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Sunday, June 3, 2018

9 Playful Family Staycation Ideas That Are Fun and Active!

As a family, we make time for an annual summer vacation because my girls and I need to reconnect, relax, and unwind. We don't always travel far away, though. Often, we stick close to home and enjoy a staycation. Over the years, I've collected dozens of playful staycation ideas, including these nine favorites that help families have fun and stay active together during the summer break.

Attend Local Festivals and Fairs

Many towns host summer festivals and fairs, often with free admission and plenty of unique activities. We check our local newspaper, browse community bulletin boards, and search online to ensure that we schedule these fun events on our summer calendar.

Enjoy an Active Picnic

During summertime picnics, my girls and I enjoy eating yummy food and relaxing together, but first, we work up an appetite. We may ride our bikes to the park, play on the disc golf course, or hike to a secluded picnic spot. The physical activity rejuvenates us and is fun.

Visit a Hands-On Museum

Several children's museums in our town feature interactive exhibits that welcome my girls to play. I like to join them and explore the exhibits, take photos, and learn as we have fun. If money's an issue, check for coupons online that make this staycation affordable.

Do a Park Hop

We're big playground fans, but we usually frequent only a few local parks. Summer provides us with the perfect opportunity to check out different parks and playgrounds, including those with water features or a petting zoo.

Organize a Progressive Neighborhood Dinner

A few years ago, I asked our neighbors to participate in a progressive dinner, and it's become an annual summer tradition. Each family prepares a different course or type of food and plans a backyard game or activity, such as basketball, cornhole, or the limbo. As we walk through the neighborhood, we spend an enjoyable evening playing, laughing, eating, and bonding with our neighbors.

Plan a Craft Day

Spending the day creating art allows us to unleash our inner child while having fun together. Last year, we took a photography class at the library, and this year, we signed up for a painting class at our local rec center. We enjoy creating unique mementos of our summer break, and of course, it's fun to get messy!

Go Camping

Whether we rent a cabin at a nearby campground, assemble a tent in our backyard, or set up a makeshift campsite indoors, camping helps our family relax and unwind. We turn off electronics, go geocaching, take a walk, play cards, tell stories, and roast marshmallows while engaging in this fun and active summertime tradition.

Play the Tourist

My girls and I are adventurous, but I realized a few years ago that we were missing out on adventures right in our hometown. That's why we browse guidebooks, research online, and check out our visitors' bureau for ideas for unique local experiences, such as museums, landmarks, restaurants, and attractions. Then, we play tourist, sometimes even taking the bus or a cab to our destination.

Make a Movie

One of my daughters likes live theater and decided to write an adventure movie script for our family to perform this summer. We'll assemble the props, make the costumes, and record our performance. Other years, we've edited our existing family videos, recorded a "day in the life" of our family, and participated in a summer theater class.

This summer, our family will enjoy a playful staycation thanks to these nine ideas. We're looking forward to having fun and staying active close to home. What staycation ideas does your family enjoy?

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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