Summer Staycations For Kids

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Summer Staycations For Kids | Living in a family with two sisters, five brothers, and a dog my family and I are summer staycation for kids experts! We are a big family and sometimes it is hard for us to either afford or actually take a vacation. | #staycations #summerstaycationsforkidsSummer Staycations For Kids

By: Samantha Anne Moss ~ Age 12  

Living in a family with two sisters, five brothers, and a dog my family and I are summer staycation for kids experts! We are a big family and sometimes it is hard for us to either afford or actually take a vacation. If you are anything like me then you are probably quite disappointed. Never fear there is a simple solution. A staycation!

There are many perks to a staycation. They are not as stressful as going to a hotel and theme park while trying to get all the little kids out of the gift shop (and sometimes the older kids too)! Staycations are so simple and fun, you can do them on a moments notice, and make them last the entire summer. Best of all (or some moms and dads think so) it can save you lots of money!

 Reasons to go on a staycation instead of a vacation:

  • Less stressful for, you, parents.
  • Staycations are closer to you and include a lot less gas.
  • A great alternative for a vacation especially if you do not have the funds or the time to take off of work.
  • It is more convenient being close to your house.

My Favorite Summer Staycations For Kids:


  • The zoo is always a fun and educational place to go. Often times zoo’s run specials or Groupon deals to make them more affordable for large families.
  • Try some games:
    • Guess the animals – take turns wearing a blindfold and visit different enclosures. Using only your senses (smell, hearing, and touch–be careful touching!) try to guess what animal is in the enclosure.
    • Play Twenty Questions: Still using blindfolds try to guess what animal is in the enclosure you are near.

There are so many other things that you can do at the zoo, like just walking around and visiting the exhibits. However, part of the fun is thinking of your own things to play.


  • Museums may seem boring to some kids but if you have the right attitude when going then it can be a lot of fun! I recently went to the Ringling Museum (a museum near my house) and I had a really good time. It was one of the coolest places that I have ever visited.
  • Games: When going to a museum you can play a game. 
    • Time Periods: One game is to look at all the exhibits and try to find out the time period of the exhibit.
    • Treasure Hunt: hunt for a specific color, shape, or even a specific feature like a person in the exhibit with a hat. This keeps the little ones entertained (and even us older kids) especially if someone in the group comes up with random things to look for.

There are hundreds of different thing that you could do in a museum and most are so large you can’t see everything in one day. It is nice to revisit and look for new exhibits.


  • A  camp-in is so much fun! (I have been on a lot of camp-outs and this was just as much fun, and did I mention that it is so much less stressful than having to worry about if you packed calamine lotion for that awful poison ivy!)
  • It is a great thing to do during the weekend.
  • Kids especially love when parents camp out or “in” too!  

Here are some things that will make a “camp in” feel like a real camp-out!

  • We ate hot dogs and mac n cheese (so it felt like we were eating real camping food).
  • We had a “camp-in” in our living room instead of outside. Although camping in the back yard is fun too.
  • We told camping stories. These are short stories that one person can start and the other pick up and continue. “One night while walking in the woods, I heard a sound…”
  • We used an app that plays outside noises like crickets and frogs. If I had to go to the bathroom at night I would have believed we were really outside!
  • If you have a star (constellation projector) use that to put stars on the ceiling and identify the constellations.
  • Use an app or a book to look at constellations near you.

Beach or Park

  • The beach or park is always fun, but you can get more out of a trip and a different experience with a tour!
  • This is a very educational and fun thing to do.
  • Invite some of your friends!
  • Take pictures and learn too!
  • We had a tour guide at the beach one time. We learned all about the different plants and animals that live in and near the water, it was so amazing and cool to have someone to explain the different habitats and many things you might not have noticed before.  
  • Pack a picnic lunch.

Family Sports Team

Many people have come up to my parents and said “you have an entire basketball team, and a few subs”! So one day my parents took them seriously. Now we have a family sports team.

  • A family sports team is unique, and if you like sports then this is the one for you.
  • My parents have scheduled a night every week that we go to a park and practice basketball, soccer, baseball, or any sport that we can think of!
  • It is so much fun and it is such an amazing way to spend a warm Florida night!
  • Using our cleats and other sportswear we have already bought (mostly used). This makes us feel like we are on a real “family” sports team!
  • The hardest thing is getting all the sports stuff in the car! Helpful tip: keep a box full of fun things to take to the park. Ours contains balls, frisbees, cleats, and even our baseball gloves, and tennis rackets.

It pays off having a big family to play games with and if you want to play a specific sport, chances are that at least one person will side with you! And, having a big family means never being bored! 

I hope this gives you a different perspective on staycations. Many people think that the definition of a vacation is having to leave your home town to have fun by going to places. But I have learned you can do all of that stuff without even picking up your passport! So before you book a vacation please think of this article and say “Do we really need to go somewhere?” The thing that really makes a vacation fun is being with your family and doing things together! I hope your staycation is the best ever!    

About the author:

Samantha Anne Moss is a twelve-year-old homeschooler, who lives in southwest Florida with her family. She enjoys reading, photography and playing the piano. Samantha is the second oldest in a family of eight children.

Copyright 2019 – All Rights Reserved Samantha Anne Moss

Photo Credit: Christina N. Moss Copyright 2019.

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