We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
Taking a vacation during the summer is great, but it can also be costly. When taking a vacation isn’t in your budget, have some fun at home with a “staycation”. The idea is to play local tourist and do some fun activities in the area or city you 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 who doesn’t want that?!).
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 daytrip to go swimming.
Finding local pools and splash pads is another great option. Many cities have public pools and splash pads that are surprisingly fun and underused. 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. You can even make your own slip ‘n’ slide using a plastic tarp and a water hose. Now how fun would that be?!
Dive Into History
How much do you know about the local history in your area? Make it a point to read up on it this summer and explore local historic places and museums. It’s fun for adults, but also a great educational experience for the kids. Encourage them to read up, explore, and maybe even create a project around your town’s history.
Many cities and areas with a rich history offer various different tours that you may not be aware of. It’s 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.
Peek At The Calendar Of Events
Take a look at your local calendars of events. You’ll be surprised how much communities do during the summer months. There are often classes, concerts, movie showings, and even festivals you may not be aware of.
Between events your city or county puts on and various other events hosted by cultural centers, museums, and churches for example, you’ll be sure to find quite a few things you may want to attend this summer.
Fun In The Back Yard
We already talked about water fun in the backyard but don’t stop there. There’s all sorts of fun stuff you can do right at home from sleeping in a tent, to roasting marshmallows over the fire pit, and even sleeping under the stars. Treat your home like a vacation spot, get everyone outside and have some fun.
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. 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.
Exploring the beauty of nature can be refreshing and can also be fun! Research what canyons and other natural phenomenon your local area has to offer and take advantage of it this summer. Here are some ideas to help you make the most of your time in nature.
Take a drive up a canyon to get some fresh air, escape the city, go fishing and wade through some water (law permitting, of course). Have your family research the native plants and animals and take that list with you and see how many of each species you can find. Take lunch or dinner with you and sit among the trees and listen to the birds sing.
Have a campfire (being cautious to not start any wildfires) and roast starbursts all while telling ghost stories around the fire. Roasting starbursts is something that I learned growing up and it is delicious! If you are interested in roasting starbursts, follow these instructions for a delicious outcome.
- Place starburst of choosing on a roasting stick.
- Roast starburst over fire until bubbling on the outside.
- Pour table salt over the outside of the bubbling starburst.
- Enjoy the crunchy outside and gooey center of your roasted starburst!
By simply putting as much planning and effort into a staycation as you would any regular family vacation, you can have an amazing experience this summer that will cost a fraction of a regular trip. Be sure to tell us what your favorite staycation is!