How To Plan The Ultimate Staycation With Kids They Won’t Forget

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Inside: Do you ever feel like you need a vacation to recover from your family vacation?   A staycation with kids is the way forward! If planned well, a staycation fixes the need for a second vacation while providing plenty of rest and quality family time.

family riding bikes in their neighborhood

Planning vacations with kids is hard. Especially when you have multiple kids who range in ages from 22 months to 18 years old, planning for everyone is near impossible. Trying to find something everyone wants to do and that fits in the budget is hard.

We determined a staycation with kids is the way forward! I love staycations with my kids because it allows us to spend so much quality time together and do things we wouldn’t normally do without the overarching stress of a vacation.

All the planning, preparation, and the feeling of being obligated to make everyone have a good time can be exhausting. I always feel so obligated to jam pack our entire vacation to “get our money’s worth.”

Planning a staycation with kids will leave you feeling more refreshed. Not make you feel like you need another vacation to recover from your recently concluded vacation!

So if you are looking for something fun to do during spring or summer break, keep reading to discover creative and budget-friendly staycation ideas for families.  As well as the reasons why I believe staycations are better than destination vacations with kids.

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How A Staycation With Kids Can Be Better Than A Vacation

There are so many things I love about having a staycation with kids! Funnily enough, staycations with your kids open you up to new and different experiences that you just wouldn’t get on any other family vacation.

The most obvious benefit of a staycation is that it’s cheaper than a vacation. You don’t have to pay for a hotel, eating out all the time, travel and excursions.

And for a larger family like mine, destination vacations can get super costly. Can you relate?

Another great thing about a staycation with kids is that you get to spend time with friends and family in the local area. I shamefully admit something that I can be guilty of neglecting from time to time.

Between working, homeschooling, kids, and various other obligations, there never seems to be enough time to see the people who live on your doorstep. A staycation gives you the chance to see your loved ones and spend some quality time together.

A Staycation With Kids Is More Convenient

Staycations with kids are more convenient, especially when they’re younger. Everything that you need and all the things that your little one is used to having are right there at your disposal.

There is no filling the car to the brim with all the baby or toddler essentials just to ensure your vacation is comfortable. I think most people feel like they need a vacation after a vacation even more so when there are kids in tow!

Staycations can be so much more relaxing because you can catch up on those household projects you’ve meant to do. Yet, at the same time, schedule fun day trips, events, and activities.

You get the best of both! You can’t tell me that ticking some things off your to-do list won’t lift a weight off your shoulders!

Staycations can make you and your kids appreciate where you live. Too often, we forget to really look at what’s around us and be grateful for it.

A staycation will give you a newfound love of the restaurants, attractions, and scenery that’s right on your doorstep. You just might discover something really fabulous that you didn’t even know existed in your town.

family holding hands running in park

20 Creative Staycation Ideas for Families

Staycations with kids aren’t just about sitting around the house and watching TV. There are many more exciting things you could be doing!

Here are some of my favorite creative staycation ideas for families:

  1. See a live show. Look for concerts, comedians, or even open-air cinemas close to where you live.
  2. Go shopping at the mall. Give the kids their pocket money and let them choose a new toy to play with.
  3. Have a family BBQ. If the weather’s nice, invite your friends and family too!
  4. Have a picnic in the park.
  5. Go to a museum for something both fun and educational.
  6. Have a sports tournament. Make up your own sports games and let the fun begin!
  7. Make smoothies or lemonade… Or both!
  8. Make s’mores around the fire.
  9. Go for ice cream!
  10. Have a photoshoot. It doesn’t have to be professional. Get the kids to dress up and take fun photos!
  11. Attend a kid-friendly class in the local community.
  12. Do a science experiment. YouTube is an excellent resource for finding kid-friendly science experiments to do at home.
  13. Do some gardening. Teach the kids how to grow and look after plants.
  14. Go to a local festival. Check your town’s tourist information for upcoming events. 
  15. Have a spa day at home with facemask, cucumber slices, nail polish, and more!
  16. Go on a scavenger hunt. Hide things around the house, in the garden, or even in a local park.
  17. Do some crafts. Is it someone’s birthday coming up? You could make cards or hand-make gifts.
  18. Go to an aquarium. Who doesn’t love a day at the aquarium admiring beautiful creatures?
  19. Bake and decorate cookies. You could make them holiday-themed if there’s one coming up!
  20. Take an art class together! Bring your lunch to a painting studio and create an epic art piece you can hang on the wall at home.

Budget Staycation Ideas For Large Families

The best thing about a staycation with kids is that they don’t have to be expensive at all. Here are my favorite budget-friendly staycation ideas to help you maximize fun and minimize expenses!

  1. Have a beach day. Get your bathing suits, pack a lunch, and head to the beach. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
  2. Go for a bike ride on a local trail.
  3. Have a movie night at home with popcorn!
  4. Go for a hike and take binoculars so the kids can hunt for wildlife.
  5. Camp in the backyard and maybe even have a campfire to make s’ mores!
  6. Go to a bookstore or a library. Libraries often have free kids’ clubs or activities. If nothing else, you’ll be able to borrow a few books to read.
  7. Have a game night with various board and card games.
  8. Play lawn games like cornhole and badminton!
  9. Stargaze at night – a perfect backyard camping activity.
  10. Go fruit picking on a local trail and use it to make jelly.
  11. Have a water fight in the backyard.
  12. Help out a local charity.
  13. Build a pillow and a blanket fort!
  14. Camp out in a tent at a state park!
  15. Visit a local farm and pick fresh produce. Then make a dessert with your pickings.
  16.  Volunteer together as a family at a local charity in your area.
family camping in yard during staycation with kids

Tips For Making A Staycation With Kids Memorable

Whether it’s a vacation or a staycation, we want our kids to remember the fun things we do with them. If you’re going to make your staycations with kids memorable, try doing something that they’ve never done before.

Maybe consider having a YES day with them. Whatever they want to do, mom and dad have to say YES! Maybe have a few pre-established rules…like no harm can come to any family member.

We usually remember things better if it’s the first time experiencing them. You could also take lots of photos to commemorate your time together. Then have the kids organize them into a scrapbook or photo album by day to see if they remember what you did on which day of your staycation.

You could also video your staycation and make it into a fun video for them to watch. Invite the rest of the family over on the last night of your staycation. Have a viewing party to share your staycation video with the rest of the family!

Your Turn

Have you ever done a staycation with kids? What were your favorite staycation activities? I would love it if you shared your experience in the comments below!

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