It’s time to close another year and turn over a new leaf. But before welcoming the big 2020, it pays to make the most of the remaining few days of the year and linger on this closing season a bit more. This reality of limited time is perfect to spice things up, perhaps tie loose ends, do something out of your comfort zone— basically, accomplish bucket list activities that you want to do before the year ends.
What would you do with your loved ones to make the year count? Take off Coming up with a fun bucket list with the family helps you be in touch with your shared goals and memories. Put simply, it bonds you all the more. That said, here are some ideas to include in your family bucket list.
1. Go to a theme park
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Of course, in every bucket list, vacations are a must-have. Give in to your kids’ unceasing persuasion of visiting “The Happiest Place on Earth.” Try some travel hacks while you’re at it: Use your flight miles to save tons on your trip. Go on budget hotels, too. Most of your day will be spent in the park, not on the deluxe room anyway, right?. But more than the money-saving plan, pay special attention to how to make the most of your day at the park.
List down your priority attractions, noting those that have the shortest (and worst) lines. Read up on Disneyland reviews online to get the lowdown. You can also download the Disneyland mobile app to see the wait times for the attractions.
Do remember though that your tweens may not exactly consider riding carousels and having their picture taken at Dumbo as one of the “ultimate bucket list items,” as much as the younger kids don’t like the wild roller coasters. So get ready to resolve some sibling fights when finalizing your top attractions list. All the same, try to have a happy disposition in planning. Remember, fun bucket list!
2. Go explore nature
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Outdoor recreation is just as exciting as a theme park adventure. What’s more, climbing a mountain is among the cheapest, if not free bucket list ideas out there. So consider doing this with your family. One of the relatively safe trails you can try is Mt. Batulao in Nasugbu, Batangas. The weather here is often sunny and the wind is cool, so it’s the perfect environment for kids. There are some ropes to help in the climb, but it’s best if you can guide your child from behind and keep them from losing balance, if ever.
If trekking and hugging trees aren’t your thing though, perhaps flying will fit right in your bucket list. Go touch the clouds in a hot air balloon. There’s a service provider in Bohol that lets people fly over the famous Chocolate Hills. Flights usually last for about 30 to 45 minutes. Take as many pictures as you want to preserve this fun memory. Of course, you can also hit the seas. Go dolphin watching at Malampaya Sound, Palawan or snorkeling at Apo Island, or the go-to destination, Boracay. Land, air or sea, there are lots of bucket list ideas for travel.
3. Eat “around the world”
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Aside from travel, food is also at the top of everyone’s bucket list. It’s the tradition of Philippine households to eat, eat, eat. Give a new twist to your kainan by trying different dishes from around the world for each day of the week. Korean on Monday, Italian on Tuesday, Thai on Wednesday, and so on. While it’s easier to just drop by a restaurant, it’s more exciting to do this in your own home.
You can teach kids how to prepare kimchi or learn how to make pad thai yourself. Take the entire experience up a notch by simulating the unique dining culture of your chosen cuisine. Sit on the floor while eating Japanese or eat Indian food with your right hand. It’s going to be a real challenge especially for the kids, but this is one good way to not just experience something new as a family, but also teach kids about other cultures. It’s the perfect mind-enriching end-of-year activity for your children. So make sure to include this in your long list of a bucket list.
4. Eat-in a food crawl
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Now, if you’re really into dining out, spice up the experience by going on a food crawl. Pick a series of restaurants, jump from one to another, and eat only a few dishes on the menu. The idea is to try as many food varieties as possible from different places. That said, it’s important to choose a neighborhood that has restaurants that are only a few blocks, ideally, steps away from each other. Maginhawa Street in Quezon City is a good choice, for instance. Greenfield District is also a nice option. To elevate your experience, come up with a theme, say, pizza night or sweets feast. Ask kids what they prefer.
5. Play board games
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Your family bucket list isn’t complete without play in it, of course. While a trip to a theme park is certainly the ultimate play, it’s still worth going back to the good old, laid-back family board game. Unfortunately, not a lot of families do this anymore. In fact, most kids nowadays don’t know what Snakes and Ladders is. Bring back this family tradition as part of your year-ender bucket list. Buy classic games, like Monopoly, Jenga, Scrabble, and Twister. Then add the modern family board games, like One Night Werewolf, Codenames, and Pie Face. If you’re going on a condo staycation in Manila, this is the perfect fun activity.
6. Play your favorite song or instruments
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If you’re more into a louder, livelier gathering though, organize a musical night at home. A year-end party of some sort. Dance to your favorite songs. Or simply, have a listening party. No DJ to man the music? No problem. Search for playlists online. Or if your loved ones can play instruments, let them showcase those talents. Live music is always better.
Just note that your year-end party theme should match the songs you’ll choose and play. If you’re going for a ‘60s event, your playlist should definitely have The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan.
7. Give to charity
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Your bucket list need not be all about adventure. Sometimes, it’s just doing an act of kindness for the first time in a long time. That said, encourage your family to make donations to charity. Your kids must have toys and clothes they’ve already outgrown, which can be a new source of joy for other children. You yourself probably have stuff you don’t use anymore. Dive into your closets and baul and collect these things. Donate them to orphanages or disaster response organizations. And while you’re on it, talk to your kids about the value of sharing blessings. Make this giving effort a tradition every Christmas season.
8. Give your time
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Treasures at your home aren’t the only thing you can give. Time can very well be valuable to share. Volunteer to noble advocacies. Ask your loved ones what they’re passionate about. Which solutions to social problems would they want to be involved in? Perhaps they’re interested in conserving the environment. Join tree-planting activities or beach clean-up drives. Or maybe you’re all passionate about caring for animals. Offer help in rescue shelters. Believe it or not, preparing food and cleaning kennels for dogs and cats can be a good family bonding activity.
9. Create a time capsule
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Year-ender bucket lists aren’t only for things to do in the future. It can also be an opportunity to reflect on what has happened in the past year. The good things of yesterday are worth remembering and preserving. Take time to create a time capsule for the family. Write a letter to your future self, describing your achievements in the year that passed. You can include mementos, like photos of your Taguig staycation, movie tickets, restaurant receipts, or the confetti you threw at your year-end events.
Choose a nice and appropriate container and bury it in a safe place. Five, seven years later, revisit it and see how much has changed. This will surely be one of your most unique experiences as a family.
10. Create art together
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Creative projects are always a nice family bonding activity. But it’s especially nice when the year ends because it becomes like a closing ritual for the entire clan—the last group hurrah, so to speak. Now, there’s plenty of artistic endeavors you can do. If you have a form of traditional art that’s been passed on from generation to generation, that’s your number one priority. If you want to explore other forms, say, a film or music, that’s also good. Consider each loved one’s skills and availability in creating art.
What’s on your bucket list?
As 2019 ends, pause and reflect on what your year has been like. From there, ask, what are the things worth trying to make it all the more memorable? Start scribbling your own family bucket list and have fun ticking everything off.