1. Visit a nature center, or wildlife rescue or refuge center.
2. Camp out – you can do this at a campsite in your own area, or you can even have a camp out in your backyard.
3. Sign up for a workshop or activity you can do as a family. Look into cooking lessons, tennis lessons, or walking tours.
4. Let your kids choose their dream destination and then go there – without leaving home. Decorate a room in the style of that country or city. Watch a movie shot on location. Eat the food of that locale. Try to learn a bit of the language.
5. If you have friends who are also taking staycations, see about trading houses with them for the weekend.
6. Enlist the help of grandparents and other relatives. Let your children spend a few days away from home, and see if you can join them on the weekend.
7. Join a country club or community pool. Some clubs in smaller cities offer membership for as little as $50 a month. Consider it an investment in keeping your kids active, this summer. Call around to see if you can find "summer only" specials.
8. Take the train. Many railway carriers offer short trips of an hour or two. Pack a lunch and enjoy the scenery with your kids.
9. If you have a beach, lake or river nearby, check the paper or internet for bargains on rentals. Since fewer people are traveling this summer, you might be able to get a great deal.
10. Visit a local art museum with your kids. Once they've seen the paintings, sculpture, photography and other creative works, give them some drawing paper, some modeling clay or a camera and let them recreate their own favorites at home. Then create a gallery in your family room, featuring their finished works of art.
And, even though you won't be getting far away, sometimes just a change of scenery is all the boost you need.
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