post written by: Marc Chernoff

70 Things To Do Before Having Children

70 Things To Do Before Having Children

They say having children changes everything.  While it’s unquestionably a remarkable time in one’s life, I can also see how the transition introduces obvious limitations.  Suddenly you have dependent beings of life to care for.  Responsibility kicks in, compelling you to dedicate a significant portion of your time and attention to the best interests of the little ones.  Combine this with the obvious physical and lifestyle limitations that come with age and it seems to me that there are several activities to check off the bucket list before settling down to start a family.

Here’s our list of 70 things to do before having children.  For us, it’s simply about conquering as many life experiences as possible.  We’re not quite there yet, but we’re getting closer.  ;-)

  1. Live in a high rise condo with an amazing view.
  2. Take a month long vacation on the opposite side of the world in a city with a completely different culture.
  3. Attend the Super Bowl live.
  4. Jump out of a perfectly good airplane.
  5. Make love in places you aren’t supposed to.
  6. Swim with the sharks.
  7. Scuba-dive to a large ship wreck.
  8. Audition to be on TV or in a movie… even if you’re just an extra.
  9. Throw the house party of all house parties.  Supply all the booze and invite everyone you know.
  10. Take sexy photos of yourself (keep them somewhere safe).
  11. Learn to fly a plane.
  12. Become skilled with a musical instrument.
  13. Live in southern California for at least a year.
  14. Live in the heart of New York City, Chicago, Boston or another major city for at least a year.
  15. Spend a few weeks vacationing on the beaches of Kauai with your partner.
  16. Surf a Hawaiian wave.
  17. Learn to speak a foreign language.
  18. Visit the North Pole.
  19. Attend The Tonight Show or The Late Show as an audience member.
  20. Read at least 30 books.
  21. Jump off a cliff into a natural body of water in an exotic location.
  22. Go mountain climbing.
  23. Go deep sea fishing and learn to filet and cook your own fish.
  24. Go horseback riding on the beach with your partner.
  25. Drink warm beer out of a barrel in a real Irish pub.
  26. Spend a night pub-hopping in London.
  27. Stage dive and crowd surf at a rock concert.
  28. Take a set amount of money and hit the Blackjack and Craps tables in Las Vegas.
  29. Visit a high-end Las Vegas strip club.
  30. Embark on a month-long road trip across the country with 3 of your best friends.
  31. Ride a camel across a sandy desert.
  32. Go white water rafting.
  33. Go snowboarding in the Rockies.
  34. Get in great shape and enter some kind of fitness competition.
  35. Attain a solid understanding of how the government works in your country.
  36. Master one particular style of dance.
  37. Fall in love.
  38.  Write a book… even if it’s short and never gets published.
  39. Drive through a (somewhat safe) portion of a third world country like Mexico or Costa Rica to gain perspective on what true poverty looks like.
  40. Go skinny dipping in a large body of water at midnight.
  41. Take a shower under a waterfall.
  42. Decide on your current life goals and write them down.
  43. Spend New Years Eve in Times Square.
  44. Go on a blind date (or a couple’s dinner date with new friends you hardly know).
  45. Sleep on the beach under the stars in Key West.
  46. Hit up Oktoberfest in Munich.
  47. Hit up Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
  48. Hit up Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.
  49. Experience Spring Break in all its glory in Cancun, Mexico or Panama City Beach, Florida.
  50. Catch a ride in a hot air balloon.
  51. Rent a fast sports car and speed down the Autobahn.
  52. Switch jobs until you find one you truly enjoy.
  53. Buy your first house.
  54. Own a convertible sports car.
  55. Hike the Grand Canyon.
  56. Attend a Red Sox vs. Yankees game in Fenway Park.
  57. Spend a whole day making love without every leaving the house.
  58. Learn to make one mixed cocktail like a pro bartender.
  59. Run a marathon.
  60. Stand up in front of a large audience and tell a great joke.
  61. Shoot a gun.
  62. Swim across the English Channel.
  63. Bicycle ride down a mountain road.
  64. Learn to sail a sailboat.
  65. Learn the basics of a martial art.
  66. Visit the Amazon Rainforest.
  67. Bare all on a nude beach.
  68. Master one really cool magic trick.
  69. Master a few fancy dinner recipes.
  70. Finish up your formal education (but continue learning).

What’s on your list?

Also, check out these books for more awesome bucket list ideas:

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  • Maybe I am jaded because I already have kids. But a lot of these things can get done while you have children, they are just more complicated!

    Kids should be viewed as part of the “journey” of life and not as a hindrance to things you want to get done. Because if you look at it that way, people would never have kids (and it is kind of a selfish viewpoint).

    On the flip side, it is important to set and achieve your goals, regardless of children.

    Anyway, this is a good “bucket list”!

  • I recommend this one very highly:

    Take a month long vacation on the opposite side of the world in a city with a completely different culture.

    I spent 3 weeks in Vietnam and it was one of the most life-changing times of my life. You realise there is so much more to the world than wherever you are now.

    Great list guys, submitted to stumbleupon!


  • @Dave: Our stand on this issue deals with exactly what you stated… Once you have kids, life is a bit more complicated. Many of these things could be achieved after having children, but we feel it’s much easier to acomplish them ahead of time.

    @Glen: Thanks Glen! ;-)

  • I haven’t done half this stuff and I already have kids. What should I do now? I know! Do it anyway! Take the little buggers along for the ride.

  • Talk to your friends, enjoy to speak a whole sentence until its end, spend time with your friends, phone as long as you can. These things are IMPOSSIBLE with kids.

  • Ok all these things SOUND great, and SOME of them are free, but the vast majority involve 2 things that I do not have in abundance, that is money and time.

    It must be great for people who live in ivory towers to suggest such lofty things, but get real, unless daddy is rich and is willing to foot the bill the bill, the harse reality is you get a job you hate, a girl you settle on, and rent to pay every goddamn month. Buy a house? are you freakin’ kidding me?

  • Thanks for the list really cool stuff on there!
    Living in california is one of my many goals for the next few years…..

  • @Steve Olson: If you have kids already… go for it! ;-) They may slow ya down a little, but it’ll be worth the extra effort.

    @sevenjobs: LOL!

    @dredawg: That’s a pretty negative take on life. Also, mommy and daddy have nothing to do with it. The freedom to travel involves making your own money and budgeting it appropriately.

  • Life doesn’t end when you have kids! I agree that some of these would be irresponsible to do if you were a parent (the life-threatening ones), but I know tons of people who do amazing, fun things as families.

  • Good luck on the list. A lot of these things I would never do with my kids. Like the bare on a nude beach. Then again, I wouldn’t do it without kids either. :)

  • @sevenjobs
    You forgot to add having an uninterrupted bath; eating food while it is still hot; just browsing in shops….

    I didn’t do most of these things before I had kids but I’m working my way through the list and including them as appropriate.

    I really believe that children benefit enormously from being immersed in a different culture. My kids have certainly been further afield than I did at their age.

  • Enjoy really loud sex in the middle of the living room! ;-)

  • Hey, I did #4 after I had kids - and it was an awesome experience (once I got over the idea of it being a perfectly good airplane).

    But I have lots to catch up on if I’m to complete this list - and I’ll have to do it with kids! Do I wish I’d done some of these earlier in life - sure. But, I’m also very happy having these little buggers in my life, and no amount of “I didn’t get to do this…” will ever replace what they mean to me.

    So, I’ll continue on - and hopefully get many of these done in my lifetime. It’ll be a great ride, and they may be along for part of it.

