Staycation Ideas

Sharon Gamble is founder of Sweet Selah Ministries, helping busy women carve out quiet spaces to meet with God, to know Him and to love Him more and more. With stories, humor and biblical truth, Sharon speaks at women’s events and offers Sweet Selah retreats. The former USA National Director for Moms in Prayer International, she is a wife, mother of two daughters, and “Nina” to an ever-growing number of grandchildren. Learn more at or email Sharon at

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV)

Last week, I wrote about the fun we had with our family in planning day trips and discovering unique adventures. Here are some of the ways we spent our staycations over the years:

Beach day – picnic lunch or sometimes sub sandwiches from a local shop; beach ball for 4 square; ice cream on the way home

Mini-golf day – oodles of fun playing as teams; after several games, home for a video—yup, a video in the days before DVDs—all together on the couch, munching popcorn, and enjoying root beer ice cream floats

Board and card games day – each game chosen by the person whose “day” it was and included much glee in making the rest of the family play “their” favorite game. We all had fun, even if some of us initially thought we wouldn’t with the particular game chosen. ( !!! )

Boston Aquarium day – with a library pass for admission into the aquarium, we drove to a station and took a subway ride; relished our aquarium visit; and topped the day off with treats from an ice cream truck.

Roller skating – remember roller skating rinks? We all enjoyed skating, and when it was time for the “couples’ dance,” Ray took turns skating with each of his three girls – we all delighted in “our turn” at the couples’ dance.

White Mountains day – drive along a beautiful highway in the mountains with a cooler full of picnic food; stop by the Swift River to swim in an icy cold mountain stream that “slid” us into a pool of water—Brrrr! But fun!

Thrift store day – one of our daughters divvied up the money between the four of us, and we all went to her favorite thrift store. We each found treasures and compared notes, then went home, and watched movies.

You know, looking back, what really mattered was that our family was together. Having fun together. Enjoying each other. We were intentional about being with each other on those days, not hidden away in our own spaces doing our own separate activities. Whether we were amazed by the Alps during our “richer” days or comparing finds at a thrift store on a staycation … the best part was the contentment that came from being “us.”

Oh, Father God, thank You for the gift of family. Please give us the ability to be content with what we have, knowing that You are always with us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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