Mom Living

Stay-cation: 5 Ideas to Have Fun With Kids While Staying Put

Stay-cation ideas

Do your vacation plans include staying home?  Not sure how to fill your days?  Keep reading to get tips for your stay-cation with 5 ideas to have fun with kids while staying put.

My kids were home on spring break last week, although there were days it felt more like winter break 2.0. We didn’t travel anywhere this year and not having to wake up early to rush to school was a vacation enough. While we had some unplanned lazy days I did plan several outings to fight boredom and cabin fever.

To keep things low-cost I organized activities where we could find the fun in the simple things.  If you’re sticking around for an upcoming break here are some ideas to make your stay-cation feel like a vacation without breaking the bank.

spring break ideas stay at home activities

Online Deal For Indoor Water Park

We splurged for a one night stay at an indoor water park only because we found a good deal online. The Great Wolf Lodge often sends out flash sales and deals if you sign up for their email campaigns.  Groupon also has specials for different places.

To help trim costs look for places that have free breakfast and have rooms with fridges and microwaves.  You can easily pack food for meals and eat in the room instead of dining out.

If you want to save more money or don’t want to deal with staying overnight some indoor water parks sell day passes. A simple day trip is a great alternative. If there aren’t any indoor water parks near you, going to a hotel with a pool can be just as fun.

Movie Day

Brighten up a rainy day with a movie marathon!  During a soggy day over break,  I took the kids to the library to pick out some movies.  We turned our family room into a “movie theater” and spent the rest of the day curled up on the couch with popcorn, blankets, and our favorite films.   It was the perfect way to pass the time without feeling cooped up.

Explore a Different Park

Kids love playgrounds, especially if it’s new and different.  To them driving across town to another park can feel like going on a trip to Disney! If you need inspiration check out park and recreation websites for other towns or cities in your area.  You can get a list of parks, a see their amenities and get directions.

On one of the nicer days, we went to another town to a park that’s known for its large playground.  The kids spent several hours playing and had a blast in the new play space.

Check Out a New Indoor Play Area

Our city has the usual indoor play areas like indoor gyms, playgrounds and game places.  During the winter months, we make the rounds to the typical venues closest to our house.  Most times the kids are done after an hour of playing because it’s nothing new or exciting.

Similar to going to a new park, we checked out another indoor place we hadn’t been to before.  Driving 30 minutes away, instead of 10 was worth the drive because the kids covorted for hours!

To find deals look on Groupon or the business’ web-site for coupons.  Through out the year I also save passes I may get from promo booths at local events, parades, or birthday parties so I can use them for special outings later.


I had to go grocery shopping at some point during the week.  When I take my tribe though, the cart becomes a tree for my monkeys to hang from as I make way through the jungle of aisles.  Not fun.  If there are 2 things that keep them from going bananas on a trip it is food and Costco’s large carts.  I pile all 3 into the cart and give them every food sample we pass.  It’s a win-win, the munching keeps them quiet, the cart keeps them contained, and I can quickly make my rounds to get things off my list.

Other  Stay-cation Ideas

  • Check out free museums–stay local or take a day trip to a different museum
  • Explore another library– check out their calendar to see if there are any special events
  • Look up some new hiking or walking trails and get outdoors
  • Review the events calendar in your local paper and see what’s happening around town

I hope these ideas help generate some activity for you and your kiddos so you can get out and about while on stay-cation.

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