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Staycation Ideas That You Haven’t Thought Of

Inside an indoor botanical garden - Muttart Conservatory. A young girl in a multi-coloured kitty print dress attempts to stand on one foot, beneath an enormous realistic moon model hanging from the ceiling. The glass walls slant towards each other on their way to forming a pyramid. The sun shines in brightly and casts the moon's shadow on the ground and the girl. She looks off past the camera, her long dark hair is pulled back behind her, but some falls on her shoulders. Plants form the rest of the background under the glass walls and roof.

It is looking like another Spring Break and possibly Summer where staycation may be the best option! Whether or not you want to vacation at home this year, there is still plenty of opportunity to plan some fun and adventure in your own city. Whether you are planning a couple’s holiday, have a family to please, or you are single, all of these tips will give you some great staycation ideas! I’ve rounded up what I hope are some new ideas to have the best holiday near home, with or without kids.

 

Pinterest Pin: Bold text says "Staycation Ideas" at the top and "you HAVEN"T tried" at the bottom. Inside an indoor botanical garden - A young girl in a multi-coloured kitty print dress attempts to stand on one foot, beneath an enormous realistic moon model hanging from the ceiling. The glass walls slant towards each other on their way to forming a pyramid. The sun shines in brightly and casts the moon's shadow on the ground and the girl. She looks off past the camera, her long dark hair is pulled back behind her, but some falls on her shoulders. Plants form the rest of the background under the glass walls and roof.
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Atlas Obscura

 

Atlas Obscura labels itself as “The definitive guide to the world’s hidden wonders.” The name really says all that you need to know, it’s an atlas of the obscure, which makes it a great guide for finding interesting spots in your own city or province/state! If you live in a smaller town, you might not find anything within city limits, so search by your location and look on the map for anything within driving distance. You are sure to find a couple of interesting places to check out. If you are in a bigger city there may be many points of interest nearby. 

 

Spend some of your staycation time exploring local oddities, or challenge yourselves to find and add your own!

 

A shot from above of the "Initiation Well" at Quinta da Regaleira. A deep stone well with a spiral staircase and columns along the banister. You can see at least 5 stories down to the floor below. On each level someone has their arms poking out to take a picture.
“Initiation Well” at Quinta da Regaleira – Sintra, Portugal. An oddity indeed.

 

Reddit

 

I LOVE Reddit. That probably means it’s not cool anymore, but that doesn’t matter. Find a subreddit for your city (or general area) and search for new and interesting places to see and things to do. 

 

Here are some helpful search ideas: “Hidden Gems” “Secret Places” “Quiet Spots” “Cool Places” and of course “Things to do” or “Staycation.” Of course you could always post the question too! If you have lived in your city for some time, many suggestions may not be a surprise, but I have still found a lot of good ideas on there.

 

A young girl runs smiling through the tall grass in a park. The summer sun shines down brightly. The grass and trees are all bright green.She is wearing a long black t-shirt and sandals. Her dark hair is in a messy bun.
Visiting a cute spot in Edmonton found via our local Reddit sub

 

AllTrails

 

If you are looking for some outdoor adventure during your staycation, find a new path or trail to explore! AllTrails is an app (and website) in use worldwide for finding trails to walk, bike, or run. There is a great range of lists in the app from “Top Trails” to “Best Views,” “Family Friendly” and even “Trails Less Travelled.” There are also lots of user photos and updates, to help you decide where to go!

 

A woman and man lean towards each other for a kiss with a walking path running between them. The woman has a long blonde ponytail and holds a coffee in both hands. The man has short dark hair and a long beard and clasps his hands behind his back. They are both wearing winter coats. Snow and trees line either side of the path. The setting sun shines orange between them.
Visiting a cute walking path in a neighbouring town

 

Check Out the Suburbs

 

If you live in a bigger city, why not visit some of your neighbours? Take a stroll through some smaller “downtowns” and stop in at a new cafe. There is not a lot of history where we live, so I find it really fun to explore these oldest parts of nearby places. Try out one of their local restaurants, and visit a new playground or spray park. You can also use AllTrails and find a new place to take a stroll.

 

Of course visiting downtown is a great thing to do in your own city too. Especially if you don’t find yourself there often. For some reason strolling downtown and getting something to eat or drink always feels a little vacation-y.

 

A local downtown restaurant perfect for staycation. Two tables with red chairs sit outside along the sidewalk. To the left is an empty street. To the right, the restaurant windows reflect back the table and chairs. A yellow stripe across the window says "Deep fried tempura."
On the table in front of the camera, dirty plates and a bottle of soy sauce sit after a meal.
Sushi and tempura anyone?

 

Farmer’s Markets

 

Whether you are staying in your own town, or exploring one nearby, a farmer’s market is always a great time! I really enjoy the farmer’s market in one of our neighbouring towns, and yet I never make the time to go! Add it to the staycation itinerary! Budget a little something to try a new coffee or let the kid’s pick a treat.

 

Antiquing is also really fun, whether you buy anything or not. It’s fun to look through old local treasures. It’s like a museum, but not.

