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How To Have A Fun “Stay”cation!

With everyone talking about all the awesome vacations they are about to go on this summer, I can’t help but get a little jealous.  Since I’m about to start a new part-time job we won’t be able to go on vacation until later in the year.  But, that doesn’t mean we’re completely out of luck.  With all of the great-kid friendly activities that Dallas has to offer — we plan on having our very own family “stay”cation this summer!  People come here all the time to see the sites of Dallas, why shouldn’t we make the most of this great city?

Get a New Perspective on Dallas

There are so many reasons a “stay”cation is a great idea:

  1. Think of all the money you’ll save!  No plane ticket costs, no money spent on gas or hotel rooms  And you won’t have to eat out for every meal!
  2. No travel hassle – no packing, and no dreaded unpacking!  No hours spent in the car, no worrisome plane rides!
  3. Less travel stress = more time spent together doing quality things!
  4. You’ll be supporting local tourism and the local economy!

But before we get into all the great ideas for your “stay”cation, let’s cover some ground rules:

  1. Most importantly — treat this like a real vacation and UNPLUG!  No checking in with work and no chores (don’t even make the bed!).  Your number one goal is to spend time together, doing fun things as a family!
  2. One great way to do this is by giving your “stay”cation a start date/time and an end date/time.
  3. Plan, plan, plan.  Making a full schedule will help make sure you don’t fall back into your everyday routine.  Try to plan fun things that will get you out of the house every day, but schedule some time for just relaxing too, this is a vacation after all!!
  4. Get out the nice camera and take plenty of photos and videos, just like you would on any other vacation.
  5. Have fun!

View of Dallas from New Bridge

As for the planning — this website is full of fun things to do with your family in Dallas, and I bet you have yet to try everything that’s been suggested (I know I haven’t).  Take some time to make your vacation schedule by checking out the Things To Do In Dallas tab.  With so many cities right next to each other you might want to plan on visiting one city per day of your “stay”cation.

  • On day one you can hop on the DART to Downtown Plano, where there’s a fun park for the kids to play at before you check out the delish restaurants and cute local shops nearby!
  • On the next day you can ride the DART to Downtown Dallas and see all the new parks that Downtown has to offer.  Including the brand new Belo Gardens, which is hands down our favorite spot this summer!  You might have to dedicate 2 days to Downtown Dallas — on day one you can visit the Aquarium and Belo Gardens since they are so close, and on day two you can enjoy The Nasher and the beautiful AT&T Performing Art Center water park.  There are so many options!  Don’t forget to visit the popular JFK Memorial while you’re down here!
  • One day you can check out Richardson and have fun at the sprayground near Heights Park. In her post, Kelly also suggested one or two great restaurants to try while your there!
  • Or maybe Carrollton/Farmers Branch is closer and you want to try Sandy Lake Park.  Krystal had me convinced once she mentioned pony rides and paddle boat rides!
  • Just this week Desiree suggested lots of great things to do in Oak Cliff.  Our kids love eating pizza at Enos and then getting a treat at Dude Sweet in the Bishop Arts District!  And Tony and I love date night at Bolsa!
  • A trip to The Arboretum and White Rock Lake could definitely fill up a whole day with family fun!
  • So could a trip to Hawaiian Falls – there’s one in Garland and The Colony, a little far maybe – but totally worth it!

Those are just a few options, but keep checking the website for other great ideas and you’ll probably run out of vacation time before you run out of things to do!  Another great way to get ideas and save money at the same time is to check out Groupon, Living Social, and other local deal websites.  We’ll be taking the older kids to Adrenalina at the Willow Bend Mall in Plano thanks to a Groupon for half off.  (But don’t tell them, it’s a surprise!)

But besides planning events there are many other ways to make your vacation at home feel special.  Here are some of the things we plan on doing:

  • Set up a tent in the living room (or your backyard if you happen to have one) put cushions and sleeping bags down, break out the popcorn and candy and s’mores (it’s a vacation after all) and stay up late telling stories, listening to music or watching movies
  • Pile the whole family on Mom and Dad’s bed for a slumber party
  • Go out to eat and order appetizers, desserts, and sodas (these are usually off limits to the budget conscience – but remember all the money you’re saving by staying home)
  • Hop in the car for a late night drive for ice-cream
  • Pancakes and waffles with syrup and whipped cream for breakfast every morning
  • Making our own Popsicles to take to the pool with us
  • Having the grandparents watch the kids one night so we can have a date night

Anyone else planning on having a “stay”cation?  What are your suggestions or ideas?  I’d love to hear them before we “go” on ours!!

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