Jun 232014

Summer Staycation Ideas

Need a getaway, but you can’t leave town? Take a staycation! A staycation is a vacation, except it doesn’t involve having to pack your bags and leave home. There are different variations of this. Some staycations are taken completely at home, and some involve multiple day trips to nearby areas, or even an overnight outing in a local area.

Just like a traditional vacation, a staycation is best when planned. Researching local activities, deciding on a budget and getting the family involved can help make your staycation a success.

The next time you have a few days off, but for whatever reason you can’t leave town, try a few of these summer staycation ideas for easy fun and relaxation! There are ideas for every budget, and many of them are free!

1.  Try being a tourist in your own town. Many people confess that there are attractions in or around their own community that they have never seen. Do a little research, and see what your community has to offer.

2.  Find free events and attractions. Get online and find out what is going on for free in your area. Often times, museums have free or discounted days. See what kinds of cultural events or festivals are taking place nearby. Visit parks that you normally wouldn’t go to, or see if any are hosting outdoor movie nights.

3.  Plan a stay-at-home vacation. If you have kids, get together and plan some fun activities together. If the weather is going to be hot and you don’t have a pool, turn your backyard into a water park! Gather water balloons, squirt guns, a sprinkler or whatever you can find. Put on some festive island music and have plenty of popsicles or other frozen treats available.

4.  Pick a theme: An arts and crafts staycation could involve visiting a museum or two and then having an “art party.” Make and decorate masks, do paper mache, create a family mural. Purchase some cheap canvases and create abstract art. Display the family’s “gallery” outdoors and invite friends and neighbors over for an art show.

5.  Other theme ideas: Nature, volunteer, fitness, spa day, etc.

With some imagination and planning, you can come up with tons of summer staycation ideas that will create wonderful memories for years to come.

  114 Responses to “Summer Staycation Ideas!”

  1. I like the idea because it saves money and eliminates the 3 hour car ride with children

  2. These are great ideas. We took a staycation the year I was pregnant with my 2nd child. It was the heat of summer and we needed options. It actually turned out to be one of the best summers.

  3. I really love the idea of being a tourist in your own town. Even though we live in hicksville,there are areas that we have yet to discover and explore!

  4. Thank you for these ideas.I really love to find free places to go.My kiddies love some of the free museums so we will be heading to them again this summer.

  5. I like the idea of being a tourist in your own town. Especially since there is so much history in many of the towns here in New England.

  6. Absolutely wonderful ideas and seriously need to do a few of these now that the kids are out of school for the summer 😉

  7. There are definitely things in my own town that I haven’t taken the time to see! I really need to do that. I regretted not doing it in the bazillion other cities in which I’ve lived.

  8. These are all great tips. When we lived in Florida there so many things around us that we never took advantage of… I learned my lesson and we explore as much as we can around us now!

  9. Regarding being a tourist in your own town, that is brilliant. I live in NYC and realized I am just as entitled as an out of towner to take a tourist discount book from the kiosk! I loe to save money! Mitch

  10. I keep telling my husband we need an in-ground pool so that we can have staycations every summer 🙂

  11. Great ideas! We bought a big inflatable pool, and my kids play in it while I sit “by the pool” with a drink and hang out. It’s the best!

  12. This is perfect for us cause we won’t be able to have a vacation this year so me and my son are taking a staycation (unfortunately my husband has to work most of our staycation) These are some great idea! I am putting a list together now so we can make the most of our staycation!

  13. geocaching and letterboxing are also great staycation ideas. there’s a lot you can discover about where you live doing staycations!

  14. it would be neat if we actually had a backyard 😉 so happy this year we get to go to maui!

  15. Looks like so many fun ideas! This is a great list.

  16. Great tips! There are so many things local and free ones too!

  17. I love staycations! No need for travel, and long hours at the airport, having fun close to home is a great thing.

  18. Love these ideas! Pinned them so I can pull them out when the boys are driving me crazy. 🙂

  19. I love these ideas! I live near Chicago, but my staycations generally involve the stay portion of the word. Maybe it’s time I changed that!

  20. I think a staycation is a fantastic idea, especially since not a lot of people can afford a vacation-vacation these days. I know I sure can’t! I’m in need of a little getaway so I might have to put some of these ideas into action 🙂

  21. There is so much to see in ATL, and many of our museums have rotating exhibits, so there’s always something new to see!

  22. Our city is such a tourist destination – especially right now and in the fall. I LOVE playing tourist in my own town!

  23. we used to do a lot of acting like a tourist in my own town and it was a lot of fun. Now we just moved and it’s like a whole new adventure! We get to find out all the fun things to do in our new town. Great staycation ideas!

  24. I’ve been trying your suggestion of being a tourist in my own town. I’ve lived here for going on 8 years and there is still so much I haven’t done, explored, or experienced. Great tips!

  25. Our city has some great programs and events during the summer months. I’m looking forward to taking in as many as I can!

