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A stay-cation is a vacation on a small budget.  My husband had some vacation time to use, but we didn’t have a lot of money to go on a vacation.  So we chose to have a stay-cation.

For us a stay-cation meant no cooking, cleaning, laundry, and dishes.  I took time to plan small day trips for us to take.  I also planned out every meal so that we weren’t stuck cooking at home.

The first day we went to a local indoor play place.  Our 2-year old is just getting old enough to really enjoy it.  To make it the most fun we invited some friends who have three kids to join us.  We had a great time.

Climbing and balancing

Climbing and balancing

Playing with daddy and baby smiles

Playing with daddy and baby smiles

We love to eat at Outback Steakhouse, so we visited the closest one (2 hours away.)  While we were there we took the kids to a sporting goods store that has a ferris wheel, lots of taxidermy animals, a large aquarium, and wax figurines of several of our past Presidents.  We had fun walking around and looking at all the stuff.  We even bought some fudge.  It was not the “Best in the U.S.A” as it claimed, but it was good.

Scheels

We also visited a local favorite, The Corndog Stand.  The owners of the stand have set up a little outdoor eating area, complete with bathrooms.  During the spring and summer they set up shop.  That is when they aren’t out at the local fairgrounds.  It is fun to get fair quality of food without going to a fair!  The corndogs are amazing!

corndogs

My husband and I went on a fancy date one night.  We dropped the kids off with my mom and went out to eat.  It ended a lot sooner than planned as the baby wouldn’t stop crying and the toddler was getting into EVERYTHING.  But it was still fun to dress up and go out.  *We do have a picture of us, but it is on my husband’s phone and I have yet to get my hands on it!

Our main day trip was to the zoo.  I was really excited to do the “paid” stuff.  I have never gotten to do those things before.  We got to go into the Children’s Zoo, which was basically just a petting zoo.  We did the carousel, got to touch the stingrays, and got to ride on the train.  The animals were all so active for us.  We got to see a Puma up close.  The monkeys were climbing around.  The elephants were drinking water.  But the best part was the Gorilla.  The gorilla ran from the other side of the enclosure and banged on the glass right in front of us!  Unfortunately, my camera was acting up and I didn’t get a picture!

Children's Zoo

Children’s Zoo

Penguins and Carousel

Penguins and Carousel

Gorilla, Puma, and Lion

Gorilla, Puma, and Lion

Monkeys

Monkeys

Stingrays

Stingrays

Train

Train

Hippos and Painted Dogs

Hippos and Painted Dogs

Elephants

Elephants

Our stay-cation was so relaxing.  We didn’t over-plan or under-plan.  We stayed busy but not too busy.  It was exactly what our family needed!  If you ever get the chance I suggest you plan yourself a stay-cation!
*Be on the lookout for my post “Five Tips for a Relaxing Stay-Cation” coming soon!

**I was experimenting with the best way to display the pictures in this post.  I ended up using picmonkey collage creator.  It is so easy to use!  If you haven’t tried picmonkey for picture editing I recommend it.  It is free and fairly easy to use.  There are lots of tutorials online if you won’t to do something and can’t figure it out.
–Just wanted to pass along that helpful information!

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