Everyone needs their own bucket list. Whether you’ve lived an adventurous life already or you feel like you’ve got a life full of things left to do, creating and following a fun bucket list is a great way to broaden your life experience.
From planting trees to visiting the pyramids to going skinny dipping, the bucket list ideas we’ve included below will surely inspire you to get up and get started on having as fulfilling a life as possible. These bucket list ideas are just a few ideas among the infinitesimal list of things this world offers.
Of course, there may be some obstacles to completing some of the items on the bucket list…for now. Perhaps there are still some international travel restrictions in place, so it may be harder to travel to some countries and regions than others.
Still, there are plenty of things you can do without traveling too far, and if travel is on your mind, then save the international ideas below for a later date!
Why create a bucket list?
Life is amazing. The world is full of wonderful things that can move us, inspire us, and make us feel happy, sad, joyous, delighted, and frightened. There has never been a better moment than now to live your best life.
The gamut of potential human experience is huge, yet many of us spend our lives just trying to get through the day. We get caught up in our day-to-day lives and forget that life is here for us to thrive in, not just survive.
Of course, the reasons why we don’t go and travel the world, climb Mount Everest, or leave everything behind and take off an adventurous road trip are more complex than simply forgetting to.
Many of us have commitments such as work and family that keep us focused on the day-to-day. We need to make money so that we can support ourselves and those we love.
Still, it’s important to enrich your life with various experiences. Once a week, month, or year, set aside some time to do something that really matters to you, and that will help you not have as many regrets when you reach your old age, as you would if you were to forget to live your life to the fullest while you can.
Below, you’ll find a list of 100 must-do bucket list ideas. It might be hard to get everything on this list done, but pick a handful and set yourself a date.
Ask a few friends to join you on your quest to complete a set number of these list items and make some ever-lasting memories, and don’t forget to bring your camera!
1. Run a marathon
If you’re not much of a runner, the idea of running a marathon might seem a little daunting. However, working towards completing a marathon is one of the most popular bucket list ideas for a reason.
It takes hard work and commitment to reach the fitness level needed to run a marathon, but your hard work will pay off when you reach the finish line!
Do a quick Google search to see if there are running groups in your local area with whom you can train. You might even find other bucket listers who are keen to tick ‘run a marathon’ off their list!
2. See the wonders of the world
The world and the people in it are amazing. The seven wonders, including the Taj Mahal in India and The Great Wall of China, are all human-made structures and are a testament to how much we have achieved in our short time here on earth.
Add the seven wonders of the word to your bucket list to see some of the most awe-inspiring locations the world has to offer. The seven wonders of the world are:
- Petra, Jordan
- Taj Mahal, India
- Machu Picchu, Peru
- Chichen Itza, Mexico
- Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Colosseum, Italy
- The Great Wall, China
3. Investigate your family tree
Where did your ancestors come from? What’s the story of your family dating back generations? Many companies and apps can help you investigate your family tree and find out the details of the lives of those who have come before you, such as Ancestry and RootsMagic.
You might even discover that you’re related to someone famous!
4. Visit the Grand Canyon
See the immense and beautiful power of Mother Nature. The canyon is bigger than the human eye can see, at an awesome 1,217,403 acres!
There are many things to do at the canyon other than staring at it with wide eyes and a dropped jaw. You can go camping, hiking, or take a helicopter ride! You can also enjoy an exciting rafting trip near the Grand Canyon National Park.
5. Plant a tree
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese proverb.
Planting a tree is one of the great bucket list ideas because it’s giving back to the environment. We all need to do as much as we can to help the environment recover and flourish, so set aside one day this week or month to head out and plant a tree. If you’re lucky to have a garden, plant it out there and enjoy watching it grow over the years!
6. Learn how to play chess
Chess is an extremely old game (its history dates as far back as 1500 years!) and it is still enjoyed today by millions of people worldwide. Given all its rules and pieces, it can be hard to get the hang of the game at first, but once you learn how to play, it’ll be hard to stop.
