Thursday, June 25, 2015

Summer Staycation Ideas for Kids

Last week has been a whirlwind of fun activities.  Now that school is out, I feel like I'm working overtime as a stay at home mom.  Since we don't have any plans to go on vacation this year, I've planned a "staycation" with a bunch of day trips and fun activities to keep the kids busy.  Last week my son was staying at my parent's house (thanks mom and dad!), so the girls (and the baby) and I did a bunch of things that he wouldn't enjoy.  I've talked about how my son has Asperger's and he generally dislikes crowds and having to wait in line.  So while he's being spoiled by the grandparents, the rest of the kids and I made the most of the week.

Monday we went to the Turkey Hill Experience, or the turkey sperience as my 4 year old calls it.  We met my mom there so she could join in the fun (and help me with the kids).  Afterwards, she took my son home with her and the rest of us met my husband for lunch before heading home.

Even the little guy got in on the fun!

If you've never been to the Turkey Hill Experience, I recommend going.  There are a lot of fun activities for the kids to do.  My 10 year old daughter really loved it and tried everything.  She made created her own original flavor of virtual ice cream and even recorded a commercial about it.   There is all you can eat ice cream samples which my 12 year old son loved.  In fact, he ate so much that when it was time for us to go to the Taste Lab, where you get to flavor your own pint of ice cream, he was too full to eat any.

We didn't have any grand plans for Tuesday, but I still wanted to get out with the kids so we went on a nature hike.   There is a rail trail near our house and we frequently hike and bike on it.  The kids love to explore and this nature trail was a great way for them to expend some energy.

We hiked the trail and climbed our way to the top of the tower.  What a view!

We also went to the Oregon Dairy Farm.  They were having their Family Farm days so there were lots of free activities to do and plenty of food to sample.  We saw how they milk cows using machines and this cow was checking us out.

The Budweiser Clydsdales came to Hershey so we stopped over to see them since my girls are such horse lovers.  What a sight to see.  So big and so beautiful.  

And since we were in Hershey we had to stop by Chocolate World.  The little guy was totally memorized by the ride.

After the ride, you end up in the gift shop and eatery.  There was this huge statue of King Tut made out of Twizzlers.  It was probably 8 feet tall!

A small traveling circus came to town so we went to see that too.  We went in the afternoon and it wasn't very crowded.  We even got front row seats.

We love the book Pinkalicious.  My 10 year old daughter loves pink, pink and more pink.  Last year her younger sister started loving pink after a few years of claiming blue as her favorite color.   Pinkalicious the Musical was playing at a local children's theatre so we went to see that too. 

What a fun (and exhausting) week we had.  This week my 10 year old daughter is at my parent's house so I still only have 3 out of the 4 kids at home.  However, this week I have nothing scheduled.  I need a lazy week after all the running around we did last week.

If you are looking for some staycation ideas, here are a few more for you, some are free and others are not:

The movies - some movie theaters have free or reduced summer matinees.  They are usually movies that are now on DVD, but hey, they are free, and the theater is air conditioned.  

Go to the pool, local beach/lake or just play in the sprinkler

The library - most libraries have some sort of summer reading program which includes free activities such as science experiments, crafts, story tellers....

Invite friends over to play, whether it's dolls, bike riding, games, crafts... it'll keep the kids busy.


Visit Museums

Visit Butterfly Gardens, Flower Gardens, Arboretums, Parks

Paintball, Lazer tag, Obstacle Course, Zip Line, or other outdoor adventuring

Boating, Canoeing, Kayaking

Amusement parks

The Zoo

The Aquarium

Sporting Event



Camp in your backyard

Here are some fun activities and crafts we've done in previous years that I've blogged about:

Subscribe to CONTROLLING Craziness and get my blog updates via email.   Don't miss anymore posts, click HERE to get email updates.

And don't forget to follow me on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest.