Is your family hanging on the homefront this summer? Well, ain’t nothing wrong with that! With just a little creativity, this summer could very well be the best one ever. Check out these seven tips to create some family vacation — staycation — memories that will last a lifetime!
1. Share a bit of history. My kids’ favorite stories are the ones I tell them about when I was growing up. Make it a priority this summer to share some of your personal history with them. Get out those ancient home movies and let them see what life was like when you were little. Go up into the attic and dust off some of those old board games for a family game night. Find some of the old photo albums and peruse them with the kids. This may even motivate you to catch up on your scrapbooking!
2. Space it out. One problem with family vacations is that you do everything under the sun, packed into one or two small weeks. Instead of cramming all the fun into just a few days, make it a priority this summer to space it out. Why not have a family field trip once a week so that you can make the good times last all summer long? It doesn’t have to be extravagant, just something to get the family out of the house and enjoy being together.
3. Pretend you’re a newbie. Visitors always have so much more fun than the natives because they have the advantage of looking at their surroundings from a totally fresh perspective. This summer, why not treat your home town like a vacation destination? Get in touch with your local Chamber of Commerce to see what attractions are right down the street. I guarantee they’re there. You just have to sniff them out.
4. Get active. Don’t let this summer go down in history as the one where every family member sat on their butts all day long. Find some activities that you can do together that get that heart rate going. Maybe you and the kids could take a dance class or learn martial arts. Or just strap on a helmet and get out there and go on a bike ride together. You can even make a summer playlist and crank it up while you dance around the house.
5. Lighten up. Let this be the summer where you bend the rules a bit. Push bedtime a little later or eat dessert before dinner. There’s no need to stick to rules and regs. Heck, this is summer! Set the party tone by having a ladies night where mom and the girls go out on the town or Mens night where the guys can head out and do whatever it is that guys do. We do this around our house. Last time, the men played putt-putt while the ladies went out for lattes.
6. Try some theme nights. Bring the fun into the kitchen this summer by having some theme nights for dinner. Preparing exotic food is a great way to try some new recipes and open up to new tastes, but don’t let the fun stop there. Get everyone in on the action by making decorations, selecting some theme music, and even dressing for the event. Last time we had “Greek Night,” we all dressed in togas, moved the furniture to the walls, and reclined on the floor while we ate falafel, hummus, and baba ganoush.
7. Connect. By far, this is the most important part of a family vacation. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the Bahamas or in your living room. If you’re not connecting as a family, then it’s a waste of time and effort. Make a special effort to tune out by turning off the screens and other distractions and tune in to each other. Make this the summer where you really listen to your children and really focus on each other. It’s only one season of life and it will be gone before you can turn around. Make it matter!