Summer Bucket List

an accessible bucket list to complete this summer

Alexis Qin, Staff Writer

With no school and the stress of tests and assignments, summer is the perfect time to relax or try something new. Or even, check off an item on a bucket list. Although many bucket lists might include harder to get to places like Bora Bora (I know mine does!), there are plenty of new things to try that are more accessible to everyone. Here are some summer bucket list items that don’t require thousands of dollars or a plane ticket. 


  1. Have a picnic 

Find a nice spot like a park or by a lake (it can even be a backyard!), grab some sandwiches and soak up the sun. Picnics are super fun to do with friends and are a perfect time to get some cute pictures in. Just remember to pick up all the trash and leave the spot clean!


photo by Daniel Öberg with permission by Unsplash

      2. Make home-made popsicles

Popsicles are super easy to make. They are easy to customize with different flavors, fruit juices and add-ins. There are fruity popsicles, creamy ones, and even vegetable popsicles! Just get  popsicle molds (some can come in fun shapes like stars or hearts), pour in the blended ingredients, and pop them in the freezer for a few hours. 


      3. Go paddle boarding or kayaking

Reston has an abundance of lakes which offer places to paddle-board and kayak. They offer lessons for both activities and rentals for them as well. Check out for more information on stand up paddle boarding and kayaking rentals and lessons. 


photo by Graphic Node with permission by Unsplash

      4. Check out outdoor farmers markets or flea markets

Farmers markets and flea markets are a great way to support local farmers and businesses

The Vienna Farmers Market is in business every Saturday from 8:00 am to noon from May to October. The outdoor market is located in downtown Vienna, next to Waters Field and the Fire Department. They sell fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats, and baked goods.  They even have made to order breakfast including donuts, crepes, eggs, coffee and so much more. 

For those who are hoping to find antique or vintage goods, check out the Georgetown Flea Market at 1819 35th St NW, Washington, DC. The outdoor flea market is open every Sunday, at 8:00 am. Find a host of jewelry, clothes, furniture, and one of a kind items. 


      5. Watch a movie outside

Movies are fun to watch, but even more fun outside. Outdoor movie sets which include a projector and a screen can be found at Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and many other stores. Coupled with s’mores, a bonfire, and friends, it’s the perfect way to spend a summer night. 


photo by Marcelo Uva with permission by Unsplash

      6. Join a swim team

Summer swim team is perfect for those who love to swim, but don’t want it to be too intense. Summer swim is much more laid back than winter swim and it’s a great way to start new bonds and friendships. Or even better, sign up with a friend for a season of fun. 


      7. Visit museums in DC

One thing that is great about the museums in Washington DC is that most of them are free. Some of them include: The Natural History Museum, National Gallery of Art, The Botanical Gardens, and the Holocaust Museum. Museums are a great way to learn about basically anything, from culture and history to plants and animals. 


photo by Scott Goodwill with permission by Unsplash

      8. Go camping

Camping can be a super fun experience especially in a group. There are many great campsite in Virginia like Crabtree Falls Campgrounds (which is pet friendly!), Big Meadows Campground in Shenandoah National Park, and so many more. However, make sure to do research to bring the appropriate gear. 




9. Start a podcast with friends

Everyone has at least thought about starting a podcast once in their life. And it can be even more fun to do with friends. Go to to find information about how to start one including, a theme, outline, intended audience, and basically all the things needed to start one. 


photo by Ray Donnelly with permission by Unsplash

      10. Spend a day at the beach

Nothing sums up summer like a day at the beach. Although Ocean City, Virginia Beach and Rehoboth are all great spots, try and visit lesser crowded ones for a different feel. Try Chincoteague or Assateague Islands with quieter beaches which are right off the shore of Virginia. These islands are the home of wild ponies and also have activities like clamming, crabbing, and a perfect landscape for a painting. 



      11. Go for a hike or a bike ride

Hiking and biking are fun ways to get exercise and hang out with friends and family. The W&OD is a great biking trail that passes through downtown Vienna, Herndon, and the Reston Town Center. Virginia and Maryland have lots of great hiking trails like Great Falls National Park, Rock Creek Park, Old Rag, the Appalachian Trail, and many other national and state parks. 


photo by Gabriel Valdez with permission by Unsplash

      12. Visit a theme park or carnival

Hershey Park, Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens, and Water Country USA are all a couple hours of driving distance away. Bring some friends along for a day of exhilarating rides and fun memories.

If bigger theme parks are too far, ViVa Vienna is right in the middle of downtown Vienna. ViVa Vienna runs through Memorial weekend and they have amusement rides, carnival foods, and live performances.