For the average person, most of our time is spent indoors (mostly doing tedious activities at home or at work. While being indoors does not always stop us from checking off items from our bucket list, it is always a welcome break to spend time doing outdoor activities.
From watching your favorite sports team to seeing birds in their natural habitat to going on a tandem skydive a couple of thousand feet in the sky, you will find tons of exciting things to do outside that you will surely love!
Outdoor Activities Bucket List: Fun Adventures & Things to do Outside
1. Take in a Sports Game
When it comes to the outdoors, one of the things that would come to mind is sports games. Whether you are a hardcore fan of a particular team or simply a casual viewer, once the crowd goes wild, I tell you this: the vibe is truly contagious, and you will absolutely be cheering along with them!
2. Attend an Outdoor Concert
If you are passionate about a band and they happen to be in town for a gig, it may turn out to be the perfect outdoor activity for you. Or you might also go big and attend a music festival with several bands to jam to.
3. Be a Tourist in Your Town
Can you confidently say that you know your city in and out? If Frommer’s was to contract you to write a guide to your city, would you do it justice? Take the time to visit more than just your usual hangout places.
Be a tourist in your own city, go someplace new and you may be surprised by just how wonderful that old town can be. Most cities have free tours too. You could discover streets, shops, and landmarks that you never knew existed.
4. Make a Bird Feeder
Bird feeders are lovely to hang in your backyard simply for our own enjoyment of watching the variety of birds that come for feeding.
You can easily buy a bird feeder (like this adorable wooden one), but you can also make your own—I am loving this adorable DIY teacup bird feeder. Plus, here are some excellent tips on how to hang your bird feeder this spring.
5. Build a Sand Castle
You really can’t avoid the beach if you’re planning an outdoor activity. Since you will be headed that way anyway, why not put your creativity to good use while getting a suntan? Building a sand castle is much tougher than it looks, especially if you are going for the ‘uber-elaborate’ kind.
For the more creative bucket lister you can learn How to Build the Perfect Sandcastle.
6. Build a Treehouse
If you have kids of your own (or are a kid at heart), experiencing the fun and excitement of playing in a treehouse can be one of the most memorable things you can give them, so why not try your hand at building one?
7. Go Camping
Camping could mean different things to people. It can be a chance to bond with family or friends, rediscover yourself, or take a break from our routines and away from distractions. Nevertheless, it is one of those outdoor activities that could spark that adventurous spirit within you.
It’d be a bonus if there was a National Park nearby and you can make a checkmark off the US National Parks Bucket List: 61 Beauties to Visit in America
8. Check Out Your Local Farmers Market
There’s not much that tastes better than choosing homegrown produce offered by farmers themselves at a local Farmer’s Market. Going from stall to stall, you become more appreciative of the produce that comes from the good earth. Visit the National Farmer’s Market Directory for a market near you.
9. Climb A Tree
Climbing a tree is one of those things to do outside that is fun no matter how young or old you are. Just make sure you do it safely!
10. Collect Rocks
As far as affordable outdoor recreation goes, you can’t get a much cheaper one than a stone hunt—it’s free in most places! Have a competition for who can find the prettiest or most unique one. You could even find a not-so-pretty one, and put it in a home tumbling machine (like this one) to see what beautifying it will uncover.
11. Dine Outdoors at a New Restaurant
Dining on a restaurant patio or rooftop may not seem like an adventurous thing to do outdoors, but it is simple! Make it an extra bucket list bonus activity by doing it at a restaurant that you have never been to before.
12. Try an Outdoor Workout
Working out at the gym or home is good and all. However, mixing it up with an outdoor workout can be a great addition to your routine. Not only is it free, but being in the open air feels good for the mind and body!
You can go on a run or bike around your neighborhood, swim at the local pool, or check out some trails in your state or somewhere near you that you can hike.
13. Do Some Backyard Yoga
Yoga may not be the most vigorous form of exercise you’ll commit to, but it’ll do wonders for your body and mind. It cares for and strengthens your body but also your mind and can even feel like meditative practice after a long day. Doing it outside only adds to the peacefulness.
Since time immemorial, the night sky has been a source of great mystery and wonder. Stargazing is one of those unique activities you will appreciate and love even more once you experience it first hand.
