10 Summer Staycation Ideas for Travel-Free Vacations


As we ease out of quarantine restrictions, most of the world is starting to get back to normal. That means summer vacation destinations are bound to be packed. Instead of heading towards the crowd, you can plan a Summer staycation and keep your family vacation stress and travel-free.

Here are 10 brilliant summer staycation ideas for when you want to enjoy some R&R time but don’t want to do the traveling.

Explore Your Home Town

When’s the last time you got out and explored your hometown? No, really explored. Sure, you live there full-time, but there’s plenty more that you haven’t discovered yet. 

Ask local friends and family for recommendations for their favorite spots to visit and you might discover a new favorite. Adventure across town to that park you haven’t been to in a while. Or get off the beaten path and find a local business to visit instead of the big box stores. The local economy will thank you!

Take a Tour

Taking a tour of a local museum or building is one easy way to make the most out of a staycation. You can make learning fun and a regular part of your family staycations. 

Call around to see if any local spots offer coupons or discounted rates. Museums and other local tour spots often run discounts on certain days of the week, which can make this staycation entertainment option budget-friendly.

You can also take virtual tours of many historic places, like the Egyptian pyramids and Machu Picchu. Check out this list of the best places to tour virtually during your Summer staycation.

Camp Out

If you’re looking for a staycation theme idea that gets you out of the house without getting out of town, backyard camping is your solution. Backyard camping can create unforgettable memories for your kids, even though you’re still close to home. You can spend quality time together learning how to set up tents and roast s’mores over a fire. 

You can still enjoy this summer staycation activity even if the weather isn’t cooperating. Set up your tent (or a blanket fort) in your living room and camp the night away.

Make It a Movie Night

Family members of all ages will enjoy a staycation movie night. You don’t need to go to the theater to make it a family movie night. In fact, this can easily become your favorite, free staycation idea by sharing some of your favorite childhood flicks with your kids.

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can set up a small outdoor projector and make a screen out of a white sheet against a wall. Now all that’s left is to grab some popcorn and enjoy the show!

Explore the World (with Food)

Make it a world tour night by cooking a meal with all different types of food. 

Add a dash of Italian in with some pasta. Indulge in Mexican with Tacos. Bring on the heat of Thai food with a traditional Pad Thai. Mix in a little French food with crepes for dessert.

Invite the kids to take part in the cooking and make it a family activity. Together, you can explore new kinds of food and show them just how diverse this world is.

Go Stargazing

Sometimes the best part of a vacation is just indulging in a little change of scenery. But don’t think that daytime is your only option. Make your Summer staycation out of this world with some good, ol’ fashioned star gazing.

If you have a local park nearby, you can head out around dusk to start catching glimpses of the shining stars. Some parks even offer nighttime guided tours to the public to take advantage of the darker skies outside of urban areas.

Have a Picnic

Is there anything that says Summer more than a picnic? Picnics are an easy way to indulge in a little backyard leisure during your staycation. Simply taking your meals outside on the lawn can create long-lasting memories for your children. Just don’t forget those sun-safety basics.

Don’t let the rain ruin your picnic plans. Head to the living room and make a little space to lay down a blanket or a towel. Break out the picnic basket and spend quality picnic time with your kiddos.

Break the Rules

The best staycation ideas are the ones that break all the rules. Get messy and creative. Instead of spending money on hotel rooms, you can stay at home and go crazy with creative activities that make it feel like you’re breaking the rules.

Grab the finger paints, the sidewalk chalk, or even water balloons, and let your kids’ imaginations run wild.

Take a Class

One of the best vacation at home ideas is to take a local class. Look for swimming, hiking, or soccer classes for your kids. You can also usually find a selection of indoor classes, too – like art, pottery, or even dance.

Many local community centers offer day classes for kids and families – for free! Check with your local Department of Recreation to see what they offer in your area.

Break Out of the Board Game Routine

Board games are great for rainy days, but your summer staycation deserves more. Take your games to the next level by supersizing them! 

Play yard Jenga with small pieces of 2’ x 4’. Create a game of lawn bowling with a giant, bouncy play ball and cones. Or you can use colored plates to play checkers or Connect Four

Conclusion: Summer Staycations Are the Vacation We All Need

Summer staycations shouldn’t be boring. They’re made for long bike rides, cooking classes, and a whole lot of yummy ice cream. Avoid the bustle of busy vacation destinations and spend your downtime at home with the family. When you need a little change of scenery, hit up the local hot spots or spend a day virtually touring famous, historic locations.

Whatever activities you choose, you’re sure to find your Summer staycation less crowded and more stress-free.