With Summer and the end of school (virtual learning) fast approaching, we would all normally be planning for upcoming vacations. If you know me, you know I love to travel with my kids and I love to create fun experiences for them. Since most of the travel will need to wait, the experiences will have to substitute for now. Today I have for you – six travel ‘experiences’ you can create from home to still give your kids a taste of adventure while staying safe. And let me just add – if it seems like these ideas are too over the top or will take too much time and effort to accomplish – what else do you have to do today?
Starting out nice and easy with something we’ve already done. Itching to hit the beaches of Mexico? Setup a fiesta in your backyard! Inflate the pool, put Mexican food on the menu, blast some traditional music, and make some fruity drinks/smoothies – umbrella straws optional, but highly recommended. This adventure was a super fun and easy way to change up our afternoon and make dinner time a little more exciting.
Most camp sites around Colorado will be open this Summer and I think it will be a great opportunity to get out of your neighborhood while still practicing social distancing. That is, if you can find an available camp site! If you can’t? Why not camp in your own backyard! I also highly recommend trying smore’s in an ice cream cone. Just add your marshmallows and chocolate to the cone and bake until melted.
I’ve heard some splash parks may be opening up this Summer. If you are not quite comfortable with taking the kids around so many people just yet, but also dying slowly in the heat and boredom – why not make your own splash park at home! There are a million water toys out there that you can buy to create your water wonderland (linked below). There are also a ton of fun ways to play with what you already have. Think about bringing toys that generally stay inside, outside! Slides, basketball hoops, trampolines, bounce houses, and ball pits are all excellent toys to bring outside just for the day. You can setup obstacle courses with them, or run a sprinkler by them and the toy will take on a whole new fascination. I also think it would be super fun to setup a lemonade and snack stand outside for the kids to much as they play.
Water Toy Picks:
Ok, here is your chance to squeeze in some educational activities (if you’d like to), and definitely your chance to splurge on some good Italian wine. For a day “trip” to Italy, I would include a little geography, some art, a few Italian phrases, and a pasta bar for dinner. Since my kids are young, I would keep the majority of the “learning” short and sweet. You can look at a map of Italy, show them the boot shape, and end with a little Italian lesson.
- Hello – Ciao
- Goodbye – Addio
- Thank you – Grazie
- Excuse me – Mi Scuzi
I think an afternoon of art would also fit really well with an Italian day. Start by taking a virtual YouTube tour of the Sistine Chapel like this one. Then, use cut out squares of tissue paper and glue to make your own mosaic art. Or, if it’s a nice day, tape out a mosaic pattern on the driveway and color it in with chalk.
Finish up the day with a build your own pasta bar for dinner – fun shaped pasta, with several topping and sauce options for the family to try. Don’t forget the Italian wine for Mom and Dad and the tiramisu for dessert if you are feeling extra over the top.
First things first for a Disneyland recreation at home – you have to start by getting into character in your favorite Disney themed outfit. Next, turn on the Disneyland channel on Spotify which includes music you would hear all around the park and on the rides. Get into the mood a little more with the treats. Mickey Mouse ice cream bars are sold at most major grocery stores, or try these DIY recreations.
Head to YouTube to ride a few virtual rides. Try to get the kids screaming and laughing just like they would if you were actually riding the rides. Definitely check out the recordings of Disneyland parades – always a big hit with my kids. Round out the day with a Disney movie marathon, popcorn, and an ultra fun viewing area like a tent, blow up mattress, or even these homemade cardboard box drive-in cars. Sounds like Disney magic to me!
If you are absolutely itching to get out of the house, why not plan a day long road trip? This will require some advance planning so that you know your stops (and bathroom break opportunities). If you wanted to level up your road trip, you could even make a map or checklist for the kids so they can follow along on the itinerary. Here are some ideas for stops if you live in Colorado like us:
- Scenic overlook stops – Lookout Mountain, Frisco Overlook, Mount Evans, Trail Ridge Road, Flagstaff Mountain
- Treat stops – Voo Doo Doughnuts, Sugar Bakeshop, Little Man Ice Cream, Petey Bird, Cinnaholic
- Lake/Reservoir stops – Evergreen lake, Sloan’s lake, Chatfield lake, Bear Creek Lake
Let’s be real – after over two months of quarantine and navigating a new normal, followed by a Summer of cancelled plans… the parents are the only ones truly in need of a vacation! While that may not be in the cards in the near future, there are certainly still options to sneak away and enjoy some alone time with each other. If you have a babysitter on deck, now would be the time to hand the precious children over for a night. If not, you may consider putting on a movie for the kids and hopping a plane (walking to the other room) for two hours of semi-alone time. A few vacation related ideas for your date night:
- Take a trip down memory lane and look at old vacation photos. Relive every detail!
- While you are at it, plan your next vacation. Daydreaming is a great mood booster!
- Have a night of hors d’oeuvres. Order out appetizers from several restaurants.
- A classic – spa night! Give each other massages, foot rubs, bubble baths, candles, and champagne. The works!
I really hope to see some of these ideas floating around your households and your Insta pages. Just because this Summer is going to look a little different, doesn’t mean we can’t totally rock it for our kids and have a great couple of months to come. Leave me a comment and let me know which staycation you are headed for first.