Is anyone else doing nothing this summer? I know summer is the typical time for “vacations” and all that jazz, but we don’t have it like that to take a family vacation to Destination Somewhere this summer (or, well, pretty much ANY summer). We contemplate going up north to my parent’s cabin, but with the prices of gas, we’re looking at $250-$300 round trip in our van. That’s some crazy stuff. Seriously. So, we’ve been trying to make the best of our mosquito-infested, non-vacation taking summer. Baseball games, trips to the public pool, bike rides, etc.
Anyone else doing Homecationing? Here’s a few suggestions:
- Backyard camping – Set up a tent in the backyard (yours or a neighbor’s, if you want to make it more “destination bound.” You can even have backyard fires in most cities. Nothing screams camping like a tent, fire and s’mores. Maybe some swimsuits and a run through the sprinkler in lieu of a watering hole.
- Grilling out/picnicking at a local park – We’ve done this many times before. With friends or without. Having a little picnic, even if it isn’t far away, spices things up a bit, breaking the summertime monotony.
- Rediscovering the library – For some it is an underused free destination. If you don’t go there, make a point to do so. Ours has a ton of free programs for kids with reading incentives. Carlito just picked up free admission to a baseball game and a State Park for reading X amount of hours so far this summer.
- Movie marathon – If you have a weekend, or a couple days off (great rainy-day stuff), rent yourself – better yet, borrow from the library OR note some movie times on TV and catch a couple a day. Pop popcorn, make some fun snacks and make it a special occasion. Watch with friends, watch as a family, or watch alone. But make the event around the show.
- Utilize the State Park – if you live in the US, there’s probably a state, city or county park nearby. Many of them have activities throughout the summer (for free or for a minimal amount). Take advantage of the trails, ride your bike or just visit a part of the park you haven’t been to. Combined with a backpack lunch or picnic really makes a mini-vacation out of a simple trip.
Most of the above things can be done for free or for less than $50, which is only a hint of what a regular vacation can cost. Putting an activity on the calendar and sticking to it, as if it were a real vacation, makes it even more of an “event,” something special to look forward to. The simple act of marking a Me Day or Family Day on the calendar and thinking up 3-5 things you’ll do special for yourself/your family, turning off email, phone and centering only on the day together is a vacation in itself.