Lots of families are seeking inexpensive ways to enjoy quality time without spending a lot of money. If you check around your area, you’ll find there are plenty of fun things to do that don’t require an expensive hotel stay or a long drive. Whether your families interests are outdoors or indoors, by seeking out local resources you are sure to find something that fits your likes and budget. Here are some great staycation ideas!
For the families who are searching for outdoor fun, start at your county, city, and state websites. These websites typically have a slew of information about local events, parks, and trails. Perhaps have a picnic at a local state park then enjoy a walk or hike through trails allowing your children to investigate the local wildlife.
If your family enjoys biking, or kayaking, or boating, find a local state park that has trails or a local lake that will allow your boat. Most of the state parks have nominal or no fees to enjoy them and have great wildlife to enjoy. This is also a great opportunity to try geocaching for families and become an explorer in your own city.
For those of you that enjoy camping and have tents or an R.V., consider camping at a local campground for a couple of days. They are most likely inexpensive, and some may offer a discount for local people that are staying. Camping fees are out of budget, why not set up camp right in your own backyard? Younger kids typically find this a lot of fun, and it can be relaxing for mom and dad too. Stay up late and grill out, enjoy outdoor games such as flashlight tag or naming constellations.
Perhaps you live in a city that has many tourist attractions, as we do living in Florida, if this is the case, staycations are convenient because you can scope out local attractions that fit in the budget and visit a different one each day, or visit two or three.
Let each family member pick one place so that everyone gets to enjoy something they are interested in. If you have many to choose from and are having trouble agreeing, write them down on individual pieces of paper and place in a hat. Allow for someone to pull out of the hat, and that will be the destination. Always call ahead as some of these places might give discounts to local residents.
Your staycation could also be focused on volunteering for others in the community. This is a free and valuable experience, especially if you have teenagers that can actually participate in the activities. Check your local phonebook or do a search on the internet to find local organizations that your family is interested in helping, then call and ask if they need volunteers for the days you are available. Your family could help a different charitable organization every day, and then have a special day to discuss with your children the importance of the week, and what they enjoyed the most. Some places that are great to try are not-for-profit animal shelters, food pantries, habitat for humanity, boys and girls clubs, litter clean-up in local parks, or operation shoebox.
Some indoor activities that can also be free or inexpensive are visiting your local library. Spend an afternoon getting reacquainted with your library and the various free activities that they have to offer for patrons of all ages. Take a tour of a local university; this is especially fun for older children who are going to be off to college in a couple of years. Speak to professors, tour the library, eat lunch in the cafeteria, and talk to college students. Visit local museums, go to the local roller-skating rink, or spend a day at the bowling alley.
However, if you are set on having to stay at home, that can be lots of fun too. Perhaps dig out some old craft books and let your younger children’s imaginations run. Have a movie and pizza day. Let each member of your family choose their favorite movie and watch all of them in a row. Order in everyone’s favorite pizzas and just crash in the living room. Spend the next day cleaning up as a family and discussing all the movies that you watched, why your children liked or disliked certain ones, and what did they learn or enjoy the most about the movie day.
I hope this list of ideas allows your family to spend spring break having fun and getting to know each other a little bit better. Have a happy staycation! You may find it was the best vacation ever.