Staycations (And a Target Gift Card Giveaway!!!)


The winner is: Connie Kersten Haack

First of all I wanted to thank you all for your comments and emails regarding my husband’s recent layoff.  I read every one and tried to reply to them all. Some of my replies came back to me as undeliverable so I apologize if you didn’t get a response. We are doing well and are going to make the best of this situation :)

Today’s post kind of fits right in with that because it is all about staycations! The last several summers this is what we have done. We have tried to find new things that our family has not done before in our state that are either free or inexpensive. We have discovered museums, aquariums, new hiking trails, and musical performances. We also have done fun activities like having a water games at the near by school field. We fill up water balloons and get towels. Then we team up and play water balloon volleyball by flinging a water balloon from the towel and catching the balloon in the towel when it comes flying back.

We have learned that it isn’t where we go, but the fact that we are together and making memories that matters.

That is why I think it is genius that is offering a FREE E-Book all about stacycations. It has great ideas with stunning photos to get you inspired to plan your summer.


AND they are also offering a $100 Target gift card to one lucky winner!!!


 *Must be 18 years or older and a resident of the US. The winner will be announced Monday July 1st. Winner must contact me within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. The winner is chosen by

There are several ways you can enter. You can do one or all.

#1 Because summer is also the perfect time for doing projects around the house, you can visit the blog and pin any idea they would like to do this summer whether it be a DIY project, party idea, buying or selling their home, etc. Then you need to leave a comment below with a link to your pin.

#2 You can visit the blog and download the FREE Staycation guide and then comment below on what idea you liked best.

#3 Share your favorite staycation you have done as a family or couple.

#4 Pin the giftcard giveaway image in this post and leave a comment telling me you did.

#5 Share this giveaway on Facebook, twitter, or other social media. Leave a comment telling me you did.

Good luck!



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  1. Crystal says

    We nearly always have “stay-cations.” Some of our favorite things are picnics up the canyon and riding four-wheelers at Grandma’s

  2. kate says

    my favorite staycation was camping in the back yard, having bon fires, cooking on the grill and pretending the house doesn’t exist! love it!

  3. Ashley C says

    We live in Florida, so a stay-cation is really easy for us :) We can get to the beach in an hour. We pack a picnic and all we have to pay for is the gas!


  4. kate says

    I dowloaded the staycation guide. I like the idea of a picnic/visit to the zoo. combine it for a funfilled day!

  5. Brianne says

    I pinned the giveaway!! This would be SO fantastic as our little family of 4 just bought our first home!! :) We also LOVE trying to find things to do for “stay-cations”. One year, we just went to some popular spots in our area that my hubby and I hadn’t been to in a long LONG time! The kids loved it!! :)

  6. says

    We’ve done a ‘staycation’ many times. Sometimes its a long weekend of Family Movie Nights, popcorn, playing catch out in the street and giving the dog a bath on a hot day. I mean, I don’t know any kids who can give a dog a bath without getting wetter and more soapy than the dog!

    We also like to explore things in town that we may not have done as a family before. The zoo, Storyland & Playland, getting the kids out to a friends’ ranch for the day to try riding and feeding the calves…if it’s less than an hour away, I call it staying. :)

  7. Maureen says

    we have taken a train ride into the city and walked around our own home town. We have gone to the museum and then to the pier.

  8. Jen Y says

    We take Staycations every year. Taking a vacation away from home is really a very rare treat for us in th emany years we’ve been together but we both LOVE our home & love staying here.

    This may not be the best idea but I love our Staycation from this past spring. We’ve been married 26 yrs & just don’t feel like getting things done at home like we used to. So dh took a week off work & we completely cleaned out his study. We took everything out, sorted, cleaned, donated to charity & put the rest in a yard sale. We worked together, ate out alot & had the best feeling when we finished. We both loved how well it went that we plan to make it a yearly tradition. We’re already planning ahead to what area we’ll work on next spring. :o)

  9. says

    My favorite staycation involves my backyard! We have a firepit and we are out there almost every night with blankets, the fire and the stars!

