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Summer Staycation Guide: A Winning List of Summer Fun!

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Are you rethinking those summer travel plans?

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the world, and its effects are being felt far and wide – including in the travel industry. Not to worry, though! We have some great staycation ideas that will allow you to get away, yet still remain close to home.

Many of us are weighing the pros & cons of hitting the road this summer or have had our summer trips cancelled altogether. No matter what you decide, the good news is there are plenty of staycation options to keep your family busy and having fun this summer!

Staycations can come in many forms, including activities in your own home, within your community, and places just a short drive away. Today, we’re breaking it all down for you and equipping you with everything you need to know to plan a summer full of activities!

Let’s start at home! Staycations don’t have to be all about the kids! Have a date night in with food from your favorite restaurant. Set the table, put on a fancy dress, and enjoy five-star dining in your own home!

Plan a spa day to unwind and recharge. Put on some relaxing music, light a few candles and enjoy time away from the reality of everyday life! You’ll need to gather your supplies, and Scents of Serenity Organic Spa in Richmond, shared with us a recipe for a sugar scrub you’ll love:

            1 cup granulated or brown sugar

            ½ cup coconut oil, softened but not melted

            10-15 drops of your favorite essential oils (Don’t have essential oils? Use the zest from 2 oranges, lemon, or limes)

            Mix together & store in a sealed container!

Plan a night of backyard camping! Pitch a tent in the backyard and enjoy a night under the stars! Grill hotdogs for dinner using these recipes that put a spin on an American classic. Don’t have a fire? No problem! Here’s a list of alternate ways to make this crowd-pleasing dessert. Before you go to sleep, download the SkyView Lite app on your phone to find stars, constellations, and more. 

Hot summer days are upon us, so why not build a backyard waterpark to keep the kids entertained all day long? This can be a very inexpensive way to get the energy out and enjoy hours of family fun!

Amazon is the way to go for ordering all the water accessories your heart desires! We’ve compiled a list of everything you need for the perfect water day, all for just over $100!

Splash Pad 

Slip ‘N Slide

Water Balloons

Staycations also give you a great opportunity to get out and explore your own community! Whether it’s an activity for the kids or one for the adults, we’ve got you covered for fun and meaningful adventures.

Plan a scavenger hunt the kids will love! Set up a fun scavenger hunt around the house, your backyard, or even your neighborhood or town and set off on an adventure! Good Housekeeping has done the work for you and compiled an extensive list of themed scavenger hunts!

Get out and volunteer! There are so many needs in our communities right now, and summer is the perfect time to involve the whole family in giving back. With social distancing still a priority, we’ve rounded up some ways you can give back in a meaningful, yet responsible way.

  1. Call your local food bank and see what food items they need. Involve the kids in shopping your own pantry, making a grocery list, and dropping off the food.
  2. Clean out your closet and call local homeless shelters, children’s homes, and women’s shelters to ask about their needs.
  3. Donate pet food to your local animal shelter.
  4. Consider volunteering with The Forward Foundation, a Richmond-based nonprofit dedicated to assisting working single moms by providing them with financial assistance for quality childcare, as well as educational workshops. Andrea Starr, CEO of The Forward Foundation tells us how we can volunteer with the organization: “We are currently in the planning phases for two different fundraising opportunities. One will take place in July and the other in either September or October.” You can also volunteer at the monthly Mom’s Time Out where Andrea is “looking for volunteers to do an activity (story time, treasure hunt, etc.) with the kids for about 35-45 minutes.” Currently, this is being done via Zoom to practice safe social distancing. If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please reach out via info@forwardfoundationva.org.

A staycation isn’t complete without a little adventure! No matter where you live, there are great options for getting out and enjoying your community. You can start by heading to one of these tourism sites to get an overview of the activities available in your area: Richmond Tourism, Virginia Tourism, and Maryland Tourism. Next, we’ve compiled a few options around Virginia & Maryland to help you get those summer plans on the calendar!

Northern Virginia has many activities to offer! First, are the numerous hiking trails in the area. Northern Virginia Magazine has a great list of hiking trails that make for fun day trips. Pack a picnic lunch and hit the road!

Have you ever been to the Virginia Safari Park? It is such a fun time for young and old, kids’ adventures, and day dates! This 180-acre park is home to more than 1,000 animals and offers the opportunity for a safari drive-thru and village walk-thru. Check out their website here.

While we can’t visit museums in person right now, many museums are providing activities and giving an up-close experience through the computer! The Children’s Museum of Richmond updates their blog weekly with fun activities for the kids. Agecroft Home & Gardens has created videos to bring the museum into your home!

Do you live in Central Virginia? We’ve got you covered too! The Hiking Project has a list of 22 hikes and 156 trails in Central Virginia to enjoy. See all about the Virginia Safari Park above. It’s in a great location just a few hours away from many areas across Virginia! The Virginia Museum of History & Culture has numerous learning resources, including activities & videos available on their website.

We can’t forget about Maryland! Browse this list from The Hiking Project of 13 trails around the Bethesda, Maryland area with level of difficulty. If you’re closer to Gaithersburg, Germantown, or Rockville, Maryland, take a look at this list from The Hiking Project.

The Maryland Science Center has equipped their website with videos, science experiments, and activities for kids of all ages! The National Aquarium has daily live exhibit feeds on their website!

Even if your vacation plans get cancelled, summer can still be a fun and exciting time for the entire family! We hope you enjoyed this blog and look forward to hearing stories about your summer adventures.

 

The opinions and information provided by the guests in this article do not constitute advice from, or the opinion of, Sonabank.

Sources

Scents of Serenity Organic Spa: https://scentsofserenityspa.com

Food Network Grilling Recipes: https://www.foodnetwork.com/grilling/grilling-central-burgers-and-hot-dogs/top-hot-dogs

How to Make Smores 4 Ways: https://dinnerthendessert.com/how-to-make-smores-4-ways/

Good Housekeeping Scavenger Hunt: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/parenting/g32050844/scavenger-hunt-ideas-for-kids/

The Forward Foundation: https://forwardfoundationva.org/

Richmond Tourism: https://www.visitrichmondva.com

Virginia Tourism: https://www.virginia.org

Maryland Tourism: https://www.visitmaryland.org

Northern Virginia Magazine: https://www.northernvirginiamag.com/things-to-do/things-to-do-features/2019/06/06/experience-the-best-of-nature-on-these-5-northern-virginia-hikes/

Virginia Safari Park: https://www.virginiasafaripark.com

The Children’s Museum of Richmond: https://www.childrensmuseumofrichmond.org/blog/

Agecroft Home & Gardens: https://www.agecrofthall.org/videos

The Hiking Project – Central VA: https://www.hikingproject.com/directory/8010686/central-va

The Virginia Museum of History & Culture: https://www.virginiahistory.org/learn

The Hiking Project – Bethesda MD: https://www.hikingproject.com/directory/8019966/bethesda

The Hiking Project – Gaithersburg, Germantown, Rockville MD: https://www.hikingproject.com/directory/8012393/gaithersburg-germantown-and-rockville

The Maryland Science Center: https://www.mdsci.org/lets-science-together/

The National Aquarium: https://www.aqua.org

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