It’s so important to get away from the laundry, the endless to-do lists, the cluttered toy filled floors, and the emails to spend time with our kids. We will never get these years back with them, and we need to make them count!
We will never regret taking the time to make those memories with them. However, there are sometimes where the budget won’t allow a big family vacation. (learn here how you can save money for a getaway). Here are a few simple getaways for the family. All of which are packed full of memory making opportunities.
Drive in theater
There is nothing else that screams summer time than going to a drive-in theater. Something that was once popular when our parents where younger, has now come back in a BIG way.
We pack up the back of the car with pillows and blankets, packing some popcorn and snacks too. Our drive-in theater charges around $10/person, (kids five and under are free). They show a kid friendly movie first, then two additional movies for that price! All of which are new movies that are currently in the normal movie theater.
It’s a great way to spend time with the family, snuggled up in the back of the car, and enjoy family time. We are also able to sneak in a date night once the kids are asleep and we can watch of the later movies!
Its great for younger kids too because they can have the movie experience, while still being able to giggle around.
Back yard getaway
I am not going to lie, we have done this a few times. When it has been a long week and I just need a break from household chores and work, this is the best kind of family getaway! We just stay in the back yard! The laundry, dirty house, cell phones, and everything else stays inside! We check it at the door!
We only go inside for the bathroom and that IS IT!!! Nothing else! No screens, no emails, nothing!
Just hit up Target for a cheap blow-up pool, camping tent, and some easy meals (hotdogs, juice boxes, deli meat….). Pack a cooler full of food (like you would if you were leaving town. Pull out the grill and all the yard toys. Unpack the Christmas lights- for your tent and yard. Fill that new pool and RELAX! The kids will love sleeping outside and spending the one-on-one time with you!
It’s more about spending that real quality time together rather than going somewhere!
Now you all know that I am not a nature girl! However, I can muster up enough courage to ‘Camper Cabin’ camp with my family. This is a great way to expose your kids, especially younger kids, to the camping experience. You can find camper cabins at most state parks, national parks, and KOAs.
These small cabins are outfitted with bunk beds and most impotently WALLS! You can still explore, cook by the fire, and get the camping experience without having to sleep on the ground.
Most of the camper cabins range from $40-$80 a night. Grab some hotdogs, marshmallows, and beans at your local Target and you’re well under the $100!
This is my favorite thing to do, especially in the winter. With long winter days, it’s just nice to get out of the house and do something different. We love to pack up and head out for a day of window shopping, indoor parks, and spending the night in a hotel. The kids love walking the mall, seeing the sights, and just getting out of the house. Most importantly, they love that the end of the day we order pizza at the hotel and go swimming in the hotel pool.
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy! Just go walk the mall, let them pick out a book at the book store, book a cheap hotel (with any sort of pool, you won’t be in there long), and just get out of the ‘normal routine’ of home. You will come home feeling refreshed!
Radom road trip
I love those random road trips, where you set out with nowhere in mind. Some of my fondest memories were road trips with my family! I am sure it was stressful for my parents, however looking back it was great time away as a family!
Pack up the car and hit the open road, check out those towns along the way. Just enjoy the night at somewhere new and exciting. If you book your hotel last minute you will be limited on your choices, however you can score some amazing deals to keep your budget under $100!
Groupon is a great resource for families on a budget. You can find everything you need for a family getaway on a budget! You can score hotels at a great discounted rate, pottery painting for kids, jump park tickets, local events, and beer tastings (for those couple getaways).
You can find everything to make your weekend extra special with sticking to your $100 budget! Make it a challenge to see what you can book for under $100 and tell us what you did!
Last minute trips
When it has been a LONG parenting day, I love to sit there and browse travel websites. It’s my day dreaming moment of the day.
You can score some major deals if you wait last minute to book a getaway. If you have had a family vacation booked for weeks or if something came up last minute- take advantage of those last-minute deals!
Even if you’re not a runner, there are tons of fun “running events” all year long in your community. You can even do them as a family! Everything from the Color run- where you wear white colors and get colored chalk thrown on you throughout the course (you can do this one with even younger kids). To Mud Runs, which are for the more adventurist.
Check out events near you this summer. There are many events with children races too, where they all get a medal. You can also throw the kids in the stroller and run/walk an event! It’s a great way to teach your kids about exercise in a super fun way. You could always sign up for an event for a charity and teach your kids about helping other too! PLUS, you get a free souvenir from the event!
Here are a few of my favorites:
*** make it extra fun as a family and make your own shirts for the event with supplies from a local craft store!
Explore those small towns…
Small towns always have fun little “Town days”. For example, my husband’s small home town has sounds of summer, or a few towns over boxelder bugs days. Many towns have a weekend event where they host art in the park, street dances, special events and what not. Each town has a special summer time event that is unique to them.
This is a great way to visit smaller communities and give them some business. The kids can get their face painted in the park, you can enjoy corn dogs and mini doughnuts, and just explore your great state.
We love going to those silly ‘tourist spots’, like the giant fish statue or corn cob. Its fun to get a family photo by those things too… for a giggle.
County/State Fairs on a budget
This is a great summer time activity, especially with kids! You don’t need to go wild and do those questionable carnival rides. However, just walking the county fair or state fair is so much fun for kids!
They get to see farm animals up close, walk around, and of course the food! We set a budget ahead of time for food and stick to it. Each child can pick out their own dinner. My kids still talk about the time they got to eat only French fries for dinner.
It’s not about what you do or where you go… its about taking that time to spend with your kids and making memories with them!