Awesome Summer Staycation Ideas for Families

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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[bctt tweet=”No budget for travel? These awesome summer staycation ideas for families are the perfect way to refresh and relax on a budget this summer.” username=”diyadulation”]

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!


Legs Extended next to Campfire

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!


Family Sleeping on Couch

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:


Kids Hiking on Trail

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.


Family Feeding Giraffe

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!


Model of Natural History Model

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.


Kid on Float in Pool

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.


Bowls of Fruit on Table

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.)


Woman and Child on Roller Coaster

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.


Concert on a Stage

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.


Kid Playing Basketball Arcade Game

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.


Woman Holding Child on Slide

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.


Child on Train Model

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!


Kids Playing in Water with text overlay - Awesome Summer Staycation Ideas for Families

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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[bctt tweet=”After you’ve set your New Years goals it’s time to put them into action. These resources to rock your finance goals this year are exactly what you need to dominate your money.” username=”diyadulation”]


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After you’ve set your New Years goals it’s time to put them into action. These resources to rock your finance goals this year are exactly what you need to dominate your money. If you’re looking to get organized, don’t miss last week’s features for DIY projects that get you organized and save you money.

Now let’s move on to this week’s Merry Monday link party! Find more fantastic financial resources along with fun crafts, recipes, and DIY projects. Don’t forget to share your awesomeness with us too!

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How to Save $5000 This Year

What would you do with an extra $5000 this year? It could mean finally getting that new car you desperately need or simply enjoying a vacation with the family. If this sounds pretty awesome to you then find out how to save $5000 this year!

Affiliate links may be used in this post. Ordering a product through these links may result in a commission. Read the full disclosure here.

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[bctt tweet=”What would you do with an extra $5000 this year? These tips for how to save $5000 this year will have your family hitting your savings goals in no time!” username=”diyadulation”]

When it comes to saving money there are really only two options: spend less or make more. Of course, that’s the extremely oversimplified answer. Technically, saving money will always be about spending less. Then you have to throw in Murphy’s Law, impulsive kiddos, and a husband that simply won’t give up that daily lunch with coworkers.

Does that mean it all has to fall on you? All of the sacrifice and savings rests solely on your shoulders? Um, heck no! Instead, make a plan and stick to it… forcing your family to do the same. If that sounds hard (or downright impossible), then check out the tips below to take it 1 step at a time and find out how to save $5000 this year even with a large, demanding family.

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Make a Plan with Family

The very first step is to share your goal with your family, including your kids. Tell them why you want to save $5000 this year and also how it will impact them. Include both positive and negative ways it will impact them, especially for little ones.

For example, let your kids know that this money will mean a super fun vacation next year but in order to achieve that you won’t be getting coffee and cake pops at Starbucks when you grocery shop.

Ask for input from your family as well. Are your kiddos willing to swap Pop Tarts for oatmeal in the mornings? Can hubs promise to pack his lunch twice a week?

Lastly, let your family know what you will do to cut back and save as well. Too often we overlook this part because it seems so obvious to us, but it may not be as apparent to your family. Make sure they know that everyone is working towards this goal, including you.

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Prioritize Your Budget

Now is the time to get super focused and prioritize your budget. If you have been lax in the past, only occasionally filling out a written budget and hoping the pieces fall into place that ends now. Set your budget and, most importantly, stick to it.

Budgeting doesn’t have to be overwhelming. In fact, it can be very simple and easy. (Read about how to budget when you’re overwhelmed here.) The main goal is to know what you have coming in and tell it where to go each month, or week.

Prioritizing your budget doesn’t just mean setting one, either. Part of prioritizing your budget is referring to it regularly throughout the month. Did you get a bonus you forgot to budget or is there overtime on a paycheck this week? If so, that means adjusting your budget. That’s not “extra” money, as we sometimes treat it. Instead, view it as “goal” money. Work it into your budget and anything over the amount you need to live for the month can go towards your $5000 savings goal.

When you’re trying to save money, it’s also important to find areas in which you can cut back. Sometimes these are easy (like not getting Starbucks) but other times it can be trickier. For example, do you really need cable, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu? Are you paying for subscriptions that you don’t use? Fine-tune your budget each month until you’re happy with how lean it is.

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Save Money on Food

One of the easiest ways to blow your budget is on food. In December, we went to Kroger to buy all of the things we needed for Christmas day. I don’t cook on Christmas. It’s the one day I take off from the kitchen every year. When all was said and done, we walked out of there with $200 worth of basically junk for 1 day! Considering that only $50 less than I spend on monthly groceries, I experienced more than a little buyer’s remorse and it was totally budgeted for.

The hard truth is that this is a weekly occurrence for a lot of moms. How often do you find your cart full of things that weren’t on your list? Then when you check out your bill is double what you planned for. Eek!

With intentional planning, you can keep your grocery bill low and still have easy dinners for the month ready to go (meaning you don’t eat out because you lost track of time). Here are a few rules to save you hundreds every month on your food:

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Stop Buying New

This is actually a new goal we are trying this year and I’m super excited about it. We are not buying anything new in 2019 (with the exception of food, because, well, used food definitely doesn’t sound appealing). The first step to this is to try not to buy anything, period. Look around your house at all of the stuff you’re already drowning in. Do you really want to add to that?

If there is an item that you absolutely need, instead of buying it new try to find it used. Check thrift stores, Ebay, and Craigslist to start. You can also reach out to friends and family and let them know what you are looking for. Even if they don’t have the item, they can keep an eye out for you to help you find it.

Utilize borrowing. The best place to do this is your local library. Instead of renting your next movie for family night, borrow it from the library. Little changes like this will have you reaching your $5000 savings goal in no time!

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Check In Bi-Weekly

To truly be successful, you need to make sure you check in with your goal bi-weekly at a minimum. Sit down with your family and share where you are at with your goal. Talk about what was successful and what wasn’t then make adjustments for the next week.

This is also the perfect time to share constructively with kiddos about difficulties that arose. For example, if there were meltdowns over not getting chicken nuggets for dinner share how saving that money got you closer to your goal. You could even make a coloring sheet that tracks your savings and let kids color it as you fill it.

As time goes on and the kids see that savings grow, they will become more amenable to the process. They’ll still totally ask you for toys, junk food, and the myriad of other things that they want, but they will more readily accept your response when you say no.

Money with text overlay How to save 5000 This Year

These tips for how to save $5000 this year will have your family hitting your savings goals in no time! More importantly, they create lasting habits that will improve your finances for years to come. That’s pretty awesome if you ask me. Make sure that you include your kids in this process. Not only will it make the entire process easier for you, they will also be learning valuable skills about delayed gratification, money management, and working together towards a common goal.

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