Times are tight. Money is scarce. You want your kids to have a wonderful summer full of great memories but you can’t keep up with the Jones’ this year. There just isn’t enough in the pot to travel away from your home. Here are five staycation ideas that will cost pennies to do and create memories for a lifetime.
Camp in Your Backyard
You’ve thought about it. Your kids have begged for it. You’ve been putting it off because logistically it seems like it might be a lot of work. Relax, and remember you are an arm’s length from all the comforts of home. Take the whole day to set up the tent. If you’re playing scrabble by lantern and you realize you forgot to bring bug spray then head on in to the lodge. If you hear a loud noise and your kids can’t convince you it was only the neighbor’s dog then head in for a flashlight. This is really a no worries, no cost idea, that your kids will adore. Staycation ideas are great because we often don’t have to leave the comfort of our own backyard.
Set up a Treasure Hunt Around Your Town
Yes, this one will take a little leg work. Grab a map and place some inexpensive items strategically around points of interest in your town. Give your kids clues to the whereabouts of the treasures and let them lead the way. The bonus: they’ll get a local history lesson while exploring their town. Don’t forget to take photos to document the trek.
Outdoor Cinema Weekend
This is not as daunting as it sounds, really. Rent a projector from an electronics store and wait until dark so you can hang a white bed sheet from a clothesline or a deck to projects your films for the outdoor crowd. Pick a theme for the weekend to make it more interesting. How about an eighties weekend where you introduce your children to The Goonies, Labyrinth, E.T. and other gems from your childhood? Don’t forget the snacks!
What’s better than a vacation from some responsibility? The kids will love to take on the parenting roles and you’ll relish in being a kid again. Spend a weekend letting the little ones make the big decision (within reason, of course) and no doubt this will be their favorite weekend of the year. Are you having Ice cream for breakfast and popcorn in bed? Are you spending the morning at the movie theater and the evening at the beach? It’s all fair game on Freaky Friday.
Get Your Charity On
Nothing feels better than to do for others so help your children spend some of their summer vacation volunteering at various locations across your town. Maybe they’d like to make some friends at the animal shelter or maybe they’ll enjoy the stories only seniors can tell. Either way, they’ll get much more from time spent in service to others than an overpriced week away at a tourist trap.
Even when money is tough to come by you can make sure you and your children have a summer to remember by incorporating a little creativity into your summer plans.