It’s early June so I guess it’s time to make a Summer Bucket List.  My list is focused on family-friendly activities, because my wife and I plan on doing as many fun things with our kids this summer as possible.  So, here’s my Summer Bucket List.  Chances are, some things may be added to the list as the summer progresses.

  1. Go to Niagara Falls State Park.  I haven’t photographed the waterfalls in a while.  Also, our kids haven’t seen the falls yet and it’s only a 45-minute drive away.  It should be a no-brainer, however the place is obviously ridiculously crowded, so we’ll see.
  2. Go to the Buffalo Zoo.  It’s summer and we have kids, so I feel like we have to go to the zoo one day.  Hopefully we can go on a day that isn’t as hot as the day we went last year.
  3. Play miniature golf.  Noah loved mini-golf on a cruise ship a year ago and also liked it in Florida.  Yet, we haven’t tried it in our hometown.IMG_7686
  4. Go to the library.  We should do this a few times.  The Hamburg Library is close by and is also pretty nice.  We’ve been especially impressed with the Orchard Park library.
  5. Go to Tifft Nature Preserve.  I haven’t been there since I was a kid on a school field trip.  It’s supposed to be a decent place to take the kids to explore some short and easy trails.
  6. Fly a kite.  There’s another thing I haven’t done since I was a kid.  I think the kids would like that a lot.
  7. Go bowling.  Noah hasn’t tried bowling with a real ball yet, but he loved bowling with the small hand-size balls that are used with the smaller pins.  It would probably a fun thing to do on a rainy day.IMG_7642
  8. Go to Olcott.  There is a cool little amusement park there with 25 cent rides.  We went once last year.  It’s real tiny, but it’s pretty neat.  There’s also a splash pad nearby.
  9. Ride on a train.  Both our kids like trains a lot.  We drive by trains just about every day, so if there is a short train ride offered in the area this summer I think we should hop on board.
  10. Feed some ducks.  My grandma took me somewhere to feed ducks when I was a kid.  There was a pond and a covered bridge.  I need to figure out where it was and then I can take my kids with a loaf of bread.
  11. Have a picnic in a park.  We could bring sandwiches or snacks or even pick up some subs from somewhere.  Oh, and of course we would have to eat on top of a blanket.
  12. Go to the Erie County Fair.  This is not your typical county fair.  It’s supposedly the third biggest in the country and typically brings in more than one million visitors per year.  Everyone in Western New York goes to this fair.  We like to walk around a bit, show the kids the animals, eat some very unhealthy food, and play a few games of I-Got-It.
  13. Go to Canalside.  This is the place to be in Buffalo these days.  So, we’ll try to make it there sometime, but there’s always something going on there and it’s always so crowded.  Maybe a mid-week visit would be nice.
  14. Go to a beach.  This is a lot easier than expected in the Buffalo area.  We made it to a couple of beaches last summer and I’m we’ll try to visit a few this year, too.  We liked Evangola Beach a lot.  There’s also Bennett, Wendt, Hamburg, Gallagher, Woodlawn and more. Both kids on beach
  15. Have a bonfire in the backyard.  I love a good campfire/bonfire.  Just need to make sure the kids keep their distance.
  16. Go to Presque Isle State Park.  This is in Erie, Pennsylvania.  I went there once when I was in college.  There are a lot of nice beaches there and some trails.  I hear there is also a small amusement park nearby.  Splash Lagoon and the restaurant with the mini-bowling that Noah loved is also located in Erie.
  17. Bring the kids’ Power Wheels cars to a park.  I thought it would be for Noah and Charlotte (assuming she learns how to drive her Frozen Jeep soon) to drive their cars somewhere away from home.  We can throw them in the back of the truck and take them to Chestnut Ridge or another park and they can drive freely across some large fields.IMG_0385
  18. Go to a farm or petting zoo.  This just seems like something the kids would enjoy.  They both love animals.  Maybe Knox Farm State Park would be good.  I’ve never been there.
  19. Go Kayaking.  This one’s for me.  I haven’t been kayaking nearly enough the past few years.  I used to love kayaking through some decent rapids, but now that sounds a little scary to me.  Now I have a pickup truck so I can throw my kayak (or both kayaks if Ashley is coming along) right in the back to make things easier.  I’ll probably start with flat water then try to reintroduce myself to some rapids.
  20. Have a 1-on-1 fun day with each kid.  I thought it would be fun for me to take Noah for a day and Ashley take Charlotte.  We could try to have special days planned specifically for each kid.  Then we’d switch it up another day and each take the other child for a day of fun.


So, that’s my list so far.  20 things seems like plenty to me.  I don’t know if we’ll get to everything, but we’ll give it a try.  I’m sure we’ll thing of other fun things to add, too.