500+ Epic Bucket List Ideas & Examples to Live Life to the Max


What is on your 2021 bucket list?

These bucket list ideas are not only beautifully inspiring, but also creative. And they will give you all the encouragement you need to expand your horizons and dream a little bigger.

Bucket List Meaning

But first, what is a bucket list? A bucket list is simply a list of all the ideas you want to do before you die. Because, here’s the thing, we only get ONE shot at this life. Why not live it to the max? Why not use our energy to do things that excite and invigorate us?

“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting “holy, s***, what a ride!”‘

Hunter S. Thompson

Bucket list examples that are unusual and inspiring

The Categories to Consider:

(NOTE: I put travel at the end on purpose. I know we all aspire to travel to amazing places. But I challenge you to take the other categories to heart as well.)

Now, let’s get started!

Simple Bucket List Ideas Before You Die

First, these bucket list examples are easier to do and make for good momentum before jumping into the harder ideas.

simple ideas for your bucket list before you die: woman on a subway
  • See your favorite singer in concert
  • Ride a subway
  • Ride a train
  • Go to a play
  • Visit a local dinner theater
  • Attend a music festival
  • Go to the symphony
  • Have a white Christmas
  • Take photos under water
  • Take photos of a changing season in nature
  • Jump off a diving board
  • Ride in a taxi
  • Ride in a boat
  • Dance in the rain
  • Get a live Christmas tree (or cut down your own)
  • Spend your birthday in an unforgettable place
  • Go to a rooftop bar with live music
  • Experience a piano bar
  • Visit a jazz or blues bar
  • Bowl a strike
  • Get some laughs at a comedy club or event
  • Dress up for Halloween
  • Take a personality test
  • Sing karoake with a friend
  • Sit front row at an event that means the world to you
  • Watch a 3D movie
  • Go to a drive in movie
  • Jump in a pool with your clothes on
  • Go camping for a week

Challenge & Learning Activities

These bucket list ideas will test your limits and help you grow.

learning and challenges: woman running
  • Set a world record
  • Run a 5k
  • Run a 10k
  • Run a 1/2 or full marathon
  • Complete a full triathlon
  • Learn to fly
  • Learn to play the piano
  • Learn to play the guitar
  • Learn a second (or third) language
  • Learn chess
  • Learn Karate
  • Learn Ju Jitsu
  • Attend a personal development conference
  • Give a keynote speech
  • Do the Polar Bear Plunge
  • Visit every baseball (soccer, football, etc.) stadium in America
  • Go to every national park in America
  • Learn archery
  • Learn to shoot a gun
  • Take a self defense class (and know how to defend yourself)
  • Read a book a week
  • Learn CPR
  • Learn the Heimlich Manuever
  • Learn how to cook
  • Learn how to budget
  • Perfect an excellent poker face
  • Learn to take amazing photos
  • Learn to knit or sew
  • Learn how to properly use chopsticks
  • Learn how to change a tire
  • Learn how to meditate
  • Learn how to speak well in front of a crowd
  • Learn coding
  • Learn how to blow glass
  • Learn to juggle
  • Learn to drive a stick shift
  • Learn to skateboard
  • Learn to walk on stilts
  • Learn how to meal plan (and do it consistently)
  • Get a bachelor’s degree
  • Get a master’s degree
  • Get a phd
  • Swim in all four major oceans
  • Learn to make your own (beer, wine, soap, etc.)
  • Make a candle
  • Get Lasik eye surgery
  • Invest in braces or invisalign

Meaningful Bucket List Examples

These are the most feel-good ideas for your list.

