With many people considering the 4th of July the halfway point of the summer, it may also create a sense of urgency to get some family vacation time on the books. Summer calendars are usually booked to the max with as many events as can be fit into the warm, sunny days of the season. Given the busyness of this time of year and the fact that we may often find ourselves limited on resources (time, money, did I mention time. . .), it’s a perfect opportunity to consider the value of the “staycation”.

What a clever idea. The ability to stay in your own community or area and enjoy all the amazing sights and options for fun that exist all around you. You’ve likely seen some list that promotes creative thinking about what types of things to do in your hometown. However, have you stopped to also consider the value of what you want to get out of a staycation?

Think about the outcomes you may want from a typical vacation. Perhaps you are seeking a sense of adventure, an opportunity for relaxation, or a chance to get away from the daily grind and find some connection with family. Let your staycation planning bloom from these same ideas.

If you are seeking adventure, possibilities range from trying out a new restaurant or even type of food to checking out an event or hiking trail you’ve yet to explore. Think new and out of the norm. If relaxation is more your cup of tea, embrace what is relaxing for you. Maybe it is a cup of tea (pun intended), or a day of leisure away from the tasks of everyday life. It could be a day at the beach or a stroll through a garden. The idea is to pick the theme and fit the activity that meets that need for you. If connection as a family is the goal, maybe it’s finding a way to unplug from media and plug into each other. Take family game night outdoors with a round of Yardzee, bocce ball, or bean bag toss to name a few. Have a backwards day starting with dessert and ending with breakfast. Pick a different theme each day and stick with that.

Staycations are full of possibilities and are a truly rich and inspired way to connect with your family and your community. Here’s a list of some great ideas to inspire your next staycation:

  • Hike a trail.
  • Try out a new ice cream shop.
  • Eat at a new restaurant.
  • Visit the farmer’s market
  • Take a bike ride.
  • Make a lemonade stand.
  • Fly a kite.
  • Have a picnic.
  • See an outdoor movie.
  • Play at the beach.
  • Pick strawberries, or some other kind of in season berries.
  • Go garage saling.
  • Read a book.
  • Go to a local festival.
  • Go roller skating.
  • Go to the zoo.
  • Go camping in the yard.
  • Cook dinner on a bon fire (pudgy pies are a must).
  • Check out a new playground.
  • Shop at a local boutique.
  • Play mini-golf.
  • Visit a museum.
  • Plan your own water day (drip, drip, splash; water relays; or water balloon fights).
  • Connect with family and friends for a family play date.
  • Visit a local bakery.
  • Try a new recipe.
  • Stay up and go star gazing.
  • Go canoeing.
  • Catch a local sporting event.
  • Find fireflies.
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