Brilliant Family Staycation Ideas

Katie Mitchell
Katie Mitchell
November 02, 2020 4 min read

Ah, extended breaks from school. Many of us often wish we could escape the daily grind of normal life and exchange it for a week (or two or three) of leisure in a faraway place!

Travel vacations aren't always possible. Whether it's current health concerns or travel restrictions, expenses, or work (for grown-ups), we can't always go elsewhere anytime we want.

But that doesn't mean that when your children are home from school that you can't have an incredible time! How about a vacation at home? By definition, a staycation involves enjoyable activities. With a can-do attitude, your staycation can be downright awesome.

Set Guidelines

A staycation should feel like a real vacation, but without leaving home or your neighborhood. For your staycation, it's important to make sure the entire family is on the same page. Begin by deciding how long your staycation will last, or designate certain days of the week as staycation days. Then, agree on dos and don'ts for your family staycation time. Here are a few things we think should be off limits on staycation days:

  • Arguing
  • Worrying 
  • Emails and working from home
  • Computers, smart phones, tablets, and TV - unless used for an engaging family activity

Have Fun Planning!

Like a real vacation, leave room for spontaneity but also make sure you do some planning. Set a budget for any extra activities you want to do from home. Will you be taking an online art class together? Supporting local restaurants by ordering for pickup or takeout? Treating your family to new games and puzzles

If your kiddos are old enough to contribute to your staycation planning, bounce ideas around the dinner table. Be sure everyone feels like they are contributing! If you enjoy surprises, you can write down ideas on paper, put the ideas in a jar, and draw ideas on staycation days. If you're planners, create a flexible staycation schedule. 

Be sure to invest a little time in preparing your home and yourselves for your restful staycation days. Decide what local restaurants to order delivery or takeout from. If you aren't able to eat out, meal prep or plan ahead of time so you have easy meals ready to go. Do the laundry, get caught up on emails, and involve the whole family in a fun day of house cleaning before staycation time!

What to Do During a Staycation

Think about all the things you want to do with your family that you typically "don't have time" for. Here are some creative and fun ideas for you!

  • Nap. Start your staycation with literal rest. If the weather is nice, set up a hammock or blanket in a shady spot outside and relax. If you have the resources, space, and time, you could even DIY your own outdoor daybed
  • Take a virtual museum tour. You can tour the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, or "visit" the Louvre Museum in Paris, or the Sistene Chapel at the Vatican! Many museums all over the world offer virtual tours!
  • Read aloud. Is there ever enough time in the day for all the books we want to read or share with our kids? No matter how old your children are, reading aloud together can create warm memories that will last a lifetime. Read-Aloud Revival is a wonderful resource for parents of kiddos of all ages. We also love Brightly, from Penguin Random House. 
  • Have a family game tournament. Invest in a few new board games, set up your favorite drinks and snacks, and have a marathon family game tournament! For game ideas, check out our Family Games collection, and our Staycation Kits. Beyond the Blackboard's Staycation Kits are hand-selected, and currently discounted. 
  • Camp in your backyard. When travel options are limited, enjoy the great outdoors at home! Set up your tent, roll out the sleeping bags, make s'mores over the fire pit, and take turns telling spooky stories. Don't forget a Jumbo Magnifier to examine backyard bugs and plants up close! 
  • Have a themed family movie night. Kick movie night up a notch by coordinating an activity or craft, dinner and treats to go with your movie selection. For example, for a Harry Potter themed family movie night, you might start with a Harry Potter craft, and make kid safe Butterbeer! Don't forget to give us a call for some Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, and chocolate frogs. You can pick them up in-store, or we'll walk your treats right out to your car! 
  • Create. Spend an afternoon as artists or get crafty. Not only is art fun, you'll have beautiful pieces for your home.
  • Play outside. Go fly a kite, take a nature walk around your neighborhood, or go for a bike or scooter ride. Enjoy the fresh air. Don't forget water and sunscreen!

Enjoy Your Family!

For grown-ups especially, the most difficult aspect of a staycation is making like a certain favorite wintry character and letting go of our day-to-day distractions and regular responsibilities. The key to an amazing staycation - whether it's one day or one week - is committing to it and family togetherness. Get silly, get messy, and create memories that will last forever! You have each other, and life is good today!

Read our Jigsaw Puzzles blog post for good, old-fashioned puzzle fun! Reserve your Staycation Kits, so you have plenty to engage and occupy your kids while on your staycation!


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