    Great list, by the way! Several on there sparked an interest for me.

  • GREAT list! Alas, I’ve done about 2 of them. :( And I have 2 young kids, so I won’t be doing more of them anytime soon…

  • Shouldn’t #37 be required? If you aren’t in love (and in my opinion, married) you shouldn’t be having kids.

    That being said, as many have mentioned before, the simple things like taking a relaxing shower, going to the movies on a whim or going on quick weekend getaways are some of the things my wife and I miss the most about life pre-baby.

  • Very interesting. I have a squidoo lens on 100 things to do before you die and I have a lot of these on there, although the lens is rated G so there’s obviously some of these that I couldn’t put on there. I think having a bucket list gives you something to look forward to–you get to anticipate checking each item off the list–with or without kids.

    Clearly a list from yet another person who doesn’t have kids
    Have y’all ever noticed the lists of ’stuff I *should* have done before having kids’ has almost NONE of this on it ?
    Clue : these aren’t the things you’ll regret.
    You can still do almost ALL of them (it’s *gasp* ok to do some things while Jr is with a sitter !) After Kids, and a good chunk of these have been more fun *with* kids.
    Look, either you want kids at some point or not- either way is fine.. but unrealistic lists of years-long projects ? Just say “I don’t want kids, and that’s OK.”
    Really. You’ll feel lots better.

  • I guess I won’t be having kids.

  • I agree that you should attack as many of these as possible prior to having children. However, having kids is not the end of life. I have two daughters and I am still living, loving, and pursuing adventure!

    In fact, I’m taking a scuba certification class this weekend. Maybe I’ll get to dive that wreck that you mention in #7 before long. :)

  • My husband and I have no kids. We can’t afford even one of these things to do with the economy right now.

  • @Steve Olson, for god sake don’t take the little buggers on items 5 and 10, else the social will be round… ;)

  • Selfish to not have kids Dave? What a load of bull. Wouldn’t it be more selfish to have kids for the sake of having them? Or because people like you pressure people into having kids because it’s apparently “selfish”? I guess it’s also not selfish to add more people to an already overpopulated planet huh? You want to breed like rabbits you go ahead and do that but for others who DON’T want children, don’t feel the need to vilify them just because you’ve lost your freedom.

  • haha 71.) Come up with the money to do half of that cool stuff.

    but seriously.. great list. I’ll try checking some of these off in a year!


  • That’s definitely enough to keep someone busy long enough not to even bother having kids. Though some of those can be done even with kids.

  • Exactly why do children preclude doing any of these things? Also I fail to see how going to a ‘high end’ strip club is any more worthwhile than any strip club - or gambling - why not just buy a bum some booze - at least you’ll have done something positive with the money.

  • I haven’t done well, hardly any of these, but it’s definitely inspiring! I’m going to run a marathon at some point, and if my husband has his way, we’ll both learn to sail.

    I actually enjoyed the audacity of this list. It’s a reminder that for most people, your life experiences are up to you. You just have to stop the excuses and probably sacrifice some other things to make them happen.

  • good ideas
    too bad we aren’t all made of money

  • Well I already have kids, so as Swiper would say “Oh man!” (You probably have to be a parent to get that reference he he…) I did do a few of these things though - eg Oktoberfest. Nice article.

  • Great, now I have a kid you tell me…

    Seriously, though, this seems like a generic list. A lot of the things on this list I wouldn’t even *want* to do, and the vast majority are perfectly possible even with young children in tow. I think the list should be modified to simply “things to do while you’re still young”. Then a lot of these things are possible right into old age. I guess the only good title for this list really is: Things you should do (if these are the sorts of things that would appeal to you). For the record, though I didn’t think I had accomplished too much in my life yet, I have managed fifteen of the items on the list, and more than a couple of those things I have done since having my daughter.

  • #13 should read “Live in” as opposed to “Live is”

  • I’ve done 19 of these. And I’ve used the same picture:) Nice post! I’ll do a few more.

  • I agree with sevenjobs - those things she mentioned are a lot harder to do than some of the 70 on the list! :)

    Still, it’s a good list. I have kids, and we do a number of them now (live in an urban high-rise in a big city), so I know they can be done. But you’re right - getting things done is a bit more challenging with kids.

  • Keep up the good work. I sent this to my 24 year old daughter who is in London pub hoppping, then off to India for 6 months, then planning to move to NY, has already jumped out of a plane and was just in a pub in Ireland. Spent a summer working and climbiing in Yosemite. She also just finished taking the Transmongolian/Transiberian train from Bejing to Moscow via Mongolia which she says was fabulous. Something you could add to your list.

    Maybe I’ll make my own list. What to do after the kids leave home, before you get too old!

  • Well, I have to say, a lot of the things on this list hardly seem like must-dos to me, whether prior to or after having children. Attend the Tonight Show? Go to a Las Vegas strip club? And worst of all, the patronising “drive through a (somewhat safe) part of a third world country…” Drive through a place to look at how people live in penury. You don’t gain perspective on life by driving through third world countries, dear author/s. You really learn to be grateful when you make an effort to help people who are in tough situations, when you volunteer your time, energy, sympathy and if possible money to make their world a better place.
    Pretty superficial list.

  • I just recently came across your blog and I’ve been addicted ever since!

    I really enjoyed this post. I sent it to my husband at work and asked him when we could get started on it : ) Of course we already have two little ones but I think we could still manage to do some of the stuff. The rest will just have to wait a few years!

  • It’s a nice list, but many can and should be done with your children. Why not show your children how to live with more life, more culture, and less fear.

    I would add two to the list:

    -Become mature enough to have children. In other words, have a plan for a happy family. The little rug rats need a good home and a good example to follow.

    -Be financially stable to the point where you and your children have options for a full life that is rich with experiences.

    One item on the list reminded me of something I did when I was in Thailand on a business trip. I was asked by a nightclub singer to sing on stage with her band - not a bouncing ball Karaoke thing, but just a band behind you and a microphone in your hand.

    I sang two American songs, Desperado and San Francisco. I must have done rather well because the nightclub singer left the stage and sat down with her friends at a table during my performances.

    What made me take the stage was knowing that if I didn’t seize the opportunity to sing with the band at this nice Thai nightclub, then I would regret it all the way back home on the plane.

    Now, wouldn’t something like that be a great thing for your kids to see?


  • @All: Thanks for keeping the discussion alive. Some of you have brought up some great points, in addition to making wise additions to the list.

    @Everyone who says these things can be done even with children: For the most part, I completely agree. If you have kids, I hope you would still get out there and bring the little ones along for the ride. You probably wouldn’t want to hit the risqué bullet points on our list, but I’m sure you have a list of your own anyways. We don’t have children yet, so we are trying to knock off most of these now.

    @Everyone who is against my Vegas bullet points: Like I stated earlier, it’s all about life experiences for us. I think true wisdom is the byproduct of life experience. Angel and I attended the Vegas trip together… and she was equally as curious as I was. It was interesting.

    @Everyone who said the list is flawed: It’s our list, not yours. It should be somewhat flawed in the eyes of others. I’m sure you have a list of your own that makes a lot more sense to you. Feel free to share your thoughts. I find them to be quite interesting. ;-)

  • Great article. Surfed in from Blogrush. “Swim with the sharks” has so many metaphorical meanings does it not? Thanks.

  • Thanks for this list. It’s a great one - your own! I think the coolest thing about it is that it exists, whatever’s on it.

    *Before* I had kids I was rather focussed on the next step: *having* kids. Fortunately we did a few little jaunts before diving right in, but we didn’t sit down & say “hey we should do (a), (b), & (c) before we’re weighted down a little heavier”.

