30 Simple Bucket List Ideas For Families

By Jill Greising-Murschel

Jun 28
Collect Seashells on Sanibel Island Florida - Travel Bucket List_

Have you tried to make a bucket list for your family? Was it difficult to come up with the simple bucket list ideas?

Visiting places like the Grand Canyon, white sand beaches and Glacier National Park have always sat at the top of my bucket list. However, the simple things in life often bring us the most joy.

If you need some inspiration or motivation to create your family's bucket list, then look no further.

I want to share with you our family’s simple bucket list ideas. These are bucket list items that we have crossed off of our list after taking the leap and traveling full time together across the US in our motorhome for over a year. 


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What Is A Bucket List?

A bucket list is a list of goals, activities, or things to do before you die. The name ‘bucket’ refers to people wanting to accomplish items on the list before they ‘kick the bucket’, or die. 

It can involve visiting an exciting destination or doing something you haven’t done before, but have always wanted to.

Some people may refer to it as a dream list.

Other people make a list of things to do before they die and then set off to slowly achieve each item.

Simple Bucket List Ideas For Families_

As a mother to 4 children, I try to think as positive as I can each day. I want to encourage our family to seek adventure in the simple things as well as the big experiences in life.

I will call this our collection of Simple Bucket List Ideas.

Origin Of Our Family's Simple Bucket List Ideas 

As I think back to before our family began traveling full time together, my bucket list has shifted a bit. Honestly though, it did not shift as much as you may think.

As a full time RV living family, we bring our children along to many of the places we've wanted to visit before having kids. They are little humans, growing up to be adults soon. So why not include them?

For example, I wanted to visit downtown Broadway Street in Nashville, TN. The typical set of traveling adults may want to enjoy the night life in Nashville, while we made sure to arrive by mid-afternoon and left by dark. Allowing for a great experience with kids in Nashville!

I also shifted my ‘bucket list’ mindset from feeling as if I want to do it NOW…..to, ‘let’s experience fun things and visit destinations that we can enjoy with younger children now'……they will grow up quickly and we will THEN experience the more adventurous bucket list ideas when they are older, such as white water rafting and taking a 10 or more-mile hike into Grand Teton’s National Park.

I suggest that you look through our list below to see which ideas spark your interest. Then decide if ‘now’ is a good time to try to achieve it.

Would it be best to wait a few years if you have young children or a health issue that you are trying to manage? Or, can you get to everything on your list?  

Below is our family’s suggestions of simple bucket list ideas that you can achieve right here in the USA. They are things you can put on a bucket list that will hopefully inspire you to get out and travel more together with your family.  

30 Simple Bucket List Ideas

1. Hug a giant tree

Unique Bucket List Ideas - Hug A Tree - Redwoods

Explore the Redwood forest in Northern California and hug a 500 year old tree. These giants are beyond breathtaking!

2. Go Kayaking together

Kayaking - Simple Bucket List Ideas for families

Rent a double kayak or two and pile the small and big kids in for a family kayak experience. John Pennekampe State Park in Key Largo has affordable kayak rentals and a family friendly ocean-kayak experience for the entire family.  

3. Take a dolphin cruise 

Dolphin Cruise - Travel Bucket List

Plan a trip to a fun beach destination and take a dolphin cruise. Witnessing dolphins jumping behind the boat can bring your excitement to new levels! 

4. Hike in the snow in the summer

Summer Bucket list Ideas - HIke in Snow in the Summer Sun

Plan a summer hike in the snow! Find snow in the Rocky Mountains that hasn't melted until well into July and let the kids explore. We found snow at Crater Lake National Park in late July and even more snow in Glacier National Park.

5. Visit a tide pool

Summer Bucket List - Visit a Tide Pool with Kids at the Ocean

Visit Ruby Beach’s tide pools during low tide at Olympic National Park in Washington State. Take the time to gently touch the sea stars and play in the sand. 

6. Search for a rattle snake in the wild

See a Rattlesnake in the wild - Crazy bucket list ideas

Catch the tell-tale sound of the rattle snake's rattle while out exploring in their habitat. You may just come across one if you hike in Utah or much of the Southwest. We found this one in Utah!

7. Stand at the southern most point of the USA

Travel Bucket List - Visit the Southern Most Point in Key West_

Grab a family photo early in the morning in Key West, standing at the southern most point of the USA located in the the Florida Keys.

8. Enjoy a carriage ride through a historic city

Go on a Carriage Ride - bucket list goals

Take a carriage ride through a historic city such as Charleston, South Carolina. Arrive early so that the kids can pet the horse and build excitement for the ride. 

9. Go snorkeling in the ocean

Go Snorkeling with your kids - Bucket List Activities_

Take your kids snorkeling in the Florida Keys. Renting snorkel gear can be very affordable, or bring your own. 

10. Take the family geocaching

Go Geocaching - Creative Bucket List ideas

Go on a scavenger hunt by geocaching! Hiking along while searching for a treasure can be so much fun as a family, while also encouraging the children to learn by experience. 

11. Take a family bike ride 

Take a Family Bike Ride - best bucket list ideas

Plan ahead and bring water and snacks so that you can enjoy a fun family bike ride on some great trails. Find a fun destination to ride to so that the kids will stay motivated while biking. We took a family bike ride in Minneapolis, MN and stopped midway through our 6 mile ride at Minnehaha Falls.

