Raising a family in this demanding economy can be tricky.
Schedules and financials don't always jive. Life events like the wedding of a close friend or family member can cut into travel funds. Sometimes your vacation time is "use it or lose it" and you have no place to go.
It's enough to make any parent daydream about backpacking in Europe without a care. But don't worry mom and dad, we've got you covered!
For those times you can use these cool staycation ideas to beat the summer heat.
10 Summer Staycation Ideas You Can Use Today
1) Make A Game of Exploration
Chances are there are lots of great places to explore right in the town you live. One fun way to explore your surroundings is to print a map of your city from the internet. Then mark all points of interest.
These can be anything from museums to parks, restaurants to retail. Take stickers and place them on the places you visit. Not only is this a fun game, but it's also a great keepsake.
Geocaching is another fun way to get around. Download the Geocaching app. Then watch your town transform into an urban adventure game. But remember searching for caches can be dangerous, stick to the easy ones for family fun.
2) Anything With Water
Kids love water play which makes it one of the great staycation ideas for cooling off this summer. Water balloon fights, a visit to a pool or beach, even a water park can be part of your staycation planning.
Add some homemade popsicles to the mix and you've got yourself a summer activity that will beat the heat.
3) Having Fun Outdoors
The great outdoors provides many awesome staycation ideas. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Backyard Camping & BBQ
- Building and Burying a Time Capsule
- U-Pick Berries
Combine all three for a summer event your kids are sure to love! Create an experience your children won't soon forget by equipping them with a camera. They'll have fun snapping outdoor shots, and you'll have something to look back on.
4) Plan a Dinner Out
Make it extra special by planning a progressive family dinner. That's a meal where you have one course per restaurant. Try a sports bar for an appetizer, a fine dining restaurant for main course and a local pie shop for dessert.
Dinner theater or a dinner cruise can also make for an exciting dinner event. So get creative. Planning a dinner out can be a treat for the whole family.
5) Plan a Dinner In
You don't have to go out to have a great time. Planning a dinner in can be just as fun.
Create an a la carte dinner with lots of options like a pizza or potato bar. Your family can help you pick what toppings they will enjoy, and help you slice vegetables and set the table.
Then top it all off with a movie night or board game tournament to make it even more fun.
6) Take A Drive
There are all kinds of adventures waiting, just a car ride away. Research interstate tourist spots and rest areas with overlooks then hit the asphalt!
You're sure to come up with lots of great things to do. And don't forget to grab brochures from each one to commemorate your trip.
7) Make A Creative Lesson Plan
Plan a day of educational fun by creating a lesson plan for your kids to participate in. Something like an outdoor writing center can be a great way to learn and play.
Try a nature hike where you collect and identify safe plants and local wildlife. An art project is one of many staycation ideas that is accomplished by lesson planning.
There is a lot to do when you put your mind to it. Here are some helpful tips on creating a lesson plan at home.
8) Trade Technology for Charity
A theme we see over and over again in staycation ideas is "unplugging". That means leaving your tablet at home, turning off your phone and taking a tech break.
Take this relaxation technique a step further by volunteering at a local charity. You can pick anything that's near and dear to you or your kids. Maybe help animals one day, and volunteer at a soup kitchen the next.
What better way to spend a summer day than bonding with family over gratitude?
9) Create a Travel Journal
If you've tried any of these staycation ideas, you've collected some cool things.
You have your sticker map. The outdoor photos shot by your kids. A couple of brochures from interstate travel stops and a flower or two from your nature hike.
Take everything you've collected and put it in a "travel journal". This is a fun way to commemorate your summer staycation. We recommend using a scrapbook or sketchbook. Anything with larger pages.
This family activity can satisfy your creative side too. Get the glue gun and get ready for fun!
10) Film a Commercial for Your Awesome Staycation
Kids today are all about YouTube! Now that you've completed your family staycation and you have your travel journal in hand. Shoot a commercial of your adventures.
Do this by getting the family together for a trip down memory lane. Go through the travel journal page by page on film.
Make a day out of it by giving each other makeovers. Creating props and maybe even buying a new outfit for the occasion.
Have fun with it! Your kids will appreciate you taking an interest in something they love. And, after all, you can always look back and laugh.
Beating the No-travel Blues with Staycation Ideas
Why wait for the opportunity to travel? Your kids won't miss a beat at home this summer with these staycation ideas.
It doesn't cost anything to plan your staycation. And the possibilities are endless. You'll save enough to buy some new summer clothes for the family when you plan a staycation today!