Making time for vacation is an important aspect of family bonding and fun. But it can be extremely expensive and difficult to account for everyone’s busy schedules. Enter staycation: stay-cation, when someone stays at home for vacation. By eliminating both the cost and the time commitment, your family can fill its summer schedule with multiple staycations that will be the source of endless laughter and memories. Look below for some ideas to try for your family’s very own staycation.
Hike or bike
If everyone in your family has a bike they can use, a family bike ride presents a solid staycation option. You could venture to a local trail, around the nearest town, or near your house. Keep the pace slow and relaxed so that all members of the family can keep up and enjoy this experience.
If you don’t have access to bikes, your family can also have fun going on a hike. Find a cool, remote location you’ve never visited before or explore a more common one by foot for the first time. Hiking makes it easy for your family to talk and enjoy each others’ company while gaining a unique perspective and getting some exercise.
While watching a movie may not be the most special activity for your family, you can upgrade it to make it worthy of staycation status. Make a big bowl of popcorn to pass around. Purchase typical theater snacks like candy and soft drinks for each kid. If you have the proper equipment, show the movie outside. Projecting a movie onto a wall is nice if you have the correct supplies, but you could also just carry your TV outside and use a long extension cord. Invite your kids to the occasion with fake movie tickets, specifying the date, time, and location of the movie night.
Camping can be fun, but the factors of weather and animals can make the experience slightly more scary and uncertain. Eliminate some of the negative aspects of camping by holding the event in your backyard. Set up a tent and fill it with sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows. Use a hammock. Fill the bed of a truck with padding. After setting up your sleeping arrangements, make a campfire to roast hotdogs and marshmallows. Make the experience more realistic by playfully forbidding people from going inside — with the exception of going to the bathroom.
Explore your neighborhood
Even though you think you have your neighborhood memorized, some simple exploring will prove otherwise. Hop in the family car and at each intersection, let your kids control which direction you turn. Allow yourself to get lost and if you stumble upon an interesting location, pause the road trip and explore.
Research a certain culture to learn about their traditions, cuisine, music, and more. Then take a trip to the grocery store and buy food which reflects their cuisine to make a meal. While you are making the meal, play cultural music and learn some common words from the language of that region.
Ice cream social
If you have the equipment, make homemade ice cream of various flavors with the family. Otherwise, pick up several different varieties from the store. Get lots of toppings, flavorings, and cones to make an elaborate sundae. Sit outside to enjoy your delicious treats without the mess.
Plant a garden
Go to the store as a family and allow each child to select a flower, vegetable, fruit, or other plant. Purchasing seeds is cheap but if you want a more immediate change, you can buy seedings. Cultivate the soil on a plot of land with quality, fertilized soil. Give each member of the family a portion of the garden to plant their respective plants.
Host a party with friends or family members you have not seen in a long time. You need no reason for the occasion other than just hanging out. You can focus on one other family and base the date of the event on their availability. Or, you can set a date, invite many families, and see who can attend. To make the party special, give it a specific theme which directs your decisions with decorations, food, and location. Also, plan games and activities that involve every member of every family.
Remember, vacation isn’t about how much money you spend or how far you travel. Vacation is about taking a break from your normal routine to spend time with your loved ones. And such an activity can take place just as easily at home. Try these ideas or be creative and come up with some others for your own family staycation.