    I don’t regret any of it, and many of the things that might have been on my list *are* still possible (as many have said) with our kids, but with my 20/20 hind sight, it would have been nice to *really* relish that time with my dh.

    As it is, we really *REALLY* relish those sleepovers to grandma & grandpa’s! ;-)
    (li’l bit o’ #5, sometimes #9, #57, and always some #37 - all over… as well as completing sentences; picking up toys in a room and have the floor still clear when you turn around!)

  • Great list, I’ve done 31 of them after having kids though and over 50 of them total. I don’t think people should limit themselves due to children. They have inspired me to do alot of these things and I hope to share many of these experiences with them as they get older. You should make a new list titled “Things you should experience with your children” lol.

  • Could add about 25% of your list to mine or I should say I already have 25% of your list on mine, a few I have already done, but swimming with sharks No Way!


  • […] 70 Things To Do Before Having Children at Marc and Angel Hack Life […]

  • This is a nice article and a nice list, but I think the majority of things on it can’t be done by the average person on an average budget! I know it’s your own list; perhaps I’m just jealous because I’m knee-deep in college loans! : /

    In any case, these seem like lovely things to do before I have children - I just wish I had the means!

    Thanks for posting : )

  • Yes, go ahead and risk your lives -before- you have children. Better chance that my genetic material outlasts yours.

  • #16 Surf a Hawaiian wave.

    is now on my list.

    Great list! I’ve got one…

    71 Meditate with a monk on an overlook in the Tibetan mountains.

  • Yeah, you need a very, very large amount of money, and lots of time to do this. The average age of couples having children is 29, so I suppose you’d better be rich or live off mommy and daddy. Shame most of us live in reality.

  • I think the overall feeling I get as a parent, and maybe other previous commenters do, too, is a general feeling of an idea that life is over when kids come around. Sort-of a “soak it up while you can, because you won’t have any more fun once kids are in the picture.” Not just from this post - from the culture at large these days.

    I agree with you - it’s your list, so it’s not the universal list for everybody. And thank you for saying that. But I have to say, I guessed before I was even done reading your post that you guys didn’t have kids yet, because it just sounds like it. Ya know? ;)

    I’ve done about 10 on your list (and most after I had kids). But if I had to choose finishing my list of must-dos and having kids, I’d choose having kids, hands down. Life doesn’t end when they arrive - a new sort of life starts.

  • Not only would it take years to do all these things, it would also cost a lot of money, which takes even more time to make (in an honest way, at least)…
    I’m guessing if I’d have wanted to get these things done before I had children, it would have been too late to experience the most awsome, breathtaking experience of all: becoming and being a mom!

  • A few of these will actually prepare you for parenthood, e.g., swimming with sharks, and spending New Years in Times Square. Learning martial arts might prove helpful as well….

  • It’s definitely important to construct your own kind of list. I personally am “childfree,” which means I plan to never have children. I must say I do agree with one poster who said that you should be mature and financially responsible before you have kids. If this truly is a list for people who intend to one day have children, rather than a list for people who never will, then those two items are absolutely essential. Parenthood is not something that should be stepped into lightly, as it so often is.

  • #71. have unprotected sex xD

  • Honestly, tired of all these USA-centric lists… Outside the US nobody really cares about baseball, the Rockies, Vegas, California, New Orleans, Times Square, Super Bowl, Spring break or whatever the american referenced imagery you use here…

    I think that the list gets better with things that really contribute to improvements on your character, like learn an instrument, continue learning, or shower in a waterfall, or just travel

  • now i realized that the comment is “awaiting moderation”.. i’m almost sure that it won’t make the webpage, i can put my money on that, ehe..


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  • I disagree that kids make doing many of these things more complicated. Kids are portable, flexible and resilient. Not to mention, they love “adventure.” Of course, I’ve been a mom since I was 18, so everything I’ve done for the past 17 years has been “with children” whether I liked it or not.

    Still, I’ve done quite a few of the things on this list (many don’t interest me at all). My daughter and I learned Japanese together. We’ll be going “to the other side of the world” for a month next year.

    Granted, a few of these I’ve done without kids present. But it wasn’t the least bit complicated.

    Guess I’ll never understand why so many people feel children are an obstacle to doing what they want most in life. I refuse to For me, my children have been the reason to do those things….and my best cheerleaders. As I am theirs.

  • BETTER YET! NEVER, NEVER EVER, PLEASE NEVER NEVER NEVER HAVE CHILDEREN. It is the end of life, please, do yourself a favor and live. Your animal self no longer has to worry about the survival of the species. Let your instincts flow with the new generation and free yourself from the tyranny of childbirth.

  • hmmm…… We did some of those with our kids. All 3 of them to be exact.
    Never slowed us down in the least bit. In fact I think it gave the child’s view of how they felt, saw things.

    You know seeing things thru kids eyes again. We took them most places and never felt tied down in the least bit.

    Amazing what you can see and learn on vacation. Without the kids knowing they are learning

  • I’ve done these. 24 out of 70 isn’t too bad.
    I’ve also got stuff like climb to Everest Base Camp, Kayak the Yangtse from the source before they flood it and drive a motorcycle from Singapore to Ireland…

    2 - One year in Thailand
    5 - (Like in the back of a VW?)
    8 - I was Blackbeard the Pirate
    12 - I play the Bass and a little guitar
    13 - 619, Baby!
    17 - Spanish and Thai

    Fun list!!!

  • If you had you children young enough, you can do these things after the kids are grown and gone.

    I’m 42 and my youngest child is 17. I am not yet too old to do any of this stuff.

    I thought about whether I would have had a better life if I had waited to have children and I decided a long time ago that I would rather be “free” in my 40s when my career is established and I have the financial resources to do what I want and the maturity to really appreciate what I do for myself. I don’t think you can really appreciate taking care of you until you have sacrificed for others, whether they be your children or not.

  • It sounds like you’re not interested in having kids. A list like this will take a typical person a lifetime to complete.

    I envy anyone who can accomplish everything on this list, but as a parent my biggest regret is not getting started earlier even though the situation may not have been perfect. It isn’t now, and probably never will be, but I love being a dad…

  • Having kids is not the end of the world; it’s the beginning of a whole new life, full of more experiences, happiness and perspective than you could ever possibly get from completing everything on that list.

  • […] 70 Things To Do Before Having Children The Simple Benefits of […]

  • “Spend a whole day making love without every leaving the house.”
    Well, shouldn’t this be at the end of the list to make sure you don’t have kids before accomplishing the rest?

    This list is kind of lame. Owning a specific car?!?! Ummm yeah not everyone likes cars, nor will owning one make any significant impact on your life experience like reading books or traveling would.
    I do agree with telling a joke in front of a crowd. Stand-up comedy is a huge rush.

  • Wow, I wonder how many millions of dollars(and months of unpaid unemployment) it would take to complete about half these things?

    Is “travel the world” really a unique, insightful, or even possible suggestion for anyone who isn’t Bill Gates?

  • good ideas! it is a shame though, that you need a lot of money to do half of them :)

  • #20: Read at least 30 books.
    If the number was “1000 books” it would be a challenge worthy of your list, but THIRTY? When I was done with my whopping 30 books and ready for marriage, what sort of person would find me interesting for that accomplishment???

  • […] 70 Things To Do Before Having Children :: Marc and Angel Hack Life (head here for some mild controversy) […]

  • I agree that this is a “made of money” list but the basic ideas are good (i.e. you should jump off a cliff into some water, but it’s okay if it is at a lake two hours from your house and not in some exotic country).

