Summer stretches on, and the doldrums can sink in before we know it. This can especially happen if we’ve taken our vacations toward the beginning of the summer and we’re looking ahead at the coming weeks with a blank slate on the calendar.
Staycations are great a way for couples, families and singles to rest and restore while exploring parts of your city and life you’ve not had time for. It means staying close to home, not dealing with the stress of travel and not spending a lot of money.
What’s been on your bucket list that you simply haven’t had the opportunity to do?
These staycation ideas will give you some guidance on how to make the most of the summer and get a few things done while you’re at it.
1. Build a Garden
Whether you’re single, a couple, or a family, maybe growing your own flowers, herbs and vegetables has been on your bucket list. Summer is a great time to get out the shovels and build those beds you’ve been dreaming of.
Start by mapping out what you want to achieve and get everyone involved! Even the little tikes can draw carrots, beans, and sunflowers with crayons onto the planning map.
Chart out two weekends to remove grass, put up soil barriers and bring in new soil. If you have a truck, it’s cheaper to go to a bulk dirt business and load up your truck bed.
Spend the second weekend planting seeds, seedlings, or sapling fruit trees. Make sure that you water them in well so they get that moisture in the ground they need to get established. A great way to do this is with a sprinkler. Put the kids in their swimsuits while you’re at it for some water fun.
2. Camp in the Backyard
You’ve bought a tent six months ago but haven’t used it. Now is the time to set it up and get a run through of what it will take to put up before you actually haul the family, or yourself, out to a campsite!
Even if you don’t plan to spend the night in it, set it up to read a book or let the kids play in it. You can fire up the grill nearby and make a night of it. String some lights up in the backyard to make it magical!
If it’s cool enough where you are and a fire ban isn’t in place, consider firing up the backyard pit and roast s’mores.
3. Tour Your City
I live in Houston, yet had not visited NASA’s Johnson Space Center in 25 years until last weekend! What sort of tourist attractions are in your own backyard that you’ve never visited?
If you’re in a capitol city, then a visit to the capitol building with the kids would be a great educational opportunity. Single? It would still be interesting just to marvel at the architecture.
Live in a port city? Look into doing one of those port cruises to learn about the economic importance these ports bring to your lives.
Maybe you live near an ocean or river and have yet to take a fishing expedition.
Ask the family what interests them, and schedule a day within the city limits to do something new. Check the web to see if there are coupons and discounts offered before you arrive.
4. Make Crafts or Recipes
Crafty projects and homemade goodness often gets put on the back burner during the school year when we are too busy on the weekends with sports, activities, socializing, housework, and homework. Spend some time this summer to schedule a few full days of crafting.
How about learning to knit? There are loads of online classes to get you started and headed in the right direction. You could start the day by heading to the local fiber supply shop and picking up the correct needles and yarn. Talk to someone at the store to get a sense of what might work best for beginners.
Have you always wanted to make jam? With a few simple ingredients and the season’s freshest produce, magic can be made. Purchase some glass jars and sterilize them by placing them into an oven at 225F for 20 minutes. Fill them with hot jam before sealing. The preservation of summers fruits will carry you through the cooler fall and into the winter seasons.
Another fun and easy craft is salt dough sculptures, which can be used to craft braided wreaths or little animal sculptures. Use this recipe for your salt dough:
How to Make Salt Dough Sculptures
- 4 C plain flour
- 1 C table salt
- 1 1/2 C water
- Mix flour and salt together, and add the water 1/2 cup at a time. Mix until it is lump free.
- Divide the dough in half for young children so they can handle it easier.
- While kneading you don’t want the dough to be overly sticky, so add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time.
- Moisten hands to shape the dough into animals, little fruits or other shapes. Make sure the forms aren’t larger than one inch thick or they won’t dry completely.
- Place the shapes on a cookie tray and bake at 250F until the dough is rock hard.
- To keep them permanent, you can spray them with polyurethane.
5. Take a Hike
A staycation means staying within driving distance of your own home. How about planning four Saturday hikes at four various parks within 50 miles of your own home?
This is an affordable and leisurely way to get exercise and bond as a family, couple or group of friends. Bring your own nutritious meal for a picnic and leave the day feeling refreshed, inspired, and ready for the next trail.
You could mark this fun activity with a nature journal. Collect maps from each location and spend some time there drawing what you see. Mark it with the date and glue your map onto the page. This can serve as a continual journal for your outdoor journeys.
6. Have a Spa Day
A staycation means no hotels, no airline travel, no stress. How about you take a full day to relax and pamper yourself all day?
This could involve taking a morning bath instead of a shower. Light the candles and grab a book! Drink your coffee in here, too.
For those with kids, how about soaking their feet and taking care of their nails? It could also include a little at home pedicure or manicure. Brush each other’s hair or do a mud mask together. This can be an especially great way to introduce children to self-care.
7. Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
Without the grind of regular routines and the rush of having to be at work, school or other appointments, take this time to do something you’ve never done for yourself, like taking a boxing class, a pottery workshop or a hot yoga class.
Maybe you’ve been trying to visit the Farmer’s Market early on a Saturday morning but it just hasn’t happened. Take this opportunity to mark this off your list and don’t forget to bring your basket!
What about checking out that local jazz group you’ve heard about but haven’t taken time to see? This is a chance to take on new sights in your familiar town but see a side of it you haven’t before.