Are you staying home this summer?
We are too, and after I tell you why, I’ll give you some fun staycation ideas for your family. I hope this post helps you plan your summer staycation!
I can’t believe that summer is underway already – officially, anyway, even though we like to start the festivities around Memorial Weekend. This month is flying by so fast it’s crazy – it’s hard to believe that, just a month ago (yes, in mid-May!) we had snow showers here in Michigan. And now, we’re doing all we can to stay cool in the heat.
Sometimes, you may have a week off (or more) from work in the summer, but not necessarily have plans to go away for vacation. It’s not always because you’re on limited funds, either. In our case, because Hubby and I both work full-time, we need to take a couple of days off once in a while just to take care of things around the house.
SUMMER PROJECT #1
This summer, we are working on revamping the back room of our house – Hubby started working on this a month ago, moving old furniture out and stripping the carpet to get ready for new flooring, and then things stalled because, well, like I said, we both work, and with Little Boy we’d rather be playing with him on the weekends. So, this summer, as much as we’d love to visit family, we’re going to stay home and hopefully get that back room done.
SUMMER PROJECT #2
The second thing we’d like to focus on during our staycation week is Little Boy’s potty-training. Again, working full-time has hindered his progress, and though both daycare and my mom are helping him to start getting more used to using the potty, I’ve bookmarked our summer staycation week to work on Little Boy getting better at going to the potty more regularly. We’re going to try using these potty-training tactics to jump-start things, and hopefully we’ll be using diapers less in the coming weeks.
TIME FOR FUN AT HOME?
But, just because we have a couple of projects lined up, doesn’t mean we can’t have fun too, right? So, whatever your reasons are for your staycation, don’t forget to HAVE FUN TOO!
FUN FAMILY STAYCATION IDEAS FOR SUMMER
I came up with a list of family fun ideas that you can do “at home” – sometimes, there’s so much beauty in our own backyards that we don’t take the time to appreciate. Any kind of vacation should be about taking time to relax, and re-connect with your spouse and kid(s). Take a look and see what might be fun for you and your family!
Picnic/camping in your own backyard – You really don’t have to go far to have some fun quality time with your family. Have a cook-out in your very own backyard – sit outside and enjoy the sun, great barbeque and splashing around in the pool if you have one. We have a very tiny pool, and we also have a beach ball sprinkler Little Boy had gotten for a birthday present. Come evening, set up a tent and have your own campout!
Go swimming – You may have a community pool, or there are open swim times at commercial swim schools like Aqua Tots or Goldfish, look on their website or call for information.
Splash pad – If you don’t have a pool nearby, you may at the least have a splash pad area at your local park. These are great , you can get wet and they tend to have areas specifically for little ones.
Hotel with a pool or indoor waterpark – Maybe you can at least get away for a night? If you don’t have your own pool, you can get away to a local hotel that has one. We even have a couple of hotels, not even an hour away, that have an indoor waterpark for their hotel guests. Look around online or ask friends for recommendations.
Zoo – if you haven’t been to your zoo in a while, summer’s a good time to go. I recommend going as early as possible so it’s not so crowded – plus, the hotter it gets, the less chance you’ll see animals out and about, as they need to stay cool, too!
Here’s my safety tips post to keep you safe wherever you are.
Other area attractions – For days when you don’t want to be outside or the weather won’t allow it, you may have a Legoland or Sea Life Aquarium or something similar that’s very family-friendly. Look at your local science center or museum, too. These attractions are fun and educational! Or you may have a local amusement place that has go-karts and putt-putt golf – fun for the whole family!
Amusement Park – some families may be able to take a day trip to an area amusement park. For us, Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio is one that many people in our area will drive a few hours to. You can play for the day, then either stay the night there at a hotel, or drive home.
***Money-saving tip: Whether you go to a park, zoo, waterpark, amusement park or any other outdoor attraction, you can save money by packing a cooler full of lunches, snacks and beverages for the family, and take a break at one of the picnic areas at these places. Concessions can be expensive!!!
Local parks – we have many local parks in our area, and some have bike trails and nature areas you can walk through. Again, see what’s in your area, you might be surprised to find some hidden gems people don’t tend to talk about much. Set up a picnic, feed the birds and toss a ball or a frisbee around.
Regional parks – Do you have bigger, regional parks in your area? You may have lakes and beaches you can enjoy for the day with your family. Again, it can be like for local parks – bring a picnic lunch.
Drive-in – I know drive-in movie theaters are becoming less and less common, but they’re worth a mention. If you’re lucky enough to have one close by, take advantage, they’re soooo fun! I think I appreciate them more now, than I did when I was a kid! BONUS: if you can time it right, toddler will be sleeping in his car seat the whole time. If your kids are a bit older, maybe get together with other family members and/or friends with kids and have a fun group outing. Check these sites for drive-ins that are operational:
Just for fun, this site lists all theaters – operating and no-longer-operating http://driveintheater.com/drivlist.htm
Carnivals/festivals – Summer is a prime time for carnivals and festivals – again, look online for local happenings, or check out events being posted on social media. You may also see a sign posted on street corners for goings-on. There are city festivals, church festivals – some of them have rides, petting zoos, food, and even live music. Keep in mind that not everyone is online-savvy, and festivals are short-term so organizers may not think to post their events online, but here are a couple of websites that have some listings:
Fireworks – again, summer is the season for this. Search online for fireworks displays all summer long in your area. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and bug spray, and set out early enough to find ample parking and a good spot to watch the fun!
Sporting events – We tried taking our son to a baseball game a couple of summers ago for Father’s Day, but he was too young (a year old). He actually went to two games that summer – and he either was sleeping in his stroller, or he got restless real fast. But, sporting events are a good idea for family fun, given the right age.
As I said at the start, you can have fun at home doing the littlest things. Take the kids (and the dog) for a walk and go to your local ice cream place.
What other ideas do you have for fun family staycation ideas for the summer? What cool attractions and activities do you have in your area that you can check out? Please share below in the Comments!
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