  26. What a great idea, becoming a tourist in your own hometown/area. I bet I’d learn and discover things that were right under my nose the whole time but never noticed!

  27. That stay at home vacation sounds perfect for us! I will have to plan one asap!

  28. My husband and I have been talking about having a stay cation here in Phoenix. So much fun to take advantage of the things around us!

  29. Really great tip. I think it’s such a fun idea to be a tourist in your own city.

  30. Robin- your family is always getting into something fun, I find it hard to believe you have enough time for a staycation! I can totally identify with #1- I lived on Long Island in New York for 3 years and didn’t make it to the Statue of Liberty until the week before I left.

  31. I love the camping in the backyard kind of staycation. Or a spa staycation for moms only!

  32. This Summer we decided to skip vacation and do more local activities. I saw someone make a huge obstacle course in their backyard and they just made a day of water fun. I think we are going to do that next month around July 4th!

  33. I love a short little road trip for the day. Its always an adventure with us!

  34. My husband took my kids to the library tonight for a craft night. I love using the library since they have great events that are free 🙂 Great list, we are staying home this summer, no big vacation so your ideas are great for us!

  35. It seems like every summer day is a staycation around here. It am always open to ideas to keep my kids busy and productive and happy all at the same time.

  36. I think staycation is in our future for this summer. Too busy to get away for anything longer than two or three days. Thanks for the ideas

  37. I wouldn’t mind an arts and crafts staycation myself. We all love to color, draw and use other art media in this house.

  38. Oooo I love the idea of a themed staycations! Sometimes traveling leave me more tired than before we started out which kinda defeats the purpose of a vacation haha.

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  39. I just found an awesome spring in the town next to us doing research. I think I smell an adventure coming on.

  40. I’m always looking for budget friendly ideas to have fun and be creative so a staycation is right up my alley. I like utilizing free events/attractions around the city, wish I knew where to find all the listings though. I need connections lol.

  41. I think a staycation would be awesome. Sometimes it’s way, way more stressful to actually go somewhere. I like the idea of being a tourist in my own town. We live in quite a touristy area, so that would work great around here.

  42. Great ideas! We love being a tourist in our own town. There’s so much to do in St. Louis.

  43. What a good idea to pick a theme. We’re often tourists in our town and we always discover new things.

  44. Fantastic ideas. Several sound like great for my grandkids. Lots of fun.

  45. good ideas – where we used to live they had the free movie nights through the library I don’t know if they have that here – but those were fun.

    I like all the other suggestions too 🙂

  46. This sounds very economical and a lot less stressful! Although we have done a lot here in Chattanooga I’m sure there are still some things we can do and see!

  47. I love the idea to explore our own town. So many times I forget all the cool stuff we have right here!

  48. Being a tourist in your town is so fun. Thanks for sharing these great tips.

  49. I am totally in agreement about being a tourist in your own town. There is so much to do in my area and sometimes I forget.

  50. Staycations are a lifesaver! I love the theme ideas you gave. We might do a nature staycation soon!

  51. These are great ideas….there are so many great things to do locally! Since I don’t care for long car rides, local is perfect for me!

  52. We have been talking about taking the kids out to the back yard and putting up the tent for a mini staycation. Our youngest is 3 and we really think she might be ready to try a little camping !

  53. What a great list. We had some mighty plans to go on vacation this summer then my laptop died and all our money went to that and other things. 🙁 A staycation sounds like just what we need

  54. We do a lot of traveling and we love staycations, these are great tips.

  55. I love the term staycation! We can have just as fun at home

  56. Yes, yes, yes! Thank you for this post! I always see people telling me where to go and sometimes it is just not a viable option for families with small kids!

  57. We usually only take staycations! We like staying close to home and usually they end up being a lot cheaper!

  58. Those are great ideas for staycations! Also sounds much more frugal then traveling.

  59. I’ve been stacationing for years. I’m am so itching to go somewhere. Anywhere.


  60. Since my husband and I have very hectic work schedules, we love enjoying stay cations and these are some great ideas for planning ones.

  61. Yeah I plan on doing quite a few “staycations” because I dont know when i will take a real one! Definitely going to use some blogger perks and get some free/sponsored activities to do!

  62. I love this idea – hubby and I are talking about doing this for our anniversary actually – maybe that sounds lame but right now the idea of getting everything coordinated to go away is daunting! Home alone without the kids sounds like a spa to me !:)

  63. Love this idea! In LA there are so many things to do without leaving our own town!

  64. GREAT IDEAS!! We’re doing a bunch of little staycation activities this summer since my husband doesn’t have time off, and we have a big trip planned for October!

  65. We did a staycation last year and it was awesome! I forgot how much stuff there is to do here. I definitely try to take advantage of what this city has to offer more often.

  66. Staycation is what I will be doing this year! I do not want to travel other then the local theme parks and festivals!

