With Weak Economy, “Staycations” More Popular than Ever

By US Daily Review Staff. Source: BMO Harris Bank.

With the weather warming up, kids getting out of school and summer plans coming into focus, many families are planning ‘staycations’ in addition to traveling to see family and friends. Staycations allow a family to save money while spending more quality time together and helping their local economy.

Consider a visit to your local zoo!

“With many of us trying to cut back on expenses, the staycation trend has become very appealing and a great alternative to a conventional vacation,” said Mary Brockhaus, Senior Vice President, BMO Harris Bank. “In planning for the summer, there are a number of suggestions we have to help people save for the family fun that typically begins this time of the year.”

If you’re thinking that a staycation might be just what the doctor ordered and are ready to make some plans, Brockhaus offers you some great ideas.

Behind-the-scenes tours
Formal tours are available at museums and factories, as well as at fire stations and police stations. But if parents ask nicely, they can also get their kids a tour of a movie theatre projection room, the pinsetters at a bowling alley, or other places kids are curious about. Television stations, radio stations, and newspaper production facilities also may offer tours. Don’t forget to ask the manager at your local bank to show your kids around and explain how a bank works.

Art, science, children’s, history …there are lots to choose from in the St. Louis area.  Many are free, but special exhibits may be an extra charge. Check the internet for current exhibits or contact one of the many museums for information.

Performing Arts
St. Louisans love to watch concerts, musicals and plays, which is good because there are so many excellent venues indoors and outside. Check your local parks for free summer concert series. The Muny offers great musical theater all summer long and limited free seats in the back of the theater on a first-come, first-served basis.

Lions and tigers and bears. Oh my!
Are you watching the animals or are the animals watching you? Sometimes it’s hard to tell when you visit the Zoo or animal sanctuary. But one thing is for certain, it’s always a good time, and St. Louis has one of the best Zoos in the country. Plus the surrounding area is home to several sanctuaries and farms that will let your family enjoy the fun of interacting with all kinds of animals.

Time for a road trip?
Route 66 is one of the most famous highways in the United States. Missouri is home to more than 300 miles of the “Main Street of America” that takes the scenic route from St. Louis to Joplin.

Nothing says summer like a day at the park
You don’t have to go far to find a good park in St. Louis. Forest Park is the biggest and best known with all sorts of activities, but there are many neighborhood parks that offer playgrounds, trails, swimming pools and free events. For a list of parks in the area, visit www.stlouis-mo.gov.

Especially for adults

  • Riverboat cruises – many with dinner or special themes
  • Winery and brewery tours
  • Architectural tours
  • In-town Bed and Breakfasts

“To really make your staycation fun and enjoyable, plan it out, and make a budget. If you stick to your budget, you will be able to really take advantage of all the local activities our community offers,” added Brockhaus.

Want more?  Go to www.visitmo.com for many more ideas on how to enjoy your vacation close to home, or visit planning a staycation at the Helpful Steps for Parents community website.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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