    And you can do SO much of this post-kiddos.

    This discussion has also reminded me why I enjoy some parenting blogs (Simple mom) and not other blogs (livsimple). While Simple mom might be a Christian it I never feel judged by comments like “you should be married before you have kids.” That statement when applied to someone other than yourself and your personal choices is hurtful and, in my opinion, not even true. You do not have to be married before you have children to have a happy family. Some people (gay, lesbian) cannot even get married.

    That being said if I would enjoy living a life where your family is not constantly judged before you have children (in my case, little bastard children born out of wedlock).

  • […] at Marc and Angel Hack Life, they posted an article titled 70 Things To Do Before Having Children.  This inspired me to create my own list.  I agree that it is often easier to do some […]

  • I think a lot of people are misunderstanding the true purpose of this list. In my opinion, this list is some ideas of what you might want to try before you have kids. Not because you can’t do them when you have kids (you can), but because you will want to take the time and money (things which are often much rarer after kids) to do things for yourself (how often does that happen with kids…haha). Lists like this are meant to be modified…okay, so you can’t afford the house…or a month in another country…find something else unique that you’ve always wanted to do, and do it! Because really, who knows when the opportunity to try things will come along again! You are only young once…and you may as well do as much as you can before you don’t want to anymore!

  • The thing about these kind of lists, is that everyone should find their own path in life and not feel like they “should” go to a football game, or shoot a gun, or whatever else. For me personally, one of the first things I ever knew I wanted to do in life was to have kids. Not because somebody said I should, but because I thought it would be right for me. And it was. And yes, some of my “freedom” is limited, at least for the time being. But there is not one item on that list I would consider for even a second to be worth giving up my current life for.

  • I like your concept of the ‘pre-children bucket list’, but do have my reservations…
    What about having an aspirational list which would have just 1 point to tick off… and that would be ‘to achieve a place of fulfilment to not need a bucket list’…

  • […] and Angel gave us 70 Things to Do Before Having Children (I’m interested in #64 right now…) while My Super-Charged Life responded with 70 Great […]

  • what a wild list (of things to do BEFORE you have kids)! maybe i’m doing it all wrong (i have 2 kids; 14 and 12) but apart from a few dislikes, we have done and keep doing loads of these.

  • So I counted and have done 48 of those 70 that you posted… though you have to allow for a few minor changes: I ran a half-marathon, I watched the Yankees and Sox in Brooklyn, etc… I am now 36 years old and about to be married for the second time, and hope you understand that marriage should not be hindrance to your list, rather a way to embellish it… add new adventures :)

    Good luck! -M

  • […] 70 Things to Do Before Having Children.   Yes, some of these can be done with kids, but if you have the chance to get some adventures behind you before kids enter the picture, take advantage. […]

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  • ive done 9 things on this list, and im not even in college yet so i guess i have a preeetty good start

  • I have to agree with those who have said it would cost a great deal of money and require a great amount of freedom to accomplish most of the things on this list, with kids or without. No matter how hard I work or how much I budget, I doubt I could do over half of these things until I retire at the earliest. I think it is a good list for people who can afford to do the things on it, but I think you can probably do just as many with kids as without.

  • There are a lot of things on that list I don’t think are all that important and many that I think are.

    I’m a rural Alaskan. While I lived in various places during college and after, I don’t ever have any desire to live in New York City or southern California for a year. I’d rather live in middle of nowhere Wyoming or something. I’m also never going to run a marathon because it’s something I have absolutely no desire to do. Each person has to come up with their own list.

    But all in all life is short, and so’s the time in which a woman is fertile (the first big decline is at 28 or so). I’m finishing up my graduate education now and if I wait to have kids until after I get a chance to live Africa, buy a house, and bike a century, it could be too late to have children without adopting or spending gobs of money on assisted reproduction.

    It’s important to enjoy at least a few years of your adult life and time as a couple before bringing kids into the picture, but there’s no reason you can’t live your life and do exciting things after kids come along.

  • Why does this culture think that life ends when you have kids?

  • Now I know why I was always the youngest parent in my kid’s school meetings. People think you need to do this stuff before you have kids. Wrong idea. You don’t have the money when you are young. So if you try to do some of these (cheaper ones) and then have kids because of the biology/age issue, you end up old when your kids are out of the nest. Then you are too old to enjoy all these things.

    So do some and have kids before you are 30. Be poor and enjoy less expensive fun things when the kids are little (remember they sleep early and soundly so some of this list is “do-able” when they are babies.)

    Our kids are in college now and we are still young enough (mentally and physically) to do all the things we couldn’t do when we had no money before they were born. When they are gone from the nest, we pick up where we left off on the list.

    As for # 30 (Embark on a month-long road trip across the country with 3 of your best friends) we did this three times, and the three best friends were our children.

  • Yes, it’s all good, but the title should be amended.
    It should read “70 Things To Do Before Having Children… if you’re American”. These choices are hopelessly USA-centric and involve enormous amounts of money and resources for “fun” stuff. Also, there is the assumption that one should have children… a child born in the US will have 900 times more environmental impact than one born in Bangladesh. This list is mostly irresponsible self-aggrandized USA idiocy.. (”Learn To Fly A Plane”…?). We do not live in that world any more. The internet is now international and you are just embarrassing yourself with your lack of sensitivity.

  • I highly recommend #67 “Bare all on a nude beach.” If you are in Europe nude beaches are very common in France and Spain.

    It is lots of fun and sensual nude sunbathing with the warm sun carressing your body. And swimming without a wet bathing suit is heavenly.

    If you are an American, we are more afraid of the sight of a naked body. It will be easier to find a nice nudist resort than a nude beach in the US.

  • Before I read your list, I made a mental note of my own list. The top two — which probably really means there’s no need for any more — are “Love Life” and “Do What You Love.”

    With those on your list, the circumstances are irrelevant — children, no children, or any other conditions. Also, the specific activities matter less. It is the passion, the loving, that matters.

    It’s great to share our lists!

  • I must say that I agree with the statement that life ends when you have kids. I have many friends who all have kids, and all they ever do are change stinky diapers, attempt to spoon food into their screaming kids’ mouths, run after their kids all day, etc. I’m 25 years old and instead of running out and getting married/pregnant when I graduated high school or college, I traveled extensively, (which I paid for, NOT my parents) all over the world. My friends who know about what I’ve done since high school have told me they’re jealous, because I can still have kids…but they can never have the carefree travel days I had. I’ve celebrated my 20s, pursued my dreams, etc. I’m with a wonderful guy right now and we plan on getting married, but we don’t plan on having kids for another couple of years. There is NOTHING wrong with waiting to have children. It’s an archaic way of thinking that we should throw away our 20s to continue the species. (There are too many people as it is.) People rush into marriage and pregnancy far too much these days. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my freedom and relished in the fact that I have gotten to complete many of the items on this list. I don’t get why society tells us that the best thing one can possibly do is have kids. That’s an extremely silly and old-fashioned way of thinking. Sure, I suppose you could do a couple things on the list with kids—but trust me, it would NOT be the same. I have a friend who’s only 18 and just found out she’s pregnant. She’s so excited. It’s like, why are you so excited?! Your life is OVER as you know it. And you didn’t even get to experience some of the best years of your life. What a shame. It’s not 1942 anymore. We don’t have to have children right out of high school. Ugh. Most people MY age aren’t nearly mature enough to get married, let alone have a kid. SLOW DOWN, for pete’s sake. There’s PLENTY of time for kids and family. Enjoy yourself while you can; make time for YOU. When the kids come along, there will be no more of that…

  • done most of them. now what?

