Hit The Bowling Alley During Your Staycation

Our girls love to go bowling and what better way to go than for FREE! Check out how Katie at Cincinnati Cents used FREE bowling to keep their summer staycation on budget!

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Staycation Idea: Hit Your Local Parks

Even though we are taking vacation in October this year, we still are planning a staycation in August to help break up the summer a little. Check out how Cincinnati Cents is Hitting the Parks for her latest staycation!

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7 Staycation Ideas: Travel on a Budget


When planning a staycation make sure that you treat that week just as if you were really on vacation and not at home to do your everyday tasks. Bills should be paid the week before, don’t answer the house phone, stop the mail at the post office, etc. This way you and your family will feel as if you are really on a vacation, even if you are staying home. Camp in the back yard if you have to, just make sure that they daily grind does not interfere with your staycation. Also charge your camera and make sure to take plenty of pictures and videos.

Here are a few ideas that our family will use this summer during our staycations!!

Take a Tour- Contact your local fire department, police department, post office or even a local large company to see if they offer tours of their facilities. This is a great way for your family to see the inside of local government offices or business’ and see how they run things. The added plus, most of these are FREE, but you will need to plan in advance. Most of these places only have tours certain times of the month, so you will need to call or visit their website to find out dates and times of their tours.

Night In- Plan one night of your staycation as a night in. You can make it a movie night, family cooking night, play board games, craft night, any themed night will be fun for the whole family. Just make sure that you make that night jammed packed with activities. You are staying home but you want the family to stay interested in that evenings activities, so plan for food, decorations and many activities. Craft nights can be alot of fun as well and you can use items that you already have laying around the house. We have made toothbrush bracelets, scrapbook pages, herb can planters and so much more. Be creative or even check websites to get ideas. The kids will love whatever you decide to make, they will enjoy spending time together making fun stuff!!

Field Day- Plan a day of obstacle courses, water balloon tosses, pie eating contests or anything that your whole family can do outside as if they were in a field day event. You can do as much or as little as you want. Ask your kids what type of games they want to play at your field day. Hit up your local dollar store and get all the items you need for your event. You can even invite neighbors to join in on the fun and split the cost on supplies. Make sure to have a few prizes or ribbons so the little ones can have a souvenir from the day.

Use Your Passes- Do you have passes to your local YMCA, amusement parks or zoo? Spend the day at each of them. Our local YMCA has a indoor pool but if we drive to the YMCA that is about 15 minutes away they have a huge outdoor pool with slides. We are going to take one day and go to the “beach”. We do not go to this YMCA that much so they love using the slides and being outside. Bring a lunch and plan to spend the whole day.

Eat Out- Plan a few nights to eat out at your favorite local restaurants, just as if you would if you were on vacation. I know this can get expensive, especially if you have more than 1 child. So make sure you go out to eat the nights that restaurants offer Kids Eat FREE nights. Also check out places like Restaurant.com, Groupons.com or just do a search online for B1G1 coupons for local restaurants. We are a family of 5 and without coupons or Kids Eat FREE nights, our budget would not allow us to eat out as much as we get to. So plan ahead and find the deals before your leave the house.

Catch a Movie at the Theater- As a family of 5, we do not get to see too many movies at the theater. Not just because of the cost for all of us to go but we still have one that is almost 2. So sitting still and being quiet are not things that she quite gets just yet. So we normally just rent movies. But one of our local movie theaters offers FREE family movies every Tuesday and Wednesday morning during the summer. With the theater being filled with other families that most likely have 2 year old that scream as well, I won’t feel as bad if she starts talking during the middle of the movie. Plus it is FREE, so if we have to get up and leave a little early, we are not out anything.

Tour Your City for FREE- There are so many things to do in your local city that are FREE. If you live in a smaller city and have a larger city near you, take a trip and visit all the great things they have to offer. We live near Cincinnati which has just about everything. We can stop by the Eden Park and check out the great scenery of Cincinnati. We can check out Fountain Square, The Cincinnati Art Museum, Krohns Conservatory and much more. There are a few other things that may cost a few dollars per person to get in but are so worth it. Things like the Reds Hall of Fame ($5-$8 per person), SummerFair at Coney Island ($10 adults, kids 12 and under FREE) or The Cincinnati Museum Center ($6-$12 per person). Learn about your city and site see!!

So there are a few ideas of things to do for your staycation. I can go on and on forever with ideas to make your staycation a big hit. Don’t forget to check when your local fairs and carnivals as well. They are something that the whole family can do and they are usually pretty inexpensive. The best thing to do when planning your staycation is to find things that you know your family will enjoy and have fun with. Keeping them interested the whole week and making them feel as if they are on a real vacation is the key to having a successful staycation. Whether you visit your local sports team, library, your local farm or your local parks; just have fun and spend time with your family!!