Chess teaches us to think ahead and to plan our moves and strategies carefully. It’s a great game to boost your cognitive functioning and can be enjoyed anywhere you can place a chessboard. You can even learn to play chess online and play with millions of people around the world.
7. Learn how to play an instrument
Have you always wanted to learn how to play the piano? Or the guitar? Or would you like to learn how to mix music and be a DJ? Learning how to play an instrument takes time and some dedicated effort, but there’s always time to learn!
If you weren’t lucky enough to have started learning how to play music when you were a child, don’t worry. There are many teachers out there, and nowadays, you can even learn from the comfort of your home with apps and YouTube tutorials!
8. See the Northern Lights
The aurora borealis (Northern Lights) are a beautiful astounding display of what the natural world offers. The green brush strokes in the night sky are caused by an interaction between Earth’s magnetic field and charged particles emanating from the sun. It’s no surprise that the northern lights are on almost everyone’s bucket list!
9. Go on a road trip
Get a car or van and some friends and head out on the open road. You might need to take some time off work for this. So, it’s best to plan it in advance.
The benefit of going on a road trip, rather than taking a train or plane, is that you get to see the finer details of your journey. You can see what life is like in different towns and cities along the way, or you can even go off the beaten path and drive through meandering and awe-inspiring countryside.
10. Go bungee jumping
Bungee jumping is a popular item on most bucket lists. If you’re willing to get an extreme adrenaline rush and plummet from dizzying heights with nothing but a bungee cord in your back, then go for it.
The world’s highest bungee jump is in Colorado, at the Royal Gorge Bridge, at 1053 feet! However, there are many bungee sites worldwide, so a quick Google search will help you find the site closest to you.
11. Learn a new language
Always wanted to learn Spanish? French? Italian? Japanese? Why not start now? Learning a new language has never been easier. Many apps such as Duolingo, Babbel, and Rosetta Stone can help you get started, brush up, or take your fluency to the next level.
Gone are the days when we needed to travel to a particular country to soak up the language. These days we can connect with individuals, groups, and teachers in online chat rooms and courses, making learning a new language one of the most straightforward and most accessible items to tick off your bucket list.
12. Achieve your ideal fitness level
It’s important to love and accept yourself for who you are and to not compare your weight or body image against unrealistic and superimposed standards, or any standard for that matter.
Still, if you have a weight goal or a fitness goal, then you’re entitled to work toward it! You don’t need to feel guilty for trying to create the body you want.
You might want to lose weight, build your biceps, tighten your abs, or improve your stamina and endurance to run that marathon. Whatever it is that you have in mind, working towards achieving it is a great way to boost your confidence and the perfect item for a bucket list.
13. Ride in a hot air balloon
View the world from the skies in a hot air balloon ride. Bring your new partner, family, or best friend, and float up to great heights!
If you’re a bit on the dizzy side, it may be best to give this a miss, but if you’re okay with dizzying heights, then a hot air balloon ride is a must for any bucket list.
Volunteering is the perfect way to give back to your community. Helping other people is what we’re here to do. In doing so, we not only fulfill one of our basic purposes, but we also get the added benefit of feeling good about ourselves.
Volunteering doesn’t have to be some grandiose act like leaving your day job and traveling to an underdeveloped country – you can do it in your local community.
There are always homeless shelters, animal shelters, old folk’s homes, and mentor programs available to help you give back to the community.
15. Go stargazing
When there’s no pollution or clouds in the sky, take the car, van, or bike and head out to see the stars. The further out into the countryside you go, the better your chance of seeing the vast array of stars in the night sky. If you’re lucky, you might see a shooting star!
Stargazing is an easily accessible and fun bucket list activity because it involves nature itself. Nature-oriented bucket list ideas are great because they allow us to make the best of the planet we find ourselves on.
