15 Cheap Family Staycation Ideas

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Summer is here and it’s time to pack your bags and head to Disney with the family! Or not…Maybe going on a summer vacation isn’t in the budget this year, or your family doesn’t have the time. Instead of going on vacation, take on this list of budget-friendly family staycation ideas.

15 Cheap family staycation ideas for families to be entertained all summer. Fun for all ages! The list offers a variety of activities. Cheap, fun, for kids and adults.

We live away from relatives so the majority of our vacations are spent back home in Minnesota. My husband’s vacation days are used up for us spending time at home. Also, since I’m a stay at home mom/work at home mom, we don’t have a ton of extra money in our budget to spend on big vacations. So we turn to small, cheap family staycation ideas for family fun over the summer!

Do you want to be a work at home mom too? Or maybe earn some side cash? Here are great articles to begin with…

12 Ultimate Side Hustles to earn extra money for the holidays

77 Ways to Save Money without Sacrificing

How to make an extra $12,000 a year as a SAHM

We have taken advantage of being in an unfamiliar state to get to know what it has to offer us with short, weekend, staycation activities.

I challenge you to complete some or all of the cheap family staycation ideas listed!

15 Cheap family Staycation Ideas

1. Find a local water park to stay at for the weekend or visit for the day.

You’ll still get the fun without the hefty price! Water parks have fun for everyone in the family!

2. Search for “movies at the pool” night.

Many local community pools offer a “movie at the pool” night that shows family-friendly movies for all to enjoy!

3. Go to a drive-in movie.

We have a local drive-in movie theater a few blocks from our current house but we’ve also found drive-in movie theaters in southern California and Minnesota. They are rare but fun to attend! I especially like bringing my young kids to the drive-in because then they aren’t as distracting to the other patrons!

4. Explore the local treasures of your area.

Maybe you never have been to a local park that everyone loves or local sculpture garden in the area. Go explore your community to see what it has to offer! Maybe you’ll find something you never knew was right around the corner!

5. Have a camping movie night.

Pitch a tent in your living room (or if you have a screen for outside you can do this outside too), and pop in a movie for the family. Have a make your own sundaes bar and order some pizza!

6. Check out the free activities around town.

There’s always something free going on around town! Watch the local news shows. They usually are featuring a free activity going on for the weekend!

7. Explore the area for the best playgrounds.

There are some cool playgrounds out there! Search them out and go sometime to have some fun!

8. Visit all the local museums.

Check out some museums in your area. Do you have any unique, specialized museums in your area?

9. Host a neighborhood BBQ potluck.

Get the block together for a neighborhood BBQ. Have everyone chip in with some food. Set up a corn-hole tournament. Have everyone chip in for a bounce house and have a great evening!

10. Hike the local park trails nearby.

Explore the outdoors and check out the nature wonders of your area!

11. Go on a family scavenger hunt around the town.

Organize a scavenger hunt for your family. Make it as big or small as you want it and go out to find each of the items!

12. Stay up late, make s’mores and star gaze.

Make your own personal sized s’more cooker, make them indoors, or in your fire pit! Set up a s’mores bar if you want to try different kinds of s’mores and then enjoy the stars! Don’t forget to use a lawn fogger beforehand to ensure the mosquitoes aren’t so bad!

13. Do a favorite movie marathon.

Each person picks out a favorite movie and spend the day or weekend watching everyone’s favorite movies!

14. Check out the minor league team in your area.

If your area doesn’t have a minor league team, go check out a local softball league games.

15. Check out the local city parades around your area.

Summer time is prime time for city parades and city celebrations. Check out the local marching bands and score some free candy!

Final thoughts…

Just because you can’t go on a big summer vacations, doesn’t mean the summer will be a bummer! These are all quick activities your family can do within a day! Do one or do them all! Fill your summer with fun!

Are there any other cheap family staycation ideas that are your favorite?


15 Cheap family staycation ideas for families to be entertained all summer. Fun for all ages! The list offers a variety of budget friendly activities. Cheap, fun, for kids and adults.