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Staycation Idea: Kid Friendly Garden Frugal Style

Here is Staycation Idea 5- Kid Friendly Garden Frugal Style, thanks to Stretching Your Budget!

Spring is almost here! So, I thought it would be a great time to start planting a garden! Unfortunately it’s not always easy to get the kids involved on such a large project. So, I’ve got the perfect solution for both!
If you’re like me, you love to use Organic products without paying the steep price. My kids absolutely love yogurt and we can usually get it for Free at the grocery store after using coupons! So we have a ton of these little yogurt cups. I was trying to think of what I could use them for instead of throwing them away. Then the other day we got the Danonino Yogurt that had the awesome idea of planting seeds in them! They even come with a little pack of seeds! Even if you don’t have this specific yogurt you can still to this project!

Supplies:

- Clean, empty yogurt cups
- Potting soil
- Seeds ( I would recommend herbs or something that will grow well inside)
- Water
- Kids that don’t mind getting their hands a little dirty!

Directions:

- Fill the container ¾ of the way full with soil
- Place the seed on top and then smooth over with more soil just until you can’t see the seed
- Pour a little water in
- Wait for it to grow!

This is super cheap and easy! Kids love being able to get involved and get their hands a little dirty. Plus, they actually get to watch it grow. Then when it’s ready you get to have fresh organic herbs to use in your favorite dishes! My kids are so excited about theirs!

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Staycation Idea: Indoor Camp Out

Here is Staycation Idea 4- Indoor Camp Out, thanks to The Coupon Challenge!

Many families are looking for ways to enjoy Spring Break without breaking the bank. Stay Vacations are a great way to save money and enjoy quality time together. If the weather is still a bit chilly, have an Indoor Camp Out. Avoid the camping fee, drive and mosquitoes and camp out inside your own home.

You’ll need:

  • A Tent
  • Sleeping bags and pillows
  • Flashlights
  • Games
  • Snacks

Set up a tent in the living room or another area of your home with enough space to accommodate a tent. Lay out sleeping bags and flashlights. Children can pack a backpack with a few toys or clothing items to make them feel more involved in the Camp Out.

For dinner, have traditional camping food such as hotdogs and smores (if you have a fireplace). Read stories, tell ghost stories (or age appropriate stories), play board games & just enjoy being together.

A few rules:

  • Turn off the phone, TV and computer
  • Leave the dishes for the next day
  • Stay together in your “campsite”

Alternatively, make a tent with chairs and blankets in the living room. Rent movies and eat sandwiches for dinner under the tent. Kids will love constructing the tent and getting to eat on the floor!

Photo Credit: Insiderspassport.com

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Staycation Idea: Restaurant Night

Here is Staycation Idea 3- Restaurant Night, thanks to Momondealz!

When vacationing, many people tend to eat out either all or most of the time. You may think that with a staycation, this wouldn’t be possible. I disagree! You can scour your newspaper and home mailings for valuable coupons to local restaurants and venture out to try something new OR you can have a restaurant experience in your own home! Here’s how:

  • Pick your cuisine. Whether your family would like Mexican, Italian, Chinese, or American, you first need to make this decision. Be sure to evaluate your stockpile of groceries when making the choice. You don’t want to blow your staycation budget on one meal!
  • Create an atmosphere based on your chosen cuisine. For Mexican you can use brightly colored fabrics to drape around the room with pictures of sombreros or even a cactus or two. For Italian you can create a romantic mood by having candles on the table or print up pictures of Italy to stick on the walls. The Internet is a great source to help with the decor!
  • Have everyone “dining out” to dress the part. If you want the dinner to have a formal feel, have accordingly. If you are planning an American theme, how fun would it be for everyone to dress in their favorite sport uniform?
  • Make a menu. You can type something up and add stickers or clip art to fit the “restaurant” theme. You can even give the dishes the same names as your favorite dining out meals. To avoid having an expensive dinner, make sure your copy cat dishes are based on your stockpile. Another thought would be to drive to your favorite restaurant and grab a couple of their to go menus; then you could just glue in your meal choices inside! Also, instead of printing a menu, you could grab your child’s easel or chalkboard and write the menu on that!
  • Assign roles. You will need a hos/hostess, a server, a chef, and a dishwasher. Try to change traditional roles to give other a chance to experience something different. For example, if mom usually cooks dinner, have another family member perform this duty.
  • Enjoy your restaurant staycation meal!


Sharon is a mom, former teacher, and blogger for Momondealz. Momondealz is also a family friendly and money saving website!

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Staycation Idea: Spa Day

 

Here is Staycation Idea 2- Spa Say, thanks to Madame Deals for the idea!

Oh Spring Break is upon us and the kids are home. The cash is tight and the ideas have dried up and it is only day two of spring break. Introducing the spa day. This easy to do activity is kind on your wallets and our state of mind. It is also educational! Salvation at last! The first rule of spa day is everyone must be calm, cool, and collect. This is a day of peace and quiet. We usually do spa activities in the bathroom or the kitchen. We grab chairs, a sheet, a radio, bowels, towels, flash lights or candles depending on the age of your spa guests.

