27 Must-See and Do Activities for 2017
We’ve all heard of Bucket Lists: must-see and must-do activities or accomplishments you want to fulfill before you’re no longer able to. But how many of us actually have a Bucket List?
Some folks feel that Bucket Lists are too final, if you will. They face reality too much – that someday you won’t be able to travel. Critics say Bucket Lists are too informal and don’t help you plan a trip or activity enough.
I personally feel differently. I believe, like Bill Clinton and Cameron Diaz do, that Bucket Lists give you something to look forward to… They give you a fun goal and a sense of achievement.
In fact, Psychology Today says that meaningful Bucket Lists can help people, especially seniors, feel fulfilled and motivated. They caution that a Bucket List should not be about dying, but rather about living life to its fullest. They can provide a way to bond with others, to meet new people, and to overcome fears. They give you something to look forward to and help fulfill your wanderlust.
There’s even cool site like BucketList.org that allow you to create a List and converse with others who plan to or have achieve a particular List item.
If you need ideas, check out these questions that can help spark the beginning of your List. Make a personal Bucket List with your spouse and then compare lists. Prioritize the ideas you have in common.
Check out my 59 Not So Common Travel Trip for Baby Boomers & Seniors for some great, uncommon tips to help execute your new Bucket List!
Now’s the time to get started! Here’s some ideas for a Bucket List, customized for Baby Boomers:
- Tour Your Own Town: No matter where you live, there’s likely a famous tourist spot or museum nearby. It’s something you always put off visiting. Why wait? Plan a touristy day in your own town. Surely, you’ll learn something new – plus you won’t have to worry about lodging!
- Visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Music is likely something entwined into many of your most cherished memories. Learn about your favorite legends from decades ago at this infamous spot. Many people suggest you plan to be there for at least two days to see all the exhibits! Plus, a new Class is inducted each Spring and the Hall hosts special exhibits for inductees.
- Hunt Down Your Favorite Childhood Candy: Few things bring back memories like smells and tastes. Remember what your favorite treat tasted like? Now you can buy old candies online and relive those fun, carefree times.
- Collect that Special Find: If you’re a collector and have been holding off on a big-ticket item, get it! Finding that big item you’re missing can be quite the achievement.
- Go See a Reunion Tour: The new, hot thing for musicians to do is to tour and perform a particular album in its entirety. Bonus points if you go to a classic venue like Red Rocks!
- Go for a Hot Air Balloon Ride: This seems like an obvious one, but how many people do you know have actually done this? Check out these beautiful spots. If you’re scared of heights, check out a balloon festival like the one in Albuquerque each year.
- Go for a Psychic Reading: Why not? It’s something fun you can look back and laugh at!
- Go to a Festival: Whether it be Burning Man, Jazz Fest, Bonnaroo, or Coachella, a multi-day festival is always a good time. You’ll flashback to your younger days while enjoying the music and the vibes!
- Travel Alone: Of course, as long as you feel safe, taking a solo trip can be very fulfilling. Many people like the freedom to do as they please and the ability to meet new people while traveling without a companion.
- Visit a National Park: While all of our state and national parks offer unmatched beauty, there are a few “must see” ones. The Grand Canyon and Yellowstone are the most raved about.
- Develop an Exercise Plan: and actually stick to it! A little physical activity can go a long way.
- Cook a Difficult Meal: Maybe you read the book or saw the film about a woman who dedicated a year to cooking all of Julia Child’s recipes. Start with one daring meal from your favorite type of cuisine. Then, branch out by finding different variations on the same dish by different chefs.
- Write your “Story”: Many people think memoirs are only for the famous. But surely, your children and grandchildren will enjoy reading your life experiences. It doesn’t have to be anything formal; in fact, the more organic your story is the better. If you’re not computer savvy or hate writing, dictate your story into a recorder.
- Take those Lessons: Has learning to drum or to surf or to speak German always been a dream of yours? Why wait any longer? Now is the perfect time to sign up for those lessons you could never afford or had time for. Go ahead, make the call now!
- Surprise a Stranger: Pay for the toll of the car behind you. Buy the next person in line their coffee. Or, simply smile and ask how someone’s day is. Paying it forward can make someone’s day. Get tons of ideas for random acts of kindness here.
- Do Something Creative: Even if your first foray in painting is attending one of those classes in the stripmall where you drink overpriced wine and follow an instructor, using your creative outlets can spark a new sense of purpose in you. If painting isn’t your thing, try singing or instrumental lessons, write a poem, or scrapbook your old family photos.
- Start a Social Club: whether it be a book club, a card playing group, or just a social circle, having a regular club to attend gives you something to look forward to each month. Plus, if you’re the leader, you get to pick the monthly topic and location!
- Get Tested: you know those preventive tests your doctors tell you to get, that you ignore every year? (Colonoscopy, mammogram, etc.) Stop procrastinating! Listen to your Doc and go get tested. Many of these “regular” screenings cost you $0 if you have a Medicare plan, no there’s one excuse you can’t use.
- When In Rome…: We all know the famous saying. Participate in the most well-known activity, even if it’s kind of cheesy, on your next vacation. Stomp grapes in France. Get your hair braided in the Caribbean. Go to a rodeo in Texas. Catch and prepare fresh fish at the Seattle market. Even though the locals may find them corny, there’s a reason certain places are associated with certain activities. Let down your guard and be silly!
- Take that Big Trip: We all have at least one – a special place we’ve been dreaming to visit. Whether it’s the Northern Lights in Iceland or the big game safaris in Africa, a trip of a lifetime is worth the splurge. Plan in advance with a good group of friends and you can’t go wrong! Start saving up now by putting aside all of your change and $1 bills in a special container – for your trip only!
- Thank Your #1 Teacher: Think back to your school days and who influenced you the most. Maybe at the time you despised school, but we all had one teacher who made an impact on us. Find their contact information and send them a thank you card. Teachers are rarely thanked for the countless things they teach us!
- Tell Someone You Love Them: Make someone’s day by telling them you care about them. Hopefully you tell your spouse regularly how much you care about them. What about your kids? Your lifelong friend? At the very least, tell them they are appreciated.
- Become a Volunteer: Volunteering here and there can feel good, but often, organizations need dedicated volunteers that are willing to put in the work on a regular basis. Get matched with a cause that will keep you interested long term.
- Attend a Reunion: Nowadays, Facebook and other social media make keeping up with old friends easier. And let’s not lie — now that you can see everyone online, the appeal of seeing how they turned out has lessened. But remember, people change over the years. Attending a reunion of old school friends or neighbors can reignite old connections lost.
- Carry on Your Legacy: Become an organ, tissue, or marrow donor. Prepare your Living Will. Write letters to your family with instructions to only read after you’ve passed. Take the time now to create the memories you want others to have of you.
- Become a Mentor: What better way to educate the younger generations than by sharing your knowledge and experience? Sign up for the mentorship of someone that’s an age that appeals to you, perhaps an age when you personally experience the most troubles. Even young adults need mentors. We guarantee you’ll learn as much from them as they learn from you!
- Promise to Put Yourself First: As we age, we become more comfortable in our skin. But do we every truly put our own needs first? Do at least one thing a week to put yourself first. Take a relaxing bath with your phone on silent, ask your family to prepare a meal for you, or do something else you enjoy instead of your “chores” to remind yourself how important you are. Think of the safety instructions on airlines: you must help yourself first before you can help others!
Do you have a Bucket List? When did you first create it? What is the most unique thing on your List?