Staycation Ideas (That Are Actually Fun And EASY For Families With Kids)

I tried to look up some fun staycation ideas for this summer since we are doing a lot of staying home and limiting our access to people due to the pandemic. You know what I found? People telling me to clean out my closets and visit “virtual” museums online.

Ok, gotta say… I was hoping to find something more fun than organizing my home and staring at a screen. I mean the whole idea of playing off the word “vacation” but with “staying” implies that it should be fun and adventurous, no? So I decided to type up a post with my own ideas, and some activities that my family has really enjoyed during this quarantine. So here we go- some staycation ideas that are actually fun and easy for families with kids!

Camp In Your Yard

Our family has done this twice since quarantine started and it is a lot of fun! More than anything, this activity will really make you think you have left your house and are having a getaway. 

This is a lot easier than actual camping because you don’t actually have to pack. I just had the kids pitch the tents (we have 2 dome tents because I find it a lot more manageable to have multiple small tents than one large tent) and then tell them to bring their sleeping bags or blankets and pillows and put them in the tent. Nothing did we “pack” or bring “with” us. If we needed something (like bug spray) we ran in the house and got it. But here are my tips for camping at home and making it feel like you’re having a “getaway”.

  • Commit to staying outside. We run in the house to grab stuff or use the bathroom, but otherwise stay out by our at home camp site.
  • Use your tents! This is super fun and in the grand scheme of things, it’s not that much work to put them back away when you’re finished.
  • Sleep outside. Especially if your weather is nice, and it is a surprisingly fun break from being at home!
  • Prepare your meals outside, on a fire if you can. We just did some simple smores and hot dogs on a stick, but even if you’re going to cook on your griddle, bring it outside and plug it in. Cook outside. Everything tastes better when it’s cooked outside. Your grill is also an option for this. 

Home Spa Day

This was my girl’s idea, and it was a really fun afternoon! Here are some of the activities we enjoyed at our at home “spa”.

  • Wear robes (and maybe towels on your head)
  • Mani/Pedis
  • Face masks
  • Cucumber slices on your eyes
  • A soak in the hot bathtub
  • Some light snacks such as little vegetable sandwiches
  • Water with slices of some fruit in it
  • Flip flops
  • Massages (we have this chair massaging machine that we love!)
  • Foot soak 

Home Vacation Bible School Or “Summer Camp” Week

I actually did come out with a whole home VBS program for kids here that is super easy for moms to pull off at home. You will surely have a fun week that you and the kiddos will remember! Some things you can include in your at home vacation bible school or summer camp would be:

  • A cute theme for the week
  • Games
  • Snacks
  • Crafts
  • Songs
  • Outdoor activities

There are a lot of programs available for weeks like this and I would strongly encourage you to find an already made program for this. That way you can spend your time and energy executing it rather than recreating the wheel yourself. These packages are totally worth the money!

At Home “Party”

This is easier to do than it sounds! Here are the elements that make a simple party at home.

  • Delicious food (perhaps something special that you don’t have that often)
  • Music
  • Possibly some different lighting or “decorations” but absolutely not necessary

There are a few kinds of food that lend themselves to proclaiming there is a party. I would say tea, pizza, and also cake fall into these categories. Also, some kind of fun summer drinks, popsicles, or ice cream to enjoy outside in the hot weather! Here are some of our favorite easy parties to have at home:

  • Tea party. You can find my post here all about how we throw easy tea parties, but for this you don’t even have to cook! Just cut your sandwiches like triangles, serve tea with sugar cubes, turn on classical music, and read poetry. Bam! Your lunch just turned into a party.
  • Pizza party. Some types of food are just easy to have the word “party” follow, and pizza is one of those foods! 
  • Outside party. We like to bring a Bluetooth speaker to enjoy some fun music, bring our food outside, possibly grill, and have fun summer mocktails. We have also a colored light that makes the deck more fun. 

