Whether due to financial reasons or the current virus outbreak, people are deciding to stay at home. They want to travel and rest, and deciding to do a Staycation. I will share some ideas with you on what you can do in the city or place that you live.
Edit: Since writing this post, many outdoor places on this list are closed to slow the spread of the virus. You can still have some fun doing the indoor activities with your family. Please stay safe.
It might make you appreciate where you live even more.
Be prepared to explore like a tourist. Is it weird that tourists know more about the city where we live compared to ourselves? They have the time to explore and try new things offered in the city.
Let me know in the comments below if you know what I’m talking about.
When M and I were dating, we took one week to explore around Toronto. He took me to High Park, Niagara Falls, and even saw a show. It was fun to explore like a tourist.
In this blog post, I will share with you some ideas that you can do if you’re thinking to have a Staycation. Before you do, please know that this is a really long post. So grab a drink of your choice and let’s explore our options!
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Here are 26 Staycation ideas you can try out this upcoming break:
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What is a Staycation?
It is a vacation where you stay where you are at. It could be staying at a hotel in your city or at home. I will share with you what you can do that you would normally do on a vacation someplace else.
Please also note that since you will be going out for some of these ideas, always practice good hygiene. If you are only comfortable with less crowd and indoor activities, scroll down to see which one fits you best.
1. Visit Museums
Do you have museums in your city or a nearby one? Some museums are free during a certain hour or pay-what-you-want type of model. Be sure to check out the ones in your area.
See what you or your kids are interested in.
You can always check Viator or Costco to see if there are discounted prices for the museums you want to go see. If you are in Asia, I highly recommend Klook as we used it a lot to save money travelling in Asia.
2. Go to a nearby lake or pond
I’m not sure when fishing is in season, but you can go to a nearby lake or large pond and relax there. Whether you are fishing or having a picnic by the lake, both sound pretty relaxing.
You can also rent a kayak or boat if there is a shop nearby. Put on a life jacket and take your kayak out. Be safe.
If you are having a picnic by the lake, I would recommend for you to take a booster seat for your baby or toddler. We have this one by Fisher Price and we would bring it everywhere we go. Whether at a restaurant, someone’s house, or if we ever go on a picnic, it would be super helpful.
You can just put your kid in there and it’ll be easier to feed them this way. The booster seat works wonderfully for us.
I would recommend this idea only on warmer weathers (unless you like going to the beach in the cold weather).
There are so many things you can do at the beach.
You can build sand castles, sun tan, play beach volleyball, or just curl under the huge umbrella with a good book while your kids are running around.
For babies and toddlers, you can get them the full body swimsuit like this one and sunscreen to protect their skin. I hope that they enjoy the feeling of sand underneath their feet. As for playing with sand, you can visit the Dollar Tree or Amazon to get supplies for some castle or fort building.
One place that you can check out is the Zoo. This is a great place to visit with the family. If you have young children, they might have a favorite animal that they love. You can do research on the programs and shows they might have at the zoo.
In Toronto, where I live, there are a few shows and also a water park that is opened during certain time of the year. Maybe yours have something similar. Check out their website to see what you can do during your trip there.
If you have an aquarium near you, it’ll be a fun place to visit with your children. Similarly to the zoo, they can check out the different exhibits and watch the different animals swim around.
You can also check for the different feeding times if that is something that your kids will enjoy watching. Usually, it is around lunch time. I’m not sure if they will post it online or just have it available upon your entry.
When we took my daughter K to the aquarium (in Singapore), she loved it. She was staring at the fish and the sharks. It was a great experience for the whole family.
As mentioned earlier, do check out Viator (for North America) or Klook (for Asia) if you are thinking to find discounted prices for these attractions. They have other types of discounts as well, so be sure to check them out.
6. Picnic at home
Sometimes, it is just not possible to go out, whether for financial or health reasons, this is a fun idea to do at home.
Have a picnic at home. No, it’s not just eating at the dining table like you do every day. Set out a mat, have some easily prepared food of your choice, put all electronics away, and have a meal together.
If you need some ideas on what to talk about, you can play this game. It’ll challenge you to think and also help you understand each other better.
7. Watch a movie
There are a few ways you can watch a movie.
You can watch it in the theaters, YouTube, Netflix, or even borrow one from the library.
In Toronto, we have this Saturday Family Favorites at Cineplex where they will play different movies each Saturday. It only costs $2.99 per person which is an amazing price. You can check your city to see if you have something similar.
8. Have game night
You can organize a game night with your family and friends for your staycation. Whether you want to play a board game like Catan or a more physically active game like Twister, it’ll be a really fun night.
I like to look online occasionally to see what games are available. Sometimes, they have deals and I’ll be quick to get them. You can try out Amazon Prime for free shipping for 30 days. Click on the box below to learn more.
9. Visit the Garden and experience the spring bloom
Since spring is almost here (as of this writing), it’ll be a great time to check out the blooming flowers. If you are allergic, maybe skip this one.
You can look online to see if there are any gardens in your city or a nearby one. This will be really fun to take pictures of with your family.
10. Go downtown
Some of us stay in the suburbs and do not usually go downtown unless it is necessary. Maybe this staycation is a good opportunity to explore downtown.
Take the public transportation or drive (depending on what you are more comfortable with), Go around and see all the touristy spots in your city.
If you are up for it, you can also check out walking tours. Learn more about your city with a guide. Some of these tours are pay-what-you-want or have a fixed fee.
11. Participate in festivals
Festivals are a great place to check out for culture and for food.
You do need to be aware as this type of event usually draws a crowd. Like I mentioned before, please practice good hygiene.
Some of these festivals run for a day or two. You can visit when it is less crowded and take your time walking through the different booths.If you have a baby, I highly recommend bringing a baby carrier (this is ours).