 

The local farmers market in a neighbouring town. Chairs and tables are set up in a slanted atrium building. A girl in a yellow jacket with long dark hair, makes a silly face as she looks up at the ceiling. She is holding a fork and knife over a styrofoam takeout container of perogies. There are a few potted trees behind her. One is a tall flowering rose. Behind the girl's back and the plants, a brick wall lines the right side of the frame. The left side is the slanted glass wall/roof of the atrium area.
Our neighbouring farmer’s market has a food truck area and an indoor eating space

 

Food Trucks

 

Whatever food trucks have survived the pandemic, they will surely need your support. Make a few searches on Google, Reddit, or Facebook for local food trucks and enjoy a DIY foodie tour! If you can’t find any food trucks, try an ice cream stand, or order some takeout tacos to picnic at a park.

 

Of course there may also be a genuine foodie tour in your city that you want to try, so that’s another option!

 

A man with a beard and his young daughter, sit at a picnic table in front of some takeout containers. They put their heads together in front of some food trucks and other picnic tables, set up in a parking lot. They are both smiling. The man is wearing a grey t-shirt and the girl is wearing a white patterned tank top. She has bright pink streaks in her long dark hair. The sun shines down brightly. The sky is blue with fluffy white clouds.
A local gathering of BBQ food trucks

 

Trip Advisor

 

You might not think you will find something new locally to do on Trip Advisor, but it could surprise you! Search for top restaurants, coffee shops, and of course, things to do! If you are willing to go further afield, search your state or province for top things to do, instead of your city. If you want to stay somewhat local, try searching a nearby town.

 

In addition to the standard Trip Advisor lists, you can also search the forums for the suggestions of other locals.

 

Inside an indoor botanical garden - Muttart Conservatory. A young girl in a multi-coloured kitty print dress attempts to stand on one foot, beneath an enormous realistic moon model hanging from the ceiling. The glass walls slant towards each other on their way to forming a pyramid. The sun shines in brightly and casts the moon's shadow on the ground and the girl. She looks off past the camera, her long dark hair is pulled back behind her, but some falls on her shoulders. Plants form the rest of the background under the glass walls and roof.
At our local botanical garden – Muttart Conservatory

 

Do The Obvious

 

Maybe not the suggestion you came for, but try going full tourist and doing all the things a visitor to your city might do. Try the popular attractions like the zoo or a waterpark. Eat at your favourite spots. Take a tour. Many cities have Segway or bike and scooter tours. You could also see a live theatre performance. Visit the museums or explore an art gallery.

 

Stop at your local tourist information for some pamphlets and guidebooks to give you some touristy ideas for your staycation.

 

A young girl with a dark ponytail and bangs falling in her face, holds her hands cupped full of sparkling white sand, over top of a sandbox. A projector above beams a topographical map onto the sand in yellow, green, and brown. The girl is looking down at the sand, and she is wearing a white sweater with one mustard sleeve and one brown.
Playing at the museum

 

Treat Yourself

 

Many of us staycation to save some money, but if you can, splurge a little while you are still saving on travel costs. Budget spending money to do some shopping, or for tickets to a local attraction you wouldn’t normally spring for. (Hello World Waterpark at West Edmonton Mall!)

 

Planning a staycation for a couple or just for yourself? Go get a massage, or a mani-pedi!

 

Two hands with perfect pick and white manicured nails, rest on a pale pink and coral block background.

 

I hope this gave you some great ideas for your next staycation! Whether that is Spring Break with the kiddos, or a budget holiday for you, or as a couple!

What is your secret to a good vacation at home? 

For more travel with kids, visit my Travel posts! Check out my recent right-here-in-Alberta trip to see the Ice Bubbles at Abraham Lake

For more ideas about what to do when the kids are out of school, check out my post of 9 activities that are easy and cheap or free!

 

A collage of four photos. Text in the middle on a red background says "Staycation Ideas" below that in smaller text over royal blue says "that are actually fun!" 
Top Left photot: Inside an indoor botanical garden - Muttart Conservatory. A young girl in a multi-coloured kitty print dress attempts to stand on one foot, beneath an enormous realistic moon model hanging from the ceiling. The glass walls slant towards each other on their way to forming a pyramid. The sun shines in brightly and casts the moon's shadow on the ground and the girl. She looks off past the camera, her long dark hair is pulled back behind her, but some falls on her shoulders. Plants form the rest of the background under the glass walls and roof.
Top Right: A young girl with a dark ponytail and bangs falling in her face, holds her hands cupped full of sparkling white sand, over top of a sandbox. A projector above beams a topographical map onto the sand in yellow, green, and brown. The girl is looking down at the sand, and she is wearing a white sweater with one mustard sleeve and one brown.
Bottom Left: The local farmers market in a neighbouring town. Chairs and tables are set up in a slanted atrium building. A girl in a yellow jacket with long dark hair, makes a silly face as she looks up at the ceiling. She is holding a fork and knife over a styrofoam takeout container of perogies. There are a few potted trees behind her. One is a tall flowering rose. Behind the girl's back and the plants, a brick wall lines the right side of the frame. The left side is the slanted glass wall/roof of the atrium area. 
Bottom Right: A local downtown restaurant perfect for staycation. Two tables with red chairs sit outside along the sidewalk. To the left is an empty street. To the right, the restaurant windows reflect back the table and chairs. A yellow stripe across the window says "Deep fried tempura."
On the table in front of the camera, dirty plates and a bottle of soy sauce sit after a meal.
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