With school holidays approaching we give you some ideas for how to have a holiday at home!
Ever heard of a staycation? It's where you stay at home, but make it into a holiday. Yes, it's a thing! Here are some tips on how to make a staycation work for you.
Pick your dates
Maybe it's a long weekend, or a few days mid-week, but pick some dates in the school holidays and stick to them. Plan out your activities and treat it like a real holiday. Book some time off work or let friends and family know that you are 'away'. The point is to have a change from your usual routine.
Out of the ordinary
Remember, you are 'on holiday'. This is premium family-focussed time. So while you still need to cook and do the laundry, perhaps do those things when the children are in bed so it doesn't interfere with the fun. Make a deal with yourself to ignore the phone and keep the TV turned off during your 'staycation' so you don't get side-tracked.
Plan and budget
If you were jetting off on some foreign adventure you would have a plan of the things you want to do, and a budget for doing them. A staycation is no different. Treat your local area like a foreign city, and ask each person in your family to pick an activity they would like to do.
Try and do things you wouldn't normally do. Never been into the city? Pick a Saturday or Sunday when fares for kids are 99c and get the bus or train to Britomart. Go for a walk up Queen Street to see the Sky Tower, or along the harbour front with all the shiny boats. Head to Silo Park where you can play in the cool urban playground.
Closer to home, head to Mangere Mountain, where you can also walk the mountain and visit the medicinal gardens. The education trust sometimes offer free tours, activities or events.
There are also lots of free events in Manukau City, like the Amazing Race at David Lange Park on Monday 16th April or Art in the Park at Allenby Park on the 27th April. Check Event Finder for more. Or just a take a picnic to your local playground and get your kids to show you some of the games they play at school.
You can have fun without leaving your own living room. On a rainy day, why not make and play a simple board game as a family, or have a round of charades? Try making home made ice cream with the kids. Take two frozen ripe bananas, a teaspoon of cinnamon, half a cup of sugar and a cup of milk. Blend in a bowl with an electric hand mixer - yum!
Time for you
Try to make time for yourself as well. Have a long bath when the kids are in bed, read a book or a magazine, or if there are two of you, spend some time together talking or playing a game. Make this time to reconnect and relax.
Most importantly, have fun!