As the summer months come upon us, sunshine and longer days invite adventure in Thurston County. Our local area is full of activities that are best enjoyed under the summer sun, and making a bucket list is a perfect way to challenge yourself to pack as much fun as you can into this season.

budd bay promotionsSee how many adventures you can check off of our bucket list, or use it to help get inspired to compile your own.

Olympia Skyline
Olympia is full of activities to fill your summer with fun. Photo credit: Colton Weaver
    • Try a nitro or iced coffee on a hot day at Olympia Coffee Roasting Co.
    • Visit the Woodard Bay Natural Resources Conservation Area, a wildlife conservation area with a protected second growth forest and 3.5 miles of trails.
    • Celebrate the 4th a day early with the Lacey Fireworks Spectacular and Freedom Concert on July 3. This family-friendly event will include music, activities, food vendors, and of course a fireworks display.
    • Attend Love our Local Festival, a free festival in Olympia with live music, a fire performance, art and local vendors.
    • Go to a local used bookstore, such as Browser’s Book Shop in Olympia, Orca Books in Olympia or A Novel Bookstore in Yelm to pick up some summer reading material.
    • Pick wild blackberries while taking a hike at Priest Point Park.
    • Get some grub at the free South Sound BBQ Festival in Lacey, featuring a variety of food vendors from across the area. There will be both food and non-food vendors, a beer and wine garden, an eating contest, activities for kids, live entertainment and a cook-off.
    • Enjoy some music at Jazz at the Park in Yelm. On August 4, Yelm City Park will be filled with live jazz music for the whole family to enjoy. Food vendors and a beer and wine garden will be on site.
    • Go to Capital Lakefair for carnival rides, vendors and a classic Olympia summer experience that also provides a scholarship program for young women.
Olympia Beaches
While Washington’s beaches are often cloudy and gray, the summer months even bring sunshine to the shores. Photo credit: Colton Weaver
    • Compete in or watch Capital City Hoopfest, a two-day three-on-three basketball competition.
    • Rent a kayak from Boston Harbor Marina and paddle around the Boston Harbor. Both single and tandem kayaks can be rented for anywhere from two hours to a full day, and stand-up paddleboards are available as well.
    • Check out the Yelm UFO Festival on July 27, 28 and 29 for live music, UFO symposiums, a kids zone and out-of-this-world fun.
    • Attend Olympia Brew Fest, Olympia’s annual beer festival with 30+ West Coast breweries, live music and food vendors. Be sure to purchase tickets in advance.
    • Stop by an event in the Lacey in Tune Summer Concert and Entertainment Series. This seven-week series of family-friendly fun starts on June 27, with children’s entertainment on Tuesdays, noon concerts on Wednesdays, and concerts and movies on Saturdays.
    • Pick your own berries at a local farm. Fresh, in-season berries make a great treat on their own or can be baked into a pie or frozen for colder months. Check out some of our area’s farms that let you pick your own such as Black River Blues Blueberry Farm in Rochester, Spooner’s Berry Farms in Olympia, Teddie’s Berries in Olympia or Pigman’s Produce in Olympia.
Summer bucket list
Warmer, longer days can make getting outside even more enjoyable than usual. Photo credit: Colton Weaver
  • Head to the Olympia Farmers Market for some local produce or get a bite to eat at one of the food vendors. Live music plays there from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Celebrate the National Park Service turning 102-years-old, and visit a Washington State Park on their birthday, August 25, when admission is free. Some beautiful local state parks include Millersylvania State Park and Tolmie State Park. Look at the Washington State Parks website for a full list of state parks in the area.
  • Attend Olympia Harbor Days, a three-day celebration of the return of vintage tugboats to Olympia’s Percival Landing with food, arts and crafts, and music. On September 1, the public is invited to take a tour of the moored tugboats, with the World’s Largest Vintage Tugboat Races and Show taking place the next day.
  • Take a camping trip at a nearby campground, such as Olympia Campground, Deep Lake Resort, Columbus Park or Potlatch State Park.
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