  • It is precisely because my parents didn’t let having children stop them from doing things that I have already completed about half of that list.

    When I turned 8 I joined the scouting movement as a cub and my Dad joined with me as a leader. When I turned 11 my mother joined as a scout leader. Taking showers under waterfalls, jumping off cliffs into rivers, riding bicycles down the steep side of mountains, learning to sail and mountain climbing were all completed while in the scouting movement.

    What it did for me was instilled in me a desire to experience more of the world than I had already done and I think that’s more important than simply having these experiences yourself. If you save some of these until after you have children then you’ll have something left to teach them.

  • Every time some one raises the issue of having children, it seems we all divide ourselves into two camps. The reality is we all live with our choices and we will never REALLY know if the other choice would have been better for us. To have or not have, to have early or to have late–maybe it doesn’t matter.

    I am 47 and never had children by choice. I don’t regret it and I feel I’ve enjoyed my life as much as possible, especially my youth, and I can’t imagine my life any other way, but if I had had children, I’m sure I would not have regretted it either, because I wouldn’t be able to imagine my life without them!

    Chica–you have the right idea because you are deciding what you want for yourself and not letting yourself be influenced.

    On another subject–why do people love lists so much? I hate lists myself, no offense! Just wondering…

  • 21.Jump off a cliff into a natural body of water in an exotic location.
    I know a good place in Norway,I would be happy to guide you there.. :-)

    Just bring some swim cloths…

  • I think this should be renamed to 70 Things to Do Before You Die, hehe. On a serious note, I feel that most if not all of these listed here can be done even when you have children. It’s a matter of having the drive to go out and do it and the finances to afford it. But I love the list, especially number 37. There’s a few numbers on this list I’m going to add to my list of things to do this week!

    Nice and entertaining post, keep up the good work!

  • I really loved this list, but some of the posts are so negative! I feel really sorry for the people who think you have to have tons of money to travel or that “mommy and daddy” are footing the bill for people that make traveling a priority. I have never had much money, paid for college and grad school myself, and have also traveled the world. But I’ve also never had a fancy new car and don’t buy expensive bags and clothes. It’s ironic that someone will go and spend 20 grand for a new car, but traveling is only for rich people! What a sad, sheltered, money focused life they are living… But then again, who am I to judge, people just have different priorities. But seriously, no excuses! Go travel, you be happy you did!

  • This is a really lively topic! Obviously it was worth posting.

    @Chica - you’re 25. That’s why it’s really hard for you to see that life doesn’t end when you have kids. I’m only a few years older than you, but I have a kid, and if my life ends, it’s because I’m not mature enough to know that life doesn’t “happen” to me - I make it happen for myself. Good or bad.

    I would AGREE that travel is what you should do before having kids. I will travel with my son, but not in the early days. I did, however, make a promise to myself that he will KNOW this world and will see the people who live in it.

    Thanks for posting the list, Marc!

  • This is great! I think I am past #67 thought. I’ll try the other 69 though.

    Thanks for all the hard work and posting this.

  • […] are active and adventurous.  I would encourage every twenty-something to read Marc’s 70 Things To Do Before Having Children and heed his suggestions.  Go out there and try new things!  Discover as much as you can […]

  • I’m 40, have no children, and I agree with Hillery and OnionUnion. I read your list and for some of the items I found myself shaking my head and asking, “Why?”

    I realize different things are important to different people. But honestly, Spring Break? A couple of weeks with a bunch of drunk, drugged, foolish teenagers/college kids all trying to win the title of “Lookit Me! I’m the Most Outrageous!”? What on earth would that do for me?

    And why on earth would I want to visit a “high-end” *cough, cough* strip club, whether in Vegas or anywhere else? You don’t have to be a bible thumper to know that exploitation is a sleazy business, and I’ll be damned if I give my money to keep it going.

    The whitewater rafting, traveling, and learning entries I agree with completely. But some of the of the other choices I just can’t fathom.

  • > 70 Things To Do Before Having Children

    For most of us, #1 is:

    Have sex

  • My friend sent me this link and I am amazed how similar our lists are.. check out mine :)

    I created my list shortly after 9/11 and oddly #1 was completed couple months after.

    Keep on checking them off :)

  • Good list, Although I wouldn’t consider having children before falling in love! seems a bit pointless:-) I am also hoping to experience most of these things with my children.
    X C

  • Chica- Its sad that you think kids are only dirty diapers waiting to be changed. I thought my life was great when I was childless and in my 20’s. Now I have 2 small children and think life is even better and it is fuller than I ever could have imagined. I have traveled all over the world and have had great life experiences, but the best thing about kids is that now I know how to appreciate it all.

    Tia- I couldnt agree more.

  • You missed one: Have a vasectomy! J/K ;-)

  • Um, two hints for anyone planning on “51. Rent a fast sports car and speed down the Autobahn.”
    First, we locals would appreciate if you did that at night, so that if you lose control of a car you are not familiar with at speeds you (presumably) never reached before, it’s more likely you wrap yourself around a tree rather than crash into a bunch of other cars.
    Second, pay at least a bit of attention to the speed limit signs. True, most people drive faster than allowed, just saying that contrary to popular belief outside Germany, in most parts, there are limits, so you might end up with a ticket. And some of these limits are in effect because of damages in the street, dangerous curves, feeding into the first hint.

    Well, anyway, have fun.

  • Sleep as much as I could.

  • These are 70 things to do before you take a mortgage =)

  • Between my hubby and I, I’d say we’ve covered more than the majority of your list. I’m 24 and he is 30. I’m surfing the net trying to decide if we are absolutely ready to try to have a baby. ;)
    I think I may put it off now to spend just one more year enjoying Hawaii, since we are stationed here, though!

  • I see both sides of the equation here. I was fortunate enough to fulfill a “mental” list of wishes and dreams before my baby. Now, I’m just starting to build a new “mental” list of wishes and dreams to fulfill in the future because baby is bigger. A child changes your life, but it’s hardly the end of having a life. I think these are wonderful ideas listed here, but by no means definitive for every person on Earth. Make your own list and make your own way. :-)

  • Some of these can be combined. I’m an Estonian and by temporarily moving to S. California I completed these items:
    # Take a month long vacation on the opposite side of the world in a city with a completely different culture.
    # Live in southern California for at least a year.
    # Learn to speak a foreign language.
    # Drive through a (somewhat safe) portion of a third world country like Mexico or Costa Rica to gain perspective on what true poverty looks like. /side note: Probably not quite like in Mexico or Costa Rica, but there’s povery I’ve never seen in S. California too.

  • I’ve actually done 39 things on your list…and have my own long list that has been going on for 40 years. It didn’t cost me much because I chose a career that required me to travel and not settle down…so I have no kids, no husband…I’m trying to conceive and now my eggs have dried up… I have great memories, great photo album, but probably a lonely existance without family later in life to share those stories and photos with. My suggestion is to try and have your cake and eat it too.

  • Don’t go stage diving at a rock concert. BAD BAD BAD IDEA. I’ve seen 100’s of people get injured doing this, including myself. TWO BROKEN ARMS, and a broken wrist! I was out for months and months. STUPID IDEA!!!

  • What I think many of you parents and naysayers are missing is that when you have children your life changes. Marc and Angel are not saying that it changes for the worse, simply that your priorities and possibilities change and no one can argue that.

