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Planning on having a staycation instead of traveling this year? Looking for some fun things to keep your kids entertained? Want to give your children the taste of travel without leaving home? Here are 11 creative staycation ideas for kids that are sure to put smiles on their faces for days!
While none of these ideas require a lot of work, you can add to the fun by having your children help you get things ready or you can surprise them, which is always fun.
- Idea #1: Have a Campout
- Idea #2: Try Some Destination-Inspired Foods
- Idea #3: Enjoy Reader’s Theatre
- Idea #4: Watch a Movie Based in a Bucket List Location
- Idea #5: Build a Place You Want to Visit
- Idea #6: Go on a Pretend Road Trip
- Idea #7: Plan a Trip
- Idea #8: Watch Videos from Where You Want to Go
- Idea #9: Do Some Destination-Inspired Activities
- Idea #10: Have a Dance Party
- Idea #11: Have a Scavenger Hunt
Idea #1: Have a Campout
First on our list of creative staycation ideas for kids is to have a campout. For an authentic feel, camp out in the backyard. But, if you prefer not getting close to nature, then set up your camp in the living room.
Pitch a tent, make a teepee with some poles, string, and a sheet, or let your kids build a fort. Grab some blankets or sleeping bags and lots of pillows to make cozy beds.
If you have a fire pit, roast marshmallows and make s’mores. Use flashlights for bedtime story telling.
With a few simple camping activities, you can give your kids a night to remember!
Idea #2: Try Some Destination-Inspired Foods
Take a trip around the world without ever leaving your home through food. Have your kids pick out a destination they would like to visit. Then, find some recipes for that destination’s most iconic dishes. Spend the day making these dishes with your kids.
For instance, if your daughter dreams of seeing France, then make crepes together. If your son is fascinated by Mexico, make tacos.
Cooking destination-inspired food is a great way to teach your kids about a location they are interested in visiting while also spending quality time together.
Idea #3: Enjoy Reader’s Theatre
If your children have a flair for the dramatic, let them put on a reader’s theatre. This can be as simple or elaborate as you want.
Pick out a favorite book or story. Assign each person a character. Have each person read their part as if putting on a play.
Your kids will love this fun activity. And you get to enjoy seeing their personalities come out while they practice their reading.
If your kids are too little to read, then you can act out a favorite story for them. They will find it hilarious.
If you want to be really ambitious, you can make costumes and set pieces for the play.
Idea #4: Watch a Movie Based in a Bucket List Location
Sometimes, there’s nothing better during a staycation than a movie marathon. To spice things up a bit, make your movie selections based on your family’s bucket list.
Pick a location that your family wants to travel to someday. Then choose movies that are set in that location. Either all agree on the movies to watch, or let each child choose one.
For even more fun, eat your destination-inspired food while watching the movies.
Idea #5: Build a Place You Want to Visit
One of the most creative staycation ideas for kids is to have them build a place they want to visit. They can use blocks, legos, or anything else that they can come up with to use.
If they aren’t sure what to build, show them some pictures of famous landmarks. Encourage your kids to be as detailed and elaborate as you think they can be.
This one should keep your little ones busy for quite a while.
Idea #6: Go on a Pretend Road Trip
Another fun idea when you’re spending time at home is to pretend to go on a road trip. Have your kids pack. Turn your sofa and some chairs into a car.
Switch up the roles and let your kids drive. They will love being in control and acting like the adults while you take on the role of a kid. And this is your chance to give them a little bit of their own medicine!
Idea #7: Plan a Trip
Another great idea to keep your kids busy during your time at home is to plan a trip. This can be an actual trip you will take in the future or a dream trip that you would love to take.
Gather your kids around and talk about where you want to go. Research where to stay, what to do, and where to eat. Look up flights or plan out the route you will drive to get there.
If this is an actual trip that you intend to take in the future, decide how much the trip will cost and start saving for it. (For help saving for your trip, see how to save for vacations.)
Idea #8: Watch Videos from Where You Want to Go
Next on our list of creative staycation ideas for your kids is to show them videos of places they want to go to someday. This can be part of your planning for your future trip from the previous idea or a completely different destination.
Regardless of whether you choose London, Disneyland, or a tropical island, you can find some great videos on the internet for your research. These will get your kids (and you) excited about future travels.
Idea #9: Do Some Destination-Inspired Activities
To further entertain your kids during your time at home, give them some activities inspired by a favorite destination. Print off coloring pages. Do a craft project from that location. Play a game that is popular there. Play 20 questions about famous landmarks.
Pretend to go ice fishing in Alaska. Go outside and gaze at the stars. Have a luau in your living room.
Get creative! There are tons of activities you can do. If you need specific ideas, do a search on Pinterest.
Idea #10: Have a Dance Party
Another fun and creative staycation idea is to throw a dance party. Turn off the TV and tablets and turn on some music. Move the furniture to the side and encourage your family to get their groove on.
You can use music themed to a particular location or go with your family’s favorite tunes. Either way, you can all have fun and burn lots of energy at the same time by dancing the night away.
Idea #11: Have a Scavenger Hunt
Lastly, to keep your kids entertained and burn even more energy, have them go on a scavenger hunt. You can do this inside the house or outside in the yard. They can work together or as individuals.
Award points for each item on the list they find. You can make your own scavenger hunt. Or find one online to print off.
Staycations can be relaxing and easy on your budget. But, it can be difficult to keep kids entertained during them. The above creative staycation ideas for kids should give you some fresh suggestions to make your time with your kids fun for you and them.
For more staycation ideas, see how to plan the perfect one, how to enjoy the Disney parks at home, and what to do when you can’t travel. And check out our complete guide to happy travel with kids for your next trip.