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The midpoint of summer is upon us, and it's time to make sure you're getting everything on that bucket list checked off!

At MetroParent, we asked several moms to tell us all those things they and their kids NEED to get done before the summer is over.

A bucket list should be more than just a things-to-do list. It should have all those out-of-the ordinary, slightly crazy (but still achievable) things you want to truly make an effort to do. 

So we went through the different lists and culled our favorites. We let off the items that are your typical summer things-to-do fare, such as swimming (although there are some cool variations on themes like that, such as one mom's little boys who want to swim in their pool in the rain before the summer's over).

1. Ride the trolley


Yeah, we and the kids drive (and ride) around all day long, but switch up the vehicle a bit, and all of a sudden it's cool! Plus, mom of two boys, Julie Davidson, makes a good point about the novelty of riding the trolley -- "I can actually be a passenger!"

Check out our article about the summer schedule for the downtown Milwaukee trolley for more information.

2. Picnic and beach at Kohler-Andrae State Park


Here in Milwaukee, we obviously live on a lake, a great one in fact! But, when local families are looking for an amazing place to camp on Lake Michigan, Kohler-Andrae State Park is a great choice.

There's your standard nature trails through the woods, but there are also nature trails on the beach where you can explore dunes and marshland.

Check out the website for more information.

3. Spark your imagination at Bookworm Gardens

Bookworm Gardens is another Sheboygan destination that was mentioned by several moms as a summer bucket list item. 

This botanical garden that opened in 2010 isn't just your ordinary botanical garden. It has over 65 different gardens, each of which is designed in honor of a different children's book. Stories include "Hansel and Gretel", "The Three Bears", "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs", and of course, "The Secret Garden."

Admission is free (there is a suggested donation), and there are several classes, programs and events available.

Check out the website for more information.

4. Amuse yourself at Bay Beach

Bay Beach in Green Bay is at the top of lots of families' list of must-do things every summer for good reason. Great picnic areas in a beautiful park setting, a beach with breezes off the bay and an amazing amusement park complete with a wading pool for the kids, concessions, kids' rides and prices that can't be beat. Seriously, ride tickets cost a quarter, and most rides require only one or two tickets!

Check out their website to see which rides your kids will be into.

More: Wisconsin from A to Z: 26 places to go for family fun


5. Roast some corn

Corn on the cob is just one of those iconic summer foods. And one of the things that makes it so summery is cooking it outside. That's what was on one mom's mind as she and her kids put a corn roast on their summer bucket list. Plus the fact that they're growing their own corn in their garden this summer.

And just in case you don't have a garden of your own, check out our directory of farmers markets.

6. Be a master builder at LEGOLand Discovery Center

If you're in the mood for a road trip across the border, there are lots of great ideas to do with the family. Of course there's Chicago. And Rosemont has lots to offer as well.

Plus Schaumburg has more to do than just Ikea! Several moms mentioned the LEGOLand Discovery Center as a stop their families want to make this summer. At the combination indoor amusement park/museum, there are LEGO-themed rides to go on, LEGO displays to marvel at and, of course, tons of opportunities to build with LEGOs, from the mini-classes you can take to the LEGO stations for free building.

Check out the website for details.


7. Run for fun


One active mom's bucket list is truly aspirational. She and her kids want to participate in a run.

It seems that the popularity of runs -- for charity, for fun, for health, for crazy causes -- has exploded in the past few years, and one of the benefits is that they're not just for grownups anymore. Lots of runs have shorter course options and fun twists and are even stroller-friendly -- the perfect option for fitness for the whole family.

This website breaks down upcoming races in metro Milwaukee.


8. Take in Lake Michigan views


A few moms shared this great idea to add to a bucket list for all of us Wisconsin residents lucky enough to live on Lake Michigan. 

Take your kids up the steps of a tower to take in an aerial view of the lake. There's one nearby at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center.

9. Become a nature detective


Park visits (most likely a lot of them) are always a staple of family excursions in summertime.

More: 6 Must-visit parks in the Milwaukee area

But one mom suggested a great twist on the standard park visit. Her bucket list includes exploring a park with a magnifying glass. Think of all the great things your little nature-lover will see when he has such a close-up view!

10. Snuggle with animals


A few moms included Bear Den Zoo and Petting Farm in Waterford on their summer bucket lists. The cool thing about this family-owned farm is that there are both standard petting zoo and farm animals, plus exotic animals as well like lemurs. And you can get up close and personal and cuddly with them!




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