Staycationing in a Small Town

Staycationing in a Small Town - Fun and easy ideas your kids will love!

Staycationing can be much easier (and more budget friendly) than a full fledged vacation. What happens, though, when you live in a small town that doesn’t have any of the big attractions or activities of a city?

We live in a small town in Northern Oklahoma. The places with zoos, large amusement parks, shopping malls etc are all almost an hour and half away. That’s still doable for a day trip, but I certainly don’t want to make that drive everyday of our staycation.

These are all things that we can do in our town:

Local Library

We love to take advantage of story time and the play center in the children’s area of our library. My kids don’t ever want to leave. In the summer there are other fun activities for children during the week. My kids would be happy to know an entire afternoon was going to be dedicated to the library and they could leave with books and movies.

Free Movies

Our historic theater downtown shows free family friendly movies every Thursday. We rarely go the the movies so this is a fun treat for the kids.

Water Fun

The key here is to avoid the hottest (and busiest) times of day. Go first thing in the morning or in the evening for a more relaxing trip and you won’t have to worry (as much) about your children getting sun burned.

  • Splash Pad
  • Pool
  • Beach

Miniature Golf

Miniature golf is something we only do when on a trip. What better time to check out your local course than your staycation!

Dinner at your favorite restaurant

Growing up we seldom went out to eat. Going to a restaurant was a treat and something we looked forward to doing on our vacations. Plan a meal at a favorite restaurant (or maybe one you’ve never tried) in your town.

Ice Cream Shop

So many touristy towns have ice cream shops lining the streets of downtown. One afternoon, visit your local ice cream shop as a special treat. This would be the highlight of my 3 year olds day!


Picnics and vacations, they just seem to go together. Whether hiking in the mountains, a trip to the lake or beach, or in the car while on a road trip a picnic seems to happen at least once. You could have a picnic in your backyard, living room floor, local park, or a pool.

Stay up late

Rest is important and I definitely wouldn’t want to keep my (fairly young) kids up late every night of our staycation. Pick a night or two and let them stay up – plan a fun activity that will go past their bedtime. Maybe the trip to the beach or splash pad or an after supper ice cream excursion.


Take time to make a mess and get creative. Go to Michaels, Hobby Lobby, or your local craft store and add on to your craft supplies and have a family art session. Maybe you could all decorate shirts or design wood plaques. If you aren’t creative (goodness knows I need all the help I can get), you can also find kits with instructions for some great projects.

I think that the key to making these seemingly little and normal things fun is to turn them into a big deal – combine ideas and splurge a couple of times on things you normally wouldn’t. After your afternoon at the library pick up pizza and continue with a movie night. Head to the beach in the morning and finish the trip off with a picnic. Evening miniature golf followed by a stop for ice cream.

What things do you like to do on a staycation when in a small town?

Linking up to these fun parties!

13 thoughts on “Staycationing in a Small Town

  1. Janet

    Great suggestions! All of these are a fun way to spend time with family in the summer. We always try to incorporate some of these ideas into our summer. And while not quite as special as visiting a local ice cream shop, we enjoy the half price shakes after 8 p.m. and Sonic at least once or twice in the summer.

    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      You are right, it’s a great idea to do some fun things at home even if you have a vacation planned. Oh, the shakes sound like a really fun treat. I bet you girls look forward to those night!

  2. Gentle Joy

    These are great ideas… and our kids learn to like this if we are content w/ such also. In a few minutes, my kids and I are going to a park for a photo shoot time….. we all have cameras and it is amazing what catches our eye…. and how different our pictures look when photographing the same subject. 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      So true! Our actions and excitement and contentment levels really carry over to our kids. Love the idea of a photo shoot at the park. I’ll have to remember that for when my kids are older.

  3. Pingback: Motivation Monday Week #100 - Written Reality

  4. Pingback: Motivation Monday Linky Party 100 - Mom Favorites

  5. Pingback: Food Preparation For A Week Long Vacation - The Vintage Mom

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *