Families have so many expenses that it often seems impossible to tuck a little extra away for savings.
Between birthday parties, sports, and dental visits (I told him to brush his teeth!), going away on a summer family vacation may not be an option.
But don’t let that stop you from having a fun family bonding experience this season!
Get all the memories you will need to fill the photo album with a staycation that will sweep the kids off into a distant land.
Living in a social media crazed society, feeling like you must post an Instagram worthy vacation is par for the course.
Being present in the precious little moments that may not be the perfect posting pictures are the ones they will remember the most.
So, whether you like to spread your wings every other year, or the budget just doesn’t have any wiggle room for a destination trip, try one of these staycation ideas to make the most of summer.
1. Road Trip
I know what you are thinking- a road trip is a vacation! But this isn’t the typical cross-country road trip, but one where you visit somewhere in your region you have never been before.
Sometimes we don’t take the time to immerse ourselves with the history, culture, or attractions that are right next door.
Even just driving the countryside, or through a city, can be a fun experience. Another option would be to take a train to the next city; taking your time to really see what is all around you.
2. Rock Climbing
Have you ever been to a rock climbing gym? It’s incredible!
You still get the adrenaline rush (and workout) that you would if you were really scaling the steep slopes of Acadia National Park in Maine.
Get the whole family strapped into their safety harnesses and race up the wall. Take the day to try all the gym has to offer, and maybe you will find you have a new family hobby.
3. Backyard Camping
Getting fresh air and sleeping under the stars is a therapeutic experience and is sure to get the family bonding; even your stubborn teenager who would rather check Facebook all day.
Tuck the electronic devices away somewhere, set up the tents, build the fire, and let the night transcend you to a mountainous ridge.
This family staycation costs next to nothing but offers all the benefits of going on a trip.
4. Scavenger Hunt
Last year at my family reunion, dad set up an epic scavenger hunt that had the whole family (grandma too!) hunting for clues all over the wooded property.
The journey began with a riddle that we all had a blast solving, leading us to the next destination.
When we reached where ‘X’ marked the spot there was a shovel nearby that we took turns using to dig up a military canister filled with chocolate coins!
The anticipation, thought, and bonding that goes into a scavenger hunt gets all ages involved, and they will instantly forget about the beach the neighbor was bragging about earlier.
5. Water Park
Going to a water park is the next best thing to going away for the summer- I mean, that is what everybody is waiting to do anyway.
Many local cities have a water park where you can spend the day with some fun in the sun.
Pack a lunch and get their when they open so you can reap the full benefits of a day away. Allow the kids to get a special treat, or pool toy to make the trip special.
6. Petting Zoo
Connecting with animals makes the whole family get the warm and fuzzies. Look up your closest petting zoo, fair, or farm to spend the day doing something out of the ordinary.
Some farms may have the option to get involved with the day to day activities, like milking cows, feeding the goats, or shearing sheep.
Be sure to follow proper hand washing protocols to effectively guard the family against bacteria that animals are more prone to carry so you don’t have an unfortunate accident, as Mommy Underground has previously reported.
7. Family Project
The school year can be so hectic that you may never get to build that tree house with your son or make that doll castle with your daughter.
Take the summer to spend quality time over the course of a week or more, working on a family project together.
Plus, using the finished product when it is completed will keep the kids excited for the remainder of the summer.
There is so much fun to be had in our own backyard (literally!), that it is not necessary to travel far and wide to give your family a memorable summer experience.
(h/t Mommy Underground)