We have a tea party each Wednesday, and that’s basically just a lunch that I don’t even cook (like sandwiches) with a tablecloth and hot tea and sugar cubes. We play classical music and I read poetry. The kids look forward to this every week! 

Blanket Fort Day

Turn your living room into a blanket fort! This is a great option when the kids need something new to keep them busy but mom just needs a break. You can spend a little time setting up a blanket fort with them to make it extra awesome. Let them bring in their pillows, blankets, and stuffed animal friends. Also set them up with some screens inside the fort such as tablets or video games. My kids don’t have personal devices, so on blanket fort day I took the tv off the stand and set it on the floor so it was included in the fort. 

Ikea actually came out with a post on how to make different types of blanket forts and I think you will definitely learn some tricks that hadn’t occurred to you if you check it out. 

Have A Picnic

Have the picnic on a blanket so it seems like a picnic from a cartoon. Kids love this! You can do this in the yard or you can do it at a park or other area if they are open where you live. If you don’t want to cook or pack anything you can grab take out. Me and my kids have had many a picnic with take out! Here we are enjoying a Chik-fil-A picnic.

Paint A Canvas At Home

I am sure you have all seen those DIY canvas painting places where you sip wine and paint your own scene or picture. Why not set up at home and drink a fun mocktail? There are lots of YouTube videos that will walk you through painting your own canvas. 

If painting feels like a little too much for you, try following a simple chalk pastel tutorial! Just as fun. I love the chalk pastel tutorials from Hodge Podge– check out this free tutorial for summer flip flops. Perfect for this time of year! We did the Madeline tutorial

Go On A Drive

Maybe this sounds silly and overly simple, but we really like this! When you have been home too long, drive away, windows down, radio blaring! Dance and sing and explore roads you have never gone down before. We really enjoy this one, rain or shine! Use the potty before you leave and bring fun snacks! If your grandaddy has a Jeep (like ours does) ask him to give you a ride!!! 

Ride Scooters, Skateboards, Or Bikes

Because I have a lot of kids, I can’t take bikes anywhere. So our family really likes scooters, except for my oldest that loves riding her rip stick. One of my kids also has a hoverboard now. The point is, all of these things can be folded small and transported in our car with us easily. These things are a lot of fun to ride on smooth concrete, and we like to explore around to find new places to ride.

The best places we have found to ride is around on the sidewalks of the schools that are closed. Me and the kids all love to do this! The kids beg to go. 

At Home Printable Escape Room

This. was. super. fun!!! We did this magic kingdom escape room and it was awesome, printable, beautiful, and fun! I had (unfortunately) downloaded some escape rooms first that were not well done, so I highly recommend this company. This isn’t an affiliate link, I just liked them. You can embellish them or use them as they’re printed. 

Movie Marathon

Self-explanatory and a classic! Here is my biggest tip: Choose something that you can enjoy with the family. There are a lot of great ones that all ages can enjoy. This will make it fun for everyone. Also, let the kids bring their blankets, pillows, and stuffed animal friends into the living room for extra cuddly fun and do NOT forget the popcorn! 

Board Game Night

Our family has always been a huge fan of board games (almost an obsession) and while this is a classic, it can’t be overlooked on a list like this! We love everything from silly games to word games to strategy games! 

Some of our family’s favorite games include:

  • Carcassonne (our absolute favorite of all time and great for every age!)
  • Twister
  • Settlers Of Catan (and the junior version of this game)
  • Jenga
  • Telestrations (a new favorite)
  • Waaaay too many to list here. I have made a note to write a designated post about games lol. 

Have A Bonfire

This idea never gets old. We are actually lucky enough to have 2 fire pits at our house- one in the back and one by our creek. Any bonfire is a happy bonfire! Add smores and elevate it to the next level! 

Outside Bootcamp

When walks through the neighborhood got boring, we set up a “bootcamp” in our yard. Each station has a different physical activity that you do such as jumping rope, running through the rungs of a ladder, lifting small weights, push ups, etc. Play some fun music and set a time for switching every 2 minutes. I was actually surprised how much the whole family enjoyed this!

