May Bucket List

May Bucket List: 10 lovely things to do in the month of May, to enjoy your spring and be intentional about fun family activities.

Happy May 1st!  More and more I’ve been learning that the best way to make sure fun things happen in our family is to plan for them.  Being intentional about creating great family memories and experiences is where it’s at.  Without being intentional, often the time goes by and we realize we haven’t managed to fit in all the great stuff we wanted to.  So I thought it would be fun to think about some really lovely things to do in May, and create a bit of a bucket list.

May Bucket List: 10 lovely things to do in the month of May, to enjoy your spring and be intentional about fun family activites.

Winter felt so long this year around here, and early spring has been quite cold, so I’m extra excited about the temperatures warming up in May and getting outside to have some fun with all these spring bucket list items.  Here’s a list of things that I want to do this May.

1. Go see some cherry blossoms.

Last year for the first time ever, we went down to High Park in Toronto to take in the cherry blossoms.  It was pretty much magical.  Well worth the trip, and the crowds.  I went with my girlfriend and we took our four girls.  We all loved the cherry blossoms and then had a great time exploring the park, and enjoying their awesome playgrounds -and ice cream. 😉  It is definitely top of list for lovely things to do in May.  

Depending on where you live, it might be cherry blossom season for you too.  But even if it’s not exploring a new park and enjoying the flowers, the playground, and getting ice cream with your family members and friends should be top of list this spring.

cherry blossoms

2.  Plant a garden.

May 24 is a long weekend here in Canada, and is the traditional garden planting weekend.  It’s warm enough to plant things directly outside by then without fear of cold nights and frost killing off little seedlings that are just coming to life.  Years ago, when we moved to this house, one of the first things we did was put in a tiny little garden patch.  Every year we plant some herbs, veggies, and usually a few flowers.  There really is something pretty amazing about growing your own food.  Tomatoes are a favourite, and so are peas.  Over the years, my girls have loved being able to pick fresh peas and cherry tomatoes and eat them while they play outside.  

This year I have great plans for a pumpkin patch.  I saved some of the seeds from some of my gorgeous white and grey-ish pumpkins last year in the fall and I’m looking forward to seeing if they grow, and having lots of pretty pumpkins to decorate with in the fall.  We’ll see how we go.  For sure we’ll plant a few tomatoes and herbs too.  

Even if you don’t have space to plant a garden, if you can fit in a few pots you can give gardening a try too.  A little herb garden is a great place to start.  Seeing things grow a little bit each day gives you a connection with nature that can’t be beat.  The act of nurturing plants, watering them, and seeing them grow is not just a great way to teach kids about where food comes from, but somehow the act of nourishing and looking after plants is one of life’s greatest simple pleasures.

3.  Go for a hike.

One of the great joys of having a dog has been getting outside more and going for some great walks.  We have lots of trails around where we live, and a favourite Saturday activity is to go for a hike.  After a long winter, it will be great to get outside -before the mosquitos get too bad.  This spring check out some local trails where you live.  Don’t know where the hiking and walking trails are in your area?  Go online and search.  You may be surprised by what’s available where you live that you never knew about before.  And have a look for things in near by towns as well.  Spring is the perfect time to go explore a new area as well.

4.  Cook something on the BBQ.

Who doesn’t love a BBQ?  We’ve already had a few things the last few weeks, but we haven’t yet had a proper BBQ, with grilled meats and salads.  This weekend we have one in the works for my sister’s birthday.  For those of us who live in colder climates, it’s time to get the bbq out again or uncover it from winter storage.  Give it good clean, and make sure you go get your propane tank refilled.  See if anything need replacing after the winter.  Set up your bbq tools.  Buy yourself a new bbq brush for cleaning the grill.  It’s time for the great bbq chef in your family to come out of winter retirement, put their grilling apron back on, and fire up the grill for another season of flame broiled goodness!  Let the bbq-ing begin.