    If you can accomplish all that you can and live a full life before having children than you will continue to live that full and happy life after. You’re bucket list just might change. There is never the “perfect” time to have kids but to approach starting your family with a plan like theirs is the best way.

    And just so no one jumps on me for not understanding, I have 3 boys 12 and under so I completely know that life doesn’t end when you have kids.

  • Well, I my culture (méxico), all the youngs couples start their marriege life very soon, and have children very soon.
    It´s not a bad idea, have a list like this.
    I mean, there´s another list after having children, isn´t it ?.

    By the other hand, México have big problems like drugs, or economy, but we are not a third world country, O.K. ?

  • I have a problem with #39. I’m Mexican and had lived in the US 5 times now in different places and travel trough many times. I may know more states in your country than you and can tell you this. Endeed, we don’t have access to everything you have in your country and we may have more poverty. But I have been in some places in the US way worst than in Mexico in terms of both, security and poverty. In fact, I’ve had a gun pointed to my head twice in the US and got in the middle of a shoutout at a subway while I have never been robbed in Mexico. I love your country, there are so many beautiful places to visit and wonderful people to meet (While the majority of people don’t like Americans, I do and a lot) but instead of telling people to come and experience “poverty” tell them to come and visit our beaches, colonial cities, the very modern Mexico city, volcanos, pyramids and just to come and meet us, not for nothing they call us the amigo country. Comparing poverty among countries is not good, is like if I compare México to some countries in Africa. And here’s something I bet you didn’t know, Mexico is second in the world in expending in luxury goods, that means cars, jewlery, clothes, hotels and services, etc. We expend more money in Armani, Boss, Zegna, Cartier, and many more than every other country. Come and visit us, there’s a side of Mexico you haven’t seen. Don’t keep the Hollywood image they show at the movies. We don’t ride Burros and sleep the siesta sitting at the streets wearing a big sombrero. If you say it so people can value more what they have, tell them just to seat and watch a Sunset, go to Rocky mountains or yellowstone park. Ask them to go to Alaska or walk in the streets of NY or Boston and really look around all the beauty and magic that surround us. Ask them to carry a baby in their arms, hear and enjoy any kind of music. It’s better to value what you have by enjoying and loving what you have instead of comparing yourself to others who may not have your same opportunities. Remember, there will always be people with much more that you, and for that you will not feel worst, will you?

  • Strange… I’ve done about half of what’s on this list, most of it AFTER having had and raising two amazing children. Life doesn’t end when you welcome a child/ren into your life, and it makes carving out “us” time for doing things like this all the more amazing.

  • […] 70 Things To Do Before Having Children […]

  • That’s not my list, but then you don’t have my fingerprints either. If we were all the same it would be a boring world indeed.

    The biggest adventure in my life has been my kids. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

  • Good list! I think it’s interesting that there are so many different viewpoints on this. :) One thing I will say, is I’m not married, but I’ve done several of these things with my parents and it was wonderful! I’m in college now, but I know I’ll always be tight with my family because of the great adventures we’ve had around the world. If you have the opportunity/means to bring the kids along, do it! Your kids will love it, and looking back, you’ll love the time you spent with them.

    Also, for those of who with no money, I understand, trust me. I’m a poor college student. One thing I’ve learned from my parents though, is that if you really want it, you’ll make it work. Look around online, there are TONS of websites with tips on how to travel cheaply.

  • If you haven’t done all of those sexual things by the age of 24, you’re not daring enough.

    Moreover, you’ve lived a dull life.

    Learning so that you gain skills and experiences (shipwreck diving, snowboarding) shall bring you to self-discovery and shall help you grow.

    Attending those events (Super Bowl, Yankees game, Mardi Gras, Carnival, Oktoberfest, rock concerts, London pub hopping) could be fun.

    Yet, you shall not become enriched from them. You shall not grow from such experiences.

    The most useless of all would be to live in a high-rise or living in the heart of New York or Chicago.

    A man needs little time to adjust to surroundings.

    Yet, the negative sides of such living would become a drag on daily life.

    Kudos at least to the minds who took time to conjure up a list.

    Most likely, when the list makers find themselves at another stage in their lives, they would come to see many to-do’s on their list as no longer meaningful.

  • done em all cept swim the english channel

  • […] 70 things to do before having children: I don’t have kids, but even I can anticipate the fact that things change once you do. This is, I think, an excellent and quite comprehensive list of the kind of things everyone should experience. From the list, I count that I have done all of 12. How many have you done? […]

  • […] list (aka a list of things to do before I get married and have kids) - After reading the suggested list on Marc and Angel, I decided to create my own life list (more like a 5 year plan to get myself through the quarter […]

  • You should add more stuff to the list that helps people find the true meaning in life.

  • for all of those who enjoyed this i definately recomend the website It basically allows you to share your goals with people. The things you want to do and when you’ve done them you can tell people about it and help them too.

  • Yeah sure, if I survive this list I guess I deserve to procreate.

  • i’d add milk a cow :)

  • I agree with you 100%. I put off having kids until I fnished doing the things that I wrote down on my own list many years ago (many of those things happen to be duplicated here) Now that I have reached 50 years of age I am still pursuing the things left to do on my list and I have given up on having a family and kids. At some level I regret that, however I have lived life on my terms and in the process have experienced things that most people can only dream about. And I started in 1983 with $1400.00..and I have never been broke. I am not a professional and have never asked family or friends for money. Today I live on the beach in the Cayman 8 months a year and travel (and knock out more “stuff’” on my list) for 4. I have made my life worthwhile and I literally treasure every minute and live by a very simple motto:

    Don’t be afraid of afraid of not living..

    Peace- and make it happen.

  • By the way..I have done 61 of these!!! Living in Southern California was the best of all (Lived in Newport Beach for 5 years..actually Balboa..right on the tip of the Penninsula..awesome!)

  • Hey dredawg,
    So maybe you can’t afford to live in a foreign land for a few months-most of us really can’t. Do you like to be outdoors? Find a great state park or lake and spend a weekend camping, swimming, fishing, and watching the dog chase the birds around in circles. Find something!

  • These are hilarious and unrealistic. I will never want to pick my life up and live in random and expensive places for one year, where I don’t have a support system. One month abroad? Sure! LA for a year? Not in a million years. Swim the English Channel? Sounds good, probably wouldn’t end well. I think the dirty pictures, although fun, aren’t a good idea for anyone. We should all have learned from the mistakes of people like Cameron Diaz and Paris Hilton. The moral of this story is: have fun before you have too many responsibilities.

  • Oh, and I have done 28 of these things.

  • OMG I’ll be like 50 before I had kids if I did all this stuff!!! It’s still a great list and I think I’ll do a few things from this list in the next few years

  • First time reading a list like this. I’m a numbers person, and this list, excluding the purchase of homes or living in specific locations, would definitely cost over 100k to complete. In addition to quantifying this list, I have a list of my own, though informal, I would like to share that may put some perspective on what is important to me. And while I do enjoy an awesome party or visiting exotic countries, it’s the people I’m with that make it memorable, not the other way around. So, my short list: Earn a MS Engineering (In-progress), take the PE and LSAT (possibly go to law school), learn an instrument (piano), take ballroom dance classes (started, but expensive), learn another language (Spanish, in-laws), volunteer, sail the Caribbean, start a business (probably dreaming), get married (done), have children, camp at all the major US state and national parks, buy a house, read the classics, save 100k by the time I’m 30 (expenses are about 6k/mo. in NJ). As for the original list, I completed 18 items. To put things into perspective, I didn’t have a lot of money growing up, so spending money on expensive vacations just seems wasteful to me, although I wish I could get over that.

