16 summer stay-cation ideas

16 summer staycation ideas

So you may have heard of the ‘stay-cation’ phenomena that swept over the country last summer because of rising gas and airline prices…it seems the consensus is that stay-cations are no quick fad…so many families I speak to are in the same boat- traveling is not as easy with the family and the prices for gas and airfare has not gone significantly down. Plus, there is something pretty magical about transforming your every day life places to something more.

This summer, my husband and I have tons of visitors coming to visit us here in Cali, so I plan to make it just as vacation-ey for us since we aren’t heading to Hawaii or some paradise away. Here are 16 fun ideas for your own summer stay-cation, for anywhere in the country:

1. Take advantage of local festivals and carnivals in your hometown. Summer time is usually a great time for these!

2. Book a room a local hotel with a pool. Maid service, pina coladas with umbrellas in them, poolside sun bathing and room service…always feels good!

3. Visit a pick your own farm- spend the day picking some good local veggies and fruit and then make dinner together with it all as a family that evening!

4. Go to a local winery or vineyard if you have kids, many are outdoor kid friendly.

summer staycation ideas

5. Bike along trails and discover nature together.

6. Have a luau themed party with umbrella drinks, grass skirts, colorful flowers and the whole tropical shebang. If you can’t go to a tropical location, bring it to you!

7. Turn your home into a spa: dim the lights, light aromatherapy candles, turn on soothing music, and pamper your family with massages, facials, nails and anything else. You can even hire a therapist from a local massage school to come to your home which always ends up way cheaper than going to a high-end spa.

8. Be a tourist in your own town and go to historic sites. I remember my parents used to do this all the time with us in NYC. It always felt special going to the museums and the zoo!

9. Plan a family and friends field day: Go old school with color teams, Gatorade and games like tag, kickball, and of course, relay races.

10. Have a pajama party/movie marathon weekend: Pajamas all day, ice cream, popcorn and movies? This will always be AMAZING no matter how old your kids get.

11. Have a family game tournament but don’t just play board games. Play for awesome prizes and invite another family over for double the fun.

12. Picnic at the ocean/beach, lake or river. If you live near any of these, water always makes summer feel good.

13. Start a weekly family book club: Make the meeting place different each week. Could be your living room one week, a local coffee shop the next, a local park one week, a pizza place the following week etc. It is so nice to do if you have older kids and even with younger kids, great way to connect, have them do something educational and great bonding activity for the whole summer.

14. Camp in the backyard: Pitch a tent, roast some marshmallows, tell scary stories with a flashlight, and look for constellations. The best part: bathrooms are only a few feet away 😉

15. BBQ at a park and pitch a volleyball tent or whatever park sport your family loves.

16. Organize a block party with your neighbors and play music in the street, dance, have a potluck and turn your neighborhood into a summer hot spot.

What are some of your own summer stay-cation ideas? Would love to hear below! Oh, and if you do want to take a trip somewhere in the U.S. check out this post on the top 10 travel destinations to take your kids on before they grow up 🙂



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