I’ve said it before, family vacations are important! And if you can’t getaway somewhere a great alternative is to have a staycation. A staycation is where you do things in your community or things that are near you. We did one this summer, and well, it didn’t go quite according to plan, but it was still fun. The girls LOVED having their Daddy home for a whole week! And honestly, it didn’t matter if we went somewhere they were seriously happy to get some quality time in with him and us.
We had plan on an activity each day with the kiddos. We planned it the week of Labor Day. I’ll share below our ideas for our staycation. But first, like I mentioned our plans didn’t all happen; our oldest got Strep on the second day. Our youngest followed a day later, and then my hubby and I both got it two days later. We’ve never had Strep before, so this was all new to us. We were bummed that we didn’t get all of our activities in, BUT so thankful that my hubby was off so we could rest! We also added in a trip to the library for something to do.
We kicked off our staycation with a trip to Aikman’s Wildlife Adventure about 40 minutes away from us. This was the one activity we were able to do as originally planned. This place is amazing and so fun for the kiddos. We took a wagon ride to feed animals such as: camels, zebras, buffalo, deer, llama’s, horses, and cows. We also did the walk through where you could pet goats, llamas, and a few other animals as well as feed them. Inside there were some amphibian animals the girls saw (I skipped the snakes – I can’t even look because I freak out! lol). It was a fun afternoon for the girls because they love animals. We also got a free checklist and map that our four year old is obsessed with! We talked for weeks about all the animals we saw and what was their favorites.
On Tuesday we were supposed to take them up to Chicago for the Shedd Aquarium. If you are a resident of Illinois, the month of September (after Labor Day) is usually free admissions. Seeing as a family of 4 can add up, we jumped at the chance to visit and stay under budget! However, that was the day we found out our oldest had Strep so that didn’t happen. We did eventually make it on the very last day (Sunday). Of course the girls LOVED it as well. They loved looking at all the different fish and absolutely loved the dolphin show! They also liked the kiddie play area for a little break, as well as the pizza!
On Wednesday we were supposed to visit my hubby’s grandparent’s farm about 30 minutes from us. On Thursday we were going to go to the children’s museum and get Chick-Fil-A (a family favorite) that is an hour away from us. On Friday we had planned on taking them to a pumpkin patch about an hour away. On Saturday we were going to visit my 91 year old grandma then go to a park with a pond and feed the ducks as well as have a family picnic. Sunday was going to be our usual – church and lunch with our almost 90 year old Oma (but as mentioned we decided to do ONE fun thing after getting over Strep!) However, all these things didn’t happen because at least one of us was contagious on each of these days!
It didn’t turn out the way we (let’s be real me LOL) had planned, but it worked out in the end. Would I have rather not been sick or had sick kiddos; of course! But I look at the positive of everyone being home in their pjs resting and enjoying each other. Sometimes those lazy and relaxing days turn out to the best days. And another positive, we didn’t tell the kids what we were planning each day, so they didn’t know what they missed out on! (I live by this!!! So many things happen that I wait to tell our kiddos until the day before !!!)
Have you ever done a staycation? As you can tell I chose things within a couple of hours away that we could enjoy. A lot of times people forget about the fun places near. So it’s fun to play tourists in your own area sometimes. You don’t have to spend money on hotels or Airbnb’s, and often if you live in the state there are deals you can find (like the Shedd!). I’d love to hear some of your staycations or ideas for them in the comments below!