  • Awesome list.

    All of these things are completely realistic. Money is always an obstacle, but only if you believe it is. I’m 21, and I’ve done 13 of these things already (2 and 4 were life-changing). All it took for me was working extremely hard for the money. In terms of traveling, it is completely reasonable to save for any adventure in the world over a long period of time, even if you save only 10$ a week. What is unreasonable is to believe that any of this is complicated or impossible at any age. Just think positively and focus on your true desires for adventure, instead of how much it will cost or how difficult it will be to accomplish (not that anyone really needs that kind of statement from a kid…). I think all of this is simple, obvious, and only difficult to conceive if you make it that way in your own mind.

  • I appreciate the spirit of adventure behind this list, and am certainly happy that I’ve done the fifteen things on it that I’ve done so far. However, I resist the attitude that people need to have so many of these kinds of experiences in order to have full lives. I would add to the list: “Learn to be experience wonder and adventure wherever you are,” and, “Accept that you will never feel that you have achieved enough if you are always chasing something else.”

    No one has enough years or money to do ALL of these things (especially all before the age of 40!), and that’s okay. The point is that we should retain a sense of possibility and joy in our lives. Don’t let convention or habit box you in. Yes, you CAN move to another country for a while if you really want to! It takes work and guts, but you can do it. However, I would add that if parenting at some point sounds more rewarding than having easy access to fancy martial arts training or nude beaches… I wouldn’t spend any energy lamenting what you “missed.”

    (And you are right. If it’s REALLY important to you, you can do it after you have kids!)

  • I linked to this post on my blog. It is by far the best list on Google. I love that you combined crazy things with practical things like reading 30 books. Thanks!

  • You forgot the one in which you buy a sword

  • My list includes getting a job that pays enough to do all of this. And also offers month long vacations, and the ability to relocate anywhere in the world. I’m being facetious of course, it’s quite a good list.

  • I have a list I’m working on, with many of the same goals as your list:

    …and I’ve done 18 of the things on your list!

  • I am a little bit list obsessed, so I love this idea. I think it is time to start writing one of my own.

  • Great list for yourselves. I will say I have done a few things on your list after I had my children such as buying a home and finishing my bachelor’s degree. I think this has been great for my kids to see as we have learned together. I think that the notion “life stops once you’ve had children” is pretty cliche. Much of my greatest experiences in life have been after children, being there is so much to show them.

  • nice list & most i have done… but NOTHING on that list compares with being young enough to play with my GRANDchildren.

  • This is a great list!! I made a ton of these types of lists when I was 18ish. I hate to say it but I’m 25 now and still trying to make the money go to places like this. With the way things are now adays it’s really tough and I’m trying to help support my family. I’m getting too close to the age I want to have kids too! hehe

  • Buddy, nice list, but i have 25 years old and i have done at least 50% of the list im in so trouble now, because i dont have a girlfriend, lol, but let me recomend u if u go to the oktoberfest, drink only Franziskainer, that is wheat bear, is better 4 ur body,besides the mardigras in New orleans ill propose hear a live jazz concert in that town, is just magic, and of course see some vudu ritual! but the planes.. mate i dont like planes, and i know im not capable of jumping from one of them…
    Cheers from some Venezuelan guy who lives in the south of Tenerife / Spain… ::D.
    PD: my sport car was a old rusted mustang, i love the damn thing till the engine just start”s this fire.. and was no more mustang, lol.that was in Caracas.

  • I think we all can do those things after kids, too!
    If we really want to, and if we don’t, we don’t have to do them before.

  • I was actually looking for a list of things I should do before I have kids, just to get ideas for my own personal list, and I thought this one was great! It contained things I already had on my list and some I never thought of.

    I was really bummed to find so many negative comments about this list. These are obviously based off personal opinions and should be taken for what they are. No one is asserting that this is factual and needs to be taken seriously. Yes you can do these things with kids! Should you? Is it easier/harder? Is it financially possible? It’s all subjective, so get over it!

    I know I don’t have all the money in the world to do everything on this list, but I know what to budget for and a general idea of how long it will take. Besides I could always quit my job and bum around trying to get some stuff done. There are always excuses and even solutions.

    Anyways, I really like your list.

    Oh, and perhaps people should read the intro before the list starts. It helps set the tone.

  • Very interesting post! I am inspired to challenge my friends to create such lists. I am curious about what we will come up with.

    It is the first time I am visiting and I really enjoy your web site. Congratulations!

  • Got educated, married young, had triplets and 25 years later they are also educated. Wife died, looked around and found a beautiful, educated real nice 15 years younger girl who has a great money making job and a rich father. My wife & I work 3 months then take a month off and after 22 years we have done most on your list plus many more. I am now a great grandfather and still going strong. Have never written a book or been to Kansas.

  • this list is centered on the us, how about another list for people living in europe?

  • what about helping each other live more equally while celebrating our differences and distributing the wealth so every single person can live comfortably like one big family? Where you walk outside and you see your best friend right around the corner or in the supermarket.. all at the same time giving high-fives to your other best friend walking by and loving everybody everywhere where there’s no borders where we can live free as one community, free to fly anywhere we want, free to live the life that was meant to be where everywhere u go there’s your fellow brother, sister, best friend. Your blood relative. All at the same time enjoying the luxuries of life and exciting things we have created. All at the same time loving each day because hey, we’re all on this planet together.

  • Wow, all those things would cost a fortune. I wish I could afford them AND still have kids.

  • All are great bucket list ;D I guess everything is possible it is just a matter of how you look at things and react on it. ;D

  • nice list dude!

    im 23, done a lot of those things already, and a lot of others i have yet to do

    have a nice day

  • Realistically Thinking
    October 30th, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    And I’m suppoused to do all this before kids so before the age of 30-35? Even though from 18-26, I go to college, then buy a place, try to find work somewhere, etc. etc.

    In Today’s World, it’s highly impossible but you have great ideas, that people should TRY to do before having kids.

  • i should have made a rather list of things to do before i got 25. but this list is amazing.. my favorite ” # Finish up your formal education (but continue learning). ” ;)

  • Guys, the list is very nice. I just have something to say about #39: “Drive through a (somewhat safe) portion of a third world country like Mexico or Costa Rica to gain perspective on what true poverty looks like.”
    If people who haven’t been to these countries read this, they might think that these countries are completely poor. It’s true that they are third world countries, but going there to see true poverty…well in that case better go to Haiti!
    Stuff like this is misleading and helps to create stereotypes based on wrong ideas. These countries have amazing breath-taking vacation spots and are actually nice countries!

  • Wow.

    I can’t even begin to tell you how much this list just helped me. I’m fresh out of college and finding work is impossible, and I’ve been so strung out on playing grown up that I didn’t realise that I’m missing out on the advantage of being young and capable to do these kinds of things. I’m going to write my own list now.

    For the first time in quite some time I feel like I have something worthwhile ahead of me. Thank you so much.

  • Some of these things may be out of my reach because I am struggling with money, but do have some of these as my goals [like falling in love, i don’t need money for that].

  • cool list. I’m just out of uni and struggling to find my way in life. Think I’ve hit what they call a quarter-life crisis.
    However, I’m off to Americas west coast (other side of the world for an Irishman) this summer for a 2 week trip and will do some once a lifetime things. (flying over the Grand Canyon, place a bet in Vegas, visit LA hot spots, walk the Golden Gate bridge, camp under the stars)
    This list just reminded me of how lucky I am to be able to do this and that I must’ve take it for granted.
    I’ve been in a rut recently and it’s part of why I booked the trip. To get a new perspective on life and experience what life has to offer.

