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With plenty of long summer days ahead of us, there’s no doubt we’ll be itching to get out of the house. Books have been read, water balloons have been fun and even Legos have been exhausted. The kids want to get away and for good reason!
Staying home is amazing for the budget but little ones love adventures. Unfortunately, whether thanks to time or money, a family getaway just isn’t in the cards this year.
The good news is that a family adventure isn’t out of the picture. You can still create amazing memories that you and your children will cherish for years to come. The bad news is that your bank account just isn’t as full as you wish. (Ha! I don’t know of anyone that’s ever had a bank account as big as they want, but, golly, it’s nice to dream, right!?)
This year, trade in your dream vacation for a super fun staycation. We’ve got all the details on how to fill an entire week with laughs, excitement and special moments that’ll last a lifetime.
Staycation Ideas Kids Will LOVE!
On the first day of your stay-cation, you’ll want to be adventurous and wild, doing something the kids typically don’t get to do. Try something exciting, like going to an adventure park. If there’s not one in your area, try an arcade or indoor trampoline park. The secret is to leave early and get home late. No one wants to sit at home on a stay-cation!
Chase Local History
Get out and learn about your area. Use a fun app, like History Here, to see the nearby places that are packed with history. Choose one certain place or hop in the car and spend the day driving to each place on the map. (Using the HistoryHere app, I found over 30 places to visit within an hour’s drive of my home in the beautiful Ozark Mountains. The hardest part is deciding if we want to visit Bonnie and Clyde’s apartment, visit Sam Walton’s original Five and Dime or head to Mickey Mantle’s childhood home.)
Have an out-of-town friend who is also itching to get away for a day or two? Try swapping homes. Take the day to explore a new town. Find fun diners, local parks and fun flea markets. Ask for advice on what she’d recommend for your kiddos. That night, sleep easy in the comfort of her home, without spending a dime on a hotel room! (Just be sure to leave her place as you found it! No one wants to come home to a messy house.)
Enjoy Mother Nature
There’s just something kids love about camping outdoors. As a mom, I despise the amount of work that goes into camping. Packing food, clothes, plenty of blankets, lawn chairs, tents, matches, lots of water, bug spray and everything else that you need to spend the day in nature.
Last summer, I decided to ditch it all and just enjoy a night under the stars, in an open field near our house.Instead of packing up all of our camping gear, we each grabbed a sleeping bag and an air mattress. We grabbed a case of water, marshmallows, hotdogs and a box of PopTarts. We took a hike, built a fire, checked for animal tracks and waited for the sun to go down. The kids loved sleeping under the stars. We spent hours laughing, talking about life, the universe and everything under the stars. (Ha! That was punny.) Camping doesn’t have to be a ton of work. Just grab the absolute necessities and get out there to enjoy Mother Nature together. Trust me, your dew-soaked sleeping bag won’t be an issue next week but the kids will still be talking about the best camping trip they ever had.
It’s always a good idea to spend the last day of your stacation relaxing. After all, you’re likely exhausted and quickly running out of money. Grab the cheapest hotel room you can find and spend the night there. Order in a pizza, jump in the pool and veg out in front of the TV. Be sure to pack plenty of board games, midnight snacks and a big appetite for the continental breakfast. The kids will enjoy a fun getaway, even if you aren’t far from home.
TREAT YOUR STAYCATION LIKE AN EXPENSIVE VACATION YOU’VE BEEN DREAMING OF!
One huge secret to creating an enjoyable staycation is to DROP THE PHONE. Put it down and really focus on your family. Put away the tablets, electronics and computers. The kids will thank you and you will look back and be glad you lived in the moment, instead of posting every movement on Facebook!