meaningful things to do before you die
  • Fall in love
  • Start a family
  • Create a family tradition you love
  • Have the health and energy to play with your grandchildren
  • Start a charity or foundation
  • Give a large sum of money to a cause you believe in
  • Write a thank you note to someone who has inspired you
  • Plant a tree
  • Rescue an animal
  • Adopt a child
  • Send a care package to someone (like this self care package for new moms, or the 12 days of Christmas gift)
  • Help someone else with their bucket list
  • Loan money through Kiva.org or Acumen
  • Leave a $100 tip
  • Give blood
  • Volunteer in a soup kitchen
  • Donate coats the kids grow out of
  • Vote in an election
  • Go on a mission for church
  • Host a foreign exchange student
  • Buy someone a full meal or groceries
  • Become an organ donor
  • Sponsor a child
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter
  • Throw someone a surprise party
  • Mentor someone who needs it
  • Pay for someone behind you in line
  • Donate your hair
  • Forgive someone you need to forgive
  • Re-connect with an old friend
  • Give away your favorite book to 5 friends

Self Care & Beauty Bucket List Ideas

The activities on this list are fun, but also remind you to take great care of yourself.

wellness bucket list ideas for 2021 with pictures

Health Ideas for Your Bucket List

Next, these examples will get you thinking about taking your health to the next level.

Health bucket list ideas inspiration
  • Maintain your ideal weight
  • Eat a salad every day (or most days)
  • Eat a vegetable with every dinner
  • Ride an electric bike
  • Try a tandem bike
  • Try a Soulcycle class
  • Try a Zumba class
  • Try hot yoga
  • Take a kickboxing class
  • Give up an addiction (to sugar, caffeine, stress eating, etc.)
  • Create a consistent exercise routine
  • Walk 10,000 steps a day
  • Only drink water for 5 days straight
  • Hold a 90 second plank
  • Do 25 pushups
  • Complete a bike ride of ______ miles
  • Complete a marathon with someone (by each doing separate miles)
  • Invest in a gym membership or at home workouts like Peloton
  • Find a healthy copycat to an indulgent restaurant favorite
  • Go vegetarian (or Paleo, Keto, etc.)
  • Go vegan
  • Cook all your own meals for two weeks
  • Floss every night
  • Wear face sunscreen every day
  • Stop eating after dinner

Adventure Bucket List Ideas

Now, it’s time to shake off routine and experience life in a more exciting way.

Adventure ideas for your ultimate bucket list: woman kayaking
  • Go hang gliding
  • Go ziplining
  • Ride a horse
  • Hike a mountain
  • Swim with dolphins
  • Sail a boat
  • Go paintballing
  • Climb a volcano
  • Go cave exploring
  • Go canoeing
  • Go kayaking
  • Dip your toes in a natural spring
  • Go scuba diving
  • Go snorkeling
  • Go snowboarding
  • Learn to ski
  • Learn to surf
  • Ride in a hot air balloon
  • Ride a super scary roller coaster
  • See a whale while whale watching
  • Have a beach bonfire
  • Go whitewater rafting
  • Drive a race car
  • Ride on a motorcycle
  • Participate in an axe throwing competition
  • Do a color run
  • Do a bubble run
  • Go on vacation ___X a year or for ___ amount of weeks per year
  • Climb a rock wall
  • See a famous ballet
  • Go to a World Series Game
  • Go to the Superbowl
  • Go to a famous acquarium
  • Go to a famous planetarium
  • Win a bet at the horse races
  • Play cards at a famous casino
  • Ride a segway
  • Go fly fishing
  • Ride bikes through a city
  • Stay in a houseboat for a night
  • Tour a haunted house
  • Study abroad
  • Jump off a cliff
  • Go bungee jumping
  • Go skydiving
  • Go indoor skydiving
  • Ride on a jetski
  • Go mountain biking
  • Go water tubing
  • Go water skiing
  • Go geocaching
  • Pet an elephant (or other exotic animal)
  • Do a body shot
  • Ride a mechanical bull
  • Go parasailing
  • Go body surfing
  • Ride in a helicopter
  • Go roller blading

Food & Drink Inspiration

Food unites and energizes us, so why not try something crazy for your bucket list ideas?

