bucket list ideas

Father-Son Bucket List Ideas

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

-Helen Keller

Men long for adventure. We long to explore, to create, to discover. This world is full of adventures waiting to unfold—it’s up to us to pursue them.

So when was the last time you took your son on an adventure? Do you have any plans for any exciting journeys with him in the future? Take a few moments and sit down with him to put together bucket list ideas of things you’d like to do together. Here are some possibilities to help get you started:

Simple ideas that cost nothing or very little

  • Take a camping trip
  • Ride the biggest roller coaster you can find
  • Build a tree house
  • Teach your son to drive stick shift
  • Go rock climbing
  • Cook out on the grill
  • Figure out your family
  • Make a time capsule
  • Take surfing lessons
  • Hike to the top of a mountain
  • Go white water rafting
  • Serve an elderly neighbor, widow, or widower
  • Make “Manna Bags” for the poor and hungry
  • Pray together

Other ideas you can save up for

  • Go on a deep sea or fly-fishing trip
  • Visit the Hall of Fame of your favorite sport
  • Take a road trip to Washington, D.C. and see our nation’s capital
  • Take a missions trip to another country together

Of course, I know there are plenty of great experiences for fathers and sons to share together that I didn’t list above. The most important thing is that you focus on things your son is passionate about.

Sound Off

What is on your father-son bucket list?

Mark W. Merrill

Mark is the president of All Pro Dad and Family First , a national non-profit organization. He is also the voice of a daily radio program called The Family Minute.

  • MGvH

    Phenomenal suggestions, Mark – can I testify to them?

    Take a camping trip – Sangre de Cristo wilderness area camping trip; hiked over Music Pass and camped at the intersection of the two trails that led to Upper Sand Creek Lake and Lower SCL.

    Ride the biggest roller coaster you can find – A bit sketchy on my tummy, but made sure he rode his butt off on a pretty insane buncha rides at Elitch Gardens

    Teach your son to drive stick shift – started with a ’96 For Ranger, “graduated” to a ’39 1-½ ton Ford flatbed with double-clutching

    Go rock climbing – Lots o’ that at Red Canyon Park, Skyline Drive, and many more

    Cook out on the grill – at LEAST once a week, year ’round

    Figure out your family – my son’s namesake was born 360 years (a full circle?) before him and had incredible adventures. Historic St. Mary’s City found the foundation of the ancestor’s coffee house (first one in the New World?) and re-built it.

    Hike to the top of a mountain – haven’t made it to the top of a 14’er but have spent plenty of weekends in a little cabin at 10,000′ elevation, within howling distance of Mission: Wolf, a refuge near Westcliffe, CO. Music Pass (see above) tops out at 11,391′.

    Go white water rafting – Noah’s Ark Rafting down the Arkansas River

    Serve an elderly neighbor, widow, or widower – I have insufficient words in my lexicon to properly express the pride in my heart for my son, now an active duty Marine. He’s sought out a dear, elderly, retired Marine & pastor often.

    Make “Manna Bags” for the poor and hungry – we prepared delivery boxes at our local Loaves & Fishes one holiday season

    Pray together – OFTEN. VERY OFTEN

    Take a missions trip to another country together – he’s accompanied me several times on my annual house-building mission trips to the San Quintin valley in Baja Norte. This last week, during a phone call, he expressed a strong desire to partake of another one, once he’s no longer in active duty.

    Blessed to have had the privilege to raise a true warrior. In a recent phone conversation he remarked that, during his upcoming deployment, should he happen to step on something that goes “boom” and he loses a leg, “that’ll make a heckuva story”.
    We both share the concept that, “the day, time, and place of our passing has already been written; we need not concern ourselves with that”.
    2014 was a violent year for me – death came for me 3 times, the last one was so overt it was laughably an assassination attempt by the enemy as I recognized and received the Lord’s next deployment for me: hit black ice and rolled this F-250 Superduty 4 times at 75mph. Woke up 1/2 an hour later and walked to the ambulance. There were 6 rollover fatalities around that city that night. Cleared by life-giving E.R. staff, they gave me an exam room to sleep in as everything outside was a sheet of thick ice. Was blessed to minister to others there that night.
    And I so see destiny in the composite picture of my son:

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