5 Fun Ideas For Staycations
Taking a vacation during the summer is nice, but it’s can also be very costly. And if you struggle financially, this can become an even bigger stress. Because if just paying for the basics of rent and food is overwhelming, a vacation certainly isn’t in your budget.
Remember though that a vacation is supposed to be a time of enjoyment and making memories with your family. This doesn’t need to be expensive. A new word that has been coined is the “staycation”. Simply that is the frugal and fun way to keep your costs down, stay close to home, and still make those precious memories with your children.
The idea is to play being the local tourist and do some fun activities in the area or city you already live in. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much fun it can be and how much your area has to offer. Best of all you get to come home and sleep in your own bed at the end of the day. And for many of us, the comfort of home is more relaxing than going to a hotel somewhere else.
So let’s get started and help EMPOWER you towards a HOPE and a FUTURE, and give you 5 fun ideas for staycations.
1. 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. In our own town there are a couple of public beaches.
Finding local pools is another great option. Many cities have public pools that are surprisingly fun and underused. There is a YMCA pool in our community.
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.
And don’t forget about having fun with water at home. Get a kiddie pool, water toys, or turn on the sprinklers and cool off.
So, grab the kids, towels, and even some cheap beach toys. Like the bucket and shovel from the dollar store, or some beach noodles. Go have some fun and cool off in the water. If you do have to drive a little bit of distance to find the beach in your community, why not pack some snacks, bring some bottled water and have a picnic too?
Cool off, find the water, and try this fun idea while enjoying a staycation.
2. Dive Into Local History
How much do you really know about the local history in your area? What do you know about the people and pioneers who were important in forming your community?
Make it a point this summer and explore local historic places and museums. Start with your local Chamber of Commerce or Tourist Information Office. Remember, you are the tourist. Go and ask the questions. Gather the brochures. You might be surprised to see what coupons and discounts are available too.
This can be a lot of fun for mom and dad, but also a great educational experience for your children too.
- So, go,
- gather up brochures,
- ask questions,
- see what special discounts and offers are available
- and go explore more about what makes your community special and unique.
Encourage your children to read up, explore, and even create a project around your town’s history. Don’t forget the free resources at your local library for this history staycation as well.
Many cities and areas with a rich history offer a variety of different tours and events that you may not be aware of. So remember, it is worth contacting your local tourist office to find out what you’ve been missing. If you can’t find anything in your town, expand your search and go on a few day trips.
So, get ready to take pictures, and buy a few crafting supplies at the dollar store too. Perhaps a scrap book, crayons, and markers. Have your children make their own memory books of events and places in your community as you discover them as a family.
And when school begins in the fall and the teacher asks, “What did you do this summer?” Your children will be able to share what they learned.
3. Take A Peek At The Calendar Of Events
There are many ways to check out the local calendar of events in your community.
- Many regions still have a free weekly paper publication that lists Community Events. In our local paper it is called the “Get Connected” section. Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs will list public events in that section.
- Towns and cities often have a Calendar of Events posted on their websites. Get in the habit of seeing what FREE or cheap events are happening year round. Our town offers a free weekly movie night under the stars during the summer. Bring your lawn chair, kids and have some fun in the park watching family friendly movies. Oh, bring the insect repellent too. Apparently the mosquitoes have found out about this free event too.
- Again, check out the Tourist Information or Chamber of Commerce for events too.
- Is your community known for hosting a yearly festival of some kind? Perhaps it is Cranberries, Butter Tarts, or well, even the Black Flies. Check into it and see what activities you and your family can participate in for free or nearly free.
- And don’t forget Social Media. Many communities have Facebook group sites such as: What’s Happening in ……(your community). Check out these listings. We even have a broader region Facebook group called the “Muskoka Bulletin Board”. All kinds of events are posted on there weekly.
You will be surprised how much your own community does and offers during the summer months. There are often classes, concerts, movie showings, and even festivals you may not be aware of. Even Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs holds a few events for the general public every year.
With a little investigation you will be able to find quite a few things you may want to attend this summer. Get involved in your own community.
4. Fun In The Back Yard
We talked about water fun in the back yard. Don’t stop there.
There’s all sorts of fun stuff you can do right at home. Even if you live in a social housing complex and are surrounded by concrete.
- Bring out the sidewalk chalk. Host a sidewalk art contest. Involve neighborhood children too. Have Freezies available for the participants. The whole complex can enjoy the artwork until the next rain.
- Plan a special party. Do the BBQ, S’mores, and potato salad. You don’t need a special reason—just do it to simply to celebrate summer. Set the day and time aside, involve the kids in planning the fun and food too. The looking forward to this special event is part of the fun.
- How about camping in the yard? Put up the pup tent and camp outside.
- Do a special movie night. Bring on the Jiffy Pop popcorn, pop, and chocolate. (ha, ha, a party isn’t a party without chocolate in my books). Plan it out, and have each member of the family help in the decision making. Have someone pick the movie, another the pop, another the type of treats.
- Have a pajama party. Psst, pillow fights can be a lot of fun too. Just be careful not to get too carried away. Not everyone in your family will enjoy it, so respect that, and have everyone else respect that too. If you are planning a surprise pillow fight, you, the adult, need to have already prepared the battle ground by removing tippy things like lamps and such. Also, wait until the food and drinks are back in the kitchen. You don’t want a sticky mess either.
Treat your home like a vacation spot, get everyone outside and have some fun.
5. 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.
Pick a country or culture and dive in. In our region, we have a lot of Chinese tourists that flock here. They even want to open a school for Chinese students here. So there is one idea to explore—the Chinese culture.
Taste the food, listen to the music, watch the movies, and read the books. Maybe even learn a little of the language and do it all as a family so you can interact and explore together.
And by learning to explore a new culture whether here at home or abroad, you can have an amazing experience this summer that will cost a fraction of a regular trip.
Enjoy Your Staycation
So, now that you have several ideas about where to start—where will you begin? Which of the 5 fun ideas for staycations will you start with?
- Find the water
- Dive into local history
- Take a peek at the calendar of events
- Fun in the backyard, or
- Explore a new culture
Let me know in the comments below. And even as you do these fun ideas, remember to come back and let us know how your summer staycation was. I’ll bet you develop some precious memories and experiences that will stay with your for a lifetime. And without causing more financial stress on you and your already tight budget.
Remember, be EMPOWERED towards a HOPE and a FUTURE.