Food examples before you die: delicious tacos
  • Create your own signature cocktail
  • Create a Starbuck’s copycat drink
  • Learn to make mom’s famous recipe
  • Learn to properly cook a chicken
  • Learn to properly taste wine
  • Find an all time favorite wine
  • Do a real tea testing
  • Try New York style pizza (or Chicago style)
  • Eat lobster from Maine
  • Find your favorite sushi place
  • Bake a pie from scratch
  • Eat gelato in Italy
  • Participate in a progressive dinner
  • Try sake
  • Find a food truck you adore
  • Eat oysters
  • Eat caviar
  • Eat roasted pig at a Luau
  • Eat fancy fondue
  • Make homemade ice cream
  • Try sashimi
  • Try truffles
  • Eat dandilions
  • Make a killer _______ (paella, chocolate cake, etc.)
  • Eat escargot
  • Try frog legs
  • Eat alligator
  • Eat octopus (or squid)
  • Try a real authentic gumbo
  • Eat kimchi
  • Try kombucha
  • Drink a martini
  • Order a drink in an ice bar
  • Try English fish & chips
  • Taste a chocolate of the highest quality
  • Eat a beautiful French pastry
  • Eat fish that you catch yourself
  • Try food from _______. (A dish from a country you’ve never eaten)
  • Do a tasting at a chili cookoff
  • Eat dinner at the best restaurnat in town
  • Drink out of a coconut
  • Find out which is the best cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory
  • Eat at a farm to table restaurant

Check out my favorite bucket list ideas in the video!

Then, read on for so many more examples!

At Home Bucket List Ideas

Now, make your living space a dream home you love.

At home bucket list ideas for 2021 or quarantine: library
  • Live in your dream home
  • Make your bedroom an oasis
  • Create a cozy reading corner
  • Get rid of the clutter
  • Add a piece of beauty to every room (artwork, plants, stunning photography)
  • Have the cutest (and yet practical) coffee or tea station
  • Get fresh flowers every week for your kitchen
  • Build a home library
  • Plant a garden
  • Add a fountain to your home
  • Create an inspiring in-home office
  • Create your own coffee table photo book
  • Paint a piece of art for your home

Related Post: Superb Things to Do on a Rainy Day (or otherwise stuck inside)

Career & Wealth Inspiration

The following items pertain to a financial life based on abundance, purpose, and freedom.

Career & wealth things to do before you die: money stacking up
  • Become a leader (or expert) in your field
  • Retire early
  • Own your own business
  • Invest in a rental property (or 10)
  • Invest in (or buy) a vacation home
  • Buy your dream house
  • Buy your dream car
  • Hire a housecleaner
  • Earn 6 figures
  • Write a book (or write a NY Times Best Seller)
  • Get published
  • Write a children’s book
  • Fly first class
  • Find a mentor
  • Earn $_____ per year
  • Receive an award for your work
  • Create a passive income
  • Have an emergency fund
  • Find work you love
  • Make a will
  • Flip a house
  • Save for kids’ college
  • Save for kids’ weddings
  • Have a near 800 credit score
  • Max out your IRA
  • Start a scholarship fund
  • Be debt free (or no debt besides a house)
  • Be a self made millionaire
  • Complete a spending freeze (of a week or month)
  • Ride in a private jet
  • Teach a class or workshop about your field

Unique Bucket List Examples

These ideas are a little bit crazy or unusual, but also a whole lot of awesome.

