Wow, it’s great weather outside and your tribe is out of school. The kids are begging you to go somewhere and you’ve got to come up with something that’s not going to empty your bank account. That’s a tall order so let me recommend some budget friendly ways to enjoy a Frugal StayCation!
You don’t have to provide your children a fancy high dollar vacation every time there’s a school break. Although it would be nice to pack up and goof around at some far-away destination for a week, your kids really just want your attention.
Remember back when your mom or dad only focused on you and no one else? It was the best feeling in the world.
1. VISIT A PARK
Besides playground equipment, there are usually areas for basketball, bike riding or tennis, you bring your own ball.
Leave your electronic devices in the car and participate in a game or two, your children will love your playfulness.
Bring a picnic lunch. Exercise equals starving kids. Brown-bag it or pick up a tub of fried chicken.
State parks make a wonderful place to check out but if there isn’t one nearby, your local park is just fine. Hiking trails are a fantastic way to let curious minds connect with nature, remember the sunscreen and poison ivy lotion. Obey any signs and dress appropriately.
2. PLAY BOARD GAMES
Monopoly or Life are classics that will never go out of style
Cards are played on computers now, show your children how they’re really played. Impress the little ones with your card shuffling skills.
Dominos might be old timey but I think it’s still good to know a couple of games
These games teach kiddos consequences of their decisions, money management and how to strategically plan for positive results. Let them invite a friend over. Games are more fun the more people that play.
End result is everyone gets a shot at beating mom or dad in a battle against wits.
3. TAKE A TRIP TO THE LIBRARY
Sign up for a reading program
Visit a larger library (in a larger city) you’ve never been to before
Check out cookbooks, DIY themes or stories about science experiments and then try something in one of the books
Your local library most always keeps up with school breaks and plans for the increase in visits. This could mean there are new programs to try. Something beside a book to check out are videos and audio books. There’s always something new to discover in a book.
Nursing Homes, check for rules first
If you belong to a church, it won’t be hard to find out where help is needed. Any of the places I suggested always need an extra hand. The elderly can be read to or just let them talk to you, they may not have had a visitor in months.
Animal shelters might be tricky but I’ve seen on TV about children reading to little dogs.
5. GO CAMPING
Tent, sleeping bag, canteen, flashlight: check!
Stay in your backyard, this might work better for the younger one’s first time
Nearby campground at a lake
This is one of my favorites. It’s a perfect opportunity to “get back to nature” with your children. The memories of just being together will last forever. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate and the more rustic the better. Let the kids set it up and you sit back and relax.
These are my 5 super cool ideas for a low-cost, almost free StayCation. They are easy to modify for all ages. Do only one or do them all.
You might be exhausted by the end of the break, but you won’t go broke from it.