Summer Stay-cation!

July 9, 2015 by Amy Needle

As a mom-to-be it looks like this summer’s vacation is going to be more of a staycation.  Not only do I need to stay close to home/hospital but also I need to save up my time and money for the newest addition to our family. 

I have been coming up with ideas that would be fun day trips, evening outings, and/or activities at home. I geared my ideas to family friendly and alcohol-optional events (for us non-drinkers).  Here is what I came up with.

Visit a Nearby National Park or Garden - There are many parks and gardens close to me I never visit; I save them as a “back up. ” Well, it’s time I turned these back ups into front runners. National Parks truly are one of our country’s greatest treasures.  I looked up some local parks and came to find out that most have a variety of awesome family-friendly activities to choose from. I took my dog paddle boarding at a state park about 30 minutes away.  Many cities have botanical or Japanese gardens you can visit.  Longwood Gardens was my botanical garden of choice. I spent the day taking in all of beautiful landscapes they had to offer. Pack a lunch, have a picnic, and make a day of it!

Visit the Zoo or Aquarium-Who doesn’t love seeing animals? The zoo is a fun way to relive childhood memories, or make new memories with your child.  It allows for many photo opportunities, exercise (as it seems to be lots of walking), and it unseeingly adds an educational value. Be sure to pack a lunch to save on pricey food!

Major or Minor League Sporting Event- While major league events are a lot of fun, they can get pricey quickly, especially for a family. Luckily, almost every city has a minor league team these days, which can give you (almost) the same experience for a fraction of the price! Be sure to check out which days include special events, such as free caps or fireworks for added fun!

Host a Family Board Game Tournament-  Want a night in? The idea of a game night sounds so fun.  Rainy days at the beach usually lead to card games, so why not plan ahead? Invest in a few new board games, then set up snacks and drinks for a marathon board game tournament! To keep costs down, have everyone make a dish to share, and download free game-apps on your phone to add to the excitement.  For example my family loves ‘heads up’ and finds ourselves playing it on any given night, staycation or not.

Find a Local Festival-Check your local newspaper or chamber of commerce website to find out what is happening in your town or towns nearby the week of your staycation. Depending where you live there are often events happening almost every weekend!  Music festivals, farmers markets, church bizarres, and heritage festivals can almost consume a whole summer. Use these events as your scheduled eating-out meals. Often they have a wide variety of foods to try. 

Written By Amy Needle