Some binoculars or a telescope at hand do wonders when stargazing, but even with the naked eye, you can still appreciate the beauty of the night sky. Maybe this will even inspire you to name a star of your own!
15. Explore the Nearest State Park
If you are interested in the outdoors, being active, or exploring something new, or the combination of all three, perhaps it’s time to take your day exploring the nearest state park?
It’d be even more fun if you can make a checkmark off your US National Parks Bucket List: 61 Beauties to Visit in America
16. Find a Four-Leaf Clover
Four-leaf clovers are fun to search for two reasons. One is because they’re rarer than a three-leaf clover, therefore it’ll give you a special feeling when you find one. And the second reason is because four-leaf clovers are said to bring luck—and who wouldn’t love to have some of that!
17. Fly A Kite
Shops and online stores are filled with different kinds of kites for you to choose the one that’s most to your liking – or you can even make your own!
Don’t have a kite? Check out these cool ones:
- HENGDA Classical Dragon Kite
- aGreatLife Huge Rainbow Kite
- Octopus Flyer Kite with Long Colorful Tail
18. Forage for Mushrooms
Since we are talking about the great outdoors, foraging your own food in your local area (or wherever your adventure takes you) can be a fun and engaging way to connect more with nature, with one of the most popular being foraging for mushrooms.
Though this requires a bit of knowledge beforehand to differentiate the edible ones from the poisonous varieties, knowing about your mushrooms and foraging for them can be an invaluable skill to learn, especially if you are camping in the wilderness.
19. Get Creative With Sidewalk Chalk
With sidewalk chalk the size of your masterpiece is only limited by your imagination! Whether everyone works on the same piece or individual ones, it’s a fun way to spend a sunny afternoon.
20. Give Your Car a Bath
Our cars give us the comfort of being able to commute almost anywhere. Of course, because of that convenience, we should be giving our cars some TLC every now and then, like washing them.
Whether at home or at a car wash, keeping your car clean and presentable will make sure it will be ready for more adventures ahead!
21. Go Birdwatching
Birdwatching is one of the least strenuous things you can do outside, and it is easy to get started. All you need is a bird book (it can be an app as well), a pair of binoculars, and a good amount of patience.
You can check online for a list of birds in your locality that you can see, then go to a park and see if you can spot some of them. You can also connect with any local birders in your area for tips and more.
22. Have a Bungee Jumping Adventure
Bungee jumping is a classic bucket list idea for any daredevil out there. It’s possible to try it out almost anywhere in the world, and if you happen to be particularly adventurous, you might want to choose to do it precisely based on where the nature around you is the most spectacular to look at as you are falling off that ledge attached to a large elastic cord.
If bungee jumping thrills you, then definitely don’t miss checking out what other ideas are on our Crazy Adventure Bucket List.
23. Catch a Fish
An outdoor bucket list is never complete without one of the most favorite outdoor pastimes in the United States: fishing! Yes, it requires skill and tons (I mean tons) of patience, but the sense of accomplishment after hooking a fish more than pays off the effort.
24. Take a Long Walk
Going for long walks not only has health benefits, but it also lets you feel more in tune with your surroundings. You might even discover something new that you have not noticed before, say a “new” shop or restaurant if walking around the city.
You can also go to a quieter place to add a more meditative experience, like the coastline or an urban forest.
25. Go Kayaking
Kayaking, as well as canoeing, is a physical outdoor activity you can do in any type of space with water, from a river to the sea. It’s a great way to exercise and improve your body’s strength, all the while being a low impact activity that can offer a whole lot of peace of mind.
26. Take a Random Walking Tour
We go wherever our journey takes us, wherever that may be, which is why a random walking tour is a welcome experience you should try.
With your trusty local guide, you (and your group) will get to know the highlights of the place you are in and even get some excellent recommendations on things you should not miss out on!
If you’re unsure of where to find walking tours, Getyourguide.com has tons of them in cities all over the world!
27. Spend the Afternoon at the Beach
The beach can be a lively place, especially during the summer. At times, like in the afternoon, it can be a calming place where you can sit back and take in the moment.