One of our favourites is this marinated grilled flattened chicken -see the recipe here.

marinated flattened chicken

And we also love this homemade BBQ sauce -it makes any grilled meat delicious, especially ribs.

homemade bbq sauce

5.  Go for a bike ride.

I do remember the thrill of feeling the wind in my hair as I rode around town on my bike as a kid.  My girls can’t wait to get out on their bikes this spring.  There’s something about the freedom of being able to go anywhere you want (sort of), and ride as fast as you want that is particularly thrilling for every 10 year old.  Am I right?  This can be a great family activity too.  Spring is the time of year to get the bikes out of winter storage.  Start by checking the tire pressure and pumping up any tires that need it.  Next make sure everyone has bike helmet that fits.  Another great idea is to invest in a bike rack for your car.  We found one really inexpensively at a garage sale.  It didn’t come with a manual so we had to do a little googling to figure out how to actually properly attach it to our car and add on the bikes.  Once we figured it out though, we had a lot of fun using it to bring our bikes to different local trails and parks.  Exploring new areas on your bikes can be so much fun.  

Don’t own bicycles or don’t have enough for the whole family?  Look into renting them.  In many cities you can rent bikes by the hour and it’s a great way to try new things and explore for the entire family.

6.  Have a picnic.

You know we love a good picnic around here.  There’s a whole bunch of them on the blog, and we have plans for adding more this summer.  There is just something so special about creating a beautiful picnic, with delicious food and being able to transport it to any magical location.  Picnics really can’t be beat.  We love going all out with a picnic and choosing a theme.  It’s fun to create something really special.  We’ve had a great time coming up with themes, locations, menus and all the special touches.  But picnics don’t have to be this elaborate at all.  Picnics are really about quality time with friends and family.  Invite someone you care about to enjoy a few hours together outside with some great food.  You don’t have to cook at all.  Put together an easy picnic with salads, sandwiches and sweets.  You can make them, or make it even easier and pick the up already made.  Takeout is perfect for a picnic.  And a picnic could be as simple as grabbing a pizza and heading to the park.  We’re fortunate to live on the shores of lake Ontario and it’s a great destination for a picnic.  There’s lots of great spots, with walking trails, picnic tables, and parking nearby.  Be sure to explore some picnic spots in your neighbourhood this spring.

It would be very hard for me to choose a favourite picnic from the ones we’ve put together in the past, but here are a few of the best ones we’ve had over the last few years.

Our Midsummer Night’s Dream Picnic, where we packed a special picnic and went to an outdoor performance of the play.

Midsummer Night's Dream Picnic

Our backyard Swedish Inspired Picnic.

Swedish Inspired Midsummer Picnic

And our breakfast picnic.  Can you tell we love a picnic around here?

breakfast picnic

7.  Make homemade ice cream.

Have you ever made homemade ice cream?  It is a bit of work to make a good one, but there’s just something about the anticipation of waiting while it churns that makes it all the more amazing tasting.  I also love that you can get really get creative and make any flavour you can think of.  

Don’t have an ice cream maker?  Look for them on sale this time of year.  Also look for them second hand at thrift stores, or in online buy and sell group.  Your friends or family might have one gathering dust on shelf that they’d be willing to lend you.  Also, there are many recipes online for no churn ice cream that you can make even without an ice cream maker.  And if none of those ideas work you can always try making homemade popsicles instead in some really interesting and special flavors.

Here’s a couple of our favourites -first this really easy three ingredient Coconut Ice Cream.

3 ingredient coconut ice cream

And one of our favourite ever –Kit Kat Ice Cream.

homemade Kit Kat ice cream

8.  Pick some flowers.

One of my very favourite things about the warmer weather is being able to go outside and pick a bouquet of flowers from your garden, or from a little foraging.  Spring blooms are so pretty.  A favourite of mine in the garden would be pretty spring blooms like tulips.  A favourite one to forage for would be crabapple blossoms.  This time of year when I’m driving I’m always noticing what’s in bloom in the ditch.  I even make sure there’s some clippers in the car, so that I can stop and pick a few wild flowers anytime I see them.  Of course, if you’re foraging for blooms you need to gather responsibility.  Don’t steal flowers from other people’s property.  When you do pick wild flowers in their natural habitats, be sure to not over pick.  For many flowers the old blooms turn into seed.  These fall and scatter and ensure a new plant next year.  Be mindful when your picking to leave some behind.  

