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:

Photo by: Dawvon


  1. viperspouse says

    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.

  2. Olena says

    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!

  3. Dena says

    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.


  4. Nicole says

    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!

  5. says

    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. :)

  6. Cerenatee says

    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.

  7. blisandt says

    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!


  8. jjz says

    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.

  9. Ellen says

    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!

  10. Ace says

    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.

  11. Bonnswally says

    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.

  12. Kristine says

    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.

  13. Butterfly says

    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.

  14. says

    Spoiler alert

    We married at 24, long before our friends. We bought our first home (two acres in town, half in woods and half in lawn including an plum, apple, pear trees with an 1/8 garden.) We learned to can our surplus food.

    Within 3 months we were pregnant with twins.

    When our boys turned 15 months we realized that we needed to get going, so we packed our bags and headed off to live in a foreign country to learn to speak the language. We chose Jerusalem.

    Having children gave us access to things that only locals get to experience. Daycare, doctors visits with sick kids, emergency room visits and making friends with parents of local kids.

    Our children have never held us back. In fact, serving and parenting children gives you access to things inside yourself that you can’t possibly imagine.

    If you’ve done it right (selflessly) when they grow up you get to have a close relationship with them when they are adults. You can help them face the challenges they experience as adults. And then you get the greatest gift: grandchildren. And with any good luck you can get to have great grandchildren. You can sit at your table with generations of your family.

    The world has turned selfishness into a high value. It is sad to see silly people thinking that sensual experiences will somehow make them great people.


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