12. Witness a total solar eclipse

Things to do before I die - Witness a Solar Eclipse Together

View an eclipse in totality and feel how quiet and cool it gets. Look ahead to see when and where the next total solar eclipse takes place. Our family's experience on the coast of Oregon in 2017 was breathtaking. 

13. Boondock or drycamp in a National Forest 

Boondocking in Grand Teton National Park - bucket list ideas that are free

Camp out in a National Forest or BLM land in the US for free. Camping in Teton National forest near Grand Teton National Park allows for a free and picturesque campsite outside of the busy park. 

14. Visit a cave

Tour a Cave - Things to put on your bucket list

Dress warm, wear good hiking shoes, and hike into a cave at a National Park. We enjoyed discovering the smells, sounds, and sights of Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota. 

15. Collect seashells on Sanibel Island in Florida

Collect Seashells on Sanibel Island Florida - Travel Bucket List_

Collecting seashells can be such a fun family experience. The amount of seashells found on Sanibel Island is too many to count! If you are in the Fort Myer's Beach area, take a day trip over to Sanibel Island and see for yourself. 

16. Hike in the desert

Hike in the desert - Adventure Bucket List with kids

Pack extra water to stay hydrated, even if it's cool, while you go on a family hike in the dessert. We drank a lot of water in Arch's National Park. 

17. Hike in a rainforest....in the USA

Hike in a Rainforest in the USA - Ultimate Bucket List Idea

Plan a family hike in a rainforest, located in the United States. Olympic National Park's Hoh Rainforest in Washington is a temperate rainforest that receives over 140 inches of rain a year. 

18. Take a picture of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge

Bucket List Places - Golden Gate Bridge

Visit California and take a trip into downtown San Fransisco to grab a photo of the famous Golden Gate Bridge.

19. View a tarantula in the wild 

See a Tarantula in a wild - Crazy Bucket List Ideas

Have your camera or phone ready while visiting New Mexico. You just may see a tarantula make their way across your campsite!

20. Go whale watching 

Whale Watching - 10 things to do before you die

Visit the Pacific Ocean and do some whale watching. Be sure to ask the locals where the best place is to view whales in the area. 

21. Take a double decker bus tour

Double Decker Bus Tour of San Diego Zoo - Family Bucket List trips

Sit on the top deck of a double decker bus to get a great view of what they have to offer. Bring a sun hat and a camera to enjoy the sightseeing adventure ahead. We took the double decker bus tour with a birds-eye-view and saw many animals at the San Diego Zoo. 

22. Go on a chocolate tasting tour

Chocolate Factory Tour - Bucket List Examples

Go on a chocolate tasting tour at the Whetstone Chocolate Factory in St. Augustine, Florida. It's kid friendly, educational, and fun for the entire family. Or, find a tour near you. 

23. Ride your bikes on the beach

Biking on the Beach - Fun Bucket List Ideas

Go for a bike ride on the beach. Many of the beaches along the Atlantic coast are packed down enough to allow for some bicycle time. 

24. Make a sand man

Sandman on the Beach - Cool Bucket List Ideas

Instead of a snowman, make a SAND MAN at the beach! 

25. Hike to a glacial lake

Hike to a Glacial Lake - Bucket List Travel Destination_

Hike to a glacial lake in the summer, when there is still snow and ice on the trails. Enjoy the green grass, warm temperatures, and bright blue waters and sky along with the snow during your hike. 

26. Go Boogie Boarding 

Boogie Boarding - bucket list experiences_

Rent a boogie board and hit the waves with your kids while visiting the ocean. We enjoyed boogie boarding in St. Augustine, FL during our stay in December. 

27. See a bear in the wild

See a bear in the wild - life bucket list idea

Catch a glimpse of a bear and her cubs in the wild. Glacier National Park is where I found a mama bear and her two cubs! It was one of those 'bucket list ideas' that I was thrilled to experience! 

28. Visit Disneyland

Visit Disneyland - Top bucket list items for families_

Plan a full day at Disneyland in Southern California. It truly is a magical experience. Think ahead for things to bring with you to Disneyland.  

29. Take in the view of the Grand Canyon 

Grand Canyon - Bucket List Ideas Travel

Visit one of the top bucket list destinations around, the Grand Canyon. Take in the view, hike along the rim, and enjoy the wildlife with the kids.  

30. Go Paddle Boarding 

Go Paddle boarding - Good Bucket List Ideas

Buy or rent a paddle board and take the kids out on a nice calm lake. Practice your balance and be ready to get wet!


In case you are not able to get out and travel together right away, here is a list of even SIMPLER bucket list ideas that you can do just about anywhere.

I hope they inspire you to get started on building those memories together as a family and experience fun moments together now. 

SIMPLER Bucket List Ideas - When Staying Local

  • Pick wild berries such as blackberries, blueberries or raspberries
  • Watch the stars come out
  • Follow your child's lead for a day and see where you go
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    Start a blog
  • Go swimming in the ocean
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    Brew your own kombucha
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    Sleep in a hammock
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    Visit a local art center
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    Take a selfie together
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    Collect seashells
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    Go camping 
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    Wake up early to watch the sunrise
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    Eat sushi for the first time
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    See a play
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    Learn to ride a horse
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    Go on a distillery tour
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    Do a tasting tour of local foods

What's on your bucket list? I'd love to hear your suggestions for additional bucket list ideas for families. They could be as big as visiting Niagara Falls or as small and simple as hiking with your children at the local Nature Center. 

Share it in the comments! 

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Simple Bucket List Idea for Families - Let's Travel Family_

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