If you live in a big city, it might not be so easy to go stargazing. Still, if you can find the time to leave the city behind for a night or a weekend and get away from the light pollution, stargazing is a must. Bring a tent, some food, and some music, and make a whole night out of the trip for extra fun.
16. Attend a murder mystery
Invite all your friends over for a murder mystery dinner party! A murder mystery is a fun and flexible event where you and your friends cooperate to solve a fake murder. This is a great way to bond with coworkers or bring together separate groups of friends.
What makes murder mystery dinner parties even more fun is that you get a chance to dress up in costume. It’s an exciting evening and one that is sure to leave some great and lasting memories among your invitees.
17. Visit the Netherlands
The Netherlands (Holland) is a small country but is a favorite among world travelers. From Amsterdam’s art museums and coffee shops to the blooming flower fields across the country, the Netherlands is a must for any world traveler’s bucket list.
18. Take up a new sport
Whether you’re at your desired fitness level or you’re still working towards it, you can take up a new sport to improve health, have fun, and tick something new off your bucket list. There are sports for everyone, regardless of their shape and size.
If you love the water, try swimming, surfing, or sailing. Football, soccer, or tennis might be for you if you like to move around on your feet. If you like sports, but you don’t want to get too intense, try darts, billiards, or bowling!
19. Create a family
Do you dream about having kids? Have you and your partner been talking about starting a family for some time now? Starting a family is on many people’s bucket lists. Bear in mind that starting a family is the biggest commitment you will ever make, so it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
20. Go skinny dipping
Everyone should go skinny-dipping at least once. This liberating, invigorating experience is a great way to have fun, whether you’re with a romantic partner or a group of friends.
Just make sure everyone is safe, and you don’t go too far from the shore if you’re skinny-dipping at night!
21. Get a pet
Whether you’re a dog person, a cat person, or a snake person, adopting and raising a pet can be a joyous experience. Some pets are easier to keep and maintain than others, so choose wisely based on your lifestyle.
For example, you might like the idea of getting a big hairy husky that resembles a Dire Wolf from Game of Thrones, but caring for such a beautiful beast would require a lot of time and energy.
Cats and dogs are generally easy to mind and make for a great company. Studies even show that minding a pet such as a cat or a dog can reduce loneliness, increase compassion, and boost your mood. Dogs also offer an excellent opportunity to get out of the house and socialize!
22. Wake up early and watch the sunrise
There is a sunrise and a sunset every single day. But most of us focus more on our day-to-day tasks and chores, worries, and personal projects too much to set aside some time and watch the awe-inspiring natural phenomena that is the rising and the setting of the sun.
Set aside sometime in the early morning or the evening to grab some friends, pack some lunch. And watch the sunrise or sunset from the top of a hill or from a high rooftop.
23. Start a business
Many people dream of starting a business but few follow that dream through. Whether you want to open a restaurant or coffee shop, set up a legal firm, or run a marketing company, the opportunity is waiting for you to take it.
Figure out what you need to get your business up and running. You will need to allocate funds and gain enough expertise in your niche to excel. Business is all about networking, so find the right people to help you get started and keep going.
24. Change career
How do you feel about your job? How long have you been doing it, is it your dream job and are you happy? Is it time for a change? Changing a career or profession can seem daunting, but it is a great way to get out of your comfort zone, expand your life experience and your network.
You don’t need to quit your job just yet, either. Look for opportunities within your current career to branch out or get promoted! If you have spare time, why not start a side project with the potential to become its own business?
Meditation has become somewhat of a buzzword in recent years. Some people use meditation to relax; others consider it an important part of their spiritual practice. Regardless of your spiritual views or stress levels, mediation is something you should definitely try.
Unlike many of the other bucket list ideas we’ve included in this article, mediation is not a once-off experience. It’s a practice, which means it’s something to be included in your daily life.
In the context of the bucket list, mediation will help you identify what you really want to do with your time!
