the stars. 

4. Explore a New Town 

Take a day trip to a nearby town you’ve never visited before. Walk around, explore local shops, try a new restaurant, head to a museum, or visit historical landmarks. Sometimes the best adventures are right in your own backyard. 

5. DIY Craft Day 

Get creative with a summer DIY craft day. Look for inspiration online and gather materials from around your home or local dollar store. Whether it’s painting, jewelry making, or upcycling old items, crafting is such a fun and fulfilling activity! 

A volunteer at a 4th of July event has a bright green vest on that says, “here to help.”

6. Volunteer 

Give back to your community by volunteering your time. Look for local organizations that need help, whether it’s a food bank, animal shelter, or community garden. Volunteering is a rewarding way to spend your time and make a positive impact. 

7. Stargazing 

On a clear night, find a spot away from city lights and enjoy the beauty of the night sky. Bring a blanket and lay back to watch the stars. You can even download a stargazing app to help identify constellations and planets. 

8. Attend a Free Outdoor Concert or Festival 

Many towns and cities host free outdoor concerts or festivals during the summer. Check local event listings and enjoy live music, food trucks, and entertainment without spending much. 

A highway road sits between desert rock formations with a mountain in the background.

9. Visit a State Park 

State parks often have low entrance fees and offer a variety of outdoor activities. From hiking and fishing to picnicking and wildlife watching, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Curious about national parks? There are many ways to get in at a discount or for free! Check them out on the national park website here

10. Bike Ride Adventure 

Dust off your bike and go for a ride. Explore local trails, parks, or even just ride around your neighborhood. It’s a great way to get some exercise, enjoy the weather, and see your surroundings from a new perspective. 

A toddler leans over a wooden bin full of books.

11. Library Visit and Summer Reading 

Spend an afternoon at your local library. Many libraries offer free summer reading programs with activities and prizes. Borrow a stack of books and challenge yourself to read them all before the summer ends. Every library has something for every age, so the whole family can enjoy! 

12. Gardening 

Whether you have a large backyard or just a small balcony, gardening is a rewarding summer activity. Start a vegetable or herb garden, plant flowers, or create a small indoor garden. It’s a relaxing way to spend time outdoors and enjoy the fruits of your labor. 

13. Cookout or Potluck 

Host a cookout or potluck with friends and family. Ask everyone to bring a dish to share, fire up the grill, and enjoy a meal together. It’s a great way to socialize, enjoy good food, and have fun without spending a fortune. 

A textured wall has the phrase, “Best. Summer. Ever.” spray painted in black on it.

Enjoy Some Fun in the Sun! 

These budget-friendly summer bucket list ideas prove that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have an unforgettable summer. Embrace the warm weather, take advantage of free or low-cost activities, and make the most of the season with friends and family.  

And this summer, make sure you take some time for you! Here are 10 ways to fill your cup ! Happy summer! 




Paper origami boats sit on a reflective surface in a “V” formation.
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