Summer is the perfect time for families to relax, have fun and explore new things together. And while traveling may not be an option for some families, there are still plenty of wonderful things you can do at home. These 16 epic summer staycation ideas are an excellent way to make the most of your summer without ever having to leave your own city.
What Makes These 16 Epic Summer Staycation Ideas So Valuable?
While you could break each of these activities up and incorporate them sporadically throughout the whole summer, what's really going to make this list of ideas extra special, is if you take some, or all of them, and pack them into a week. (Or longer!) Really think of this as a vacation that you are taking right at home. Just as each and every day is special when you go away for a vacation, your staycation should be special, too.
Why Is A Summer Staycation Important?
Family life can often be busy and it can be difficult to connect with each other. Scheduling family time together is so important, vital even, to the health and connectedness of your family. Having fun with each other, but even more than that, having conversations that are real and important, build trust, and will set the stage for deeper trust in the future. Often times, it is when everyday life gets interrupted, that these kinds of conversations happen. A family staycation is an excellent opportunity to build family connectedness.
Read this post, In Praise Of Home, or this one,
for more on the importance of creating a welcoming and safe home environment.
How Much Does A Family Staycation Cost?
As with any kind of vacation, it's important to stay within your budget. While many of these ideas are absolutely free, some do cost a little bit of money. Mix and match these different activities according to your own financial liberties. And if you're in a life season where there isn't any extra money at all, rest assured you'll still find some fabulous summer staycation ideas, absolutely free!
Here are 16 EPIC Summer Staycation ideas for your awesome family!
1. Go Camping In Your Own Backyard.
Set up a tent, grab some sleeping bags and make smore's under the stars.
Bump it up a notch. Make this a "serious" camping trip. Outside of bathroom breaks (unless of course you want to rent a port-a-potty!) plan to stay outside for the entirety of your "trip." Pack your clothes in back-packs along with your toiletries. Plan on meals that you will cook over a fire pit or on your outdoor grill. Nix all of the electronics. For fun, walk or bike to your nearest park, or even around less familiar areas in your neighborhood, as you would do in a campground. Set up the area in front of your tent as you would set up your campsite. Play camping games like ladder ball, corn hole or bocce ball.
2. Have A Fun Water Day.
Fill up the kiddie pool. Set up a slip n' slide and a sprinkler. Spend the day together playing in the water and have a water balloon fight.
Bump it up a notch. Create An Outdoor Water Park In Your Own Backyard and invite your neighbors over. Make this an EPIC event! Borrow extra kiddie pools so there are lots of watering holes to hang out in. Make a giant slip 'n slide for kids and adults alike. Host water games and have families compete against each other.
3. Declare A Dessert For Breakfast Day!
You could go really big on this and have cake or cookies or pie, but if you want to keep it a little bit on the nutritious side, consider banana splits for breakfast. If you serve it with sliced strawberries and pineapple, you'll still have fruit for breakfast. And if you want it even a little bit more healthy, consider making your own "nice" cream. The night before, blend together frozen bananas, vanilla yogurt, cocoa powder and peanut butter and enough milk to make a thick shake. Start with 6-8 frozen bananas, a cup of vanilla yogurt, a half to 3/4 cup of peanut butter and about 1/3 cup of cocoa powder and adjust to your personal taste. Pour it into a freezer safe bowl and freeze till morning.
Or try this Salted Caramel & Chocolate Ice Cream Cake for a totally indulgent breakfast dessert!
4. Host A Movie Marathon.
This a great option for a cool rainy day. Let each family member pick their favorite movie and binge watch all of them in one day.
Bump it up a notch. Set up a cozy space on your family room floor with layers and layers of blankets and pillows. Serve your family their favorite theatre style snacking foods like popcorn, nachos and loaded hot dogs. And don't forget their favorite candy selections and drinks. And epic movie marathon deserves epic treats!
5. Check Out Your City's FREE Events.
During the summer, there are often a ton free events taking place in and around your area. Make good use of free festivals and music concerts.
6. Check Out Your Local Farmers Markets, Too.
They usually have free entertainment going on and it's fun to walk around to the different booths and sample the tasty wares most of them provide.
7. Plan A Picnic In The Park.
Pack a lunch and head to your favorite park for the day.
