Because of tough economic times, many will find they are unable to afford an away vacation this summer. May I recommend a summer Staycation? If you cannot afford to go away this year, you can do loads of things close to home!
Take the kids to all the touristy places your city has to offer. Check out the museums, the zoo, a water park or city pool. Take them to the library for various Saturday or evening events. Visit a local farm. Start a garden and let the kids have a small flower section (sunflowers, etc.). Have a water pistol fight. Buy bubbles.
Go to local festivals (especially the free ones). Spend an afternoon at a nice park with fun activity equipment and bring a picnic! Go hiking on a nature trail. Get out your bicycles and take a ride together.
Have a family game night with pizza. Have a Friday movie night complete with popcorn and candy. Do puzzles together.
Work on a fun craft project with your kids - remember paint by numbers? You can display their art on their bedroom walls!
Go to the beach or a lake for a day at the weekend. Don't forget hats and sunscreen. Take them roller skating! Have a slumber party. Watch the paper for special events like the circus. There are many ways you can have fun right at home. Get out and enjoy your summer!
By Gooby from Straughn, IN
These are all good suggestions. Often we overlook the great things there are to do in our hometowns (even if it is a small place, and not a city), thinking that we have to travel far afield to have fun.
Besides saving money, 'staycations' are much less stressful and I've almost always ended enjoying the home vs away much better ;-) Thank you for sharing your tips with us! :-)
I have been amazed how many people do not know what there is to see in their own home towns. I usually will ask people for interesting things to see - most do not know but they can direct me to the good restaurants :)
My addition, remembering a childhood with more staycations than I would have rathered, would be one full-on restaurant meal. MacDonalds when the children can order whatever they want or IHOP or whatever the budget and/or the children/adults want. If it's not even in the budget, don't mention it and get them yoghurts or ice-cream cones....in other words, something not often included in meals. Have fun, try to turn down the parent part for the day and enjoy.
We often forget that there are beautiful things in our own backyards. If you have a National Park close to your home, take a weekend and stay overnight to explore the wonders that make our country so beautiful. Remember vacations don't have to include a plane or be out of state they just need to be away from your home.
A change of scenery is always welcome - and if it can be done free or on a shoestring, all the better!
We live in a very small historical town in Montana, founded in 1889. We have so much to offer our tourist! Historical buildings, lakes, montains, streams and camping to just mention a few. We have 4 seasons to enjoy including a ski area, but the people that were born and lived here all their lives says "there is nothing to do." I am a transplant 8 years ago, own a gift shop and act as a tour guild when people come in my shop. I could spend another life time just studying the town history, but "There is nothing to do "!
So nice to read this. It's not about distance it's about loving where we are. Our towns are destinations for other people to travel and then we spend more time and money to go somewhere else.
Thank you so much for sharing.
My town has a lake, and yes you can fish in it. There is a dinosaur museum. In a nearby town you can visit a part of a national park that has fossils and petrified wood. There is the possibility of finding a fossil. They have tours, nature walks, and talks about wildlife.
The local library has a reptile guy who comes to visit. They also have a story lady and movie night.
There are vendors in the park and fireworks on the Fourth of July and an outdoor symphony on the fifth. The kids can climb on a fire truck and the firefighters give out free bike safety helmets.
There is a public pool. We have Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts organizations. There are campgrounds within city limits.
Every year there is a "dog walk in the park" with booths and dog games sponsored by the animal shelter. There are kids softball teams, soccer and so forth.
There is a Parks and Rec with classes and activities for adults and children. You have to pay for most of them, but it is cheaper than going on vacation.
The internet is a wonderful tool for "staycations." Get a compass and, on a printed out map of your area, put the pointer on your city/town and draw a 25 mile (or whatever) radius circle around your home. Then do your research on all the places inside the circle. Everything there will be easy driving distance and it will be loaded with small parks/conservation areas where you can enjoy picnic lunches. It will also be loaded with plenty of local attractions. You could spend two or three summers just exploring what's in your own backyard.
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