Making a Summer Joy List

Although summer break has already started for many people, the official start to summer in this weekend, with the summer solstice. If you haven’t put together a little summer joy list this is the perfect time!

We love putting together our seasonal joy lists! They are our way of living intentionally and making memories in each season. We include favorite activities that we always do and look forward to, lots of foods and drinks we want to enjoy together and some new-to-us activities. These list should be about fostering joy and savoring the season…not a source of overwhelming or anxiety! For us having a list helps us remember to seize the day and do something fun with the little pockets of time we have here and there. Have an open Sunday afternoon? Let’s go mini-golfing instead of vegging out in front of screens! If we have an evening without baseball we might go for ice cream or on a pajama walk around the block before bed. Sometimes it feels like life is passing me by one load of laundry at a time, but these lists help me seek joy and celebrate the everyday… (and sometimes, ignore the laundry!) The activities on these lists can be the simplest of activities that might get over looked or forgotten. Things that bring a sense of nostalgia. Things that make you pause for a moment and smile because you are filled with gratitude, and know that this moment is special.

When you make your list here are some questions you might consider:

-When you think of this season (summer) what comes to mind?

– What activities are special to this time of year? In the Kansas heat we think of things like sprinklers, water balloons and swimming. Maybe you love movie nights or staying up late to chase fire flies.

– When Summer ends and we move into fall is there anything that you would be sad about not doing?

– What foods/drinks do I enjoy during this season? For us summer is all about the cold treats and drinks…ice cream, homemade ice cream, sno cones, happy hour drinks. Of course, grilling and and smores, too! Maybe there is a family recipe that you always make this time of year, or a food/restaurant that you want to check out.

What traditions do we have that we are looking forward to doing? We always shoot off a few fireworks. Maybe you have a annual neighborhood barbeque or family camping trip.

– Is there a recipe, activity we want to try or new place to visit? We are always up for trying a new ice cream shop, and exploring a new park in a neighboring town can be a nice change of pace.

– What do I/our family need the most right now? Do you need more adventures together….add a few outings to the list. If you feel like things are already busy and chaotic then maybe pick a few simple at-home activities to help you spend quality time together. Try a game night or family movie night, or just an afternoon running through the sprinklers together. This year we put play a game of sardines on our list.

– What kind of time do we have to devote to these activities? Many items on your list might already have a place on the calendar, like shooting fireworks or taking a vacation that’s already scheduled. Some other activities may take some planning and intentionality to get done- like tie dying. Look at your schedule and see if there is some time you could dedicate to these activities. Some of the best activities can be spontaneous, like an ice cream run or indoor fort. I don’t recommend overscheduling your family- there is no joy in that!

Here is what we put on our list for the SUMMER:

  • try a new ice cream shop
  • get sno cones
  • run in the sprinklers
  • go swimming
  • visit the zoo
  • watch fireworks
  • get a smoothie
  • play sardines
  • eat s’mores
  • go on a hike
  • trampoline and water balloons
  • go stargazing
  • go kayaking
  • go on a road trip
  • take a family photo
  • explore a new park
  • make giant bubbles
  • eat watermelon
  • tie dye
  • Welcome Summer Party

Here a printable JOY LIST for you to fill out.

What are your cherished summer activities? I’d love to hear all about them!



Hey, I’m Megan, wife to Chad, mama to our three rambunctious boys, Grady, Marshall, Stafford and our sweet little girl, Ainsley Nell.  I have a passion for celebrating holidays, cherishing seasons, creating memories, collecting traditions, connecting hearts and chasing joy.   Thanks for coming along for our journey.