It's time for a vacation. Imagine, the salty fresh air carried to shore on a cool ocean's breeze; or a few days of magical adventure orchestrated by the creative genius's behind Disney World. So many places to go, things to see.
Sadly, for many entrepreneurs, a traditional family vacation just isn't in the cards (yet). Even a staycation adds up. Let's face it, those daily trips to museums, zoo's, and restaurants can easily get out of hand--but don't rule it out just yet. With a little creativity and planning, you can enjoy a true stay-at-home staycation and some rewarding family time without spending a fortune. You just have to orchestrate it right.
I've pulled together some entertaining ideas, games, and activities to enjoy during your week at home. Make sure to sprinkle in one or two local family outings and plan simple, inexpensive meals instead of slaving away in the kitchen. Remember, this is supposed to be fun and relaxing for mom and dad too!
1. Have a treasure hunt.
Ditch the devices and head outdoors to hunt for clues leading to fun little hidden treasures (nothing expensive, use things you have around the house) and special surprises. When my kids were small, I filled a large garbage can with water balloons--a surprise that leads to the next fun activity is perfect. Place your written clues in and around the house for everyone to hunt and figure out together. Don't sweat the creative part, there are awesome clues and ideas waiting for you on Pinterest.
2. Become your favorite adventurer.
This toy is a blast, even for adults. With soft foam tips and built-in technology to make a bullseye easy, the BullsEye Bow (under $30 and made in America) is fun for little kids four to eight years of age. Personally, I think it's fun for the grown-ups too. Mom and Dad can join in the fun or relax while the kids spend hours pretending to be Peter Pan, Hiawatha, or another favorite adventurer.
3. Practice your rodeo skills.
My next-door neighbors have a beautiful swimming pool, but their teens rarely use it anymore. What a waste. Bring adventure to your pool again with the Intex Inflatabull™. This handsome guy will keep the whole family in the sun for hours, and create a bit of friendly competition. Inflatabull™ is a rodeo bull ride on a float, it's about eight feet wide and three feet tall--large enough for adults to enjoy too. Test your rodeo skills as the fam does their best to unseat you and send you plunging into the cold water. See how in this video.
4. Solve a mystery.
Who doesn't love the game of Clue? It's one of my favorites because it's suitable for all ages and makes for a perfect themed event. Get creative by having everyone dress up as their favorite character, play by candlelight, and follow up the game with popcorn and reruns of Columbo.
5. Take a Virtual Museum Tour
Can't afford Paris or Rome? No problem. Take a virtual tour of the Louvre , or even the Sistine Chapel in Rome's Vatican City. Some amazing museums throughout the U.S. also offer virtual" tours. Check out the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, or the Boston Children's Museum.
6. Camp in Your Own Backyard
The great outdoors is right in your backyard when you make it adventurous with a tent, a campfire in a store-bought fire pit, and cook up some s'mores to accompany your made up ghost stories. Then download the Night Sky app (make sure your device is GPS-enabled first) to identify stars, planets, and even satellites in the sky.
7. Find your inner-Rembrandt
I've never believed myself to be an artist, but after going to a few basic classes I've come to realize that we all have an artist within. Purchase some inexpensive acrylics, canvases, and brushes and enjoy a family painting day. With easy-to-follow tutorials like this one, even a five-year-old can produce a work of art.
Family time is the best; however, mom and dad need time to regroup and recoup. To make your staycation complete, schedule in a date night, or for you fellow single folks, a night out with friends. Think about two or three things you find relaxing and fun and go do them. The kids will love spending time with a friend or family member while you enjoy some adult time.