By Beth Ricci, Contributing Writer
I love summer just because it’s summer. It doesn’t really have to do much to please me: lots of sunshine and BBQ in the backyard and I’m a happy camper (mmm, camping, yes please!).
Many people are busily planning their summer vacation away from home. That’s all well and good for those who can afford it and want to go somewhere special. However, there are many of us who just can’t afford a fancy vacation to a far-off place, and are anticipating a summer of sprinklers and BBQ burgers and playing at the park.
Recently it’s come into fashion to skip the fancy vacation and just stay at home. It’s called a staycation. It was called broke when I was little, but let’s give it a fancy name – why not? 😉
Some staycations involve doing lots of touristy things in your own city, maybe even staying at a hotel. But in my world – a staycation involves lots of free activities and simple, fun things that are also close to home.
Here are some of the things we are planning to do this summer (I included some indoor activities for when it’s too hot to be outside!)
- If there’s any construction happening in your neighborhood, sit at a nearby safe distance and watch for a while. I have a nearly-5 boy and he would LOVE this.
- Ride the escalators and elevators at the mall for a while. and use the high-powered blow dryers. We seriously went to West Edmonton Mall last year with our kids and didn’t spend anything b/c they were entertained completely by those things. No joke.
- A scavenger hunt in your neighborhood.
- Bake some cookies and take them to a fire station to meet the firefighters (Call ahead).
- Tour the grocery store (Call ahead. In my small town last year the preschool got a guided tour of our little grocery store, and it was a huge hit!)
- Have a picnic at the park. Make it extra fun by eating special foods, packing it in a special bag, etc.
- Bookstores with play areas (My kids love playing with the train table and other toys at Chapters).
- Visit Daddy at work, bring homemade cookies for his co-workers.
- While you’re in the cookie business, deliver cookies to a neighbor or two.
- Go for a ride on public transit (the GO train station is a 10-minute walk from us, and my 4-year-old is obsessed with trains, so we took him for a ride and he *loved* it).
- Go for a family bike ride.
- Head to your church and give the office staff a little mid-week visit. Again, cookies wouldn’t hurt! While you’re there, maybe the kids could run around the gym for a few minutes (with permission, of course).