Times are tough but the kids (and you adults) still need an adventure, so why not go on a fun, adventurous, and action packed staycation. A staycation is defined as a "vacation that is spent at home or close to home." Thanks to the economy, high gas prices, and a strong desire to save some money, staycations have become very popular and as much fun for a lot less money than a trip to Disney World. Kids and adults will love an action packed weekend away from, but close to home. Promise a staycation as a reward for good behavior, a way to get some extra chores done, or for good grades, or an escape from the house for you and your spouse.
One of the keys to making it an exciting staycation is planning - do some research before you leave, build a grid loaded with activities and events for each day, and then stick to it. Otherwise, you may find the kids watching TV, playing electronic games, or moping around the room saying "let's do something." With a little research, you can find lots of free or relatively inexpensive things to see and do during your staycation. Below is our recommendation for a fun and adventurous staycation at The Woodlands Resort just north of Houston.
sits on 350 acres of natural forest with over 200 different species of trees and the Resort has done a fantastic job of weaving the facilities into the natural setting. Hopefully, you won't stay in your room much but when you're there you'll find standard hotel type rooms or executive suites that are comfortable and have everything that you would expect to find in a Resort style room - large screen TV (don't turn it on, get outside!), internet, coffee maker, bath and shower, kitchenette, patios, and enough room for four. Kids will enjoy the rooms at Fairway Pines which are standard rooms surrounding the Forest Oasis Waterscape - in fact, get a room on the first floor that has a patio 30 feet from the pool.
In addition to nice rooms, The Woodlands Resort has a restaurant serving three tasty meals a day - with buffets for each meal and an outdoor patio that overlooks a lake with a huge water fountain. The Resort is clean, well maintained and manicured, very kid friendly, and the service is fast, friendly, and efficient. And they have a variety of packages and promotions, one of which is the Family of Four Fun Package some of which includes: deluxe accommodations, full breakfast daily for four in The Woodlands Dining Room, half day bicycle rental for 4, family welcome cookie, unlimited access to sauna, steam room, whirlpool, fitness center and Forest Oasis Waterscape. Read our review of The Woodlands Resort to learn more. We are not staying at The Woodlands to eat or stay in our room, we're here for the activities and adventures both at the resort and nearby.
So, here we go with a list of lots of fun things to see and do during your staycation at The Woodlands Resort - fill your grid with events before you arrive and get the kids involved in the planning to get them excited. Start by checking with the front desk to find what activities are planning during your visit - throughout the year and specifically during the summer, spring break, or the holidays, The Woodlands Resort sponsors a number of kids activities ranging from breakfast with Santa to live music, face painting, balloon art, clowns, poolside games, s'mores and dive-in movies. Check out the Woodlands Website to find what's happening during your visit.
You will definitely need to build in some time at the The Forest Oasis Waterscape which has with 3 pools, a zero grade entry recreation pool and toddler pool, hot tub, splash pad, two story double helix water slide, pool side cafe (with frozen specialty drinks for you!), water volleyball and an in the water basketball hoop. During the summer the kids will love floating in the pool and watching the dive-in movie.
Here are some other activities to add to your activity grid:
If you still have room on your activity grid, you've got lots of choices for things to see and do that are within minutes of The Woodlands Resort, some of which include:
That should be enough to do on a staycation and the kids will love you forever, always be on their best behavior, get straight "As," do their chores without being told, and ride back home after the staycation tired and sound asleep. Have fun.