Why You Need a Seasonal Bucket List6 min read
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How many times does a day, a week, a month, a year pass by when you think back and realize that you didn’t do a fraction of the things you wish you would have? Do you wish you would have made time for hot chocolate and a snowball fight? A picnic at the park? Picking apples in the fall? Spending a hot summer day with the kids running through the sprinklers?
Most of our lives are very busy, all those family activities and events could easily slip by the wayside if we are not intentional about planning for and making time for them. This is why we started using a Seasonal Bucket List.
Don’t miss the free download at the bottom of this post – A bucket list worksheet for all four seasons!
Why Keep a Seasonal Bucket List?
A Seasonal Bucket List helps us to look at all the possible opportunities and be intentional about what we want our family to experience each season. Most of these activities are not “pre-scheduled” or included on our annual time block, so we really need to start looking at them in advance to make sure there is room in our schedule.
There have been a number of times that a new baby or a move to a new house have filled up our focus for a given season. We end up forgetting about these seemingly small activities. Looking back, it makes me sad for the missed memories, but thankful for the opportunity to realized how important this process is and make them happen in the future.
When to Create Your Seasonal Bucket Lists
Try this general schedule for putting together your bucket lists:
Winter – Planning in October (I bunch Thanksgiving into winter)
Spring – Planning in February
Summer – Planning in May
Fall – Planning in August
Some Additional Planning
This is also a great time to plan for holidays and special events the fall within each season. For seasons that include a large number of events, maybe just start with an overview and set aside additional time to plan them individually. This will at least get things started and on the front of your mind.
There may be holidays you want to plan even further in advance. As an example, we do our Winter Bucket List in early October and have a brief conversation about Thanksgiving and Christmas. We do our full planning for Thanksgiving later in October, but actually start Christmas planning in September. I include reminders for all these planning activities on my task list as an annual recurring item. This way, as they come closer, I am reminded to schedule for a day that I have time available.
What to Include – Don’t Miss the Downloads Below!
I have included copies of our Bucket Lists for each season below, but you can use a number of formats or methods to create your own as well. A piece of paper where you simply list the activities you would like to do this season works if you prefer simplicity.
Our worksheet includes a few additional details that we find helpful. For each activity, we make note of any specific time frame or date that is scheduled, available, or appropriate. (for example, the Renaissance Festival is open each summer for 8 different weekends each summer in our area) We also note the estimated cost of the activity so that we are able to pick and/or budget accordingly.
In addition to activities, you might want to add seasonal recipes that you would like to make. Christmas cookies in December, plenty of grill food during the summer, fruit preserves as berries are available, and lots of canning and preserving in the fall are all priorities for us.
I also include a section to note any seasonal or holiday decorations we may use throughout the house. This is generally nothing major, but it reminds me to switch over little things like the seasonal magnets on our “wall word” that holds pictures. Otherwise, we end up with Christmas magnets in the middle of July!
This is also a great time to review your life bucket list, or your “52 things list” (an annual bucket list), and see if any of the items on those lists might make sense to include in the upcoming season. It is good to bring these lists into view at least once a quarter in order to keep them in mind and increase their probability of being completed.
Some Ideas for Your Seasonal Bucket Lists
Here is an idea of some of the things that we include in our seasonal bucket lists –
Apple Picking & Apple Cider
Trip to the Pumpkin Patch
Harvest Fest at Miller Farms
Trip to the Zoo (we love going after school is back in and it is not as crowded and hot!)
Color Hike (or drive) in the mountains
Visit the Farmers Market
Train Ride (we have a few historic trains in the area that do mountain tours)
Halloween Planning (costumes, decorations, activities, etc.)
Trick or Treat Street at Castle Rock
Family Event (generally some sort of ticketed event – Disney on Ice, Polar Express at the railway, concert or show, etc.)
Picking out or cutting down our Christmas tree
Service or Giving
Ornament Shopping (each year the kids get to pick out an ornament and we also buy our Family Ornaments)
Zoo Lights (Denver Zoo, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, or both)
Christmas light drive (we just drive around neighborhoods and look at Christmas lights)
Hot Chocolate (although this sounds like something that will just happen naturally, sometimes things are busy and we just forget – I like to add it to the list just to make sure it happens, ideally more than once)
Build a Snowman & make Snow Angels
Winter Hike – on a nice warm day
… Many of these items are not necessarily planned but happen based on the weather. This just keeps them in the forefront of our minds as we review this list throughout the season.
Add to orchard and berry patch
Plan and Plant Annual Flowers
Have a BBQ
Start plants indoors for the garden
Visit a farm (or two, or three…)
Fly a Kite
Trip to the Zoo
Have a Play Day
Mother’s Day Planning
Memorial Day Planning
Set up the pool
Have a water balloon fight
Plant a garden
Berry picking and canning preserves
Picnic at the park
Father’s Day Planning
4th of July Planning
Labor Day Planning
Download these Free Bucket List Worksheets – one for each season that you can add to your monthly planner or holiday planner. The worksheet covers brainstorming, budgeting, and an individual list for events, activities, and decorations.
Please share what activities are “Must Do’s” on your family’s Seasonal Bucket List.