Summer as Teens
It’s hard for teens in the summer. You can’t drink, some can’t drive, and you are living on minimum wage (if you have a job at all). Even when you work more hours, you are still not getting paid as much as adults but you are working just as many, if not more, hours. You’re young and you want to still have fun and let loose before you go back to high school. You want ideas to go out with your friends, enjoy time on your own, or go on a date with your #1 crush—do exactly what teens do in the summer! Summer is a time for escaping the stress and enjoying your life.
The ESC Bucket List
I have a solution- the ultimate bucket list to make this an epic summer for teens. Follow the escape (ESC) rule of thumb: Exploration Steals Creation This summer bucket list gives teens things to explore, deals that feel like steals, and creative outlets that save on money but still mean loads of fun for the summer.
Top concert tours for teens
Find the best concerts happening in your area. Whether you like old, classic music or new hip music, concert tours this summer have everything you want to have a good time. You can bet I’m going to a few! The top concert tours this summer are: Journey and Def Leppard Tour dates: 5/21-10/7 Major cities: Philadelphia, NYC, Detroit, Chicago, Denver, Boston, Tampa, Nashville Drake Tour dates: 7/26-11/17 Major cities: Denver, Detroit, Chicago, NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Los Angeles Tim McGraw & Faith Hill Tour dates: Now-July 24 Major cities: Baltimore, Hershey, Raleigh, Minneapolis, Seattle, Phoenix, Los Angeles Imagine Dragons Tour dates: Now-10/21 Major cities: Syracuse, Hershey, NYC, Raleigh, Nashville, Austin, New Orleans, Tampa Warped Tour Tour dates: 6/21-8/5 States it is coming to: CO, IL, NV, CA, TX, TN, MI, GA, AZ, VA, FL, PA, MO, OH, NC, WI, UT, NJ, CT, KS, IN, NY, MN, MD, MA (so pretty much everywhere) Warped Tour is the place to be this summer (just like every summer) for teens! They have great bands that spread across decades of music. For all locations and dates to these summer concert tours, please refer to their websites, and get them soon before they are sold out!
Although geocaching has started dwindling out, it should be an item on your summer bucket list to keep this cool trend going (and it's made easier with an app!) Geocaching is an activity in which someone is given coordinates and must use navigation systems (including the app) to lead them to a secret and hidden container. In the container is an item and a log of everyone who has found that cache. When you locate this container, you sign the log, take the item, and leave an item of yours you want to leave for someone else to find. This is best done in groups, or as teams and try to race the other teams to find as many as you can. This interactive activity is a great bucket list item for teens and adults alike!
Take a hike and enjoy summer
Whether you live in a mountainous area or in the plains of the Midwest, there is always somewhere for teens to hike and explore in the summer. You may want to bring friends and have a picnic, or you may need time to yourself. A hike or a walk is everything you need to clear your mind or get to know someone (maybe a good first date idea?). Gain a total Transcendentalist view on life by sitting out in nature in the peaceful summer sun and appreciate what it is there for. Transcendentalists believe society corrupts you, so step away from the chaos of the town, separate yourself from the crazy drama of social media, and appreciate what was put on this earth for you. This is definitely something for the ultimate summer bucket list. (Hint: for a Transcendentalist experience, skip the selfie and hashtags to brag about loving nature)
Make a unique “trail”
Connecticut has a wine trail. Arizona has a salsa trail. New York has a cheese trail. You get the idea. Create your own trail of unique local flares this summer—an abandoned house trail, a donut trail, a cemetery trail, an animal shelter trail. Once you pinpointed about 5-10 of the best locations in your area that fit the theme and have spent the summer going to all of them as a part of your bucket list, pass the information along to your friends and other teens via social media. Try to get as many people as possible putting this on their bucket list this summer. Who knows, it could become the next tourist “must” for your area by next summer!
Amusement park season passes
The best deals of the summer for your bucket list come from season passes to anything (movies, games, concerts, amusement parks). However, make amusement parks your ultimate destination this summer. Go to one of the best nationwide (Disney, Orlando, Busch Gardens, Six Flags, etc.) or find a more local amusement park. A season pass typically will pay itself off in 2-3 visits, plus comes with a ton of other benefits. A season pass for Six Flags, which is in 9 states, pays itself off in less than 2 visits, allows you to go to the park as many times as you want, includes free tickets for friends, includes extra discounts, and allows you to use it at any Six Flags in the country. That is one heck of a deal for a summer of fun!
In every state, there is at least one flea market going on during the summer. Flea markets are good for summer bucket lists because they have great deals on very useful, vintage and stylish stuff. Need a lamp for your room? Need a new dress before high school starts? Need a necklace to match your new dress? Flea markets have everything and more.
