Jasmin Merdan/Moment/Getty Images

9 Fun Staycation Ideas You Can Pull Off Without Leaving Your Home


I know we all currently feel like we're on the staycation that never ends, but planning some playful activities for your fam can really help to keep morale up at home. And whether your vacation plans got cancelled or you were always looking for some fun and easy staycation ideas, feel confident in the fact that you can make some great memories from your own couch.

Usually the idea of a "staycation" involves taking in some of the local museums or restaurants or sights. But if those local options are off the table, you might need to get a little more creative. Maybe your kids were looking forward to a great spring break vacation. Maybe there was a Disney trip or beach plans to make happen. But for whatever reason, now you're planning a thrilling vacation in your own home, and those plans do not have to involve cleaning out a closet or painting a room or buying a ton of craft supplies. With a little imagination and some things you already have in the house, you can turn your time at home into a literal staycation.

These are some fun and simple ideas that I hope will help keep everyone's spirits up, and offer everyone (parents included) a nice bit of distraction.

1. Camp Out

Adventure calls! And it's calling from your own backyard. Gather up that tent you were saving for Yellowstone and head out to your lawn. Roast some marshmallows or hot dogs over the grill, then curl up in the tent to share some ghost stories. To add an educational twist, maybe pick a few nearby leaves and talk about how to identify different kinds of plants and trees.

2. Play Bed & Breakfast

Pack a bag for your kids and welcome them to Chateau Maison! Hang numbers on the bedrooms and let the kids sleep in different rooms for the night. Offer luxurious amenities like bubble baths and chocolates on the pillows, then serve breakfast for dinner. (Yes, I know B&Bs don't actually serve breakfast for dinner, but kids seem to find eating waffles in the evening to be the upmost in wackiness.)

3. Make Your Own Movie Theater

Have the kids help you create tickets and posters, and turn your living room into your own Cinemark. You can set up a table offering "concessions" for sale (Monopoly money accepted!) and arrange chairs in a row in front of your TV. Then kick back and stream one of those special early releases.

4. Spa Day!

Gather up your face masks and nail polish, and slice some cucumbers to put over those little eyeballs. Have your kids don their bathrobes and indulge in a spa day, complete with lemon water! (And maybe some Goldfish crackers.) There can be foot massages, pedicures, and of course, lots of kindergarten gossip...

5. Play Top Chef

Aleksandar Pirgic/E+/Getty Images

Offer everyone an apron and gather up your spices. This can be an opportunity to teach your child how to cook something very basic (scrambled eggs or mac and cheese) or depending on the child's age, you can be adventurous and try a new recipe together. Or, to add an edge of competition, you can cook individually, and have someone else "judge" the meals.

6. Fashion House

Drag out a bunch of fun clothes, shoes, and make-up (obviously stuff you don't care too much about) and take turns giving each other makeovers. Take lots of pics to print, and create your own "fashion magazine."

7. Hit The Club

Turn on the strobe (or gather the flashlights) and make your house into a nightclub. Have everyone put on their "club" clothes, then throw on the Trolls soundtrack and break it down. You can offer specialty "bottle service", where the kids can indulge in some delicious iced apple juice. Make a velvet rope with the sash from your robe, and don't grant your husband entry until he changes out of those sweats he's worn the past three days.

8. Bring Paris To You

Remember in It's a Wonderful Life when George and Mary's honeymoon gets cancelled, and Mary creates a Polynesian getaway with posters and a record player? Well, pull a Mary, and hang up some pictures of exotic locales. Play some music from that culture, and learn some phrases in their language. Prepare something the locals would eat. (This doesn't have to be fancy. For France you could share a baguette and some cheese. Mexico, some tacos.) Put a hamburger bun on your head and proclaim it a mini-beret.

9. Spread The Love

Gather up your art supplies, and turn your house into Hallmark for the day. Get to work making cards for people you currently can't go see, like Grandma. Or for the healthcare workers at your local hospital. Be sure to make some for the people at your local pharmacy or grocery as well, as they are also working crazy hard right now. While it isn't a great idea to send the actual cards to people right now (as this can spread germs), you can always snap pics and text them, or post pics to hospitals or stores Facebook pages.

Be sure to make cards for your kiddos as well, letting them know how proud you are of them for being such good sports about everything, and remind them that they don't really need to go anywhere to have fun. The real fun is being a family! While this may result in them throwing their Crayolas at your face, deep down they'll know you're right...