12 Things to Put on a Bucket List | Cool Things to Do Before You Die

 things to put on a bucket list

Twelve Things To Put On A Bucket List Because They Are Totally Cool Things To Do Before You Die


How do you make a bucket list if you don’t know what it is?  Let’s discover the simplest bucket list definition: interesting, fun, and cool things to do before you die.  Anything you’d like to do sometime in your life that you wouldn’t normally do makes perfect bucket list ideas.  Think of things that are out of reach of your daily life, things that you say, “I wish I had time and money to do that.”  Those are the things to put on a bucket list.   If time, money, or fear prevents you from doing something, add it to your list.  Then make the effort to figure out a way to meet that goal.   No matter how old you are, how much you have/have not accomplished, economic status, or limitations you have, if there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, get it on the list.


Lost time is never found again. –Ben Franklin


What’s the point of having things to put on a bucket list?

When I was in my twenties, someone who was very dear to me died.  What made that situation so difficult for me was that there were so many things that person talked about doing, but never did.  No time, no money, etc. Someday, I’m gonna do that.


A few months later, I realized I have no idea of how many somedays I have left.  I started making a list of things I wanted to do before my death. I was a single parent making minimum wage. Can we say “difficult”?  Since extra money was non-existent, I came up with some bucket list ideas that are free.  I began with things that were cheap, then inexpensive, then on to things that cost a bit more, and so one.  A scrap of paper on the fridge was my elegant list. But it reminded me every time I went in the kitchen that I had a goal I should be working on.


The top 12 things to put on your bucket list.


1. Play with baby lions, tigers, and wolves – oh, my!things to put on a bucket list

Simba doesn’t have to be out of reach.  At the T.I.G.E.R.S. safari in Myrtle Beach, you can fully interact with these little fur balls under the watchful eyes of their trainers. They are full of energy and ready to play.  Feed an elephant, play ball with a monkey, and learn how animals are an integral part of our existence.  Snacks and drinks are provided throughout the tour.  Following close behind are several photographers snapping photos of you.  Photos CDs are sold separately. It was one of the more expensive things to put on a bucket list, but it’s an experience that can never be replicated.


2. Swim with sharks and stingrays

things to put on a bucket listAfter watching the movie “Jaws” as a child, I was terrified of sharks.  Getting over a fear was one of my bucket list ideas for a long time.  Earlier this year, I discovered the Stingray Experience at Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach. Start out with a behind-the-scene tour, put on your bathing suit, change into your wet suit (provided by Ripley’s), climb in the stingray pool with your tour guide, and enjoy! Don your mask and snorkel (also provided, or bring your own) and swim with these magnificent docile creature! A photographer stands nearby taking lots of professional photos (included in the ticket price). Notice the shark in the background of the picture here?



The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.  [Mark Twain]



3. Visit Niagara Falls

things to put on a bucket list

Niagara Falls facing the Rainbow Bridge leading into Canada

Last year I was finally able to check this off my bucket list.  I went in June when it was warm and sunny while missing the peak tourist season. The Falls were amazing.  Photo opportunities abound so keep your camera (or phone with camera like mine) close by. The Maid of the Mist boat tour takes you into the bay for a close up look at this beautiful site.  Restaurants, shopping, and a year round haunted house are within walking distance.  A trolley took us around the grounds for a look at the entire area which is well worth the couple bucks I spent for the tickets.




4. Eat fish and chips in England.

things to put on a bucket listTo Americans, this is a fried fish (usually cod) and French fries.  I tried it when I was in London, and it was super tasty.  Maybe it was the atmosphere and all the Brits walking around.  Maybe it was the astonishing view of downtown London.  Maybe it was the sexy accent of our waiter.  Whatever it was, it was the best fish and chips I’ve ever had. The best places to eat fish and chips in London are Poppy’s Fish and Chips, The Golden Hind, or the North Sea Fish Restaurant.



5. Rent a rowboat in Central Park

Movie buff? This is a great bucket list idea for you.  How many movies have you seen where the actors on rowing romantically around a lake in the middle of NYC? That’s the Ramble and Lake in Central Park where you can rent a boat or ice skate.  It’s not free, but not too expensive, either. It’s a peaceful escape in the heart of Manhattan.  I recommend rowing to the middle of the Lake, stand up, and serenade your wife/husband.


 6. Go to Shakespeare’s grave

The greatest playwright in history was baptized and buried in the Church of the Holy Trinity in Stratford-upon-Avon, in England. The author of Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, and countless others, his resting place is quite beautiful.  His wife, Anne Hathaway, is buried next to him. This is one of the best things to put on a bucket list if you love literature, plays, poems, or romantic tragedies.