  10. Kelly D says

    My favorite staycation is going to our local lake and spending the day relaxing. We even have one about an hour away in which you can find fossils. The kids love it.

  11. says

    My family lives just 30 minutes away from the Jersey shore (Ocean Grove is closest to us), so our best staycations have involved going to the beach and hitting the boardwalk for rides, great food, etc.

  12. Connie Kersten Haack says

    The sponge bombs would be a great big hit with my big and little kids! What fun! I downloaded!

  13. Jessie C. says

    We lovee camping in the living room while kids were small then, now we all enjoy backyard camping fun for staycation.

  14. Debra C says

    We enjoy sight seeing and checking out local sights we haven’t seen or haven’t been to since we were kids. Also lots of picnics and cook outs.

  15. Wild Orchid says

    I would love to remodel my front porch!

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  16. Wild Orchid says

    My favorite staycation was last year. My husband and I really enjoyed our home for an entire week. We ate at local restaurants and had such a great time!

  17. says

    A few years ago we did a stay-cation with the rule that we couldn’t go anywhere that my husband and I had already gone as a couple. It was out of necessity financially, but it ended up being really fun. I rearranged our furniture and moved some pictures around so our apartment felt different. We pretended it was a hotel. Every morning we had a “Continental Breakfast,” and then made our bed and left mints on our pillows.

    Since we lived in Utah at the time you might be interested in some of the places we visited. We took a tour of Danger Cave in Wendover, watched sharks get fed at the Bonniville Sea Base in Grantsville, saw a reinactment of the completion of the transcontinental railroad at Promentory, went to the spiral jetty, camped at Antelope Island, saw Dinosaur statues at the Eccles Dinosaur Park in Ogden, and so much more. I’m glad we did all that because we moved away from Utah at the beginning of the year. It’s nice to not have any “if only we had gone to see thing we always talked about” regrets. If you care to, you can check out my blog about our week starting with this post:

  18. Holly B says

    We had a great time on our staycation spending a weekend exploring the wineries around Columbus (there are a surprising number within easy driving distance!)

  19. Katie says

    What I liked best about the Staycation Guide was the Do’s and Don’ts list. It really made be think about the importance of planning.

  20. Katie says

    We love exploring the mountains around our area as a staycation. It is so much fun and just a short drive from our home.

  21. CC says

    HI Stacy! I like the idea of a ‘Popcorn Bar’! Great for any kinda of fun event and can be dressed up or down. ….very economical.

  22. taysha r says

    My favorite staycation was when I took a week off after moving to “set up” our home. It was nice to be busy but for a good purpose.

  23. CT says

    I downloaded the Staycation pdf. Very pretty layout with lots of nice ideas (alas, so big my system crashed–hope it isn’t bad omen). Several things jumped out at me. Something I saw reminded me of Letterboxing, which always sounded like fun to me, although we never actually quite managed to find anything. But I liked the idea, and I wondered if a group of families could get together and create a bunch in one area that members of the group would know about, like a secret club. I also liked the photo of the planned activities printed out on cards and pinned on a bulletin board. We used to make a handwritten wishlist of activities each summer, which helped keep us focused on actually following through on our goals. At the end of the summer we looked at the list and noted how many we actually did. It helped to remind us that we really did do a bunch of fun things, and kept us from feel sorry for ourselves that we didn’t go a big, blowout vacation somewhere. The big corporations are spending lots on advertising to convince us all that we haven’t lived until we’ve been to such and such venue. We can do our own advertising campaign at home to convince our family that we’re doing lots of fun stuff over the summer. Something also reminded me, with a twinge of regret, that I bought a Sunset book of plans for tree houses that my son would look at longingly. We never got it together to build a tree house, or play house. I remember as a child thinking that a club house of some kind, even if it was a closet or a corner of the attic, was really, really cool. It doesn’t have to be the deluxe versions in books, or even blog worthy in appearance, but it does need to be kid-initiated and maybe even too top secret to be photographed. I’ll bet an architect and power tool maven would be the perfect design consultants.

