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Summer time is here and for the kids (and, less often, the adults), that means summer vacation. If you find yourself anxious about the prospect of entertaining your kids all summer long when you know you can’t afford the time and/or money for a vacation, then why not try a staycation? Here are some staycation ideas that are sure to please the entire family:

A Day at the Park

Find a local park that offers an array of scenes and activities (nature trail, pool, tennis courts, and obstacle course, for example) and pack up your family for a fun-filled excursion. Bring a picnic (or barbecue) lunch, a change of clothes, and plenty of sunscreen and prepare to have an adventure in the great outdoors.

Camp Out, in your Back Yard

You don’t have to find a campground and pack up all of your belongings to have a great camping experience. Set up some tents in the backyard, bring plenty of games and outdoor activities, cook out, and prohibit technology, just for the weekend.

Road Trip

If just the idea of a long ride in the car with your kids makes you nervous, then consider this: A “road trip” is different from a “car ride.” This is your selling point, and you can really sweeten the pot by choosing a neat landmark or attraction as your destination, stocking up on car games and snacks, planning a scenic route, and limiting the in-auto time to three or four hours each way.

Wet Day

Summertime is synonymous with fun in the sun, and there’s no better way to cool off, and to have fun doing it, than to get wet. Find a local water park or community pool, rent a boat for the day (if you live near water), travel to a nearby beach, or even set up a slip and slide and/or above ground pool in the backyard.

Explore your Habitat

You might be surprised to find local experiences centered on the habitat you live in, and these destinations can be entertaining and informative staycation ideas for young and older alike. For example, perhaps there is a nature conservatory, aquarium, or marine science station nearby that you and your family could spend the day exploring. Search the National Environmental Education Week website ( to find nature centers near you.

Summer Festivals

No matter where you live, you can be sure to find summer festivals in your area that will please the young ones and stimulate the adults. For example, using your family’s interests as a guide, explore food, music, arts, and/or culture festivals near you with a quick online search, and plan to make a day of it.

Get Crafty

If you visit your local craft store, you’ll find an abundance of great craft ideas that both you and your kids can get into. Perhaps you want to create a family scrapbook, build model planes, or paint landscapes. Whatever your imagination can dream of, you can find the supplies and how-to at a craft store.

There is no limit to the amount of entertaining staycation activities you can plan for your family this summer. Make the most of the summer vacation with these ideas. And if you are looking to plan just one major trip, you can find out more about great travel packages from Holiday Birds and other tour groups online.