Annette White, owner of Sugo Trattoria in Petaluma with her husband Peter, is a  travel blogger who wrote about her journeys in her book Bucket List Adventures. She recently spoke to a group of us gathered in a friend’s living room about her adventures, and admitted her struggle with anxiety.

She also shared how her bucket list was what helped her gain tools for dealing with her anxiety. This bucket list started with simple things she would do that day, like visit the farmer’s market or try something a new dish. But then it began to expand to larger adventures until she was booking flights to places she’d never visited to hang out with people she didn’t know (safely, of course!) and doing things she never dreamed she’d be doing. Her anxiety was still there, but the tools she had for pushing past it were growing with each adventure.

Annette’s bucket list made me think about how summer is coming to an end, which is kind of sad. I don’t know about you, but I love the freedom of summer, how there’s little need for schedules and there’s room in each day for a new adventure.

Of course, there’s the other side of the coin, in that kids are bored, the house is a wreck, and you’d give anything for an hour of peace and quiet instead of trying to find new ways to give them something to do.

Enter the end-of-summer bucket list.

By my calculation, there are about two weeks left until school starts (side note: school in the middle of August has never made sense to me). That’s 14 more days of kids who have nothing to do. Instead of tearing your hair out, have the kids write a list of things they’d like to do before summer is over. Once the lists are made, combine them and pick a few that you can realistically accomplish in the next two weeks. Then place dates next to each item so that the kids have something to look forward to. Your family’s end-of-summer bucket list could make this the most memorable summer ever.

Need help coming up with ideas? Here are 14 of them to get you started.

1. Ride bikes to the park

2. Watch planes take off at the airport

3. Collect bugs and have a bug race

4. Pack a basket and enjoy a picnic lunch

5. Hold a backyard camp out

6. Grab a camera and play tourist in your own town

7. Decorate the sidewalk with chalk art

8. Paint a picture

9. Create an obstacle course and have a relay race

10. Make zucchini go carts (click here for inspiration)

11. Learn five new constellations by looking at the night sky (this app is my favorite!)

12. See who can read the most books before school starts

13. See who can put a puzzle together the fastest

14. Create your own board game

What are some of your ideas for an epic end-of-summer bucket list? Share in the comments!


Crissi Langwell is a Petaluma local, blended family mom to three young adults, and author of 11 books. Her latest novel, Numbered, a dystopian romance that takes place in 2050, is available at, Visit Crissi’s author website at

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