Oops! It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript!

Garden Camping The Ultimate Low Cost Staycation

I normally prebook holidays well in advance but having had both my daughters ill last year over different periods of time and one still not fully recovered, booking a holiday wasn’t high on my list of priorities.

As a result, the cost to book for this year is now just too high.  That’s fine with me.  There are plenty of fun things that we can do locally and on a budget that will be fun for all the family.   People talk about having had a staycation and getting to know their local area better.  It’s a great way to discover what’s on your doorstep and to do this on a budget.

(Photo credit: Unsplash)

Camp in the Garden

Kids love to go camping, but, why subject the family to a 3 hour drive when you can simply step out into your garden and camp there!  Yes, you guessed it. I’m all for the more luxurious side of holidaying with all my home amenities readily available.  This also avoids the need for enduring the continuous chimes of “Are we there yet?”  So, it’s a win win situation.

Now, of course, we don’t want to be sleeping on top of each other so a spacious form of accommodation is just what is needed.  Some tents are a little cramped for my liking but being ever the resourceful individual I’ve come up with a solution.  Many of us have a gazebo at home.  I didn’t realise how many until I joined the PFA and they asked to borrow some.  The sheer numbers of parents offering theirs was astonishing.

A gazebo is technically a large tent so this would work really well.  You can get some that pop up making set up easy.  Simply cover the ground with blankets.  Pop some duvets on top and then add a few more blankets/sheets and bingo you have a giant bed.  By all means, use sleeping bags if you have them but if you don’t you can do without easily.   Fairy lights are great for lighting or any battery operated lights that can be turned on and off at will.  Don’t have a gazebo but want to give this a go yourself?  I typed in garden camping on a search engine and funny enough I got the perfect hit Garden Camping.

Once you’ve sorted out the accommodation the next thing to decide on is what sort of trips to plan.

Discover a New Local Park

The ultimate in low-cost days out.  Visiting free parks is a great way to let the kids off a little steam.  Each has its own play area meaning that kids don’t get bored if you visit a different park each day for a week.  Extend the day by taking a picnic.  Not only will you make a massive saving compared to if you dined in a restaurant but it also means you can stay out longer as you’ve already sorted the dining arrangements.

Visit a Splash Park/ Splash Pad

We’ve had some wonderfully warm summers and this is something we can really take advantage of.  When you go on holiday, quite often you’ll have use of a pool.  There are quite a few Splash Parks and Splash Pads in the country that have either free or low-cost entry to visit for the day.  Again, keep costs down by taking your own food.

Explore YOUR City / Go Sightseeing

We tend not to explore the area in which we live.  This can be such a shame as you never know what could be found locally unless you look.  I hadn’t seen much or London until a few years ago and my children have yet to say many tourist attractions.  This is such a shame and something I plan to rectify asap.

Movie Night

Movie nights are great fun.  There are various options such as buying a movie to watch from a store, borrow one from the local library or rent one from Netflix or alternatively go to the local cinema and watch one of the latest releases.

Get on Your Bike

The kids had the most amazing time on our last trip to Centre Parcs.  Since then they’ve wanted to use their bikes more but due to time constraints and poor weather conditions this hasn’t happened much.  Your staycation will be whilst the children are home so provided the weather conditions are favourable this is a great way to have fun and get exercise at the same time.

Go to the Theatre

My children haven’t been to the theatre often but when they have been they’ve had a great time.  I took them to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which was fantastic.  I’m sure they’d love to go see Wicked too which I went to see with a friend and enjoyed.

Cookery Class

Children love to cook and cookery classes are becoming more and more popular.  You can choose to do your own class for the kiddies or let someone else take over and book one via sites like Buyagift.

Don’t Forget it’s More Fun with Friends

The likelihood is that many don’t go away with friends or at least not often.  The beauty of being based from home means you can arrange one of your day trips to include one or more of the children’s friends too.  This adds to the fun for the children and also helps keep them entertained on the way to and from the intended location.

There are so many activities that would work well for staycations.  Others include bowling, crazy golf, even a spa day if you have girls with a local beauty therapist.

Have you/would you consider a staycation and if so what sort of activity would you enjoy the most with or without children?


Enjoyed this post? You can subscribe to Melanie’s Fab Finds to have posts delivered straight to your inbox.  Emails will include recipes, reviews etc. and as a result, you will hear about my competitions first!  Don’t worry I won’t spam you.


Watch our product reviews on YouTube:


This Post Has 55 Comments

  1. The key is to get out and just enjoy. All of your ideas are great and can motivate people to get out and explore their neighborhood and state.

    1. Totally agree and it’s a great way to have a holiday on a budget.

  2. Perfect ideas for staying at home with your family during spring break. Love the idea of getting outside to go camping and having fun at a local park.

