I’ve lived in the Midwest for 5 years now. Before that, I lived in Utah and before that, New Jersey. My childhood summers were spent at the Jersey Shore and in the majestic Rockies.
When I moved to Indiana, I blamed most of my boredom, especially during summer months, on the fact that I was living in Indiana. I’m sure I’m not the only Midwestern who’s done this.
But Summer offers tons of opportunity for joy and adventure, and she does not discriminate based on where you live. Adventure is everywhere, if you’re willing to look.
That being said, I’ll give you a headstart on your search for adventure this summer, with this Midwest-inspired summer bucket list.
1. Watch some of the best sunrises/sunsets on Earth (Midwest really does take the cake here).
2. Build a DIY fire pit, and host a bonfire.
3. Ride bikes around neighborhoods, scouting for garage sales.
4. Walk dogs and pet cats at your local animal shelter.
5. Find out what geocaching is, then go on real-life treasure hunts.
6. Go downtown with your camera and capture life unfolding around you.
7. Create a list of local restaurants you haven’t been to and want to try. Start knocking em off.
8. Make a day trip to a nearby lake.
9. Spend a weekend camping at a state park.
10. Host a themed movie party on rainy days (ie favorite Pixar movies).
11. Go to a farmer’s market, buy fresh produce and meat, then cook something amazing for dinner.
12. Head to a park for an old-fashioned picnic lunch.
13. Spend a day riding every roller coaster at the closest amusement park.
14. Buy a tarp for a DIY slip’n’slide.
15. Drive through country roads with your favorite tunes cranked LOUD, preferably while the sun is setting.
16. Blow off steam at a batting cage.
17. Give gardening a go! You wouldn’t believe how soothing and rewarding the work is.
18. When the opportunity to see live music exists, take it every single time.
19. Cultivate a hobby – paint, make movies, learn the ukulele.
20. Stargaze in a wide-open field, or if you can, at an observatory.
21. Shoot off fireworks but be careful ok?
22. Go to a coffee shop with a nice patio, buy your favorite drink, write in a fresh notebook or sketch your surroundings.
23. Play a round of golf! Even if you’re terrible, it’s a good time in the sun.
24. Go tubing down a river, and make sure to rent an extra tube for the cooler.
25. Spend some time with kiddos—drawing with chalk, blowing bubbles, running through sprinklers—remember how simple things used to be.
26. Look up local events on Facebook and hit up ones you think could be fun.
27. Go to county fairs and the state fair and relish in fried food heaven.
28. Baseball games are a blast to be at, even if it’s your community travel league hosting a tournament in town. Cheer with unwavering enthusiasm between bites of your hot dog.
29. Make some money with a side hustle—babysitting, car washing, weeding/yardwork, etc.
30. Smile and be grateful that you are alive on this big, beautiful planet with so many adventures awaiting you.