Summer time can be an expensive time of year for families. If you are not careful, you can end up breaking the bank sending children to pricey summer camps or taking expensive family vacations. Why not save some money and plan a staycation?
A staycation is when you participate in fun activities all within driving distance of your home. You save on hotel costs and on dining out because you can sleep in your own bed and cook your own food. With a little thought and creativity, you can have the time of your life without traveling far.
This Staycation Checklist can help you plan your staycation. If you need some ideas for activities for your staycation, check out the list below:
1. Go to A Children’s Museum. Children’s museums are designed specifically for children and usually provide a range of activities to keep children entertained. Visit the Association of Children’s Museum to find a museum in your area.
2. Visit An Aquarium. Aquariums provide children with the opportunity to interact up close and personal with unique water-dwelling creatures. Most aquariums have several programs and activities just for families. You can find a list of accredited aquariums at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
3. Plan A Trip to The Zoo. Children will delight in finding out fun facts about the animals and their habitat. Most zoos have educational programs and activities geared for children ranging from toddlers to teenagers. Additionally, some zoos also have ‘free’ days where all they ask is for visitors to make a monetary donation in the amount of their choice. You can find a list of US zoos here.
4. Check Out A Planetarium. Planetariums give children a chance to learn about astronomy and also to watch amazing presentations about the night sky and all its beauty. Find a planetarium near you here.
5. Spend The Day At A National Park. Not only are national parks rich with history, they also provide many fun activities that children can enjoy while learning. Use the National Park Service to find a park in your are. You can also find information on the site about how children can earn a Junior Ranger Badge.
6. Visit Your Local Library. Many libraries have a variety of activities that kids and their families can participate in such as Lego building contests, movie showings, and arts and crafts projects. Ask your librarian or go to your local library’s websites to get a calendar of events.
7. Attend a Home Depot Workshop. Home Depot offers free workshops for children ages 5-12 every first Saturday of every month. Kids are able to build a craft that they get to take home. They also receive a free apron, a certificate, and a commemorative pin. Go here to register for a workshop online. These workshops fill up quickly and are on a first come first serve basis.
8. Sign Up For Arts and Crafts Activities. Michael’s craft store has a Kids Club
program that hosts 30 minute sessions where children can make a craft that they get to take home. The program costs $2 and Michael’s provides all the supplies.
9. Go To a Waterpark. Spending the day at a waterpark is a great way to have fun and cool down. The kids can splash around in wave pools and satisfy their thrill seeking needs on a variety of water slides. Visit the World Waterpark Locator to find a waterpark near you.
10. Take a Camping Trip. Who doesn’t like roughing it in the great outdoors? There’s nothing like unplugging and hanging out by a fire, eating S’mores and telling ghost stories. Plan your trip early though, campsites fill up quickly. You can find a list of US campgrounds here.
11. Take a Nature Walk. If camping isn’t your thing, you can still experience the great outdoors by taking a nature hike. There are many picturesque trails that you can hike on your own or with a guide. You can find a trail near you by visiting TraiLink.
12. Plan a Fishing Trip. Fishing is one of those relaxing activities that mesmerizes children. Nothing beats the look on their faces when they catch something!
13. Make A Movie Date. Gather up the family and head to the movies. If you are lucky enough to live by a drive-in, take full advantage of this.
14. Go to A Local Festival Or Fair. Summer is a great time for outdoor festivals. Check your local newspaper for a list of festivals going on in your area.
15. Spend A Day At The Beach or Lake. If you don’t have easy access to the beach or a lake, then a pool is great substitute.
16. Check Out A Local Tourist Attraction. Research a popular attraction and find out what the hype is all about. Search your local newspaper or go online if you need some ideas for where in your town to go.
17. Visit an Amusement Park. Theme parks are always a hit and you and your family are guaranteed to have fun at one. Search this list for an amusement park near you.
18. Have Some Backyard Water Fun. Have a few friends over for a day of water fun. Bring out the Super Soakers and water balloons. If you have a Slip N’ Slide bring that too!
19. Set Up An Obstacle Course. An obstacle course is a great way to get kids moving. Watch this video to find out some fun obstacle course games.
20. Bring The Carnival To Your House. Get together with a few neighbors and plan a carnival in the back yard. Who doesn’t enjoy playing ring toss or balloon dart?!
21. Plan a Nerf War. You can involve your neighbors in this as well. Load up on darts and prepare for an all-out war.
22. Go To The Playground. You can do so much more at a playground than swinging. How about a picnic or flying kites?
23. Have a Video Game Tournament. I doubt you will get any complaints from your kids with this one.
24. An Evening of Board Games. A lot of times families don’t have time to sit and play games. When you have time set aside only to play a game of Monopoly doesn’t seem so daunting.
25. Go On A Neighborhood Scavenger/Treasure Hunt. You can walk around your neighborhood and do this or you and the kids can hop on your bikes to go on your quest.
26. Host A Barbeque. This is a great way to catch up with family and friends. Who doesn’t like good food and good company!?
27. Attend A Sporting Event. Most cities have a minor league sports team that hosts special events certain days. For example you can go for the game and stay for the fireworks. Check you local newspaper sporting events.
28. Visit A Botanical Garden. The kids are sure to be wowed by the exotic flowers and the garden will provide the perfect backdrop for family photos. Visit the American Horticultural Society for a garden near you.
29. Go to A Family Fun Center. Family fun centers typically offer a variety of family-friendly activities such as laser tag, Go Kart racing, batting cage, etc. Chances are you will find something that you like.
30. Take The Family to Play Miniature Golf. This fun-filled, obstacle version of golf will keep the whole gang entertained.
What are some activities you would do on a staycation?
Did you remember to download your Summer Staycation Bucket List ?
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