Hearing the waves crashing down the shore while the sun sets on the horizon is one of the magical moments you can experience and should not miss!
28. Go Ziplining
No outdoor activity bucket list is complete without zip lining included on it! This is an extreme sport where you are attached to cords that “zip” you from one tree to the next. It has grown so popular over the years it seems to be possible to do just about anywhere! And while it can get your nerves on overdrive before setting off, it’s usually totally safe to do.
29. Try Hang Gliding
If paragliding isn’t enough for you, time to amp up your time in the air and go hand gliding! A hand glider is non-motorized, so it is simply you and your body controlling the movement of the glider.
30. Have a BBQ
Good food, good company, cold beers and warm outdoor weather, what more could you ask for in this world? Having an ultimate BBQ is one of the best ways to spend a boring Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
31. Have a Bonfire
A bonfire can add incredible ambiance to any party, especially on a warm outdoor night. So, invite your friends, load up your cooler with beverages, bring lots of wood and a radio to play your favorite tunes.
32. Host a Garden Tea Party
What can you do on one sunny afternoon? If you have a garden you can host your own tea party—don’t forget the tiny little sandwiches! Get inspired dreaming and planning by checking out this gallery.
33. Have a Lemonade Stand
Setting up a Lemonade stand is one of the simplest ways of teaching someone good communication skills, while also building a work ethic and igniting an entrepreneurial spirit inside them.
With creating the booth and making signage, it also helps bring your creativity. Plus who knows, you might just make some good extra cash.
Here are 10 tips for a successful lemonade stand.
34. Have a Nature Photography Adventure
Going outside to explore what nature has in store is exciting, which is why it is the perfect opportunity to capture a photo of it! It can be a scenic view, a peculiar-looking tree, or the first encounter with a wild animal or two.
Even if you are not a pro, capturing nature behind the lens of a camera (or phone) is a priceless souvenir you can take with you wherever you go.
35. Make the Perfect Picnic
Pack a traditional wicker basket with your favorite picnic foods and enjoy the feast as well as the weather. Real Simple magazine can help you out with their Picnic Packing Checklist. If you want to set up an Instagrammable picnic, here’s a cute red checkered picnic basket.
36. Have a Water Balloon Fight
While we all love to feel the sun in our faces, sometimes the heat can get a little too…toasty! Very few things come close to feeling as good as having a cold shower, but this outside activity might be the next best thing to it!
Fill up dozens of these latex fun makers and target your favorite friends, while trying to stay the driest of the bunch. If winning the fight is just as important as having fun, research techniques on How to Survive a Water Balloon Fight.
37. Create an Outdoor Movie Night
Watching movies under the stars in the comfort of your own backyard is something you don’t get to experience very often. It can also be a fun and exciting way to spend your evening, either alone or with family or friends.
It does require a bit of setting up and equipment like a projector and a sheet or wall to project the film, but the effort is way more than worth it!
38. Hike a New Trail
Each season of the year offers something different for your hiking experiences, from the nature around you to the trails that are best to be taken. Hiking offers amazing landscapes with the flowers and the returning greenery! This is your sign to hike a trail you’ve never tried before.
39. Hold a Garage Sale
Garage sales can actually be an insanely great way to get rid of some items you no longer need, with surprisingly little effort as you don’t need to leave your house to commit to it. You can also use it as a chance to network and socialize with people living in your neighborhood, plus you’ll make some money on the side.
40. Hot Air Balloon Rides
Take yourself to new heights and see what the world looks like from a birds-eye view. Better yet, make a champagne toast while flying high in the sky.
Journaling allows you to express your innermost feelings and ideas without fear of being criticized or seen by others. It may also assist you in better organizing and comprehending those items.
It’s similar to maintaining a diary, except with more freedom. You are free to write (or even draw) whatever you like, so just scribble down any thoughts or emotions as they occur to you!
42. Jump in a Pile of Leaves
This is one of the outdoor activities that is more popular during Autumn. When Fall has come, and the leaves have already started to fall on the trees—you know what that means, right? A chance to make a leaf pile and jump on it! Though raking the leaves can be a tiresome task, the fresh air and just going outside your lawn pretty much make up for it.
