What are the best staycation ideas if your beach plans have been canceled?
Earlier this year, you might have made the perfect summer plans to go to the beach, head into the mountains, or travel to another country. However, COVID-19 came along and interrupted your dreams of vacation — now, the kids are disappointed, and you’re feeling bummed out, too.
Don’t despair! Maybe you can’t get away, but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a little rest and relaxation closer to home. Here are six fabulous staycation ideas that are sure to delight the entire family.
Camp in your backyard
Getting back to nature doesn’t require a boarding pass. You can enjoy the great outdoors close to home by camping out in your backyard. All you need is a tent or two — there’s no need for a fire ring when you have a grill handy. Even if you are an urban dweller, you can take blankets out to your balcony to construct a makeshift fort.
Be sure to include classic campsite activities to make the experience authentic, like the following:
- Make s’mores: You can do this on the grill or over a fire — and if you drop one, you can just head to the kitchen for a replacement.
- Tell ghost stories: Make sure you have plenty of flashlight batteries to make it spooky and fun.
- Go stargazing: Do you have a telescope or a pair of binoculars? Identify the constellations with your kids or invent new ones.
Have a virtual family reunion
Is your extended family scattered across the nation or even the globe? While you might not want to risk grandma or grandpa’s health by potentially exposing them to germs you carry off the airplane, you can still create closeness. You can learn how to create a Zoom meeting where your extended members can log in to share conversations and photographs.
Tour the museums of the world
Maybe you can’t visit the Louvre in Paris without risking air travel, but you can tour the museums of the world from the comfort of your living room. All you need is a computer and an internet connection. Plus, you can linger as long as you like at the various exhibits. You can also delve into further research about anything that interests you in a new browser tab. If you can’t get enough ancient Egyptian archeology, you can expand your knowledge with a few keystrokes.
Play tourist in your hometown
If you live in or near a tourist hotspot, you probably shun the more popular locations on busy weekends. However, if panic keeps people from traveling to see your natural wonders, seize this staycation opportunity for your family. You can rediscover the beauty of where you live without socks-and-sandals-clad vacationers getting in the way.
Write a list of places you always wanted to see nearby and make your itinerary to explore your hometown all over again. Even if you don’t live in an urban area, most suburbs are within 30 minutes of a city, and you can probably find something unexpected to explore.
Create a homeland adventureland
You probably can’t afford to build a Boardwalk-style roller coaster in your backyard, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your own fun! If your kids love to stay active, you can make an obstacle course that will delight them for days while building their muscles. Get creative and use supplies from around the house to create your own outdoor summer playground. You can bend pool noodles to make soft arches for the kids to crawl under and create a mud pit with some topsoil, a kiddie pool and your garden hose.
Vacations aren’t about the destination — they’re about broadening the horizons of your mind. You can do this by engaging your family’s imagination.
If you have the time but not the money or desire to travel, visualize. Turn staying at home into a game of imagination and pretend you are living in earlier days. How did people get supplies without cars long ago? They had to walk or bike — take the family on a safe shopping expedition. How did they make sure their families stayed fed? They grew their own food — try planting an herb or vegetable garden together. Play pretend with your kids and use this time at home as a way to have experiences you might not normally have time for.
Try these family staycation ideas
If your beach getaway plans fell to the wayside due to COVID-19, don’t wallow in your sorrows. Try one of these staycation ideas for families to have fun with the entire gang right in the comfort of your hometown.
Alyssa Abel is a college and career writer with a special interest in learning styles, lifestyle, and career development. Read more of her work on her blog, Syllabusy.