Family Stay-cations and 5 Fun Affordable Activities for Exceptional Families

Today is officially Michael’s and the rest of our family’s summer vacation, or stay-cation, as I call it. In order to save money, we instead do fun family activities in town and sleep at home. This has also helped us when Michael was young and couldn’t tolerate being in one place for too long.  As a result, over the years we have stayed with this formula. Soon we will be ready to try a vacation out of town, but this year timing of our work schedules did not allow it. As a result, we are perfecting the stay-cation activities, and broadening what we do over the week we are home together. We’ve also had to think about what types of activities are appropriate for a child with sensory issues like Michael. He likes to be active, environments that are not too crowded, and enough predictability in what he can expect so that he could feel secure. On the other hand, we also throw in a few new places. Michael is starting to like to explore and go to different places, even if there is a little bit of the unknown.

This got me thinking about how difficult it is for parents to find economic and fun activities in town. Here is a list of places we like to go with Michael where everyone has fun at a good price:


1) Santa’s Village or similar types of kids activity parks. There are sprinklers, games, magicians, and of course, the highlight, sitting on Santa’s lap telling him what he wants for Christmas! 🙂

2) Picnics at nature parks outdoors OR a Family walk in the forest. We pack a picnic and we do a family walk. Afterwards, we go for ice cream!

3) Outdoor music festivals or family festivals with bouncy rides. Again, you can bring your own food, or get away with very reasonable eating out costs. 🙂

4) For rainy days, curling up on the couch with a movie or popcorn OR Family indoor fun centers. The kids get to run around and have fun, Mom and Dad can sit and have a coffee. 🙂

5) Public swimming pools for the afternoon or splash parks. We try and go with friends so it’s even more fun for Michael to be with his buddies.

I never thought that I would have as much fun on these stay-cations as I do. I thought you absolutely HAD to go away to get away from it all. But sometimes staying close to home with kids is fun too, for them and you. I don’t discount going away. There is lots of fun and adventure in that for the whole family. Yet sometimes the simple can be fun and exciting too.

Where do you and your family like to go on vacation, Moms? Do you favor stay- or vacations? Whatever the case, I hope the time off you spend with your family gives you pleasure, fun, adventure and peace to welcome in the summer season. Until next time.

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