Jumping on a pile of leaves is almost like a rite of passage during the autumn season, so if you have kids in your family, or if you haven’t experienced it yet, then you are missing out! Just make sure to check for sticks and stones to avoid any accidents before jumping right in.
43. Learn How To Do a Cartwheel
Doing cartwheels is something you might have done as a kid, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do it anymore as adults.
Nailing the move can take as little as a few tries to even a couple of weeks, depending on your fitness level. If you don’t have the strength and flexibility to perform a cartwheel yet, you can consider this as a chance to jumpstart your fitness journey as well.
If you need some expert instructions, here are two websites that can help:
44. Learn to Hula Hoop
Not only is hula hooping something that was incredibly fun to try out as a child, but it’s a great form of exercising for adults as well. By hula hooping, you can strengthen and tone your body, especially around the core, but also hips and thighs, in addition to which it can also lead to improved flexibility. As a fun tidbit: hula hooping has actually existed as a form of exercise since the times of ancient Greeks!
45. Try Skateboarding
Picking up a skateboard is exhilarating and fun, but also surprisingly creative and physical. It’s also an excellent way to be social with others while enjoying the open-air fun.
46. Make a Tie-Dye Shirt
Do you have a bunch of white T’s you would like to breathe some life into? Why not make tie-dye T-shirts? This is something that the entire family can get into and enjoy as you all try to outdo each other with your various brands of creativity. This Tie-dye Kit will make it much easier for you!
47. Make an Obstacle Course
You can make your own obstacle course using items like old car tires, jump ropes, hula hoops, anything! It may not be on par with American Ninja Warrior, but it is still a fantastic way to encourage everyone (especially kids) to go outside and be active. You can even design one for your dogs as well!
There are lots of fun obstacle course ideas online, but HGTV’s DIY Dollar Store Backyard Obstacle Course is great and cheap!
48. Make S’mores
If you haven’t had these yet, drop everything you are doing and go make some—s’mores are absolutely divine. As the perfect campfire treat, making S’mores is something that the whole family can get into and thoroughly enjoy.
Allow me to elaborate: The best kind of S’more, the ones I like most, go a little something like this – You take a fire-roasted marshmallow, sandwich that with a layer of your favorite chocolate and then cover it all up with two pieces of graham cracker.
This recipe should help to get you started on the right foot. This treat has been a campfire staple long before most of us here were even born. The very first recorded s’mores recipe was published in 1927 in ‘Tramping and Trailing With the Girl Scouts’, a Girl Scouts handbook. So you are in good company. And if the traditional style doesn’t do it for you, pick a unique one from the 12 Creative S’mores ideas.
Meditating outside opens you up to different sensations that you may have never felt before, like the breeze grazing your skin, the sound of nature around you, the smell of grass, and whatnot.
Just be sure to look for a quiet spot for your meditation session to avoid distractions.
50. Nap in a Hammock
After hours of doing activities like swimming or hiking, getting to rest and nap on a hammock is one of the pleasures you get to experience outside, especially if you have a scenic view like a lake or beach.
Just the feeling of the wind brushing you as your hammock rocks lightly, with the sound of the ocean in the background, is enough for you to say: “this is the life!” as you slowly go into sleep.
If you don’t have a hammock, I am loving West Elm’s Double Weaved Fringed one.
A day or two at the beach (or any body of water) is ripe with different water sport activities like paddleboarding. It is also relatively easy for beginners to pick up compared to other activities like surfing or kayaking.
You can try learning it first on flat water like a lake if you are just starting out. Once you have enough skill and experience, you can go to a more challenging location like the sea or river.
52. Paint or Draw an Outdoor Scene
Let your creative juices flow out into the world by capturing an outside scene through painting or drawing. Pretty much everything outside can be your subject, like the sky, the park, the wildlife, even your own backyard.
Don’t sweat it if it doesn’t turn out like the one you are painting or drawing, just be your own Van Gogh!
53. Perfect Jumping Rope
Jumping rope is a great way to burn off those extra calories and can be an alternative to jogging, especially if you are hard-pressed for time. And even though it is easy, it doesn’t mean it cannot be improved further, regardless of whether you are a beginner or not.
