We have not always had the budget for a big family vacation every year, but we found a Staycation with the kids is just as fun and memorable!
It’s about that time to start thinking about and planning this year’s vacation! Planning your families vacation is a lot of fun. We really enjoy taking time off to specifically have fun with our family. While we can’t always make a big elaborate trip to an amusement park or fly across the country to see family and stay at the beach, that doesn’t mean that we won’t be able have a really awesome vacation.
A few years ago, we were tight on finances, but knew we really needed a vacation for our family. We decided to plan a 8 day Staycation. It was one of the BEST vacations we ever had as a family. We were relaxed. We weren’t worn out from long travel days. We explored our city and weren’t worried about going over budget. We now plan a staycation every year. (Even if a mini 3 day one is all we can fit in, we still do it!!!) If you have been thinking about planning a staycation for your family, here are our top 11 things to do on a staycation with kids.
Visit the Zoo
This is probably our favorite place to go. Every year we purchase a membership which allows unlimited access for our family to the zoo for a year. If you plan on going to the zoo more than once in a calendar year, you really need to look into purchasing a zoo membership. The zoo often has special events, shows, and classes. Take advantage of what your zoo offers and plan a full day at the zoo with the kids.
There are so many museums to visit! Chances are there are some really great museums close to your home that you can visit in a day. I know most of the time we associate museums with boring tours and lots of walking and staring at stuff. Many museums are actually very kid friendly and offer special tours just for them, with hands on interaction and activities throughout the tour. Our favorite museums to visit are children museums, which are built for kids to explore the world in a kid size environment. Make sure you have your camera ready to snap a lot of pictures!
Plan at least one night during your staycation to go to a restaurant you have never been to before. Since you are saving money by staying at your own home, plan on splurging just a bit for this night. Get dressed up in you best clothes and treat your children to a nice restaurant or head to a great buffet restaurant and let the kids enjoy trying new foods and desserts.
If you are not going to be going out for dinner, take time to plan a special meal at home. Since you won’t be rushed to get home from work to cook you can pull out that more elaborate recipe you have been wanting to try and get your chef hat on! Don’t forget to include the kids in the kitchen. Make pizzas together, bake cookies, dance while doing the dishes. Relax. Enjoy every second of the meal at home without the rush of homework, bedtimes, and work.
Campout Inside or Backyard
So you aren’t able to go to a campsite this year or the cabin up north. Don’t worry! You will still be able to campout with the kids. If it’s nice weather, set up the tent in the backyard. Grill out dinner. And roast marshmallows over the grill or over a fire pit to make s’mores.
If the weather is not so nice or you just don’t have a great backyard to set up a tent in make a homemade tent in the living room with bedsheets and blankets. The whole family can sleep on the floor with pillows, sleeping bags, blankets, and even an air mattress if needed!
You may not be park hopping at your favorite amusement park, but you can park hop around your city/town. Look up all the local parks around your city. Map out the best parks and plan a route to visit every park. Start in the morning and have fun exploring different playgrounds, hiking trails, ponds, and fields all around your city. Who knows, maybe you will find a new favorite park to visit year round.
Have a Movie Marathon
It’s okay to be lazy on your staycation. Turn on Netflix and binge watch your favorite show. Have the kids take turns choosing movies. Choose old movies you watched as a kid to enjoy with your children. There are so many fun ways to enjoy a movie day. Don’t forget to plan some awesome snacks!!!
Concert in the Park
Check out your town’s website for local concerts in the park or communities. There are actually quite a few outdoor concerts that are free or very low cost that would be fun to enjoy on your staycation. Get dinner to go and enjoy sitting on the lawn with a new favorite band playing live.
Whether it is the ocean, lake or pool…Find a body of water and get in it! Check the local YMCA’s to see if they have an swimming pool and open swim time. Drive an hour or so to a nearby lake and splash in the water. And if you are lucky enough to live near a beach, no excuse for you! Go get in that water!
Just make sure you pack everything you need! Check out this post on what to pack to the Lake!
Going hiking with kids can be quite the experience. Choose trails that are easy to maneuver. Make sure to consider your child’s stamina when choosing the distance for the hike. Hiking is such a great way to inspire children. Make it fun by having a family scavenger hunt for nature type objects. (i.e. a four leaf clover, a feather, the longest branch on the ground, the biggest leaf, etc…)
Go on a Picnic
Pack a great picnic lunch and head to the park. Set up a fabulous spread of goodies and eat outside with the whole family. After lunch grab a frisbee or football and toss it around. This is all about relaxing and enjoying the fresh air together.
Go to an Orchard or Farm
Many farms and orchards offer tours for the family. Look up what fruits and vegetables are in season and plan a day at the farm and orchard to pick your own fresh produce. The experience of a child picking an apple off the tree and eating it right then is certainly magical for both child and parent.
The sky is the limit for a fun Staycation with the kids!!! The most important thing to do is to RELAX and take in every moment. Let go of all the chores and work and pressures. Enjoy your family. Explore your city. It may just be the best vacation ever!
Happy Staycation Planning,