As the weather is warming up, are you looking forward to that upcoming vacation, or are you planning to stay local this year? Staying close to home can provide tons of fun for your whole family! There is no reason that being at home can’t feel just like you’re on vacation. Here are the Top 10 staycation ideas for this summer.
Top 10 Summer Staycation Ideas for Families
1. Backyard Campouts
To explore the great outdoors you don’t have to go far. Pop a tent in the backyard, build a fire (on the grill) and have a campout that’s close to home. This is an activity that your whole family will enjoy (plus, unlike a campground, you’re steps away from clean bathrooms!)
2. Summer Festivals and Fairs
Summer is a wonderful time for county fairs, community festivals and parades. You’ll find everything from craft fairs to carnivals. Looking in your local newspaper or searching neighboring communities’ websites will provide you with lists of summer options.
3. Nature Centers
Nature centers are great places to take the kids! Not only do they provide hiking opportunities, they also often have family programs and exhibits that your family may want to check-out. Nature centers are ever-changing, so they make great places for regular visits.
4. Have a Themed Party
Do you have a little girl who is into tea parties or a boy who loves Thomas? Throwing a party with your child’s favorite theme and inviting a few neighborhood friends is a great way to celebrate your child’s interests!
5. Public Pools, Splash Parks, and the Beach
Your local public pool or splash parks are wonderful places to cool down on hot summer days. The kids will love playing in the water and enjoying the summer weather. If you plan on heading to the pool a lot this year, a membership may be the most cost-effective way to go. Splash parks are typically lower-cost alternatives that don’t require you to join for discounted rates. And for those of us lucky enough to live by the beach (we currently live just 3 blocks from the beach on the California coast), it is always like a vacation. There is just something so vacation-like about sitting in the sand watching and listening to those beautiful waves crash.
6. New Playgrounds
Let’s face it, after awhile all playgrounds kind of start looking the same, right? To your child, each one is a new, exciting adventure. Try exploring new playgrounds and rate them together. You may want to keep a list of those you’ve visited and how they weighed-in so that you can go back to some of your favorites later.
7. Summer Games
Does your child love to play basketball or baseball? Make time to play together as a family, or head to local games to watch others play. If you’re not into team sports, head to a local mini-golf course for some light-hearted family fun! Outdoor games will keep you active while enjoying the warm weather and longer days.
8. New Cities and Neighborhoods
An adventure doesn’t have to mean traveling far from home. Simply heading to a neighboring community to window shop in its downtown or walk around a neighborhood different than your own will be a great way to get out and about. You’d be surprised all the history and wonderful stories you’ll learn when you intentionally seek out new adventures in neighboring cities!
9. Become Ice Cream Connoisseurs
Is there a special treat that you and the family especially enjoy? Ice cream is a popular one this time of year! Try new ice cream or frozen yogurt spots this summer, keeping track of those that you like best. That way you can make sure you visit favorite spots again.
10. “Drive-in” Movies
Choose a favorite family movie and get the family involved in making it a big event. Create movie tickets and posters a couple of days before you plan to watch the movie. (They will help to build your family’s excitement.) Then pop some popcorn, create cushy seats on the floor, and watch the movie together as a family.