We live really close to the beach. But we hardly ever go. Life gets busy (plus I'm SUPER high maintenance) so schlepping everything down there seems like way too much work. A few weeks ago, my family and I did a little staycation at a friend's house in Carlsbad (about an hour from our city). Knowing that we were free of our daily stresses made enjoying the beach easier. To me, a staycation is any kind of getaway (metaphorical or literal) where you act like you are on vacation even if it means staying close to or at home. There were certain things that I planned ahead for that helped to make our weekend away the best time ever. These staycation ideas will hopefully help you plan a much-needed escape from reality for your family.
With activities, work and school, we keep ourselves really busy during the week. That also means that we don't get to spend a ton of time together as a family. Sometimes I am ok with that, I mean, a mom can only take so many fart jokes. But these kids are so funny and I really miss them when I'm not with them. We brought the electronics because the kids would have thought we were trying to torture them if we didn't. But they only picked them up at night and only because we couldn't figure out how to turn on the TV! We had set out with a set of rules in mind but never had to utilize them. We had enough to keep us busy that they didn't even ask for their iPads. My husband and I both left our computers at home which felt amazing! Of course we spent a little time on our phones (because suddenly we're addicted to Snapchat like a couple of tweens) but we were mostly unplugged the whole weekend. And everybody lived!
Since we weren't at our own home, I wanted to bring things that the kids could do to keep them busy. I thought about things they liked (football is HUGE! in their world right now) and things they liked but hadn't done in a while (like skateboarding). I brought their skateboards and helmets so they could ride around in the backyard and practice tricks. They were on them almost constantly. And I picked up a new little football throwing thingy (not the actual name…) from the dollar section so they would have something new to play with. I had them also bring a book and some drawing paper but they spent most of their time outside which was awesome. While the boys got to do some of their favorite things, we also wanted to introduce them to something new. My husband taught my oldest son how to surf. He didn't last long out in the rough waters but it was a fantastic staycation memory to make. I got lots of pictures and my younger son and I cheered him on from shore. While you may not have a beach to go to ride some waves on your staycation, try to think of things you have always wanted to do but just never made time for. The first time your kids try something will likely stick with them so at least try to do one brand new activity! For many years I didn't feel like I was on vacation if my kids were with me. That was partially my high-maintenance-ism and because it felt like so much work to have everything we might need to keep the kids happy at every single moment while away from the house. I totally get it now. Everything works out. There are stores everywhere and kids are resilient. With my youngest being 7 years old, I'm finally able to put a little bit of focus back on myself. I made sure to pack my favorite things to keep me happy, not only at the rental home but also at the beach. I'm obsessed with my new water bottle that keeps things (water or wine, wink) super cold and I always take my big tapestry sheet with me so that I can stay on my fabric island away from the sand. The best staycation will be one where everyone has a few things that are they're favorite to bring on maximum enjoyment. I'm not suggesting you over pack, but one of my top staycation ideas is that each person should have a few of their favorites, including mom!
Eating out for days on end can get really expensive. We decided we would bring a few things from home to help keep those costs down. I picked up some donuts from the store before we left, which meant we didn't need to eat breakfast at a restaurant, as well as a few of their favorite snacks. We decided to eat out our first night away and, by accident, found a wonderful family friendly happy hour! Because we were saving so much on the food, I ordered the boys virgin strawberry margaritas. THIS BLEW THEIR MINDS! They had never had one before and thought it was awesome. It was another memory making moment that they will carry with them always. We stayed in and used the barbecue on the second night. The home that we stayed in had a few condiments already so we chose to do hamburgers, which meant we only needed to pick up a few items at the local store. It was so fun to be able to hang out together, as Dad cooked, and enjoy being together. And a good staycation always includes s'mores. But I have to tell you, my family doesn't like to be around a fire pit. My kids HATE when the smoke blows in their faces and I hate that my hair and clothes smell like a forest fire. I seriously wish we had these new Nestle® Drumstick® S'mores with us on our staycation. Plus, what kid doesn't love ice cream! It's the best of all the dessert worlds. Now that we are back at home, these ice cream treats make us feel like we are still on a staycation but with out the gross smoke. They are going to be perfect for all our summer fun!Whether you are indoors, or out, these s'mores are the way to go. Nestle® Drumstick® S'mores come in three yummy flavors: Toasted Marshmallow with Fudge, Toasted Marshmallow and Chocolate Marshmallow. My boys instantly went for the Toasted Marshmallow with Fudge, because yum. They have all the flavors of traditional s'mores but in a totally new way. The marshmallow flavored ice cream is delicious and the rich graham cracker, chocolatey coating is something that you never want to end. Visit local grocery retailers to purchase NEW Nestle® Drumstick® S'mores, or visit Drumstick.com to learn more! My favorite part about these is that I used to eat them when I was a kid and I love that I can share them with my own kids. But, just a warning, your husband is going to love these also and they will go fast! If I were you, I'd hide a Toasted Marshmallow with Fudge for yourself in the dark depths of your freezer.
So even if you have a fire pit, you don't need to use it. These ice cream s'mores do not require any prep work, sticking things in fire or smoke induced coughing. We've been enjoying these Drumsticks®, now at home, and we're intentionally trying to keep a little bit of that staycation spirit going. While the world spins madly on, we are trying to slow down and enjoy time together as a family just like we did on our staycation.
These staycation ideas ensured that we had an amazing time together as a family. Has your family ever taken a staycation?
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.