  • This list has some great ideas! I’ve added a few to my list of things to do before I’m old and boring :)

  • Why settle on somebody else’s idea of a “great” bucket list (no offense to the author)? Why not take a few days or weeks to ponder the concept and then sit down one day and write your own bucket list? One person’s idea of “what it is to live” is not necessarily the perfect answer for another. As far as the stipulation of before kids or after kids, you could literally put any number of stipulations in place of the word “kids” like married, turn 18, turn 21, suffer a mid-life crisis, menopause, etc. Tailor your list to what YOU want to do and live YOUR life to the fullest. Isn’t that what this whole idea is all about? Now go make your OWN list and start living YOUR life.

  • The one thing about life is that what you want to do and experience changes with each stage of life you are in. Make a “bucket list” that is flexible and can change when your priorities change. For example, for a high school grad, backpacking across Europe may be on the “bucket list”, but for a late 20-something, creating a nest egg may be more important.

  • I love this list. However, it does seem like money will be needed especially when it comes to travelling somewhere. I’m 16, about to enter college in the Fall and will definitely keep this in mind as I work.

    I plan on saving up for these events; I have a “bucket list” already made, some of these things will be added! :D

    You should include this:

    Visit a high-tech authentic laboratory.

  • Love, love, love this list! I’ve managed to complete 41 of these (many made easier because my husband is an military pilot and we move around the world), and look forward to a few more before we start trying to have children next year. Some just aren’t possible; we can’t determine where we live, and he’s often deployed, but we’re hoping to fit another couple in soon! I’d add to the list: volunteer for a non-profit group and have dinner at a michelin starred restaurant.

  • Great list! I have to say that I did a whole lot of these after having children. Somehow I got more ‘guts’ after having kids (um, ah, midnight skinny dipping maybe?) I haven’t found having kids have really gotten in my way of doing some really awesome stuff. We moved to Hawai’i with our kids so they could experience something incredible, too. Next stop will be somewhere equally as fantastic in this world!

  • My list isn’t very long. I just want to hold hands with someone.

  • This is a great list! Many of these will be going on my bucket list.

    But I have to say that if a person were to do all of these things before having kids they would be much too old to enjoy their children properly.

    I can tell you from experience that it is much more worth your while to have your kids young and include them in your journey! I started at 18 and now at 30 I am half done! It certainly hasn’t been easy but it has most definitely been worthwhile.


  • I am 24 and have done the majority of this list in the past 5 years.
    I am not made of money and do not have rich parents and have accomplished these things by handwork, determination and just taking a chance
    You could definitely do these things after you have had children but maybe not the way I have.
    In the past five years I have travelled, lived and worked in south east asia, england, Canada, central and south America and Australia and have loved every minute of it!

  • Wow…My wife and I want to have kids soon. While these are all great. If we do all of these things now, I’m not sure if we will ever have them. I suppose a good idea would be to choose say the top 10 and start there. :)

  • Challenge Accepted!

  • Hi. I love your list. I especially love how people with kids jumped in defending their choices. I have three children and I love them dearly, but it would be 100 times more difficult to finish this list with children than without and any honest parent would admit that. Children don’t become a part of your journey, you become a part of theirs. Once you have children, a large percentage of your income is allocated to their care and comfort so money becomes more of an issue. You can take all of the trips you mentioned but a lot of them would involve either finding a babysitter to leave them at home or having a very different experience during your travels because of having to ensure their safety, their supervision, their need for rest and nutrition, and their limited ability to cope - be it young kids or teens. Some of these things can definitely be done with kids but for most of them, if you want the focus on making the most of your experiences, you do need to them before you have kids. Then later do them with kids and be their tour guide to all the awesomeness this world holds. Hugs.

  • helpful list… I have no kids, but have had a windfall of funds and plan to “change” what I do for work… so in between this job and that one, I am going to get a few of these things - or things like them - “done”.. enjoyed, experienced… lived!


  • I think that this is an amazing list and I would really enjoy doing all of this stuff.

    And for all the people who are talking about why cant you do this with kids….etc

    I think one of the points for doing all of these amazing things before you have them (aside from the basic and obvious: money, time, mobility, etc) is so that you can share these stories with them and introduce experiences you have had that you value or helped shape you with them.

  • Awesome list! Highly determined to make one for myself now..:)

  • Awesome list! I love it!
    Although I wouldn’t put a few of them on my own list (And you can never please everyone lol you’re your own person so of course your going to have a different 70 things to do before you die than others) but it does give some amazing ideas :)

    I hope you are able to do all these!

    And I dont think you need to be made outta money to do this. Put them in the right order, save like a mad man a little, try to do some while your living with your rents or maybe even organise it as a final high school trip so its cheaper (I went to europe for 3 weeks with my high school! Didn’t cost bucket loads of money or anything because we got discounts with group bookings!) And try to get a job that you can apply to anywhere in the world (E.G. Bartending? Teaching another language!)

    Anything is possible :) You just have to find a way!

  • My list:

  • I already did about 15 of these (including jumping out of a perfectly good airplane and falling in love!) A few of this (like going to Las Vegas or attending a SuperBowl) do not appeal to me at all; and some others are on my TBD list. Oh yeah, and I just had a baby 2 weeks ago; guess in few months I’ll be taking him to the dropzone to see mommy skydive again! In general, great list. Now please make a “70 awesome things you can do with your kids.” It would be a great follow-up.

  • Ive done 32 things on list - mostly the travel ones ( & the love ones :)
    I think you should just have goals for life - with or without kids and try to make them BALANCED.
    I’m in my early 30s and spent my whole 20s backpacking and exploring the world (meeting and falling in love with my partner along the way).
    You definitely don’t money - we mostly worked in bars and call centers but we traveled to the Americas, Europe, India & Nepal, Africa, South East Asia. Now we are back in Australia and really focused on catching up on building a life. We spent the last couple of years working full time & studying our degrees part time, saving a deposit and getting married.
    We are just about to start trying for a baby - which means I’ll hopefully be pregnant just when I graduate. Yes - my career is just starting off which makes it hard to take maternity but then again I have my dream job in a field I love - and when I dropped out of college I didn’t know what I wanted to do.
    I can’t wait to have children - the list has inspired me but all the people on here talking about how much of an adventure their kids are has inspired me more!
    PS - Also my parents didn’t travel much with us ad kids but once we left home they saved up and now travel together and alone - don’t know if they would go to Vegas or jump out of a plane though.

  • I have done 9 of the things on the list AFTER I had kids, and they are both still younger than 5. I will continue to do things that most who have kids wouldn’t do. I do think its easier to leave free and on the edge when you don’t have little ones to worry about, but also remember that you can take them with you a lot more places and adventures than some may think. Also, having a great support system of family and friends who are willing to take on some babysitting and bond with your kids, is a great way to keep some spontaneity in your life.

  • For the people who are negative about doing such things.. you will never set out to do anything. In fact why bother to even comment?
    You must have a dream, we all have choices. Stop blaming the world, there is only one person to blame and that person is yourself.
    If you want something bad enough, you will do everything in your power to get it. Just start with little changes. Give your smiles away, to people you don’t know - see how many you get back. Give your umbrella away to someone more needy than you when it’s pouring with rain.. what a lovely feeling to help someone.

    Try to make other people happy instead of thinking about yourself, you’ll be surprised how different you’ll feel.

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