54. Pick Berries
Picking up berries (especially during spring to summer) is another great outdoor activity you can do.
There are pick-your-own farms across different states where you can, well, pick up berries (and other produce)! Just make sure to check first which berries are in season if you are looking for a specific one. You can also forage for berries in the wild, but you would need a bit of knowledge to spot which ones are edible.
55. Pick Wildflowers (& Make a Bouquet)
Besides dandelions, a variety of other wildflowers, many of them absolutely beautiful, pop up and bloom around the same time in the spring. They can make for a great DIY bouquet if you spend an afternoon in nature soaking in the beauty you’re surrounded by, then picking a couple of your favorites for said bouquet.
56. Plant a Garden
Gardening can be a lot of fun and a great way to promote a healthy lifestyle and teach the same to your kids. Everyone involved will definitely have a blast digging in the soil and planting seeds, growing seedlings and watering them. You don’t need a lot of space and the vessel can be anything from a wooden crate to a mason jar to an old tire.
57. Play a Game of Frisbee Golf
If this is your first time hearing about it, frisbee golf is like traditional golf. However, instead of a golf ball, players take turns throwing a disc or frisbee into a target with as few throws as possible.
Throwing the disc properly and accurately for hundreds of yards is indeed challenging, especially for beginners. You can check out a local frisbee golf club in your area so that you can practice, as well as get to know other players of the sport.
58. Play a Game of Miniature Golfing
Simply said, “the golf game is complicated”. On the surface it appears to be easy and relaxing, drawing you in with its spacious clubhouse, green fairways and refreshing beer carts, but you will probably end up frustrated. So INSTEAD try your hand at a fun game of putt-putt golf (aka: mini golf).
From putting balls into clowns mouths to miniature windmills, a round of mini golf is a fun low-stress environment.
59. Play Volleyball
Volleyball may not be as popular as other outdoor sports like football or baseball. Nevertheless, it is one of the team competitive sports you can enjoy with friends or family. If you are going to the beach, especially during summer, you can also have a game of beach volleyball instead.
60. Read a Book Under a Tree
There is something about reading a good book under a tree’s shade that makes the experience more satisfying and enjoyable. Is it the sound of the rustling leaves? The ambiance of the outdoors? Or is it something more inborn that just feels right?
One thing is for sure, that feeling of getting lost in a book while under a tree is something that you will know the answer to once you experience it.
If you love the classics then check of the Classic Books Bucket List: 25 of the Best Must-Read Novels. You can easily download many classics to your Kindle for free. Find a ton of free classics on Amazon.
61. Take Rock Climbing Class
Although a challenging sport that requires a ton of motivation and perseverance, rock climbing is also massively fun and rewarding once you’ve mastered the art of climbing and can start going out there to climb actual rocks.
62. Run a 5k Race
Running is a great way to get yourself physically active and breathing some fresh air. It works great for losing weight but also for building endurance, and once committed you’ll find endless opportunities to challenge yourself on a run.
63. Run Through the Sprinklers
For kids of all ages, who wouldn’t want to splash around and run through sprinklers, especially on a hot day? You don’t even need any fancy equipment, just turn on the water and let the fun begin!
It’s also incredible how even the simplest activities can turn into hours of fun, especially when spent with your loved ones.
64. Plan a Scavenger Hunt
If you have a knack for laying out puzzles and clues, then why not try your hand at planning a scavenger hunt. You don’t even have to wait for, say, Easter or Halloween to set one up, plus, it is an activity that anyone can join in for some friendly competition!
For ideas, see How to Set Up a Scavenger Hunt for Grownups.
65. Go Skiing
This is one for your Winter Bucket List! Pull out those snowboards or skis this season and try your hand at this physical sport, even if you only make it down the bunny slope (like me!). Make the most out of your experience by staying at a cozy lodge and enjoy some apres-skiing at the end of the day. Or should I say apres-snowboarding?
66. Take a Tandem Skydive
Since we are on a lifelong journey of making lasting memories through our bucket list, why not add something that goes above and beyond your comfort zone, like tandem skydiving?
Yes, it can be a thrilling (and frightening) experience, especially if it’s your first time. But once you’re out of the plane, the view from above is simply breathtaking and rewarding!
