Ducks 'n a Row: Simple Summers -- 12 Great Ideas for Taking Vacations at Home

23 May 2013

Simple Summers -- 12 Great Ideas for Taking Vacations at Home

By Sinea Pies

Will getting away for a summer vacation be in your plans this year?  If not, "staycations" are becoming more and more popular in place of the proverbial "Family Vacation" 
Let's investigate the possibilities of things you can do...

12 Great Ideas for Taking Vacations at Home

1. Backyard Carnival
Invite the neighborhood kids for a carnival right in your yard. Set up areas for bean bag toss, a wading pool for fishing for toys,
do face painting, serve fun snacks. Enlist the help of other parents and older siblings to get everyone involved!

2. Lemonade Stand
Set your kids up in business with an old-fashioned lemonade stand. Depending on how business goes, you may want to match the intake with some money from your own pocketbook and take the little guys to the store to spend it.  

(If the money is destined for the piggy-bank, plan some kind of a celebration for a job well done. How about making homemade pizzas?)

3. Rainy Days
Summer is meant to always be sunny, isn't it?  But sometimes it's not.  On rainy days, get out the board games, have movies and popcorn or go outside to play in the puddles!

4. Visit a Petting Zoo
Free petting zoos are lots of fun for the kids.  If you don't have a regular petting zoo
in your neighborhood, keep your eye out for the county fair where similar opportunities are available. Of course, you can always go to the "real" zoo, too.  Look for discount coupons to cut the cost a bit.

5. Go Fishing
Do you have a fishing hole nearby?  A creek, pond or lake will do.  Bring your sunscreen, pole-hooks-bait, and for adults, a fishing license (most states require one) and have a great time outdoors. Keep the cell phone with you for emergencies, but turn it off for a quiet, uninterrupted time with the family.

6. Put on a Play
Do you have some young thespians in  your household?
Suggest that they put on a backyard play.
Invite their friends and other siblings to take part ---parents can be the audience.

7. Water Day
Similar to the carnival, plan a water day. Set up areas with a wading pool, slip 'n slide, sprinkler, water balloons. Get 'em wet.  Have lunch on hand...all that water and fresh air works up an appetite!

8. Family Picnic
Get out the cooler, stuff it with great food and cold drinks, load up the kids and the dog and go to a park for a family picnic. Bring frisbees and other "picnic toys", too.

9. Little League

Got any young ballplayers in the crowd?  
Little league is not just for kids.
Make it a family occasion. 
Plan more than just going to the game.

Add on a stop at the ice cream stand on the way home.

10. Homemade Ice Cream
Speaking of ice cream, have you ever made your own in an old fashioned crank-style ice cream maker?  It is an experience that every child should have. Get the whole family involved!

11. Bike Parade
Invite the neighborhood to join in a bike parade. Get out the streamers and the camera for this colorful event. Tiny tots can ride decorated wagons with their parents pulling them along. Even pets can join in, but they  must be "decorated", of course.

12. Camp Out
Pitch a tent in the back yard, or indoors, and let the kids have an overnight.  

Set up a bonfire in the backyard and provide hotdogs and marshmallows to roast over the flame--of course you will want to make S'mores.  

More ideas: 10 Fun Things To Do With Your Kids For Free (or cheap)

Need a night off from kids? Plan with another family to host an overnight at one house and another at yours.
Each set of parents gets a night to themselves.

What stay-at-home vacation ideas can you come up with? 
Help us grow our list!
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Photo credits:
Facepainting from MyTinyTots
Girl Slip 'n Slide from Thundafunda
Child with Ice Cream Cone by Stuart Miles Freedigital Photos
S'mores by OakleyOriginals Flickr creative commons

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