When you are in dire need of a break but don’t have the funds to manage a family vacation a staycation is an awesome alternative. It’s a great way to relax and enjoy your family. If you need some help coming up with ideas I’ve got you covered with these awesome summer staycation ideas for families!
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No budget for travel? These awesome summer staycation ideas for families are the perfect way to refresh and relax on a budget this summer. Click To Tweet
Summer break is tiring for me. My kids are awesome, don’t get me wrong, but at times we all just need to get out of the house and burn off some steam. By the end of summer, I’m ready for a vacation. Unfortunately, that’s not always in the cards. Enter these fun staycation ideas.
The perfect way to end summer break is for my husband to take a week of vacation from work and for our family to spend a week enjoying leisure activities. We can spend hours marathoning our favorite movies, playing countless hours of games, and splurging on some dinners out. It’s awesome.
If you haven’t tried ending your summer this way, I totally encourage you to. You and the kids will be refreshed and recharged, ready to conquer the upcoming school year with ease!
1. Backyard Camping
No, I don’t mean setting up a tent in the yard for a night. Make it an event by treating it like an actual camping trip. Set up your tent, pack food in a cooler and eat all of your meals by campfire. Spend 2-3 days hanging out in your own backyard and make a rule that no one can go in the house (except to use the restroom). It’s guaranteed fun and relaxation.
2. Epic Board Game Day
Turn off all of the electronics and pull out the board games for an epic board game day. Spend the entire day playing game after game for a ton of laughs, fun, and memories. When you start getting hungry, splurge on some pizza and keep the games going!
3. Have a Movie Marathon
Take an ordinary movie marathon and make it an adventure! Pick a movie series and then go all out with coordinated snacks, dress up as the characters, and add lots of pillows and blankets to the couch. Then pop the movie in and hunker down for an unforgettable family movie marathon. Here are some movie ideas to help you out:
- Harry Potter (This one is more like a weekend marathon)
- Lord of the Rings
- Matrix Trilogy
- Hunger Games
- Toy Story
- Mighty Ducks
4. Explore a Local State Park
There are a ton of fun things you can do at a state park. Check out the hiking trails, grill out some delicious food, and some even have swimming available. If you want to take it up a notch, you can bring your tent and stay for a night or two.
5. Have a Zoo Day
It’s no secret how much we love the zoo. There are a ton of beautiful animals plus train rides and activities for the kids. When you visit for a staycation, splurge on all of the experiences. Feed the animals, get your faces painted, and indulge in an ice cream cone. Really live it up!
6. Check out the Museum
Another great activity for your staycation is the local museum. Children’s museums are a super fun and interactive adventure for the whole family. You can also check out a natural history museum and teach the kiddos about the past.
7. Have a Pool Day (or Hit the Beach)
Just because you’re on staycation doesn’t mean you have to miss out on traditional vacation activities. Pack up your family and head to the nearest beach for a day of sand, sun, and waves. If you don’t live close enough to a beach, hit up a local pool or water park for a fun day the whole family will love. Don’t forget your summer pool bags!
8. Go Tech-Free
The point of any vacation is to relax and connect with your family. You can’t do that when you’re constantly plugged in. Turn off your phones, ignore email, and truly spend time with each other. You’ll feel much more refreshed when you do.
9. Play Ball
A staycation is the perfect opportunity to enjoy some outdoor sports time with your family. Pack up your gear and head to a local park for tennis courts, basketball courts, and ball fields. Play kids versus adults, girls vs. boys, or every man for himself.
10. Host a Pitch-In
This is the perfect budget-friendly way to have a party with all of your friends and family. Everyone brings a dish and their own drinks. All you have to do is enjoy the company and fun! (Learn more about how to host a pitch-in party.)
11. Spend a Day at an Amusement Park
Is there anything better than spending the day riding roller coasters and heart-pumping thrills? Take your family and spend a day having a blast at an amusement park. Make it more budget-friendly by packing a cooler of food. Even if you can’t take it in the park, leave it in the car and head out for meals and snacks. Don’t forget to get your hands stamped so you can get back into the park when you’re done.
12. Cook a Fancy Dinner
Cook a fancy dinner for your family. Go all out and get dressed up and serve multiple courses. Set the table with proper place settings and, of course, don’t forget the fancy, over-the-top dessert! Try to make the meal last for hours and truly enjoy the food and conversation.
13. Jam at a Concert
Summertime means concerts! Find one the whole family will love and back the lawn chairs (or a blanket) for a jam fest. Don’t limit your search to concert venues either. I’ve seen Styx at a local minor league stadium and took my mom to see Restless Heart at a local fair for free! It’s worth it to look around for alternative concert locations.
14. Visit an Arcade
Arcades are seriously hours of fun. Actually, I could probably spend days there and not get bored. They are also a perfect family activity for your staycation. They are more budget-friendly than they used to be too. Instead of purchasing tokens, you can pay for hourly play. That means you’re guaranteed that amount of play time with no fear of running out of coins!
15. Go Fishing
Plan a day to visit a nearby lake or pond and flex your angler skills. Teach kiddos how to bait their hook and cast the line. Don’t forget to bring along a picnic for when tummies start rumbling. You also should check your state’s laws. Adults may need a permit to fish but don’t worry. They’re usually pretty cheap and kids under a certain age typically don’t need one.
16. Find a Local Fair or Festival
Another great thing about summer is that there are a ton of local fairs and festivals. These are full of multiple activities for the whole family. There rides for every age, concerts and shows, plus a ton of delicious, albeit unhealthy, food to enjoy. They make the perfect local day out for a staycation.
17. Local Legends
Do you have a love for all things spooky and creepy? Find a local ghost tour or haunted house and check it out. To truly up the creep-factor, schedule one that takes place after dark. Then cap your night by telling ghost stories at home by flashlight.
18. Take a Class or Workshop Together
Check out a local cooking class as a family. Then enjoy your delicious creation afterward. Another fun idea is painting pottery. Head to a local studio and let each family member pick out their base and create a personal masterpiece.
19. Ride the Train
Do a little research and find a passenger train near you. Many of them offer shorter trips to a small tourist town that you can explore for a few hours before heading back to the station. This is a great way to explore new areas and spend some time together as a family.
20. Have a Water Games Day
Have a water balloon fight to beat the summer heat. Another option is to take it to the next level and build an epic course in the backyard. Break into teams and have an over-the-top water gun fight!
These awesome summer staycation ideas for families are the perfect way to refresh and relax on a budget this summer. The most important thing is to treat it like a vacation. That means sleeping in, enjoying a great book, and ignoring phone calls and emails. That’s the only way you will truly feel rejuvenated after. Do you have any other staycation ideas? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!
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I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.