The “Over 40” Summer Bucket List: Mature Women Do it Better

It's never too late to plan the summer of your dreams!

by Lisa Ledoux

Women over 40 exude a certain confidence, insight, and clarity that comes with age, and there’s no doubt that we do bucket lists better than anyone else! 😉 …except the ladies before us!

Lived Experiences and Unique Perspectives on What Matters Most

Ladies over 40 generally have better career stability and financial security, and we are more content with our support systems; we understand the value of our experiences and the importance of making the most of every moment.

Bucket lists for us are not simply a list of crazy things to do or places to see, but a roadmap of sorts, to find the beauty in our everyday lives, to know what our specific dreams are, and the skills to work towards making the bigger endeavors come true.

Santorini island, Greece. Oia town traditional white houses and churches with blue domes over the Caldera, Aegean sea.

We Have the Wisdom to make Bucket Lists like Seasoned Pros

Whether traveling to exotic destinations, learning a new skill, basking in reflective moments and experiences, or indulging in more glamorous and classy activities than our younger counterparts, mature women are fearless in their pursuit of adventure and fulfillment.

What’s the Difference Between a Bucket List and New Year’s Resolutions?

A bucket list may be more focused on one-off personal dreams, often activities that you may only want to achieve once, such as seeing the Great Barrier Reef or walking along the edge of a volcano.

While a New Year’s resolution might be more about improving yourself or your life in general. A resolutions list may require repeatable, ongoing efforts such as getting up at 5 a.m. every day, exercising, and budgeting. Or, short-term efforts that lead to long-term goals like weight loss and quitting smoking.

2023 - New year composition with champagne glasses and fireworks

Resolutions start in the new year and we intend to hold ourselves accountable to them for that calendar year, while a bucket list puts us in control of our lifelong dreams.

It gives us an idea of what we want to do, see, and experience without having to worry about the time frame.

In this case, these are quick, easy “summer bucket list” items, and they may be a toned-down version of your “lifetime” bucket list- but regardless, you’ll still have plenty of fun!

So let’s have a look at a few suggestions. And don’t forget to download this free, pretty, fillable, printable 2023 Bucket List PDF– no sign-ups required- and the accompanying list for more ideas!

The Awesome “Over 40” Summer Bucket List!

1. Go on a road trip

There’s nothing like hitting the open road with some good tunes and great company. Whatever your destination: an event, the beach, a new city, or a resort town, half the fun is the drive.

Take the time to plan your trip well (you are a smart, classy woman after all), and ask yourself:

a woman wearing a hat and yellow sunglasses, looks at herself in the rearview mirror of her car. concept of well-being and happiness in middle age.
  • how long will my road trip be? A day trip? a weekend? a week?
  • will it be solo or with others?
  • will I require lodging?
  • what music source am I using? USB, Bluetooth, CDs, radio?
  • what other creature comforts do I need for the drive?
  • what other sites are on the way, or can I slightly deviate, to see them?

But also have safety precautions in place- look at the weather forecast, plan your reservations ahead, have your digital and tangible maps ready, have someone responsible know your itinerary, and have your vehicle fully prepared for any emergency situations.

Our VEHICLE SAFETY CHECKLIST is free, downloadable, printable, and fillable, and has got you covered for any roadside situations.

Selective focus of woman in sauna and accessories

2. Take a trip to a luxurious spa

Grab your mom, daughter, or closest friend and head to the spa!

Yes, this is luxury, and yes you may feel a tad guilty, but there is a way to feel better about wanting to feel great (besides the fact of knowing that you deserve it):

  • See if your local spa has any upcoming specials or coupons.
  • Book the least expensive option.
  • Plan in advance for the spa treatment (as far ahead as you need to).
  • Work it into your budget and save for it, or cut back spending in other budget categories in order to cover the cost of this event.

Then go ahead and book it!

After all, this is a bucket list, not a boring list (hahaha…crickets…)

3. Attend a music festival

Summer is the perfect time to let loose and have some fun at a music festival. Check out your local venues, grab your tickets, and dust off those boots.

I enjoy seeing musicians I’ve listened to for decades, and one of the great things about seeing older bands is the positive vibes and the overall environment of a more mature audience.

4. Go glamping

Camping you say? No! But glamping is perfect for us lovely ladies!

Camping is a great way to get in touch with nature, disconnect from technology, and actually physically feel yourself becoming more relaxed.

But glamping adds a level of comfort that enhances the positive experience tenfold. There are two ways to do glamping.

  1. Research glamping businesses that offer semi-permanent glamping sites with all the amenities and book with them.
  2. Create your own glamp site.

This means investing in off-the-ground beds, high-quality tents, mattresses, camping chairs, collapsible nightstands, and dressers. As well as indoor/outdoor mood lighting, fairy lights, great food, and anything else you can fit that will enhance the natural glam factor.

I love camping and so does my family. But as I get older I find my muscles stiffen and my joints creak a bit more, and I now insist on investing in quality items that will make our camping experiences more comfortable for wonderful long-term experiences.

5. Get a new summer capsule wardrobe

“Woahhh- a new wardrobe you say?” Yes!

