8 Family Staycation Ideas - Staycation HQ
The best staycation ideas are those that use great things you already have or will use often. You can do these family fun activities at home, indoors or outside, without staying at a local hotel to feel like you're getting a vacation. That's why we love these eight ideas for family activities that everyone will love!
1. Indoor or Backyard Camping
This classic weekend activity is perfect for any weather, especially rainy days! If your family loves national parks, turn your own backyard into one. Pack a backpack with a lot of fun trail snacks, fresh fruits, water, sleeping bags, and a map.
If you have little kids, make an activity map for them where they need to look out for some aspects of the park, such as leaves, rocks, animals, and animal tracks…then you can end your day roasting s'mores over a fire pit and sleeping in a tent in the yard. If you don't have a backyard space, the next best place to take your adventure to is the local park, and then make smores in the microwave in your own kitchen. Next, pop your tent in the living room and make shadow puppets on the walls with a flashlight. This is a perfect opportunity to have your kids tell stories they make up with the shapes they make with their hands.
2. Ultimate Games Expo
This is one of the many fun staycation ideas to appeal to the competitive sides of your family members. You can set up several stations to appeal to all ages and personalities.
For example, put video games in one part of the living room, billiards in the other with ping pong, pool, and darts, in the dining room, and card games and board games in the guest room. Then, host a mini sporting event and have family members be the referee. Your kids (and adults!) can take turns at the stations competing until there is a reigning champion of each game. If you want to take the competition one step further, use a dry-erase marker and board to make a bracket for the players to face off.
3. Scavenger Hunt
Birthdays are the perfect time for scavenger hunts. They are a great activity to make the special events that much more, especially if you have a variety of ages among your kiddos. You can do them at home or tailor them to local attractions. For example, if you live near state parks, you can go for a short drive, take a day trip, or plan a hike or bike ride to look for specific things. Or visit local museums and tick off your to-do list in that park. For example, take a photo of a particular art piece using a cell phone. Then, use what you have at home, like a gazebo in your backyard, as a home base for puzzle clues and a meeting point for your teams to report what they've found.
4. Family Movie Marathon
Want to have a great time without leaving your living room for the next family's staycation? Have a movie marathon! If you have a blank wall, you can set up a projector to cast the movie you want to watch on "the big screen." There are also big inflatable screens if you want to set up a backyard movie night and invite your friends. Then, pop the popcorn, have your favorite candies ready, and press play. A movie marathon would also be a great spring break staycation activity. You can do this on the last week when everyone is slowing down and easing back from vacation mode.
5. DIY Water Park
This is an excellent option if you have a backyard, stir-crazy kids (and older children), and some warm weather. You'll need some super soakers, a shallow kiddie pool, water balloons, and a slip 'n' slide. It's a better way to cool off in the summer in a fun, family way. Some fun things to do to keep cool are to have a water balloon toss, a super soaker battle, or set up a water table in the kiddie pool for your younger tots. A DIY water park is a great way to spend time doing outdoor activities and a fun alternative to amusement parks!
6. Art Expo
Want to celebrate your kids' creative sides? Have an art show! This is the perfect way to show off your kids' recent craft project or to start a new one. First, collect all the art you have from your kids and have them create some new pieces. Then have everyone dress their best and get a snack spread ready. We're talking cheese board, charcuterie, and your favorite things to munch and dip. Have some of your favorite wines chilling in the fridge for the parents. Let your kids present their art to you in creative ways, and if you're feeling fancy, have an art auction where the highest bidder wins the art—but maybe use monopoly money! Another great option is to take your kids to the local library to check out art books and learn fun things about different artistic movements.
7. Tour Your Town
Have you ever "visited" your local area? It's a great way to find new places in your own town and have much fun, whether you're trying the newest local restaurant. These are some great ideas to travel while still sleeping in your own bed! See if there are free events you and your family can attend. For example, if you live near a local farm, it's an excellent place for a family to travel and learn about where food comes from. Or try all the flavors of ice cream at your favorite ice cream shop so you can make a visitor guide to your town.
8. Spa Vacation
What's more relaxing than spending the day at the spa? Spending the day at the spa without ever leaving your home! For those who love to relax, a spa weekend may be the perfect staycation or at-home-get away. Instead of booking a massage, watch your favorite show or movie while sitting in a massage chair. Then, take a steam in the sauna and dip in the spa. You can sip on "spa water" filled with fresh fruit and cucumbers or have an icy margarita (adults only!) while painting your toenails. This is a great way to bond and make great memories with your older kids, who may want to relax after a tough school year!
Ready to Try These Family Staycation Ideas
The good news is that you can plan a great staycation no matter your budget or the weather, and your kids will definitely have an answer when asked, "what did you do last summer?" What family staycation activities have you planned for your next break?