Are you looking to escape the boredom of everyday life? Do you want to take the family on a vacation, yet don’t have the finances to actually go out of town? Or maybe you want to go on vacation, but you’re still not quite ready to travel due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Well, instead of planning an out of town vacation, why not opt for a staycation. Friends, you don’t have to travel across the globe to enjoy a great time with your family.
There are plenty of things to do in your very own neighborhood or nearest big city. With a little bit of creativity, you and the family can become tourists in your hometown.
A staycation will allow you to save money, sleep in your own bed, and spend quality time with your family or friends all while having fun.
Set The Ground Rules
The purpose of a staycation is to make it feel like an actual family getaway, without leaving the comfort of your own home.Thus, to make sure the whole family is on the same page, it is good to start with some ground rules that each and every family member agrees upon.
First, you’ll want to start by setting an actual vacation start and end date. Then you should set a few guidelines for what your family may and may not do during your “vacation.” You could put rules in place such as:
No smartphones, no television, no video games, no checking emails, no housework (all the moms rejoice) – you get where I’m going. The only thing your family should be focused on at this time is plain old FUN!
Be sure to set aside funds for eating out, and the different activities that you plan to enjoy.
Here are several ideas to help get you started with planning a staycation for you and your family.
Find A Local Beach
You don’t have to be in the Caribbean to enjoy the beach. Visit a local beach in your area and become “beach bums” for a day.
Visit A Nearby National Park
National parks offer a variety of family-friendly activities to choose from. Most park fees are nominal, but you can also check out this page to find free entrance days.
Enjoy Your Local Theater
Check your local newspaper or theater website to see what plays, musicals, or family-friendly comedy shows will be playing during your planned staycation, then book your tickets accordingly.
Take A Virtual Museum Tour
Several museums throughout the country and the world offer “virtual” tours. There are several that you can choose from, including the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, the Boston Children’s Museum, or even visit the Louvre in Paris.
Enjoy A Day At The Amusement Park
Enjoy a fun-filled day of rides at a nearby amusement park. Check out this list to find an amusement park in your own state or town.
Check Out The Local Library
Most libraries have family-friendly events and activities happening every weekend. I even got my son his very first library card this past summer. Check your local library’s website for details.
Pay A Visit To The Children’s Museum
A Children’s Museum is definitely in order if you have younger kids. This is one of my son’s favorite places to visit. Most have a variety of fun and interactive activities that will keep you busy the whole day.
Check out the Association of Children’s Museums website to find one in your area.
Visit the Zoo or Aquarium
Are you an animal lover? Why not pack up a lunch and spend the day at the zoo or enjoy the aquarium with the fam.
Check out the Association of Zoos & Aquariums to find a zoo or aquarium in your area, then be sure to also check what special programs your zoo has available.
Enjoy A Music Fest
Most cities have music festivals during the summer months. Look up music festivals in your area and enjoy a fabulous performance from some of your favorite headliners.
Play In The Water
Spend the day at a local pool or splash pad. This is actually one of my family’s favorites. If you let him, my kiddo would spend the entire day at the splash pad.
You can also turn on the sprinklers in the backyard and have a family water day at home.
Enjoy a game of bowling with your kids. If your kiddos are small, try bumper bowling.
Many bowling alleys around the country even participate in a free bowling program that allows kids to bowl free and parents to join them for just a few dollars more.
You could even invite your neighbor’s or a few close friends and make it a competition. Your family bowls against theirs. The winner receives a homemade trophy.
Camp In Your Own Backyard
Why not enjoy the great outdoors in your own backyard? Set up a tent and sleeping bags, light the fire pit (or use the grill) to cook hot dogs and s’mores, and take turns telling funny or scary stories.
Go Paddleboarding Or Canoeing
If there is a river or lake near you, chances are pretty good there is also a paddleboard or canoe rental facility nearby as well. Both are a fun way for you and the family to enjoy the water.
Fly a kite, take a leisurely walk, go for a bike ride, or how about a nice hike. Head to your local park (most state and national parks have a few walking, hiking, or biking trails to choose from). Be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks for everyone.
Break Out The Board Games
A staycation is a perfect time to play a few of those board games you remember from childhood! Whip up several snacks, and spend the afternoon playing all of your favorite games.
The goal of a staycation is to relax and decompress all while having fun. For a lot of people – especially those of us who are moms, the hardest part of trying to “relax” at home is letting go of our everyday obligations.
Give up the chores for a week, and instead kick back, relax, and enjoy some quality time with your family. Doing so will allow you to create memories that you and your loved ones will cherish for a lifetime.