  67. These are some great ideas and we are doing a staycation this year and I am so excited about it.

  68. we are going to be stuck home without a car quite a bit this summer, so I really like the idea of “theme” days. I don’t want to over plan this summer, but picking one theme a week is not too much at all. And of course, we do make a lot of use of local water parks, beaches and our inflatable pool or the sprinkler. I’m a big water balloon fight fan too. but that takes a lot of prep time: and is over in like 5 minutes.

  69. I’d love to take a nice vacation this year, but it’s just not in the cards. So, a staycation it is. We have a few places around here that we have never been to so we plan on making a few little trips around locally.

  70. Staycations are a great way to spend time with the family. It works great when the family can create themes and then enjoy outings and food around an idea.

  71. Great ideas. We are definitely doing a staycation this year because we are in the middle of a remodel.

  72. We do a lot of staycations during the year.

  73. This year we recently moved to the Charlotte area so we are going to be doing a lot of staycations this summer, and I’m always looking for the free activities or discounts on yearly passes/memberships… with 5 kids it gets expensive taking them anywhere!

  74. I like pretending to be a tourist in your own town! It has a lot of options for us in FL!

  75. Great tips! I love the suggestion to be a tourist in your own town!

  76. We’re doing a staycation for a week in July … it should be interesting to see what we end up doing.

  77. We did staycations in addition to our vacations when my children were young. There is so much to see and do in our state and local area that we could always find fun.

  78. Great staycation ideas! We traveled a ton last summer and moved just a week ago so this is a quiet summer but we’re excited to explore our new city! Thanks for the tips.

  79. You have some great ideas! We actually just went and toured the small towns around us and found some very interesting things.

  80. Those are all such great ideas! Thank you so much!

  81. I love our staycations – I think we have more fun then actually leaving town! There are so many free activities through our local library, including animal shows, movie times, crafts and more. The kids also LOVE the splash pad and our pool. Why leave when you have so much in town?! Thanks for sharing all your great ideas!

  82. I like the idea of turning the backyard into a water park! 🙂 That would be SO much fun!!!

  83. I love staycations. you can have even more fun with the family and also spend less.

  84. LOVE all of your ideas! Staycations are the best (and helps save so much)!

  85. Montreal is such a big city that it is easy to play tourist here. There are so many places to see and so many fun things. We will be having a staycation here for sure!

  86. Great ideas! We have an RV and I told hubs that the kids would love to sleep in it in the drive way, campfire and all 🙂 So it should be fun and cheap lol

  87. Great ideas, we are having a summer staycation this year. I have planned a few fun activities at home.

  88. These are great tips for planning a staycation. I know there are things to do around my home that I’ve never done before.

  89. Great ideas! Since we are going to Disney this fall, summer travel isn’t happening this year. We need to find inexpensive things to do locally.

  90. I love playing tourist in my own city! It’s amazing to see things through the eyes of a “tourist”

  91. Staycations are such a great way to save money, but also explore your own backyard. There are so many things to do a short drive away that we tend to overlook.

  92. I love having a staycation in our favorite city! Great ideas and suggestions! We love to utilize our location whenever possible.

  93. What my girls like to do is taken a 1 hour drive. We usually venture to nearby states and get out and walk. We have no idea where we are but he fun we have is amazing. Once we found a hiking trail and another time we found a small town filled with antique shops.

  94. That is such a great idea. We are getting ready for our trip to South Dakota next week!

  95. I want to start playing tourist in my own town more. We did it when we lived in Kingston but it is harder for me in Ottawa since I grew up here so everything seems boring to me.

  96. We’re busy planning lots of fun staycations for the next couple months. I’m looking forward to visiting a bunch of the places near us that we don’t have time to visit when school is in session.

  97. Being a tourist in your own town is really a great idea. I do that all of the time. I realize that there are so many things that i take for granted around my own city and I try to explore them all.

  98. Great ideas! We stayed home last year and just tried to make it a blast without spending a ton!

  99. There are so many activities around here we’ve never done! I really do need to take a week and do the whole tourist thing.

  100. Those are some great ideas. I think I may just have to use a few of those since we’re forgoing Disney this year because of the mosquito issue in Florida.

  101. Love it bring on all the ideas I so need them!!!

  102. I would love to find a staycation at our local area. We have fun stuff to do.

  103. Love these ideas! A staycation is perfect to save money and to just sit back and enjoy time with your family!

  104. Great ideas, when the kids were little and we did not have a second car I did a lot of staycations in the area with the kids. Great ideas all sound fun.

  105. Staying in a hotel can also give you a nice break from cleaning and cooking 🙂

  106. Going to a museum is always my favorite. 🙂

  107. You always have the best ideas ! I love reading about them and I will be sure to try these out. I love the idea about a stay cation.

  108. Staycations are my favorite!! I love being a tourist in my own town 🙂

  109. These are some great ideas! It’s always fun to experience your city in a new way.

  110. I love these ideas! I’d like to be your child, I bet they have so much fun, lol

  111. I live in a small city, so there is always something to do in my area! 🙂

  112. Great ideas, we are all about the staycations this year!