Summer Staycation Ideas With The Kids

Father, mother and daughter running towards the beach

Staying Close to Home This Summer Can Still be Fun!

Staycations are a great way to spend those long, hot summer days and may even be the more worry-free way to spend some quality time with the family.

Although travel has its adventures and benefits, you can still change the mood, the pace, and the scenery with these suggestions that won’t take you too far from home.

Whether you choose a weekend or a whole week, any of these suggestions are sure to be a hit with kids.

Ideas for your Perfect Staycation

1. Touring your Own City

There are likely a number of festivals and events which are back on the calendar this year. Check your city calendar and see if there are any that fit what your kids love to do.

If you had March break plans in mind that never came to fruition this year, last year, or the year before, revisit those plans for the summer and you don’t have to worry about going through any planning at all!

From kids' museums to aquariums or even new theme parks and even major landmarks that you haven’t visited in maybe the last five years, there should be endless options available. If you live in Toronto, check out the CN Tower or ROM, it’s probably been a few years, and if you’re in Calgary, check out Drumheller with your little archeologists for the day. Assiniboine Park Zoo is always a hit in Winnipeg. Wherever you are, think of local attractions!

MOM TIP: Look online for attraction discounts or last-minute deals. Buying in advance can also save you a few bucks.   In addition, pack any of these easy-to-make meals to save time and money but also satisfy your kids’ particular eating habits.

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Mom and her kids smiling and holding containers of vegetables

2. Beach time or Water Park

Travelling to the Caribbean may be something you have been dreaming about, but some may still want to wait another year. But all is not lost-you can still make the best of this summer by enjoying your local beaches and waterparks.   Whether you live close to a provincial or national park with a nice beach, or within an hour of a waterpark, pack your cooler with some delicious Wonder® sandwiches, snacks and drinks and spend the day.

The nice thing about a day by the water is that age doesn’t matter! All the kids can share in the fun and it’s sure to tire them out, giving you a nice quiet ride home. Many parks have great amenities for little children as well, so it’s easy to set up shop beside the splash pool and enjoy the amazing weather. If you’re planning to visit a beach, don’t forget the sand buckets, shovels, blankets and beach umbrella or tent so the kids are shaded while enjoying their day.

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Back to school "Sushi" Sandwich Bites

3. Camping in the Backyard 

This is a great option with all the fun of camping without the packing or planning of actually leaving home. This can be as complex or simple as you’d like it to be and may vary based on how old your kids are! Essentially, you just need a warm tent, a few sleeping bags, some of your favourite campfire treats and stories and you’re set.

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Mother, father, daughter and son sitting in front of a camping tent, reading a book

If you’d really like to go all out, you can barbecue dinner outside, create a scavenger hunt, do some bird watching or bug collecting and toast up some marshmallows. If the kids are old enough, maybe let them hang out for a few hours alone while keeping out from inside.  

4. Off to the Farm

No matter where you live in Canada, there is always a farm that needs visiting! Going to local farms that are set up for visitors to pick berries, apples, or any other kinds of fruits and veggies is always a family favourite. Some farms have places to eat on site, or encourage visitors to bring their own picnic lunch making this activity a day trip worth remembering.   Check out sites for calendars and you may be able to leverage a special event that the farm may be hosting or an evening event with a live band to keep the fun going.

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