Brilliant Family Staycation Ideas for the Lockdown

The chance of having a summer family holiday seems remote to parents at the moment, with hotels, campsites, caravan parks and short-term lets closed and the government advising everyone not to stay anywhere overnight. On the other hand, foreign travel remains difficult because of quarantine rules.

Many of us had to postpone our family summer holidays as it is still impossible to know when tourism businesses will be able to reopen. To help you make the most of this summer, we’ve come up with some brilliant staycation ideas!

A festival at home

It is easy to have your own festival experience without spending a penny or leaving the comfort of your home! Teepees or wigwams are the perfect festival setup, but tents can work equally well. First, set up your tipi or tent in the garden and decorate it with colourful cushions, summery throws. Add bright, patterned bunting, outdoor fairy lights, hanging lanterns and candles in old jam jars. You can go big with colourful decorations like pom poms or tassel garlands – just be sure to reuse them next year!

For the food, you can prepare a bonfire, bring the barbeque out or have a picnic-style food spread, the possibilities are endless. And since you’re in your own garden, you can always nip into the kitchen if you’re missing something. Now all you need is the music! The music is usually the most important part of any festival, so make sure you have your perfect playlist sorted.

If your little explorers would like to invite guests, it is now possible to spend time with people in your garden but do check the most up-to-date government guidelines. Why not ask everyone to dress up in wellies and wear a flower crowns to complete the festival look!

Camping in the garden

Look no further than your own garden for the ultimate camping destination. And for those parents who are planning ahead for when we can travel again, take a look at our post on the top 10 family-friendly campsites in the UK.

Create a garden camp out by pitching a tent, setting up camping chairs around a fire or a camping stove, and cook up some delicious campfire recipes. Try using tinned food and bring hot chocolate in a thermos to make your children’s experience more authentic. And of course, no campfire would be the same without toasted marshmallows! Spike them on BBQ skewers and poke in the fire to melt and toast a little before feasting.

Instead of using the tent for sleeping only, why not try to have an outdoor day without screens and technology. Play outdoor games like tag, let your little campers run around all day, read books, tell stories, sit around a bonfire in the evening, stare at the stars and ask your children to use their torches when walking around after dark. You can even sing campfire songs if your children know any. After a long fun-filled day camping outdoors, you may find that they fall asleep just a little easier that night.

Beach or a water park in the garden

It might not be beach holiday temperatures just yet, but that shouldn’t stop you and your gang in enjoying the sun! Get the paddling pool out, if you don’t have a slide, make your own DIY water slide and there you have your very own water park! Create the beach area with sun loungers, cushions, parasols, colourful cocktail glasses and a display of fruit and accessorize with blow-up toys, beach balls and swim rings.

If you have smaller children, you can create a sandpit with a shaded area (you can prop up a canopy) and place a small paddling pool in the sand for a beach experience for your toddler. You’ll be surprised how much they’ll enjoy their new summer-themed play area.

Once your ‘beach’ is sorted, all you need is skin-protecting swimwear for your children, and they can start splashing in the water, playing beachside games and running around! Get the barbecue on, put some music on and you’ll forget you are in your own back garden!

A walking/cycling holiday from home

Pretend you are tourists for a weekend. You can discover your area and plan a walking or cycling holiday without having to stay in tourist accommodations. First, research day trips that you can safely make by car and plan your holiday destinations. Then, pick your walking/cycling routes for each day. Make sure they are family-friendly and suitable for your little one’s age. Pack plenty of water, check if local restaurants are open for takeaway but pack food so that you are prepared.

You can find a host of ideas for self-guided walks in the UK and the best family-friendly cycling routes. Plan your journeys around quieter roads and cycle paths. Choosing cycling may add a sense of adventure to journeys usually done on foot or by car.

It is better that everyone enjoys themselves on a short ride or walk and comes home eager to plan the next trip, than getting too tired on a longer one. Check the route beforehand – make sure you don’t get lost and plan some options for shortcuts and nice spots for lunch. Avoid very hilly routes, busy roads, and difficult junctions with little ones and let the slowest person set the pace. Your little explorers may get bored so plan plenty of refreshment and make sure you have a few walking games up your sleeve!