The best flea markets for teens this summer in the country are Brimfield Antique Show and Flea Market in Brimfield, Massachusetts; Brooklyn Flea in Brooklyn, New York; Fremont Sunday Market in Seattle, Washington; and Long Beach Antique Market in Long Beach, California. Look up flea markets in your area to attend.
Thrift Store Upcycles
Teens want to have the most stylish wardrobe, room, and life before going back to school in the fall. However, you're on a very limited budget this summer, like most teens. Hit up the thrift store to find very cheap clothes and home decor. Everything you find has potential.
Turn a bulky sweater into ultra cute leg warmers.
Paint an old platter with chalkboard paint and have a creative locker or bedroom decoration.
Turn a baggy t-shirt into a stylish tank top, or a cute bag, or a trendy skirt.
Possibilities are endless for teens in a thrift store. Find ideas online and start taking advantage of huge deals for your bucket list!
Drive-in movie theater
You’ll definitely want this one for your bucket list! Drive-ins are always typically cheaper than in-theater movies, which makes it perfect for teens. And they play classic movies, which makes it perfect for a bucket list item. Sometimes they have a deal on tickets as well. If your area doesn’t have a drive-in movie theater (or if you don’t have a car to drive in with), invest in a blow-up movie screen and projector. If you need to, charge a few bucks for people to come see a movie in your backyard to help pay off the cost of the setup. Provide popcorn and blankets to make a magical movie night under the stars. By the end of summer, you would have made quite a bit of profit and been able to see tons of movies with your friends.
Slip ‘n Slide
It’s the summer and you just want to cool off. Sprinklers are too kiddy for teens and not everyone has a pool. There are other ways to cool off this summer! Commercial slip ‘n slides can be expensive, especially considering it only provides you the slide that is bound to give you a friction burn if there’s not enough slip. But they are a major source of fun in the summer heat! In order to make your own slip ‘n slide for your bucket list, you need just a few items and a whole bunch of people to enjoy it. Make one of these in your backyard and you'll be the coolest kid in high school even after summer is over. 1. Start with locating a decent hill (not too steep, but still on a decline). 2. Roll out a roll of heavy-duty plastic sheeting (about 8 feet wide) down the hill or use garbage bags. 3. Line pool noodles up alongside each side of the plastic sheeting, about 3 inches from the sides. You can leave about 3 feet of space in between each pool noodle. 4. Roll the sides up over the pool noodles and use landscape anchor pins to hold the rolled up pool noodles in place. 5. Using liquid soap, pour a line down the middle of the length of the slide 6. Spray/pour water continuously down the slide (especially if it is a hot day, the sun will dry the slide out easily). 7. Enjoy!
Make a summertime pool
The community pool is not exactly where teens want to hang out (too many little kids, middle-aged lifeguards, and too many rules to follow). But it’s a bummer when you don’t have a pool. There are many ways to create makeshift pools to add to your bucket list. I’ll give you the basic idea that all teens can do and you can be creative with the rest! 1. Make a simple box frame out of 2x4s, about 2 feet high and 5 feet wide. It should look like the following:
2. Next, get a big enough tarp to stretch to all four corners of your frame and go down to the ground in the middle. Make sure the tarp does not have holes in it. Secure it to the corners of the 2x4 frame.
3. Fill the tarp with water. 4. Invite other teens to come hang out and enjoy your summer bucket list creation.
Open a smoothie bar
This is an updated teens version of a kid’s lemonade stand. Everyone wants a cool refreshing drink, so sell them! Position yourself at a table along a busy street that gets a lot of walkers, run an extension cord from the house to your setup, then plug your blender in. Have a cooler with lots of smoothie goodies (yogurt, milk, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, kale, spinach, etc.) and make made-to-order smoothies. Sell them for $1 and you’d be making a profit in no time! This will be a great way for teens to make some spending cash and for the community to beat the summer heat with a refreshing smoothie.
Host an outdoor paint party
Adult paint parties are closed to teens because of the drinking. So make your own for teens as part of your ultimate bucket list! Either have an artistic friend lead a group in the painting or just paint freestyle. Do it in a park with friends and see what inspired each of you from nature. Make the paintings for each other and you’ll love what your friends do. You will also always have a memento from the best summer of your life.
Enjoy your summer with the bucket list!
Whatever you do this summer, remember to stay safe and have fun before high school starts again in the fall! The best way to have a great summer for teens is just to escape (ESC). Explore what your area has in store for you this summer, steal those amazing deals all summer long, and create a summer of memories, all part of your ultimate bucket list.