  24. Michelle says

    For our staycation, we did the stuff we usually do, just in odd places. We ate lunch outside, watched movies on Mom and Dad’s bed, and had a sleepover on the floor.

  25. rachel says

    We’ve stayed home over Labor Day — got to tackle some home projects and just relax together! We go out to eat and treat it as a special time.

  26. says

    Grilled watermelon on the guide sounds interesting! Something I’ve never thought to do, but we definitely love watermelon so it’s worth a shot! :)

  27. says

    We had a fun staycation a few years ago. We went to a local museum with a fun display – got in free with our membership to area museums, ate out together and stopped at a dairy on the way home to visit with the cows, get fresh milk and treat ourselves to frozen yogurt – fun right outside our door!

  28. Karla G says

    We’re having a small staycation next week for the 4th of July. The night before, we’re having a star gazing party, then the following night we’ll be looking at the same sky to see if we can tell the stars from the fireworks! Can’t wait!

  29. Nanette Romo says

    Last summer we had our own week long “camp” with my 3 boys and had different themes for each day…the neighborhood kids joined in too!

  30. Nevelyn Schooler says

    I downloaded the Ultimate Summer Staycation Guide. I really liked the sponge bombs and the popcorn and movie night.

  31. Dawn FP says

    Our favorite staycation was camping in the living room. We have 3 toddlers so we’ve had to stop camping outdoors for the last few years but we thought they’d like the experience. We put up the tent in the living room, made s’mores in the microwave, and did shadow puppets with a flashlight. They thought it was great fun!

  32. says

    MY favorite staycation from the guide is Exploring your city or town as a tourist – it’s amazing what my city offers in terms of history and education around the state of California that we take for granted being so nearby. I love being able to do this – I also liked the movie & popcorn night, but I would save that for a winter storm weekend when it’s not practical or safe to leave. And we tend to do this each winter just to watch all the Lord of The Rings extended edition DVDs – so excited to add The Hobbitt to the line up this year. Hope your family is having fun already!

  33. Shannon says

    We recently stayed home for the day with no kids and watched Netflix for hours, all the shows we haven’t been able to watch! It was awesome!

  34. Ellen B says

    we go to the local lake and have fun – also lots to do in my area – summer is prime time for tourists here

  35. Stephanie Z says

    One time my husband and I made a fort out of the cushions from our couch, then ate pizza and watched a movie from inside it. We were 3 feet away from where we normally sit to watch a movie, but doing something different just made it a lot more fun :)

  36. Stephanie Z says

    Oh, and I read the booklet and liked a lot of the ideas- especially making gourmet s’mores (yum!) and having a scavenger or treasure hunt.

  37. Kendra says

    I loved the light, summery recipes in the Staycation Guide, especially the Blueberry Oatmeal Marshmallow cookies – those sound delicious!

  38. Kendra says

    Our favorite staycation is a day trip to a quaint coastal town about an hour and a half from us. It’s where we got married and it holds a lot of special memories for our family.

  39. Stephanie Grant says

    I really like the sponge ball idea, I know the kids are going to love these as “water balloons” :)

  40. Stephanie Grant says

    My favorite staycation is to go to the diamond fields here in Arkansas and dig for diamonds, we have never found anything but the kids and husband still find it a blast!

  41. Neiddy says

    I downloaded the guide and absolutely loved the Mini Grilling Party idea, planning on having one very soon!

  42. Neiddy says

    We took the kids to local attractions the RGV offers, we went to the zoo, the children’s museum, the beach, we took them bowling and shopping. It was fun!

  43. Lisa Brown says

    My favorite staycation was last year when my sister and family headed out my way and we entertained them. Had a lot of fun.
    jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot com

  44. Tabathia B says

    Our favorite staycation is when we drove to a local beach that was about 15 minutes away and visited the museum and watched a civil war reenactment

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