?In your own garden this time of year, it’s so exciting to see things growing and coming into bloom.  I find for myself, since I live in a climate where we have real winters with snow and no flowers for months and months, I’m so enthusiastic for spring gardening.  I can never wait to get the garden center this time of year and I’m always wooed by what’s in bloom.  My garden may have even become a little unbalanced because I just can’t resist those pretty spring perennials as soon as the garden starts to come back to life.  It’s also not too hot here in the spring, so it’s the perfect weather to be outside.  By summer sometimes my enthusiasm is waning a little, and it sometimes feels too hot to be out in the garden for hours.  But in spring, I can spend whole days outside cutting things back, planting, and working in the garden.  And when I’m not out there, I like to bring the garden in with me, with some of those fresh blooms picked and giving me delight inside too.

spring flowering branches centrepiece

9.  Book a summer vacation or camp site.

It’s not too late to book a summer vacation.  The kids will be off school, and it’s the perfect time to get away.  If budget is a concern, think about camping.  Book yourself a campsite at any of the national parks, and enjoy the outdoors.  We’ve had so much fun camping and having outdoor adventures over the years, and doing fun activities. If you’re not really a camper it’s a great way to get out of your comfort zone and try something new.  It’s especially great if you’re a parent, because most kids love camping.  

Camping is one of those activities that you need a little equipment for.  Look for it on sale this time of year.  Considering the price of a hotel room, you can pick up things like a tent, air mattress, and sleeping bag for a pretty comparable price.  This is also a great thing to borrow from friends and family, especially if you’re not too sure if camping is for you.  And better than borrowing is to go camping with the friends that have all the equipment.  Camping is made so much more fun by going with good friends.  Many camping places also have some other accommodations available like a yurt or cabin.  This can be a really great option too, especially if you’re not really up for really roughing it.  You might have a better time if there’s indoor plumbing.

One of my favourite fun camping activities is our campfire cinnamon rolls.


Another great summer vacation option is to book yourself a cottage.  There’s lots of online booking places where cottage owners rent out their cottages for a week at a time.  It’s probably not too late to book now for something later this summer, and start to look forward to it.  Better yet, book a large cottage and go with your a small group of friends, or another family.

It’s also off season in the summer for traveling places like the carribean.  Now is the time to look for a summer deal to go somewhere tropical this summer.  It is really hot in the caribbean during the summer months, but if you’re at a beach resort that has air conditioned rooms, will it really bother you that it’s hot outside when your laying around the pool or beach all day anyway?  

I had a friend that had a rule to never let one vacation end without having the next one booked.  He loved to travel and liked to always have a trip planned to look forward to.  There is something about having vacation time to look forward to that tends to boost your mood.  

One more idea for travel this summer, especially if you’re on a budget is to plan a road trip.  Save the cost of airfare and drive to a new city to explore.  Do you have an old friend, or a cousin who lives far away and has invited you to come visit?  Take them up on it.  Plan a road trip to visit them.  Do some googling ahead of time about what to do in their city and enjoy the planning process.  Find a water park, theme park, nature reserve, a restaurant with great reviews, or some great antique shopping in a small town on the way.  Plan some new experiences.  Gas up the car, and put on your favourite playlist and have some new adventures.

10.  Get a pedicure.

This one is pretty self explanatory.  There’s nothing better than being sandal ready when the warm weather finally hits.  Choose a  really pretty, and summery colour of nail polish and enjoy a little pampering and self care.  Sometimes small things make a big difference.

I hope these cool bucket list ideas inspire some fun experiences for you this May.  Choose one or choose all ten things for your own bucket list.  This is such a fun way to remind you of all the fun things there are to do in the springtime.

Subscribe to our email list and receive this May Bucket List free printable as our thank you.  Print it off and hang it up on your fridge as a reminder for the whole month of May.


With a fun May Bucket List, life really is a party!

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