SARASOTA, Fla., June 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --With the heat in full swing, kids getting out of school, and summer plans coming into focus, many families are opting for a 'staycation' in addition to traveling to see family and friends. Staycations allow a family to save money while spending quality time together and help their local economy.
"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 Dave Maraman, Florida President, M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group. "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 (and your budget) ordered, M&I offers some great ideas.
Free behind-the-scenes tours
Businesses get excited when people want to learn more about what they do. Search the Internet for no-cost tours available at local company museums and factories, as well as at fire stations and police stations. If parents ask nicely, they may also get their kids a tour of a movie theater projection room, the pinsetters at a bowling alley, or other places young people are curious about. Television stations, radio stations, and newspaper production facilities may also offer tours.
Fine art, stars, rockets
Art, science, children's, aviation, history... there are lots to choose from, and most have areas dedicated to kids. The Florida Association of Museums website, flamuseums.org, contains an extensive database of museums throughout the state, many offering free admission on certain days.
Take a walk on the wild side
Kids love animals and fish. Many zoos offer behind-the-scenes VIP tours and have special camp programs for kids. Be sure to go early to avoid the heat of the day.
H2o for everyone
Combine a day at an area water park with an overnight stay at a nearby hotel. Numerous local resorts have on-site lazy rivers and water play areas. For an inexpensive option, many cities have recently upgraded their community swimming pools to include water play areas and fountains.
Take me out to the ballgame
Check out the new Miami Marlins stadium or take advantage of the Ray's "Family Fun Sunday's" with special ticket packages at Tropicana Field. Be sure to stop by the Ted Williams Museum when you're there. Contact the stadiums directly for stadium tour information.
Especially for adults
- Sunset water cruises (usually with dinner)
- Community theater and touring Broadway productions
- Historic home tours
- Concerts - check with your local city to see if they offer free "concerts in the park"
- Florida is full of resorts that often provide summer discounts for locals
Pretend you're a tourist and visit some of those places in the state you've always heard about but not yet experienced. Visitflorida.com is a great website that is chock-full of places to go and things to do.
"Because we live here, we may forget that Florida is a great place to vacation. To really make your staycation fun and enjoyable, plan it out, and create a budget. If you stick to your budget, you will be able to really take advantage of all the local activities your community offers," added Maraman.
Learn more about planning a staycation at the Helpful Steps for Parents community website:
About BMO Harris Bank
Based in Chicago, BMO Harris Bank N.A. provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through over 650 branches and approximately 1,350 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. Deposit and loan products and services provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank(sm) and M&I® are trade names used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with 1,600 branches, and a retail deposit base of approximately $180 billion.
SOURCE M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group