The Best 7 Summer Staycation Ideas for Families in 2023

best staycation ideas
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Summer is in full swing! 4th of July week has come and gone, and there are still two months of summer vacation left. If you’re looking for summer staycation ideas, explore these top suggestions that are budget-friendly and fun for the whole family.

Best Staycation Ideas

1. Camp in the Backyard

Setting up a tent and camping can be a real adventure if you have outdoor space in the shape of a backyard, porch, or balcony. Not everyone has a backyard, but you can set up a tent anywhere there’s space — even your living room. One of the top staycation tips is to make the experience even more immersive when you play animal noises on your phone or decorate your indoor areas to look like a jungle. Make this a family project by asking your kids to draw their favorite animals and cutting out cardboard to look like flora and fauna.

staycation ideas
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2. Bike Around the City

You want to keep your family active during the summer, so biking around the city is a great staycation idea. You can take short trips around your home or plan longer bike rides to get groceries for the whole family. Teaching the kids how to ride is a great bonding experience; the exercise is great for the entire family.

3. Family Crafts

Craft time is a great way to help your kids expend extra energy, express themselves, and teach them about art. You can do many projects with things you probably already have at home. This staycation idea is ideal when the weather isn’t too cooperative. Whether it’s too hot or it started raining, you can stay inside and craft up a storm.

We love crafts that are useful around the house and make kids feel like they’re helping with home improvement. Here are our favorite staycation craft ideas:

Garden Flowers

This project requires only clear plastic plates, garden stakes, and acrylic paints. Let your kiddos get wild while painting flowers on their plastic plates. After everything has dried, attach the plates to the garden stakes with glue or small screws. Take your kids out to the garden and plant the stakes together.

Pinecone Bird Seed Feeders

If there are a lot of birds in your neighborhood, these bird seed feeders can allow you to bird-watch with the whole family. Collect some pinecones on your next family walk. Smother them in peanut butter and cover them in various bird seeds. Hang them up in the trees around your home and watch as your feathered friends come to feed. You might get lucky and spot a squirrel or two!

Pet Rocks

Our last staycation craft tip is to let your kids paint a pet rock. While buying these ready-mades was hugely popular in the 70s, making your own is much more fun. Let your kids choose their rocks, and provide some acrylic paints for them to use. Help them paint everything from ladybugs to made-up creatures for a pet that will never run away!

family staycation ideas
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4. Cooking Together

After working up an appetite crafting with your kids, you might need to whip up a meal for the whole family. Make cooking and baking a group activity for a staycation idea that will teach kids some kitchen basics.

You don’t always have to make cookies and sweet treats together. You can also make healthy snacks like caterpillars made of grapes, snails made of celery, peanut butter, and apple slices, or an ocean scape made of cottage cheese, goldfish, and vegetables.

5. Splurge on a Meal at Home

You don’t want to cook every night. Splurge on a nice restaurant for your family when you order takeout or delivery. Make the meal extra special when you whip out the nice plates and silverware. Let your kids play pretend by making up menus and play-acting as servers once the food is delivered. You can even pop open a nice bottle of wine for Mom and Dad and a bottle of juice for the kids.

best staycation ideas
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

6. Set Up a Movie Theater

One of the bigger projects on this staycation ideas list is creating a home movie theater. You can create your movie theater as long as you have a blank wall and some projector (many come available as attachments for your phone). Pop some popcorn and bring out the sodas for an authentic experience. You can set up cozy nests on the floor made of pillows and blankets for a quiet night with your family.

To take this staycation idea to the next level, create your movie theater outdoors to enjoy the warm weather. Project your movie on a wall outside the house and set up beach chairs and snacks in your yard.

7. Go Star Gazing

The night sky contains myths, stories, and science to share with your kids. Once you scout out a good spot — ensure it’s away from light pollution and secluded — you can drive out with your family and stare at the sky. Don’t know where to go exactly? Check out our Great Outdoors Blog. Bring a blanket and some provisions to keep everyone happy, and print out some photos of the most famous constellations. Make it a game to see who can find them first.

Staying at Home

Whether you’re staying home to save money or need a break from the summer heat, there’s no need to feel trapped inside. Try some of these staycation ideas and tips for the whole family!

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