Summer is here yet many public pools are closed and the kids can’t go to camp. What are the options to make summer a little more fun when you can’t go anywhere and you can’t afford to spend a lot?

Here’s 10 easy ways to make staying at home fun without breaking the budget.

Cheap Family Pool Staycation Ideas 1 – 5

Use the fun cups and serve fancy beverages. Glass doesn’t belong poolside but what fun stuff do you have in the back of the cupboard that came from the zoo, the fair, or a street fest? Put something sparkly or blended or even add some fruit for flavored water. Give your beverage a custom name and voila, you’re having a party.

cups on the deck

Wear the sundresses and the fun jewelry. You own it, there’s no reason you can’t wear it for a ‘vacation’ that doesn’t involve planes, trains or automobiles.

Make your own pool toys. I made this target out of hula hoops I’d gotten from the dollar store, an old pool ring, and recycled bailing twine. It was free and it’s been durable. More importantly, with water balloons from the dollar store, the kids love it.

boy holding up a target made of hula hoops while in the pool to show how to have a cheap family pool staycation

Make the towels look fancy. Instead of pulling the towels from the drawer as you need them, set up a fancy towel station and everybody gets to choose their own.

towels in a basket

Practice good sun safety. There are no good health reasons for a sunburn so keep the fun safe by wearing protective clothing, eye wear, and sunscreen.

Ideas 5 – 10

Do aqua yoga. For me a pool vacation isn’t complete without aqua yoga so of course, I’d recommend my go to fun self-care idea. If you’ve never done aqua yoga, I’ve got some affordable easy to use resources to get you started.

Play water games with your kids. Your kids want to have fun more than they want stuff so step up and get involved. Put anything you can remember from PE or sports to use. If you need some ideas, I have an article with games for Kids Aqua Yoga.

woman holding boy by the feet as he walks on aquatic dumbbells in the pool to show how to have a cheap family pool staycation

Watch a dive in movie. Set the lap top up on a little table near the pool and watch a fun movie while floating in the pool.

Make some fun finger foods. Instead of just a bag of chips in a bowl, use the cookie cutters on the sandwiches or make some cookies. Better yet, have the kids do it while mamma gets a margarita 😜

Repurpose toys you already have. Can you make Atlantis from Legos? An underwater care race? Can the model horses become seahorses? What do your kids already love to do that’s safe to bring in the pool?

Legos underwater with mermaid in Atlantis

Really the only limit on how to have a cheap family pool staycation is your imagination. Look around, use what you have in new fun ways. Memories are made through good times, not new stuff.

pool images to illustrate how to have a cheap family pool staycation


aqua yoga, kid's yoga

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