Visit our Colorado State Extension office for more news, tools and resources.

Close Icon
The San Miguel Basin Extension office provides assistance and programs for citizens in five main areas: 4-H/Youth Development, Ag/Local Food, Gardening, Natural Resources and Home, Family & Health.

Home, Family and Health   arrow

Summer Staycation


Woman and man walking on a Colorado trail that has a mountain, rock formation and trees. Photo also has blank Colorado license plate and titled Keep Colorado Wild
kids playing with water in a park
People sitting around a camp fire with flaming marshmallows on sticks

Thinking about planning a vacation, consider a summer staycation instead. As the weather is warming up, most of us are thinking about summer fun and unplugging from the day- to -day grind. Some of us are dreaming about sinking our toes in a sandy beach with the waves splashing in the background. If that week-long vacation is not in the cards for you; why not try a “staycation”?

Why Staycation

Staycations are quickly becoming popular among families. They provide a budget friendly and time manageable way for families to spend time together in a meaningful manner.  A staycation is defined by staying at or close to home. Living in beautiful Colorado makes a staycation an even more attractive option.

Staycation Ideas

Parks and Outdoor Adventures

  1. National Parks: Colorado is home to four National Parks.  Rocky Mountain, Mesa Verde, Great Sand Dunes and Black Canyon of the Gunnison are all within a day’s drive. These parks provide reactionary and educational enjoyment for the entire family.
  2. State Parks: Colorado is home to some of the most beautiful state parks.
    • Annual passes are available at a reasonable price making this staycation an option for more than just one time!
    • Special pass rates are available for Colorado residences.
  3. Camping: People travel for days to come camp in our very own backyards. Gather up all your camping supplies or borrow them from a friend. Colorado has a plethora of camping sites and head to the mountains to make great family memories. Hike, fish and appreciate the fresh air.Just don’t forget the S’mores!

Neighbor and Community Adventures

  1. Pool Party: Pack a lunch and head to the pool.  Some of our best family memories are spending time at the local pool. Colorado has many natural hot spring oasis! Check out your own community pool and make summer memories.
  2. Museums: Look for museums who have hands on activities to keep younger youth engaged. Older youth may enjoy learning about the history of the area to prepare for that fall history class in school.
  3. Zoos: Visit zoos early in the morning while it is cool and animals are more active. Check out to see if you can signup for feeding experiences or some hands on classes that the zoo may be offering.
  4. Public Parks & Picnic: Many neighborhoods have local parks where you can bike or walk to have a picnic. Consider driving or taking local transportation to parks within 30 minutes to meet new people and have a different experience.

Backyard Staycation Ideas

Group of people gathered around a large table of food in a backyard

If you find that staying home is the best option then don’t fret. Be creative, the ideas are really limitless and fun!

  • Turn your backyard into a movie viewing retreat. Grab a sheet, projector, and computer to stream a movie.
  • Camp out in your backyard. Throw in a tent, flashlights, and a summer treat and your family will enjoy a night of laughs, stargazing and memories.
  • Create a backyard restaurant and have the kids be the chef
  • Create some backyard or neighborhood scavenger hunts.

Staycations are an opportunity to appreciate the beauty around you.  Wishing you a summer of joy by focusing on the good!



  1. Finding Recipes

Finding and creating family recipes can be a lot of fun.  Connecting with can help you plan healthy meals on a budget.

As a young person, I enjoyed when my family would get together to plan meals.  I carried this tradition forward to my children, so that they helped plan our dinner meals.  This activity helped my children learn to create healthy meals and many happy memories.   When children have a say in meal planning, you honor their preferences and opinions. This positive focused time can create future opportunities to have some difficult conversations while planning or cooking.