    1. I plan to do this much more 🙂

  3. These are all wonderful ideas. I love staycations. I think it’s a wonderful way to explore what’s local.

    1. It sure is, we should all do them more!

  4. These are some fun ideas. My daughter would be all about the cooking class. She wants to get better in the kitchen. I’m pretty hopeless when it comes to cooking, so she wants to take over, which is fine by me 😉

    1. I’d encourage it!!! Sounds like a win win situation there Amber.

  5. These are some lovely ideas for things to do without having to go far from home. The idea of camping in the garden is so cute as well, great idea for kids!

    1. It is ideal for kids. They get excited by these sorts of things and it helps save money too!

  6. Staycations can be a lot of fun! When our kids were young we used to visit the science museum, the zoo, and some bigger playgrounds pretty often. One of our favorite things to do was to go on a picnic.

    1. The museums can be great places to visit. They’re fun and educational!!

  7. I love this! My son has been asking to go camping and this sounds like the perfect way to do it!

    1. It is a great alternative to the actual thing. I love that this way you can use your own toilet rather than one that lots of people and all sorts of bugs can access.

  8. Love these ideas.. I love low cost staycation, less stress and get a chance to spend time with family! Fun

    1. It is a lovely and convenient way to have a fun holiday 🙂

  9. Oh wow! So many things to do that I want to experience with my son. And this will be amazing for sure.

    1. There are so many low budget things you can do it’s great!

  10. I LOVE going to the theater and I’m actually going next week to see Fiddler on the Roof! I can’t wait!!

    1. That sounds like fun, enjoy 🙂

  11. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory would be a perfect place for my sweet tooth son. We love exploring State Parks.

    1. That’s a great show, mine loved it 🙂

  12. These are all great ideas! I am always trying to think of low cost outings for me and my girls that give us quality time but don’t break the bank.

    1. Same here although spending a little extra o somethings can be worth it too especially when making savings elsewhere.

  13. My husband and I are actually talking about getting a tent, air mattress, and a few other things so that we can camp out in our backyard for just a change of scenery. Thank you for mentioning the cooking classes, we’ve talked about that as well but we forgot about it when we’ve been thinking about date nights!

    1. That’s great. Hope you have a great time. Cooking classes are fun, so many different options too 🙂

  14. Such a great collection of low cost staycation ideas. I’m loving the camping in the garden idea for sure.

    1. It is a good one to keep costs low and have fun too!

  15. These are great ideas. And I think staycations are the best kinds of vacations 🙂 We love to book a few days off and relax at home, maybe go on a bike ride and have a nice picnic at our local park.

    1. That’s exactly what mine would love to do, they like riding their bikes.

  16. These are great ideas! We just finished up with a “staycation” over spring break at our house and we did so many fun things that our week flew by. We hiked in a local reserve one day, went to the zoo/conservatory and went on bike rides ourselves. It’s nice to enjoy the comforts of home sometimes!

    1. These are all great ideas for keeping the kiddies entertained. I hope to do as many as possible during the next school break.

  17. These are all great ideas, especially with summer around the corner. We are going to try camping soon but my favorite is checking out new parks and hikes; anything to get the kids outside!

    1. Getting the children outside is always a good thing. Anything that reduces screen time and increases the amount of running around they do works well.

  18. yes we love to sight see in our own city! Always a fun thing to do!

  19. I am a huge fan of exploring the city I am living in. Part of that is seeing what new things is happening every year and trying to do a few things each quarter! Looks like you had a good staycation!

    1. It’s fun to discover new places especially if they are local.

  20. I love those idea! Time together does not need to be expensive but more about being in the moment

    1. I totally agree and this can be really fun for little ones.

  21. These are all great ideas! My boys have a tent and we said one day soon we may set it up in the backyard for a campout there. We also love to explore local parks and can’t wait for the weather to warm up a bit more to go to the splash pad and pools.

    1. Me too. It’s starting to warm up slowly, yaaaaayyyyy!

  22. I was just talking about having a staycation! I live in Las Vegas and there’s so much tourist stuff I’ve neve done.

    1. It’s fun to discover what’s in the local area. There must be loads near you to do.

  23. I can’t believe I haven’t tried this with my girls yet! I bet this is so much fun, I love camping and we have all the equipment!

    1. It’s a great idea isn’t it!!! Sounds like you are ready to garden camp.

  24. This is really great! I used to camp out in the backyard when I was kid during the summer. It was lots of fun!

    1. It is really good fun for children. It’s something different too and you don’t have to give up the luxury of a clean private toilet.

  25. These are all excellent ideas! I take my children to different activities and parks during vacations, as we don’t have a garden!

    1. Parks are great and going to different ones means different play areas which is more fun.

  26. So many fab ideas!! I do love a good theatre trip and a nice outing out such as an hike for sure xx

    1. Visiting the theatre is great fun. WIsh we did it more often.

  27. This might sound strange, but I have never done proper camping so far (while this definitely was one of my dreams since I was kid). Will try to bring this dream into the reality this summer. Thank you for inspiring me! 🙂

    1. No problem Andrea. Have fun camping xxx

  28. I love this post! I am not into camping but it looks like a great family day for all! Glamping looks great have you ever done that?

    1. I haven’t been glamping yet Zerin but it does sound like fun.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Close Menu