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Summer is in full swing and most likely the kids are home and already bugging because they are bored. Maybe you have a vacation planned for fall, but they need one now. Try thes fun ideas for staycations that won’t cost much, but still give the kids and you something fun to do.
Taking a vacation during the summer is nice, but isn’t always financially feasible. Many families plan vacations for right before school starts back up in the fall. If your finances are all budgeted for a fall or even winter vacation you can still make memories in your own backyard.
What is a Staycation?
A staycation can mean many things and basically, it just depends on you, and your family and what you like to do. The idea is to play local tourist and do some fun activities in the area or city you live in. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much fun it can be and how much your area has to offer. Best of all when considering these ideas for staycations is you get to come home and sleep in your own bed at the end of the day.
Find The Water
When it’s hot outside, there’s nothing better than dipping into a cool pool or lake or going for a swim in the ocean. Take a look at what options you have in your area. Go explore local lakes, rivers, and creeks that you can swim or wade in.
If you’re living close enough to the beach, take a day trip to go swimming. Pack up the beach chairs, beach toys, beach blanket, towels, snorkeling gear and don’t forget the cooler with snacks and refreshments. Hit the beach and have a great day in the surf and sand.
Finding local pools is another great option. Many cities have public pools that are surprisingly fun and underused. Of course, neighborhood pools are another fun option. If you don’t have one yourself, meet up with a friend who’s lucky enough to live in a neighborhood with a pool.
The same fun gear you would take to any beach can also be taken to a local pool. Maybe you won’t use sand toys, but all the other stuff you can use.
Dive Into History
How much do you know about the local history in your area? Make it a point to read up on it this summer and explore local historic places and museums. It’s fun for adults, but also a great educational experience for the kids. Encourage them to read up, explore, and maybe even create a project around your town’s history.
Many cities and areas with a rich history offer various different tours that you may not be aware of. It’s worth contacting your local tourist office to find out what you’ve been missing. Finding information on your town’s history is not as hard as one might think.
Finding your town’s local history might also help ignite a spark in your kids and give them things to share with their friends when back in school. Teaching kids about history is something they can carry with them for years to come.
Peek At The Calendar Of Events
Take a look at your local calendars of events in your town. You’ll be surprised how much communities do during the summer months. There are often classes, concerts, movie showings, and even festivals you may not be aware of.
Between events, your city or county puts on and various other events hosted by cultural centers, museums, and churches, for example, you’ll be sure to find quite a few things you may want to attend this summer.
Grab your phone and Google – Events in my Town – you will be shocked at all the stuff that comes up.
Fun In The Back Yard
We already talked about water fun in the backyard, but you don’t have to stop there. Fun can be made anywhere, anytime, and in many ways.
Pitch your tent in the backyard and have a fun camping experience. Might seem silly for an adult, but kids love it! When parents and kids all climb into their sleeping bags in the tent and talk and tell stories, it’s priceless!
Build a fire in the fire pit and grab those wiener roasting sticks and let the kids make their own dinner. Show them how to cook baked beans right in the can, whittle a wiener or marshmallow stick, build a fire, etc. Give kids a full-rounded camping experience, right out your back door.
If you have a nice big tree in your yard, throw up a tire swing and let everyone have some fun. Building a treehouse can be a fun family project that will give way to many other fun things, like sleeping in the treehouse.
Teach kids about living off the land by putting in a garden. There are many different ways you can garden, like container gardens or in-ground gardens. Whatever you decide to do, kids will love watching their favorite veggies grow.
Explore A New Culture
Just because you’re staying home this summer doesn’t mean you can’t dive into a new culture. It’s one of the biggest benefits of traveling abroad, but with a little effort and imagination, you can experience some of it right at home.
One of the easiest of ideas for staycations is to pick a country or culture and dive in. Taste the food, listen to music, watch the movies, and read books. Maybe even learn a little of the language and do it all as a family so you can interact and explore together.
Many grocery stores sell foods from other countries, and you can find fun recipes online. Visit a local thrift store and find items to set up a room or table to mimic if you were in that country. It’s basically all left to your imagination.
By simply putting as much planning and effort into a staycation as you would any regular family vacation, you can have an amazing experience this summer that will cost a fraction of a regular trip.
Sometimes in life, an expensive vacation just isn’t doable. Kids don’t need to know that a huge vacation isn’t in the budget. What kids need to know is that whatever you do, you do it to see them happy and make memories.
When fall comes around, if any of these ideas for staycations are something you need/want to do then you can always find fun things to do outside in the fall as well. Use imagination and let the memory-making just happen.