AND CURSED BE HE YT MOVES MY BONES. – Shakespeare’s epitaph



7. Tour the Louvre

things to put on a bucket listAnother astounding bucket list idea for history lovers, the Louvre is the place to see at least once in your life.  Smile at the Mona Lisa, gaze at Rembrandt’s and Leonardo Da Vinci’s art, and admire Napoleon III’s apartment.  I recommend a selfie stick in order to get decent photos of yourself with all of these magnificent treasures.  Get a selfie with the Venus Di Milo, the most famous classical sculpture in the world.  Stand between the Winged Bulls of Mesopotamia. The Louvre was a palace before it was a museum. Walk the halls and pretend you’re King for a day. There’s a lot more to the Louvre than you’d think.



8. Meet a real life Scottish hunk in Scotland

things to put on a bucket listGoing to Scotland is one of the coolest things to do before you die.   I found a great deal online, packed my bag, grabbed my camera, and headed to Europe.  I ate haggis, watched Scottish dancers twirl in their kilts, and got kissed by a Scotsman on the cheek.  The Scots are wonderful people! And did I mention that they’re oh-so-handsome? The ones I met sure were.  Edinburgh is the city to see in Scotland and the castle of Queen Mary of Scots is unbelievable.  We took an evening tour of the city and the underground of Edinburgh.  It’s creepy, historically interesting, and so cool to do with a local Scottish guide. A great romance novel book with a sexy  Scottish Highlander that I really enjoyed after my trip to Scotland is A Highlander’s Home. 



9. Kiss your lover (or someone else) in front of the Eiffel Towerthings to put on a bucket list

(then have a real Parisian brunch)

Preferably it should be someone you know and who wants to kiss you back.  Or, just stand in front of it and have your picture taken which is what I did.  The Tower is the most notable landmark in Paris. Have brunch at the 58 Tour Eiffel Restaurant located inside the Tower itself.  It’s pricey, but so very worth the experience.  This is a bucket list idea, right? If you’re going to Paris, do it right.




10. Ski in Lake Tahoe

There’s a reason the Olympics were held in Squaw Valley.  The skiing is outstanding.  The views, the scenery, the snow, the atmosphere is unequaled anywhere else.  You can rent all of your gear at the shops at the base of the mountains. I suggest wearing thermal underwear.  Take a cable car to the top, hop off, have your photo taken by a friend (like I did), and zoom down the slope.  You’ll never forget the wind in your face, the slick feeling of snow under your feet, or the world whizzing past you as you glide down some of the most beautiful mountains in the world.



Every man dies, but not every man really lives.  [Sir William Wallace]



11. Volunteer at a farm sanctuary like this one in New York Statethings to put on a bucket list

If saving wildlife is your passion or you just adore animals, this is a great thing to put on a bucket list. It’s free, fun, and you’re showing love to an animal that probably lived a pretty horrible life before being rescued.  You can even stay on the grounds in a tiny house or cottage for a very modest price. While the traveling to get here may not be free, the sanctuary is.  This is one of those bucket list ideas that are free to do for the entire family, and a great way to connect with nature.


12. Kiss the Blarney Stone in Ireland

things to put on a bucket list

Blarney Castle, Ireland

Kissing this Stone of Eloquence, as it’s sometimes called, is still on my list.  It’s a great thing to put on your bucket list because: (1) it gets you to Ireland, and (2) you’re touching a piece of history that’s been around for hundreds of years.  The block of stone is an actual piece of the wall in Blarney Castle near Cork, Ireland.  The myth says that the person who kisses the stone will be given the “gift of gab”, meaning you’ll become a master wordsmith and can charm the pants off of anyone you choose.  The location of the stone requires you to hold the iron railings as you bend over backwards.  It takes some effort to position yourself in order to do this, but your companions will love watching.  Pucker up, and kiss the stone.


 Final Thoughts

Life only comes around once.  Live it to the fullest instead of wishing you had when it’s too late.  There are so many cool things to do before you die.  With an endless amount of different things to put on a bucket list, you could have more adventures than you ever thought possible.  If money is an issue, start off with bucket list ideas that are free.  Ask you friends and family for funny bucket list ideas that they’d like to participate in.  Whatever type of bucket list you make, just make it.  Start doing things that you’ve always wanted to do.


Do you have more things to put on a bucket list? Leave a comment below and share your ideas!


Adding Europe as one of the things to put on your bucket list? Read my article on 5 Things to Know Before Traveling to Paris. 

Or, if you enjoy the more macabre and unusual, read 5 Unusual and Creepy Things to Do in London, England.

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