I wrote about what you might need to bring for a baby during a summer festival here.
12. Go to the farmer’s market
When the weather is better, it’s a nice time to visit your farmer’s market. You can pick up fresh produce and also support local farmers. It’s a win-win.
Sometimes there are other vendors there and you can check out what you would not normally see in a mall.
One time, I saw this mother-daughter duo who bakes and sells these delicious cookies. So good! Another time, I’ve seen a vendor selling dog biscuits. It’s great if you have a dog and you can ask them about the ingredients.
Check out the farmer’s market near you as part of your staycation.
13. Play places
4. Go Hiking
If you are an outdoor type of person, maybe hiking is a great option for you. Go to a nearby park or hiking trail, and slowly explore the area.
You can put your baby in a carrier (this is ours), and take a hike. Just make sure that everyone is wearing the proper attire and has enough water and snacks to last you the whole time.
15. See waterfalls
We don’t have a waterfall in our city, but in a nearby one in Hamilton, there are a few waterfalls. It is only an hour drive.
This could be really fun if you don’t mind hiking and exploring waterfalls.
Be sure to bring extra clothes if you are planning to swim near a waterfall. Please exercise caution and be safe.
16. Test out Alphabet Activities
I found this idea on Pinterest. It is to find activities that start with the letter and do it. For example, B for Bubble Soccer or Bubble Tea, or W for Waterpark or Wine & Dine.
This is really up to how you want to go about this. It might be difficult when it comes to certain letters, but you can always look online for ideas.
Challenge yourself and your family to try something new everyday.
Also, it’ll be a great activity for young children who are learning their alphabets. That can be an activity to help them learn and memorize the alphabets.
17. Take turns doing what everyone wants
If you are thinking to have a staycation with your family, you can each take an opportunity to do what you want.
There are a few ways you can go about it.
1. Each person gets a full day to choose to do whatever they want
2. You can get your child or children to pick a meal or an activity for the day
3. The family can pick meals or activities from a pre-selected list that you made prior
This way, everyone will feel like they are part of the selection process. Even if they do not like what someone else chose, they will have to do it because they will get their turn. They might end up liking it more than they thought.
18. Go bowling
One activity that you can do with them is bowling. It is a physical sport, but there are ways that even little kids can enjoy them.
You can pull up the gutters or have it down. (Is that what that’s called?)
Usually, you can find discounts for bowling on discount sites that includes shoe rental and a limited time that you can play with your family and friends.
Do remember to practice good hygiene as you do not know who played with these bowling balls before you or wore the shoes before you did.
19. Mini Golf
Another fun activity you can do for your staycation is mini golf .
We especially like the ones that glow in the dark, but it does not have to be that.
Take your time at the different holes and feel free to go back to them. You can make it into a little competition of who can finish the course quickly.
To add a little challenge, you can say, for this round, the person who is usually really good has to use only their non dominant hand. Make it fun and creative.
At the end of the day, it’s about having fun.
20. Laser tag/Paint Ball
This activity is not the faint of heart. I would suggest this if you have older children or for adults.
Lots of running and smiles at the end of the day. It gets your adrenaline going for sure!
You can look up discount sites in your area to see if you can get a package at a discounted rate. This way you can also invite your friends and your kids’ friends to the party!
21. Attend a class (Examples: cooking drawing, coding)
There are many classes out there depending on your interest. You can check your community centers, libraries, or even do a quick search online to see what classes are available near you.
If you are interested in baking, you can also check out discount sites to see if a class has discounts available.
Look up drop-in programs or courses that you and your family can take. It’ll be a fun experience together if you are all interested in it.
Or, you can drop your kids off at coding camp or science camp. Then, enjoy some alone time while they are there. Do what you need to do.
22. Visit a neighboring city or county
Sometimes, the city where we live might not have really exciting things to do. That is okay. See if you are interested in going to a neighboring city or place.
If you have access to a car or can rent a car for a day, take the kids out and explore the city near you.
Do your research before to check out places that might be fun for everyone. Also, pack snacks if it takes some time to get there.
23. At Home spa day
Create your own spa at home. You can get these pamper boxes and just relax at home. Play some relaxing music, put some giant pillows on the ground, and get everyone to relax.
The kids can get a bubble bath, and you can paint their nails.
Ask your kids if they’re interested before setting it up. They might want a say in what color they want or how you guys should go about it. They can surprise you with their creativity.
24. Visit the Library and programs
The library is a wonderful place. You can borrow books, ebooks, and movies for free, get access to online courses for free, and participate in their programs. They have different programs for kids and adults too.
What we recently found with our library is that we can get free tickets to places such as the Toronto Zoo. Read more about how we got free tickets to the zoo.
Don’t forget to check your library for what they provide for free. Really take advantage of it since it’s available for anyone in your community.
25. Just relax
One idea for your staycation is to relax. Don’t worry too much about what you need to do. Take it easy and take a nap (if you can). Go to the playground with your kids and let them play while you enjoy sitting down for a good 10 minutes (hopefully!).
You can also light up some candles and soak in the bath after they’ve got to bed. Or, if someone would watch them for you, that would be relaxing too.
Let me know what your idea of relaxation is in the comments below.
26. Special Dinner at home (Fondue, Hot Pot, BBQ)
You don’t have to spend a lot of money going out and eating at restaurants if you don’t want to.
One idea is to have that experience in the comfort of your own home. Whether it is having fondue or hot pot or BBQ, you can choose your own ingredients, food, and drinks. You might need a portable stove (this is similar to ours).
Also, buying these groceries at the supermarket can be a lot cheaper than dining at a restaurant.
You can also choose to combine this with game night or movie night. It’ll be a lot of fun.
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