Investing in a new summer capsule wardrobe is practical and economical for many reasons:

pretty, neutral colored summer clothes hanging from a clothes rack
  1. It allows you to go through your wardrobe and purge and organize all your clothing, and donate items that no longer fit or that no longer fit your style.
  2. Capsule wardrobes have a set number of items, usually ranging from 10-15 pieces. By mapping out your needs, you can determine the right amount for your lifestyle. For example, 3 at-home casual, 2 beach, 3 outing/errands, 1 formal outfit, and 2 pajamas.
  3. Capsule wardrobes save you time, by knowing what options you have and what type of day you are having, you can quickly and easily dress without confusion or indecision, knowing everything fits and looks great.
  4. Capsule wardrobes save money. By investing in classic summer pieces as opposed to “fast fashion” you will have a wardrobe to last you from 2-5, or even up to 10 years- with the occasional pieces added and donated to keep your wardrobe lively.
  5. Capsule wardrobes are efficient. Choosing pieces that go together well and can be worn for multiple purposes can save you even more money. For example, kaftans can be worn at home, out for errands, to the beach, and at formal outings, depending on how you accessorize them– WOW!

Additionally, any totes or purses, summer footwear, sunglasses, hats, and jewelry can be purchased to match these outfits- this also maximizes ease of outfit coordination and eliminates impulse shopping urges later on.

Capsule wardrobes should be well-planned prior to purchasing as they are an upfront long-term investment.

Once the season is over, pack them away carefully and bring them out each summer for years to come.

Happy Shopping!

P.S. Even buying, and taking good care of inexpensive items or used items can go a long way!

6. Book a “Pamper Day”

Start the day with a delicious coffee, and hit the ground running!

Manicure. Pedicure. Hair salon. I like to call this the “Elusive Trio” because ladies- when do we ever do it? Hands up if you often put your wellness and beauty needs last- well, no more!

Get on the ringer and book this day in, you will feel like a million bucks afterward, and the ripple effects of your positive attitude will lovingly affect those around you.

And afterward, keep up the routine all summer long with at-home manicures, pedicures, and hair spas.

Like the spa day, plan, budget, and save for the Elusive Trio Day if need be! 🙂

7. Read a classic summertime novel

"Victoria, Canada - June 11, 2011. Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery, was first published in 1908. The first four books of the fictional series about a Prince Edward Island-adopted red headed girl are displayed here."

What better way to relax on a summer day than by reading a classic novel COVER TO COVER?

Whether you’re reading Little Women, Anne of Green Gables or Persuasion make sure you have at least one good book ready this summer.

Make it a full day- comfy p.j.’s, enjoy the reading indoors and out (maybe head to the beach), have lots of tea, coffee, or summery drinks, and lots of delectable desserts!

Immerse yourself in the pages of your book as you swooningly soar away to other places…

8. Go for a freshwater lake or pool swim- at night

Did I say swim? I meant skinny dip. Lol, I’m kidding (or am I?).

And notice how I also didn’t include the ocean? My landlocked brain can’t fathom swimming at night- or day- in the ocean. But to each his own!

Although, is there anything more beautiful than sitting on the shore and watching the ocean or frolicking at the water’s edge? I think not…sigh…

Basically, there’s nothing like cooling off after a hot summer’s day with a refreshing dip in the moonlit water, so grab your partner or your friends and unleash your inner 13-year-old!

9. Learn how to make mocktails

Mocktails are synonymous with summertime fun and anyone can enjoy them- without the residual effects of alcohol!

Whether you’re making them for yourself or for friends, learning how to make mocktails is a great way to impress your guests, learn a new skill, be posh, and have some laughs in the process.

10. Have a picnic 

One of the best things about summer is the weather, and there’s no lovelier way to enjoy the weather than staging a beautiful picnic in a destination you find breathtaking.

Find the perfect items for your picnic with Ledoux Lagoon’s free, downloadable, fillable, printable Summer Picnic List. It has everything you’ll need from food to supplies to games.

And if the thought of a formal, pretty picnic appeals to you (no cracked plasticware here!) you can always cruise your local thrift stores, for timeless, classic dinnerware, cloth napkins, tablecloths, and maybe even a picnic basket!

One thing I’ve come to accept about picnics as I get older is that- no matter how many cushions there are, I do not enjoy sitting on the hard ground- so I cheat.

Yes, I bring a comfy folding camp chair and relax til the cows come home!

back view, sunset womans arms raised in an empowering pose

And That’s it, Folks!

The skies are the limit when it comes to your imagination and how you would like to enjoy your summer.

Whether it’s stargazing, heading to the beach for a day trip, taking a marsh, prairie, or mountain hike, going for some famous ice cream, driving out to wine country, or any other ideas suited to your geographical area and personality, we’re sure there’s no shortage of options for anyone.

And as mentioned earlier. don’t forget to print out and fill in your summer 2023 bucket list, there’s nothing like fulfilling a goal than seeing it in ink to make it happen!

Have a great summer and thanks for reading!

If you’ve had some awesome bucket list experiences- please drop us a line and share the fun stories! And if there are any 40+ issues, topics, or concerns you’d like to voice or have Ledoux Lagoon write about, we’d also love to hear from you.

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