crazy, unique, and unusual bucket list ideas: signing autographs
  • Go to the Olympics
  • Dye your hair a crazy color
  • Get a tattoo
  • Name a star
  • Get a DNA test done
  • Witness a solar eclipse
  • Attend a gala
  • Attend an art gallery opening
  • Go skinny dipping
  • Haggle in a market
  • Become an extra in a movie
  • Get on a reality tv show
  • Be featured in an article or magazine
  • Go to a book signing of your favorite author
  • Attend a renaissance festival
  • Watch a space shuttle launch
  • Attend a car show
  • Go to a rodeo
  • Be a contestant on a game show
  • Get into a live studio audience spot
  • Take a pole dancing class
  • Meet Oprah (or another amazing person)
  • Watch a meteor shower
  • Ride on top of a double decker tour bus
  • Get a caricature drawing done
  • Go on a big shopping spree
  • See a complete sunrise
  • See a complete sunset
  • Meet the president
  • Get a palm reading done
  • Make something that is good enough to sell
  • Try a paint and wine class
  • Go off the grid completely for a week
  • Go on an electric car road trip across the country
  • Find a 4 leaf clover
  • Get ordained
  • Finish a crossword
  • Sleep in an overnight train
  • Ride in a tractor
  • Stand at the crossroads of two separate states
  • See a Cirque de Soleil show
  • Get an autograph from someone you admire
  • Attend a Kentucky Derby
  • Watch a Wimbledon championship match
  • Attend a PGA golf tournament
  • See the US Air Force Thunderbirds
  • Attend a live TED TALK
  • Buy the ingredients for an entire meal at a farmer’s market
  • Eat an entire meal based on what came out of your garden
  • Play matchmaker
  • Write a poem or song
  • Try a gummy
  • Smoke a hookah
  • Get hypnotized
  • Win a “best ugly sweater” award
  • Go to ComicCon
  • Be inside of a submarine
  • Walk inside of an igloo

Travel Bucket List Ideas

Next, find incredible bucket list ideas for places to visit and vacations.

travel bucket list ideas and examples inspiration: map and computer
  • Set eyes on the Northern Lights, Iceland
  • Experience Hogwarts at Universal Studios, Florida
  • Take the kids to Disney World, Florida
  • Go to a Broadway show, New York
  • Walk or bike across the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
  • Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, Australia
  • Experience the Taj Mahal, India
  • Walk along the Great Wall, China
  • View Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York
  • Attend the International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico
  • See the Eiffel Tower, Paris
  • Attend a bullfight in Spain
  • See Buckingham Palace, London, England
  • Lay on the beach in San Diego
  • Visit Denali national park in Alaska
  • See Machu Picchu, Cuzco, Peru
  • Visit the Mayan Ruins (Chitchen Itza) Yucatan, Mexico
  • See the Colosseum in Rome, Italy
  • Listen to live music in Austin, Texas
  • See the world’s most beautiful Tulip garden in Amsterdam
  • Explore Edinburgh castle in Scotland
  • Experience the natural beauty of New Zealand
  • Go to Vancouver, Canada
  • Visit Glaciar National Park, Montana
  • Hit the casinos in Los Vegas, Nevada
  • Go on the islands of Santarini, Greece
  • Go to Cape Town, South Africa
  • See the ruins of Petra, Jordan
  • Take a walking tour of Charleston, South Carolina
  • Enjoy the Grand Canyon, Arizona
  • Go to Bali, Indonesia
  • See the colorful domes in Moscow, Russia
  • Wander along the coasts in Ireland
  • Walk the red district in Amsterdam
  • See a tango in Argentina
  • Sit next to the Nile river in Cairo Egypt
  • Visit the elephant santuary in Thailand
  • Explore Hawaii
  • Check out the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas
  • See the Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt
  • Ride a gondola in Venice, Italy
  • Hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
  • Participate in Mardis Gras, New Orleans
  • See the breathtaking mountains in Switzerland
  • Set eyes on Niagara Falls, New York
  • Visit the White House in Washington D.C.
  • See Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park
  • Drive up the Pacific Coast Highway in California
  • Partake in a large wine tour of Napa Valley, California
  • Visit the Space Center in Houston Texas
  • See the roman ruins in Croatia
  • Go on a spontaneous roadtrip for a week
  • Go on an international cruise
  • Stay at a luxury 5 star resort
  • Attend a professional European soccer game
  • Go on a carribean cruise

Now, Get Started!

What are your top 10 bucket list items? What bucket list ideas are you going to check off FIRST?! And what can you cross off this week? I’d love to know!

More Epic Bucket List Examples from HHI…

(All seasonal bucket lists include one for kids & a separate one for adults)

The Ultimate Bucket List Ideas for 2021