When Summer Doesn’t Include a Vacation

Two years ago my husband and I had our first “STAYCATION.”  It actually started out as a supposed one day “gosh, what can we do for fun and not drive too far?”

We live on the ocean.  It’s generally cool and overcast.  How were we going to feel like we had a summer vacation without getting HOT?  So the first we thing we had to decide was how far inland we would go on our Staycation.  As time went into our PLANNING, we decided to relax a little about SUNSHINE, as we seemed to be generating quite a “we could do this list.”

Here’s the list we ended up with:

  • Visit and hike in a two local state parks, looking for as many different kinds of wildlife as we could find.
  • Visit a historical site that is right by us, but we’ve never actually gone to before.
  • Determine who serves the very best fish and chips; which meant we ate five meals of fish and chips.  (I admit, I have only eaten a few meals of fish and chips since that time, but it was fun to be our own self-styled food critics.)
  • Attend two different Saturday markets and look for a specific plant we wanted (did I say this was a “treasure hunt” type of Staycation?)
  • Go to an actual movie theater (no waiting for first run movie to come out on Netflix); and buy lots of popcorn and soda (not worried about our internal organs).
  • One afternoon of actually SITTING and READING in a new-to-us locale.  (It was actually WARM and the butterflies were in abundance.)
  • Our grand finale was a shared meal with F/friends at a locally owned restaurant that had excellent Thia food.

So what made this rather ordinary time at home a very nice, lingering memory?  I think it was because we actually PLANNED it, making specific dates for when we would go on each outing.  We gave ourselves a budget and had fun seeing what we could do to stay within it.  We ended up never driving more than fifty miles from home.  By the end of our month, we were ready to “stay at home and smell the flowers.”

If an actual VACATION is not available to you this summer; and especially if you have children, sit down at a family “COUNCIL” and PLAN for a STAYCATION.  Each child getting at least ONE item that he wants on the list.  Use the “treasure hunt” theme to make the outdoors or art galleries or museums that much more FUN.  Eat some favorite foods (yes, an ice cream cone is an excellent FUN food).  Have everyone agree on some sort of “GRAND FINALE.”

No matter where you live and what your bank account will allow for, you can PLAN a STAYCATION that will give your family a sense of having “been gone from home” and “having had FUN.”

Remember PLAY and FUN and FOOD can be both adult words and child words.  EXPLORING and READING and BEING SILLY are also words that belong to us all.  One of the best ways to continue with building “Family Attachment” is through “Family Planned Events.”

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