The Ultimate Staycation

fam1It’s summertime, and that means vacation time! However, many families may either be too busy to take a full vacation away from home, or they are not financially able to do so this year. So, why not recommend a family staycation this summer! In case you’re not familiar with one, a staycation is a fairly new term for a vacation that’s done at home. Many families are now choosing to stay home––or close to home––rather than taking big, extended trips out of town.

The Plan

Planning a staycation can be a lot of fun, and fairly simple. First, come up with a budget and date. You may choose to spend a solid weekend for your staycation, or spread it out over a week or two. Or, if your parents can’t take time off work, plan on doing a different, and simple, activity each night when everyone is home. That’s the great thing about it––it’s totally flexible. Next, discuss with your family what you’d all like to do. You may choose to do one big thing that you’d all enjoy, such as a camping trip to a nearby state park. Or, you could decide on a time frame and let each person choose an activity he or she would like the family to do together (keeping the budget in mind). Below are some fun family staycation ideas, but be creative and come up with some of your own also!

Backyard Campout

No state or local park nearby? Camp out in your own backyard! One benefit? You have your own bathrooms. Grab your camping gear and head out to the great outdoors. Pitch a tent together, make a fire (just check with your local fire codes first), and roast some hotdogs for dinner. Then spend the evening playing cards or talking and looking at the stars. If you don’t have the yard for a campout, pull out some sleeping bags and camp out in your family room. Just the variation alone will make it a special time. And don’t forget the s’mores!


fam2The zoo is an easy idea that the entire family can enjoy. Pack your own snacks and lunches to save money, and head out to see some of the amazing animals that God created. Or try out an aquarium if you live near one. Some great zoos around the country (if you live within driving distance) are the San Diego Zoo, the Columbus Zoo, the Cincinnati Zoo, the Memphis Zoo, and the St. Louis Zoo.

Whitewater Rafting/Canoeing

If you live near a river (and have an adventurous family), you may have the exciting option of spending a day on the water. Check your area for whitewater rafting or canoeing guides and availability. Bring a picnic lunch (use waterproof packaging!) and spend the day with your family braving the rapids.


Many cities have a great selection of museums and science and art centers. If someone in your family enjoys science, history, or art, he or she may choose for the family to spend an afternoon touring a museum or historical site. Bring a lunch to eat nearby at a local park, or find a new, fun restaurant you haven’t tried yet.

Amusement park

If your family lives near an amusement park, this might be the staycation idea for you! Get there early (and on a weekday, if possible) to beat some of the crowds, and bring your own snacks and lunches, since park prices are usually very high. Remember to consider younger siblings who may not be old enough or tall enough to ride some of the rides. Research your amusement park to find activities the entire family can enjoy.

Pizza/movie night, homemade ice cream

A great staycation doesn’t mean you have to even leave your house. One person in your family may opt for the enjoyable idea of some time spent at home with the family, doing something you’re all often too busy to do. Have a pizza and movie night, or cookout and make some homemade ice cream to kick off the start of summer. (No ice cream maker? Check out this super-easy recipe.) Pull out a fun family game, or set up the croquet set or volleyball net.

Ready, Set, Go!

fam4Enough ideas! It’s your turn. God has given us our families (Ephesians 3:14-15), so let’s take the time to appreciate them and have fun with them! Get your family together and discuss some fun options for this latest trend––the family staycation. I’ve given you just a few suggestions, but every family is different. Come up with some unique and creative ideas that your family can enjoy, close to home and much cheaper than the typical family retreat. And don’t forget to take pictures!

By Lisa Grimenstein

Speak Your Mind