26. Set a guinness world record
Do you have a special skill in which you excel? Do you have a party trick that amazes and astounds your friends? There are infinite world records to set and break, so find something you’re good at and stand out above the rest!
27. Walk the Camino de Santiago
There are several routes on the Camino de Santiago, but each route ends in Santiago de Compostela, the capital of Galicia in northwestern Spain. Don’t pack too heavy – a sleeping bag, good hiking shoes, and a light backpack are all you need and will save your energy on this long but life-changing pilgrimage.
28. Eat food from around the world
These days we can get food from all over the world at our local grocery store. Still, there’s nothing quite like tasting food in the country from which it came. Travel to Greece for an authentic gyro, France for Escargot, or Japan for some delicious Sashimi.
29. Visit Vatican City
Regardless of your religious views, Vatican City is sure to mesmerize you. With no shortage of awe-inspiring artwork and unforgettable cultural experiences. Vatican City is a must for keen travelers. The city is a world heritage UNESCO site and is the home of the vast and humbling St. Basilica’s Cathedral.
30. Learn CPR
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an invaluable skill to possess. It’s useful in a wide variety of situations, such as when someone’s had a heart attack or when someone has stopped breathing due to almost drowning.
Search online for CPR and other life-saving courses in your local community and get involved – you never know when you might need it!
Bonus fun bucket list ideas:
Fifty more excellent bucket list ideas!
31. Send a message in a bottle
32. Fly a kite
33. See London from a Ferris wheel
34. Make homemade ice cream
35. Reconnect with your high school friends
36. Visit New Zealand
37. Make a movie in 24 hours
38. Write your autobiography
39. Build a house
40. Go on a cruise
41. Take an art class
42. Make your own halloween costume
43. Grow your own vegetables
44. Get a projector and turn your backyard into a movie theater
45. Go camping
46. Join an amateur drama group
47. Learn to cook
48. Visit the white house
49. Write a letter to younger self
50. Write a letter to your older self
51. Wake up at 5 am every day for a month
52. Learn how to ride a horse or go horseback riding
53. Learn how to ride a motorcycle
54. Fly in a helicopter
55. Visit the cockpit in an airplane
56. Go whale-watching
57. Swim with sharks (fully supervised by a professional, of course!)
58. Swim with dolphins
59. Drive Route 66
60. Live or study abroad
61. Go scuba diving (check out the great barrier reef!)
62. Go paragliding
63. Go abseiling
64. Light a bonfire on the beach with your friends and enjoy watching the sun rise
65. Take a family holiday
66. Dye your hair
67. Shave your head
68. Get a tattoo
69. Attend a TED Talk about a topic of your interest
70. Start a yoga routine
71. Go surfing
72. Slide down a slip n slide
73. Dance in the rain
74. Sing in front of an audience
75. Go to a music festival
76. Ride a mechanical bull
77. Get your future read by a fortune-teller
78. Spend an entire day without looking at your phone (a week if you’re brave enough!)
79. Learn how to play poker
80. Tell your friends that you love them
81. Learn a martial art
82. Visit the Eiffel Tower
83. Ride a gondola in Venice
84. Go whitewater rafting
85. Overcome a phobia
86. Hold a spider
87. Go on a blind date
88. Go on a double date
89. Go back and visit your childhood home
90. Take your family to a baseball game
91. Name a star
92. Drink your favorite cocktail at a rooftop bar
93. Complete a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle
94. Write a letter to your favorite person and tell them how much you appreciate them
95. Make a candle
96. Be an extra in a movie
97. Attend a pole dancing class
98. Host a quiz or game night for your friends
99. Attend a wine tasting
100. Attend a Vipassana retreat
The list above is by no means exhaustive. There are 100 items above, which is a tiny fraction compared to the vast number of potential experiences and memories to be made in this short life we’ve been given.
Set yourself a challenge to tick at least one thing off your bucket list every month or whenever you can, and don’t forget to enjoy yourself!