Put on some sunscreen, grab a glass of lemonade, and bathe in the warmth of the sun! Whether laying on the sand or by the pool, having a healthy dose of vitamin D works wonders with our overall health and mood. And of course, the tan that comes with it is always a welcome bonus :)
68. Take a Bike Ride
Biking is such a great outdoor activity to have, it’s no wonder it’s so popular. Not only can the bike actually take you to the same places you might otherwise go by public transportation or a car, but it’ll keep you fit as you do so. On top of which you might also get some great scenery to enjoy during your bike ride!
69. Go Horseback Riding
Whether it be on a forested trail or along the beach, horseback riding is another amazing way to enjoy time outdoors and in nature. You can even take it a gallop further, spending some time at a dude ranch (I went to a great one in Colorado called Drowsy Water), where you’ll be immersed in ranch life while learning valuable riding techniques.
70. Take a Swim
For those of us who may suffer from bad joints and other physical limitations, swimming can prove to be a great way to stay fit, while remaining a low impact activity. You’ll also find it to have an energy-boosting and relaxing effect on your demeanor.
71. Try Skipping Rocks
Did you know that rock skipping has grown to be much more than a simple childhood pastime, that it’s now an actual competitive sport of sorts? I know, it blows my mind as well! But that fact makes it all the more compelling and encouraging for us to return to the days of skipping stones on a lake—or finally learning how to do so.
72. Have Fun at an Amusement Park
Funnily enough, amusement parks hold some power to ignite adventure. Enjoy your day in a bustling park where you can have some cotton candy and hotdogs, and maybe win a cute teddy bear. Hop upon a Ferris wheel and head towards the sky. Encircled by breathtaking views of the city and twinkling stars atop.
73. Visit the Local Zoo
What is your earliest recollection of going to the zoo? It’s likely that you were on a field trip with your class or your family, being fascinated by the many different creatures that make the place their home.
From thrilling encounters with lions to petting rabbits to holding a snake and more, a trip to the local zoo is an entertaining, educational experience for people of all ages.
Volunteer your time and effort to make the world a better place. You don’t have to join ‘Greenpeace’, although that’s not such a bad idea, you can volunteer right in your own community.
Help the elderly, give blood, volunteer at the local soup kitchen or just make sure that your neighbor’s yard is well-kept. Give back to society and you will be better for it.
75. Watch the Sunset or Sunrise
Whether you’re catching it from a mountain top, the beach, or someplace else, sunsets and sunrises are the days at their most beautiful. So find a spot from where you can clearly see it, preferably against nature’s beautiful backdrop, and perhaps bring along a picnic basket and a mat to fully immerse in enjoying the sight.
76. Rent a Jetski
Jet skiing is an excellent activity for weekends away with family or friends or to enjoy some alone time while taking in the surroundings at one of the top jet ski destinations in the US, like Florida.
Renting a jet ski can range from $80 to $100+ per hour on average. You can also check out this blog for tips on renting one, including any requirements that you might need beforehand.
77. Relax in a Hot Spring
Natural Hot Springs exist all over the world and are defined as sites where groundwater is discharged at a particular location.
There’s nothing quite like soaking in a warm body of water while the weather outside is chilly. Research natural hot springs nearby, and take a road trip to soak in one. Not only is it relaxing, but they are known to improve blood flow and offer glowing skin at your fingertips—bonus!
78. Find Your Favorite Street Art in a Neighboring Town
Whenever I go to someplace new, I always find time to hunt for any street art or graffiti in the area. Not only is it Instagrammable and inviting to the eye of any passerby, but it can also be thought-provoking and intriguing while also giving a glimpse of their culture.
Each state (especially in Philadelphia, the City of Murals) has plenty of marvelous street art to ogle at, making it reeaally tough to choose your favorite. But still, looking for these gems in every nook and cranny is an adventure worth pursuing!
As you can see, there are many outdoor activities to do for everyone, whether you want to take it slow and easy or want to feel the adrenaline rush throughout your body.
I also hope this bucket list serves as inspiration for you to start looking for things to do outside your comfort zone! Regardless of what you choose to do, make sure to make the most out of the experience, no matter how small it may seem.
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