Outside Waterplay/ “Carnival Game” Day

We actually invested this year in what I will call an adult sized kiddie pool. This has been a blast and totally worth the money! Now we can have little pool parties, also! 

You don’t need a big pool to have outdoor water fun. Kids just love to play in water outside! One year we set up a HUGE slip n slide in our front yard with just a giant roll of plastic from Lowe’s held down with tent stakes. Use a regular sprinkler to make it wet, and a tarp at the bottom to collect a pool to land in. 

Sprinklers, ring toss, basketball, jumping rope, sidewalk chalk, bubbles… there are all kinds of ways to have fun in your own back yard. Never forget the classics! 

Go On An Outside Adventure In Your Town

If it’s safe and if things are open in your area, enjoy a “day trip” somewhere in your town. We don’t live near a beach but we do live nearish the mountains, and we can drive there in an hour or so. We can visit waterfalls, hiking trails, and local parks. Sometimes the resources closest to us get overlooked because we don’t explore our own town! Here are some ideas I have had for adventuring out in ways that I am comfortable within our area. 

  • u-pick fruit
  • go on a hike
  • visit a park
  • swim in a water hole
  • go tubing
  • watch the sunset
  • drive-in movie theater 

Cook Outside

Cooking outside is always a hit, and everything cooked outside tastes better than everything cooked inside! Cooking over a fire, grill, or even plugging in a griddle outside are some simple ways to accomplish this. We also love to cook various things outside using our pie irons, or foil dinner style. 

Living Room Slumber Party

My kids really love to do this. I guess it’s that they all get to be together and watch tv really late… I don’t know… but in any case, it’s easy for me and fun for them so I am a fan! Even Ellie (our dog) joins in on these! Not me though. I go to my own bed. Just FYI. 

Zoom Family Dinners

My extended family has been having these zoom family dinners. We pick a day, a time, and a food (in this case spaghetti) and then we all log into zoom and eat together! The kids love seeing their cousins, and given that we live in different states, this has actually been really cool! Something we look forward to for sure. 

Drag Out A BIG Set Of Toys

A lot of us have toy sets that drive us kind of crazy as mothers, and we take these sets and put them “away” for a while. Because while they did cost us money so we don’t want to throw them out, they are a nightmare to have out all the time. I have sets of toys like this in the attic in rubber tubs. Some of the kinds of things I’m talking about are:

  • large block sets
  • train sets
  • car track sets
  • puppets
  • building kits
  • chemistry/robot/science kits

Video Game Day

This is a day where you join in on video games with your kids. Choose something you can like (or tolerate) even if it means dusting off a “retro” game console. I personally love Mario Kart, pretty much any Mario game, and Just Dance. Be sure to provide fun snacks, and by snacks, I mean junk food. 

Lay Outside

This idea also sounds overly simple but hear me out. Collect your things- a blanket, earbuds, coloring, screens, snacks, whatever. Go outside on a nice day and lay in your yard on a blanket or hammock with your kids. Talk. Listen to music. Look at the clouds. Be near each other but do your own thing on your devices- whatever floats your boat. This is fun, and the kids really like it! Give it a try. It makes for a relaxing afternoon.

This idea can also work at a park if your parks are open and aren’t too crowded.

So there you go- that was actually more than 20 staycation ideas to keep you busy during the coronavirus quarantine. I hope you found some fun ideas here that work for your family! We are trying to make the best of a hard situation here, and I believe it can be a summer that our kids remember forever. 

You can find more of my resources for families during Corona social distancing here. 

 

Comments

  1. Maria De La Rosa says

    Thank you so much Lacy! What a nice way to have fun this summer. I have only one girl
    and I’m looking forward to do many of this fun and simple activities, or all of them!

  2. Definitely the best staycation list! I especially appreciate the slip and slide hack! I would add birdwatching and our favorite board game… which has a birdwatching theme (it’s called Wingspan of you want to look it up)

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