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Posted by on Jul 10, 2014 in Seasonal & Events, Travel | 2 comments

4 Kid-Friendly Summer Staycation Ideas

With fuel costs soaring and travel budgets dwindling, a staycation might just be the best way to spend your summer vacation. Got kids in town? Don’t worry! There’s plenty to see and do in your own community. Simply start thinking like a tourist.

Kayaking on a River

Explore a State Park
You know that recreation sign you pass on the highway all the time? Make it a point to turn in and finally explore the area. State parks are a hidden treasure trove of fun summer activities that the whole family will love. From paddle boats and nature centers to bicycle trails and swimming pools, you don’t know what you’re missing in your own town. If your staycation can last longer than a day, rent one of the park cabins or pitch a tent for a fun overnight experience in the natural setting.

Try a Rental
Vacations are all about trying something new. So, grab the phone book and look up local rental companies. Have you ever pedaled a multi-seat bicycle or navigated a canoe on a lake? If your family loves horses, sign up for a guided trail ride. Craving a fast ride? Rent dune buggies and strap in the kids for a wild adventure. Rent a more fun or exotic car. Pretend you’re new to the area and visit the welcome center for more adventuresome ideas.

See the Sites
Every town has famous landmarks, museums, or picture-worthy spots. Pack up the kids and a picnic lunch and make your way around town with a camera in hand. If it’s been years since you’ve explored the children’s museum or climbed to the top of the local lookout point, add it to the to-do list during your family staycation. Then head to the local drugstore to print the images. Grab a photo album and make a book of your adventures. The kids can help label the photos.

Visit a Water Park
Is there a water park nearby? Send invites to local family members and friends to gather at the water park for a day of fun. Splurge on the local concessions, ride the water slides, and lounge in the swimming pool. With all that relaxation it won’t matter that you’re only a few miles from home. If there’s one close by, stay in a hotel and spend two days at the water park for a true vacation-like experience.

Staycations don’t have to mean tackling home repair projects or sitting on the couch watching television. Get creative and explore the community. You might just find a new favorite weekend hangout!



  1. Our family likes state parks and other lake properties to swim in and rent paddle boats and ski doos. We are in Columbia, SC. What’s close to us?

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