Bump it up a notch. Invite another family or two to join you and host as a potluck picnic. Serve classic picnic foods like fried chicken and potato salad. Make it special by laying out lots of picnic blankets; enough for all families to be able to sit together. Use colored coordinated paper plates and napkins.
8. Set Up A Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt.
You could do this just for your family or you could do this as a multiple family event. Have your scavenger hunt list for each family team and whoever completes the task first is the winner. Be sure to have some sort of prize!
Bump it up a notch. Create a scavenger hunt where each team is assigned a list of neighborhood tasks to complete. It could be to weed a neighbors flower bed for five minutes, offer to take out another neighbors trash, sing to an elderly couple; you get the idea. And if you really want to go big, have each team document their task completion with a photo. You could compile those photos into a virtual album and email it to each team.
9. Science experiments.
Conduct a fun day of different science experiments that are age appropriate for your kids.
Bump it up a notch. If you live near a Science Centre, and if it's in your budget, consider planning a visit. Spend the day at the Centre exploring the wonderful world of science and then try to replicate a few ideas with your own experiments at home.
10. Create A Masterpiece Day.
Get creative and have an art day with painting drawing and crafting. You can go big, if you like, with easels and paints and canvas prints, or just keep it simple and use your kitchen table, paper and your favorite coloring tools.
Bump it up a notch. Before your kids create their own masterpiece, head to a nearby museum for an up front look at different cultures and journey through time. According to this article; 10 Reasons To Visit A Museum,
Museums are examples of informal learning environments, which means they are devoted primarily to informal education — a lifelong process whereby individuals acquire attitudes, values, skills, and knowledge from daily experience and the educative influences and resources in his or her environment.
Just because school is out, doesn't mean your kids should stop learning. Museums combine experience and education as a complete package, which in reality, is the best form of education.
11. Host A Sports Event Day.
Organize a day of activities for the kids, and maybe with other families from your neighborhood, such as mini golf, basketball and soccer.
Bump it up a notch. Have different families organize a different sporting event. Travel to each backyard throughout the day and compete as teams. Schedule your last event of your Sports Day at your home and the day with a hotdog roast and give out a trophy to the winning team.
12. Take A Virtual Online Tour.
This is a fun, affordable, and great way to experience different cultures and countries without leaving the comfort of your home. From virtual museum tours to cooking classes to zoo tours, there are endless options available to satisfy your wanderlust and curiosity.
13. Go To A Drive-in.
If you're lucky, you may have access to a pop-up drive in theatre. This is just such a fun way to spend an evening with your family. You could buy take-out fast food for your snacks or you could prepare your own. Just make sure the food is "fun" to eat!
14. Host A Pizza And Games Night Party.
Gather everyone into the kitchen and work together to make your favorite pizzas and then enjoy them before, or during your family game night.
Bump it up a notch. Make individual pizzas. You can use naan breads for a simple, delicious crust if you're not up making your own. Everyone can make their own perfect pizza their own way. Put on some fun music and make an epic night of it. Invite another family over and get silly with games like Charades, Twister, Hide n' Seek, Telephone, etc. This is just such a fun and simple way to feel like a kid again yourself, and your own kids will absolutely love the silly side of you!
15. Plan A Road Trip.
For obvious reasons, a summer staycation doesn't really require a road trip anywhere but honestly, there is just something fun about piling your family in the car and hitting the open road. It doesn't have to be a long road trip and it should have a fun destination. You could head to a nearby beach for a lazy day, or to a national park for a hike or bike ride. You could even head to a nearby town and just do a little exploring.
16. Head To A U-Pick Farm.
Often times there are local berry picking farms, or veggie patches where you and your family can pick your own produce. It's an excellent way to spend an afternoon with family and at the end of the day, you get to go home with fresh-picked goodies for you and family to enjoy.
Bump it up a notch. If you know what kind of food items you're coming home with, plan a little family friendly ethnic cooking with your ingredients. Picking tomatoes and lettuce? Make tacos and have a Mexican Fiesta!
A summer staycation can be just as exciting and fun as taking a vacation. There are often fun and free experiences you can enjoy right in your own city. And, as with any vacation, the point is that you take a break from the normalcy of life and enjoy being with your family. With a little creativity, you can have an epic summer staycation that will create lasting memories for your whole family.
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And, as always,
Stay holy, Beloved,