Indianapolis Summer Family Bucket List

I love lists: shopping lists, to-do lists, or my personal favorite, the “Honey Do List” for my beloved husband. So, after last summer came and went, I felt like my family missed out on doing some fun things. I didn’t want that to happen again, so I did what I do best: I made a list. I even wrote it on a clean sheet of paper and used pretty gel pens. It’s super official.

If your summer needs some inspiration, too, here’s what’s on our list. 

Family Summer Bucket List

Indians Game

Don’t want to spend a lot of money? Lawn tickets are the way to go. You can pack a cooler, and on Tuesdays you can snag BOGO tickets from McAlisters (no purchase necessary at the restaurant). Baseball can’t really keep my kids’ attention, but running around like wild animals on the lawn provides hours of entertainment.

Canal Nights 

The Indiana State Museum hosts Canal Nights on most Wednesday evenings in the summer. This is a free, themed event and provides fun games for families. Check out the Indiana State Museum website for dates and times.

Zoo Pass

In addition to accessing all the exhibits, a zoo membership allows you to purchase $10 wristbands. These passes get you UNLIMITED rides on the roller coaster, train, orangutan tram, and animal feedings. My kids love doing extra chores to earn one wristband a summer. For my crew, this feels like a day at an amusement park.

Drive-In Movie

We crossed this off our summer bucket list a few weeks ago at Canary Creek in Franklin. My toddler did enjoy the experience quite as much as the older kids, but we’ll still be adding it to our future bucket lists in the years to come.

Farmer’s Market 

Someday I’ll get my act together and make it to one of our local farmer’s markets. I have high hope to check out the Cumberland Farmer’s Market this summer.

State Fair 

This is one of our favorite summer activities. There are always ways to get discount tickets, like BMV Discount days and Indy Star prints passes. We typically don’t do rides, but love the animal barns and Little Hands on the Farm. There’s nothing like a Lemon Shake Up.

Amusement Parks

We have gone to Holiday World several times and really love what they have to offer for younger kids. We hope to try Kentucky Kingdom this year, too.


We’re always trying new campgrounds and have a few favorites. We love Turkey Run, Spring Mill, and McCormick’s Creek. Last spring we fell in love with Jellystone campground in Kentucky. It felt like summer camp! Brown County and Dunes State Park are on our list for this year.

A family summer bucket list is great, but let’s not forget to take care of ourselves, mamas.

Mama’s Summer Bucket List:

Listen to One Book a Week

Have you discovered the joy of audiobooks? I access them from the library for free. Listening to books on a variety of topics makes me look forward to chores.

Wear Sunscreen

I know, I know. This should be a no brainer, right? I lather up my kids and forget about myself. I don’t want to look 87 when I am only 43, so I need to get better about this. 

Paint Toenails

Freshly-painted toes makes me forget all about my unwashed hair and bleach-stained yoga pants. At-home pedicures are an easy way to feel luxurious and a little more put together.

Finish a Shutterfly Book

Nothing like good old-fashioned mom guilt to conjure up a bucket list item. This is the year I get caught up on memory books for my kids. 

I can’t believe we only have another month or so to cross these items off our list. What’s on your summer bucket list?

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