Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Mini Staycations

Gas prices are high and the cost of plane tickets are ridiculous, so the Zany family has had to think of several mini staycations to keep the family happy this summer. Staycations are the next best thing to vacations. They are fun things you would normally do while on vacation, but you do them locally to avoid the high prices of traveling. Fortunately for us, the kids are still small and it doesn’t take much to impress them. Here’s what the Zany family has come up with:

  1. A Treasure Hunt: We can hide all kinds of toys in the sand box and sit back while the kids happily dig for hours trying to find the hidden treasures. Each item found brings ooo’s and ahh’s from the kids. The best thing about this is we can rebury the same toys and get the same reaction. It’s a game that can be played all summer long and will never wear out!
  2. Picnics in the park: The kids love to go on picnics to the park. They get to eat and play on the play ground. Anytime you eat food outside it usually tastes better. I have also found that my picky Wacky Zacky will all of a sudden eat vegetables, raisins, and other healthy food when on a picnic. It’s also fun to mix things up and eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner in the park.
  3. Pet Stores: This is just as exciting for the kids as going to a zoo. We can spend hours in a pet store. They love to run around and see all the fish, birds, snakes, dogs, cats, mice and other rodents. Watch out San Diego Zoo, Petco is right there with you and they don’t charge admission!
  4. Swimming pool: We are lucky to have a clubhouse in our community with a swimming pool. We can go there anytime and we don’t have to maintain it! It’s just like going to a pool when you are on vacation! Hours of fun will be had there this summer.
  5. Hunt for bugs: This may be a stretch for some of you to list as a mini staycation, but you’ve never met Wacky Zacky. He loves to look for bugs. Once he finds them however, he typically screams and runs around worried that the bug may touch him.
  6. Feed the ducks: The kids love to go to the local pond to feed the ducks. We have found that we have to get there early or the ducks have zero interest in what you have to offer them. You can see the fun we’ve had there in the past at this link.
  7. Camping in our backyard: Instead of going to the mountains or the beach to camp we can camp out in our backyard-minus the roaring fire. Add a tent to any activity and it becomes a hit!
  8. Parades/festivals: There are so many parades and festivals that go on during the summer. I hope we can go explore even half of those activities. The whole Zany family usually has a great time on these adventures.
  9. Grow a garden: Instead of visiting beautiful botanical gardens, grow your own garden. We’ve never tried this but would like to start this year. I think the kids would have a great time planting things and seeing them grow into something they can eat.
  10. Crafts: There are so many creative things for the kids to experience: painting pots, playdoh, sidewalk chalk, paper crafts, coloring, etc…

I hope you can take a few of these ideas and turn them into great memories of the fun mini staycations you did in 2008!

Zany thought of the day: What are some of your favorite memories as a child? Are most of them the grand vacations you took or are they the mini staycations that you did?


storybeader said...

I have many found memories of my childhood - they usually involved the family - not always on vacation.

You have some great ideas for "summer vacation." Camping in the backyard sounds TOO COOL! Have fun!

hautemommy said...

My memories from childhood revolved around my family and at home- we were not huge vacation people! So the idea of a "staycation" is perfect for us this year with funds being low and prices so darn high!! I just loved all your ideas... the bug hunt is popular at our house, as is gardening. My four year old is quite the gardener already, always outside picking veggies from the garden and snacking on them, dirt and all! :) One way to get him to eat his vegetables, right??? Anyways, good for you for posting such a nice blog, I just loved it!!! By the way, are you in SD? xo!

SpottedCow said...

I think society as a whole has over commercialized summer vacations entirely too much. We've gotten away from the fun things we can do right in our own backyards and create memories on a dime. Enjoy you kids while you can, and make the most of your summer without breaking the bank.

Andrea said...

Good ideas. I might use some of those!

One year when I was a kid and money was tight, my parents took us around to the local antique shops and festivals. We learned a lot of history that summer. I went on to get a degree in history. I wonder if that summer started it all.

CraftGirlAlli said...

Your ideas are great! I might have to borrow a few! When I was little, we used to do scavenger hunts. My mom would write a list of things...and we'd go around our neighborhood and knock on doors to see what people had. But these days, that probably isn't a very smart idea! We also used to sleep out in the backyard on the trampoline. Until one morning we were woke up by the pouring rain! But it made for great memories!

A Keeper's Jackpot said...

We NEVER went far when I was a kid. I actually was told that my parents told me I was in Florida when we wen to a lake about 45 minutes away from home. (I was like 4, give me a break hehe)

Theres lots of fun things you can do, sounds like you have a great summer lined up!

Nora said...

ooo, it all sounds like fun! I was also thinking of starting a garden also! Have fun! :D

The Bock Family said...

Cute list of ideas! :D Love the visiting Petco, my 22 month old would probably go crazy in there too!

Miss B said...

Lots of creative ideas here, and I agree, you don't have to spend a lot of cash to make lasting memories with your family!