Sometimes, as much as we’d like to get away, we simply can’t venture beyond our own backyard. But sleeping in your own bed at night still can feel like a vacation if you try these staycation ideas. All it takes is a little creativity and some advance planning to make a staycation in your own home feel more like a real vacation.
Winning Staycation Ideas
Yes, it would be lovely to pack up the kids and head to Hawaii for a relaxing family vacation. But, if you don’t happen to have a few thousand dollars for airfare, luxury accommodations and fabulous excursions, it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun on your family vacation.
Just think–by sleeping in your own beds every night, you save money that you can spend on excursions close to home and maybe a nice meal out. Best of all, there’s no packing list required!
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These staycation ideas will help make a vacation in your own town feel more like an actual getaway.
TravelingMom Tip: It’s a vacation. So turn off your cell phone and ditch the work emails, at least while the kids are awake.
Order Take Out
My kids’ favorite thing to do on vacation is to order room service. At home, eating in front of the television is reserved for special occasions. So ordering room service and eating in front of the TV while stretched out on the bed is a truly decadent thing for them. Recreate that feeling in your living room. Call for your order (pizza is fine!), then wait for the knock on the door that says, “It’s dinner time.”
What kid doesn’t like creating his or her own masterpiece? Visit the library and check out some DIY craft books. Pour over Pinterest for great crafty ideas. Then head to the local craft store to pick up the supplies you’ll need. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the dollar bin for some additional fun craft ideas.
You’ve got the time, so head to the kitchen. Maybe you couldn’t vacation in Mexico, but you still can still eat like you’re there. Head to the library to pick up some ethnic cookbooks. Or cruise the web for great recipes. Ask the kids where they would like to go, then take them there for dinner, right in your own dining room!
Have a pajama day!
Nobody gets dressed all day long. That’s just plain indulgent.
Have an indoor picnic
Spread a blanket on the living room floor and have an impromptu picnic lunch. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like outside. As an added plus, you won’t have to deal with uninvited buggy guests.
Put on a talent show
My kids loved to put together goofy “plays” and entertain us. Usually they came complete with props and costumes from the dress-up bin. Or, if your kids are musicians, ask them to give a concert. Line up the dining room chairs, make up tickets, and have a “usher” show you to your seats. If you’re feeling extra ambitious or it’s a show with several acts, make up play bills on the computer.
Have a movie marathon
Don’t just do a movie night — make it a marathon! Everyone picks a movie they’d like to watch and you spend the day lying around, binging Netflix and relaxing. Combine this with pajama day for a double-the-fun treat.
You can do this the easy way by setting up the sleeping bags on the family room floor. Or you can go all out and set up a tent in the basement. Whichever you choose, make it feel like a real camp out. If you can’t have a campfire in the backyard, make s’mores in the microwave. Then tell stories by flashlight and sing camp songs or tell ghost stories before everyone turns in for the night.
Head outside for some silly fun
No matter the weather, Silly String is always fun. Head to the dollar store to buy a few cans, then pair off for a competitive game of Silly String. Outdoors, of course. (If you’re planning ahead, you can even order Silly String for overnight delivery from Amazon Prime!)
Have an old fashioned game night
We love to pull out the board games and engage in a little friendly competition. Sometimes we play individually, and other times we team up. We like to switch up the teams each time we play. We’ve also enjoyed teaching the kids card games and have been known to play poker for M&Ms.
Plan a spa day
This might sound like something that would only work if you have daughters, but the whole family can have fun with it. Who doesn’t like a little neck massage now and then? You can spend a silly afternoon putting makeup on one another and testing funny hairdos.
Explore your own town
Are there local museums you’ve been meaning to visit? A stay-at-home vacation is the perfect time to go. Or maybe you want to splurge and a take a mini road trip to a nearby indoor waterpark or that laser tag place the kids have been begging to try.
How do you make a staycation feel more like a vacation? Tell us in the comment section below.