We’ve done it ourselves. Staycation ideas for families are really, well, way more fun than I had expected!
Although we love to travel with our kids, sometimes it’s not always feasible. The logistics of planning trips around work schedules, school breaks, and, of course, financial obligations isn’t an easy task. We still do family trips with the kids, but there are times when staying local is a necessity. Enter the Staycation.
The idea of the “staycation” was widely publicized a few years ago, but in actuality, it’s been a norm for decades. The stay-at-home and local day trips just got a modern makeover. For us, staycations are a great alternative to longer trips, because they involve a lot less packing, a lot less stress, and a lot more fun. Here are seven of our favorite staycation ideas that might work well for your family too!
As I’ve mentioned before, my husband’s family camped a lot when he was growing up. So, camping is just second nature for him and, by extension, for the rest of us. The problem with camping though is that it takes a lot of prep work. A LOT. Enter “Camp Home” which is conveniently located in our backyard. We set up the family tent, start a fire in the fire pit, and do all of the things that we’d normally do while camping, but in our own backyard. It’s so much less work and so much more fun. Here are a lot of camping ideas that I think you’ll love!
Visiting a Farmer’s Market might sound strange, but trust me when I say that it can be a blast. We have a large market nearby that sets up on the weekends and is brimming with goodies. Every summer we have our annual trek to the market to get fresh produce, sample jams and jellies, try new food from the food trucks that show up, and explore the crafts and artwork that are on display. We make a day of it and it’s quickly become one of our favorite Staycation Destinations.
If you’ve never tried geocaching, you have to give it a try! Basically, it’s a treasure hunt that’s created by people all over the world and you’re tasked with finding (and returning to the same spot) the items they left. We always take along small trinkets to leave in the boxes for the next people, but that’s not a requirement. There are also apps that you can download to your smartphone to help find the boxes.
Each year we pick a different museum in a neighboring city to visit. We’ve been to science museums, children’s museums, historical society museums, and even a museum about candy. No matter where we go, there’s always a memory we bring back with us.
If you live near a nature center or hiking trail like we do, make use of it for a staycation. Getting outside and enjoying the fresh air while exploring nature is not only fun, it’s also a great way to build memories.
One week each summer, we create family art projects. We’ve done everything from canvas paintings to making candles to painting handprint pavers for the backyard. The kids love it and look forward to it each year. I always try to come up with projects that we can use or display so that we have a reminder of the week all year long.
In the winter we do a movie-a-thon inside where we watch the kids’ favorite movies. They, of course, love it. In the summer, we bring out the movie projector, lawn chairs, blankets, and more popcorn than we think we can possibly eat, and show movies on the side of the house. It’s like a drive-in movie without ever having to leave home. Of course, if you have a drive-in theater close by, you should definitely give it a try!
When you think about it, the location isn’t really the main thing you remember about vacations. Science proves that you should spend your money on vacations over toys, but it isn’t about WHERE you go as much as WHAT you do and WHO you are with. Sure, the sand between your toes and sunsets from atop the mountain are fabulous, but it’s the time spent together that means the most. It’s the laughter, the quiet talks, and the stories told. No matter where you are, make the most of the time you spend together and enjoy your staycation!