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12 Staycation Ideas for Spring Break and Beyond

March 22, 2024

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Sometimes I think ahead enough to plan a trip over spring break. Sometimes I just feel more like a homebody and want to enjoy time at home with my family. But how do you still make the most of a spring break home with the kids or a long weekend with no big plans? My aim is to do something where I’m away from screens and I’m outside. Because that’s where I’m happiest! Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy where you live.

Chris Loves Julia | Staycation Ideas for Spring Break and Summer | Lounge in your backyard

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1. Saddle up for a bike ride

We had some friends come visit, and we really wanted to take them on the local trail. While we have bikes, we didn’t have enough for everyone. We found a local person that rented out electric bikes and dropped them off with us at the beginning of the trail! I love that you can rent bikes pretty much anywhere.

2. Go to a museum

Chris Loves Julia | Staycation Ideas for Spring Break and Summer | Museum

Now of course there are art museums and history museums, but there is usually a science center or unique exhibit in town too. Our girls love Marbles, which is a local nonprofit kids museum that has activity centers, play areas and more.

3. Take a day trip

Chris Loves Julia | 12 Staycation Ideas for Spring Break and Summer | Beach view

Look for a fun destination within an hour or two, and take a day trip. We love to go to the beach for the day. You don’t need to rent a house, you can pack food and go to the beach. Sometimes we make a beach trip such a big event, and you don’t have to! Six hours can be plenty in the sun!

4. Go out to breakfast

Order something you wouldn’t usually make yourself, like eggs benedict, sweet potato pancakes or a breakfast bowl hash. A breakfast out feels extra special when it’s mid-week!

5. Take a tour of your own city or town

Chris Loves Julia | 12 Staycation Ideas for Spring Break and Summer | Church view

We’re fortunate that Raleigh has some great places to tour such as the Videri Chocolate Factory or JC Raulston Arboretum. Pretend like you’re a tourist, and go to a local cathedral or historic spot — you don’t have to wait to entertain guests. Bonus: A lot of these tours can be free, too!

6. Start a food bracket

Chris Loves Julia | 12 Staycation Ideas for Spring Break and Summer | Dine in a local restaurant

Think of one of your favorite foods and order it at multiple restaurants around town in a few days. It’s your choice! Maybe it’s ice cream, maybe it’s sweet potato fries — maybe it’s Brussels sprouts (that would be me). Pick your favorite food and commit to trying out a bunch that week.

7. Take your meal outside

A picnic in the park or by a body of water is always fun. Packing a lunch and eating outside feels like vacation. Remember to bring a frisbee!

8. See some live music

Think beyond a large concert — there are often so many small, local shows that can be really fun and introduce you to new music. Whether you find a cover band at a small pub or a jazz band at an outdoor park, simply going to see someone you’ve never heard of can be so freeing in a way. There’s no pressure for it to be amazing!

9. Go to a matinee

While I don’t always love a dine-in movie theatre (eating in the dark just isn’t my thing), my sister Victoria recently went to the Alamo Drafthouse. They have a lamp and button to order next to each seat, which she loved. CinéBistro also has that experience, and I’ve heard the food is good. A matinee takes up a lot of time in the day, which can be nice when you have a week at home.

10. Try an escape room

You’ll find escape rooms in a lot of cities these days, and they’re worth the drive! Round up your family or some of your local friends. Figure out the clues together over an hour. We had a blast doing this at our annual retreat last month.

11. Dress up for dinner

I think it’s fun to go somewhere a little fancier for dinner that requires dressing up. Don’t let tonight be another DoorDash night! Going downtown or somewhere elevated makes an ordinary day seem like a special occasion.

12. Go to the farmers’ market

We’re lucky to have the State Farmers’ Market nearby, which is a really great experience (if you like lemonade, their freshly made ones are out-of-this-world). But it’s also fun to go to the smaller local farmers’ markets and taste the hot sauce or apples. My girls love helping to pick out their favorite items.


Ok, I do have one more bonus tip that is a little more pricey, but it can be its own kind of “staycation.” Look for a local hotel (especially one with a pool if you have kids!) and stay overnight!

Chris Loves Julia | 12 Staycation Ideas for Spring Break and Summer | Heights house

Recently, Chris and I had the opportunity to book an overnight stay at the beautiful Heights House in Raleigh. Anytime I’m packing to leave the house, my stress level is at an 8, but I’m seriously telling you it was at a 1 because we were still close to home. We went to the Downtown Raleigh Home Show. We went out to eat at a place we’d never been. Everything felt easy and so relaxing. That’s the sign of a good staycation to me!

Chris Loves Julia | 12 Staycation Ideas for Spring Break and Summer

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What do you think?

  1. Rachel says:

    Love this list! Sounds like exactly what I do on my time off!

  2. Kate says:

    These are great, actionable ideas! I really enjoyed this, especially when social media can make you feel like everyone is on a glamorous vacation except you. It is nice to celebrate the power of staying home sometimes!

  3. Becky says:

    I love your blog, but the current content has been making me feel sad. It seems like a majority of the posts are round-ups/lists now.

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