We head into the kitchen to create our pampering creations. This is a great way to introduce math through following directions, sequence, and measurement and those skills coupled with reading makes this activity relaxing and educational.

If you have young kids with limited attention spans keep your spa services to a minimum. You can do a face treatment, hand, and feet. If you children are older you can do multiple treatments. You can have them conduct a scientific experiment to hypothesize what the results of the procedure will be. You can ask the children what they think the potion will smell like, feel like, and taste like based on the ingredients. (Only taste if the ingredients are food). You can extend this activity to have them create their own potions and try out their effectiveness and chart the results. You can also have them create a service menu and perform the treatments on you, their friends, or other family members. If you would like to extend this activity further you could set up a spa experience with distinct cost. You will be able to work with money, supply and demand, and possibly barter. This day event could turn into multiple hours/ days of enjoyment.

Here are a couple of recipes for treatments. They are fast and easy and most importantly accessible and inexpensive. If you want to make a longer spa day do the easy procedure first and then add the complex procedure.

Face-
  • Easy- Place a well-mixed blueberry or strawberry yogurt on their face. Then rinse off. 
  • Complex- Take 1 cup of cheerios grinded into a fine powder, some honey and a couple squirt of lemons to create a mask. Then apply to their faces until it dries rinse off.
Hands-
  • Easy- Get a bowl and fill it with warm water and soak your hands with a tablespoon of olive oil. Then put lotion or Crisco, or Vaseline on your hands and place them in gloves (dish kind work) or use socks. If you let the lotion, Crisco, Vaseline site for 30 minutes their hands will be very smooth. 
  • Complex- Take one Tablespoon of cane Sugar and baby oil. Then rub your hands together. Then wash off the mixture and follow up with the easy suggestion above.
Feet-
  • Easy- Fill a bowl with warm water and add a couple of tablespoons of baking soda. You can place flower petals on the top or orange slices.
  • Complex- 1 cup of brown sugar, 3 Tablespoons of water, and enough honey to make it liquid, and ¼ cup of oatmeal mix. Then rub your feet to remove dead skin. I would then place their feet in socks with Vaseline, lotion, or baby oil.
Body-
  • Easy- A warm bath with bubbles and cucumbers on their eyes. You could also place one cup of Apple Vinegar in the bath it improves circulation.
  • Complex- Create a body scrub- Use cane sugar and vanilla extract. You could also have them rub pineapples on their skin to remove dead skin. You can have fun and create your own scrub using sugar, oatmeal, bananas, and honey.

What are some ideas that you see for extensions to this simply idea?

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Staycation Idea: Have a Scavenger Hunt

This week our girls are home for Spring Break and I wanted to find a few things to keep them busy all week long without breaking the bank. With my husbands crazy work schedule we were not able to go anywhere for spring break, so I decided that we would have a staycation! Every day this week we have something planned to keep our kiddos busy. And with the help of a few of my bloggy friends, I will share with you a new idea each day.

First, our girls are the type of girls that if they don’t have something to do every minute of the day they are bored! And to be quite honest, I am not sure where they get that from! Just kidding! Anyone that knows me personally, thinks I am a crazy person when it comes to our weekly schedule. I love to stay busy and I love having things to do. I know, it is probably some sort of disorder that I have the need to feel needed and always on the go, but hey, I like it and it works for me!

Second, I knew that we have already planned a few things this week that would help them stay busy, but I wanted to fill in the blanks! We have soccer starting this week, so that means 2 practice and 2 games. We had already planned to go to the Zoo one day, maybe catch the new Wimpie Kid Movie and I was having people over for a 31 Gifts Party.

So with that, I decided that the first idea for our Staycation, was to have a week long Scavenger Hunt. Each day I listed the places that we had to go (see Thursday’s list above) and picked things that I knew our girls would see along the way. Some are really easy, some are a little more difficult, but they each get their own list and at the end of the day we can compare what everyone found and where they found it!! Here is what we are looking for on Thursday to give you an example!

Thursday- We have a Zoo trip, soccer practice and my 31 Gifts party!

  • A Bird
  • A Monkey
  • A Elephant
  • A Tiger
  • A Insect
  • A Fish
  • A Hotel
  • A Zoo Worker
  • A Police Car
  • A Black Building
  • Something Metal
  • A Telephone
  • A Bridge
  • A Coupon ( you know I had to throw that in there!)
  • A Punch Bug Car
  • A Bus
  • A Old Junk Car
  • A Bumper Sticker
  • A Fountain
  • Something Blue
  • A Person With A S In Their Name
  • Something With a Triangle On It

So what do you do on spring break when you aren’t able to travel anywhere? I have more Staycation ideas coming, so stay tuned for more great ideas!

 

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