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Ideas for the At-Home Vacation

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If the bottom line says it's just not in the family budget to take a vacation this year, don't let it get you down. This is the perfect opportunity to teach your kids a lesson in life; you know, the one about making lemonade out of lemons. Take your vacation at home this summer. With a little creative thinking it can be a lot of fun!

The first thing to do is call a maid service and schedule them to come on the Friday of your vacation. Then, you can ignore the dust and dirt the week you are on vacation knowing that the house will be clean and fresh before you go back to work. Now, get out your vacation clothes and attitude and just relax. Here are a few ideas from the Web for your at-home vacation.

Visit your own city as if you are a tourist. Go to the museums, theme parks, all those places that tourists visit when they come to your town. Eat out every night. Visit some new places in another part of town away from your usual haunts. To get some ideas, buy all the local papers or visit some of the local Web sites that you can find in About's Cities/Towns Index.

Teach your children the hobby of photography. They will have fun taking pictures of your "vacation". To learn more about the subject, take the family to visit these sites:

Go fishing. You do not need a lot of elaborate equipment to go fishing with kids. You will find that the sport of fishing goes hand-in-hand with the art of conversation. Some of my best talks with my son have been while we were fishing. Go to Fishing with Family for inspiration to get started on this activity that your children are sure to love.

Visit relatives. Take the opportunity to start a family history project. Let your older child help plan and carry out your family history gathering during your visit. Record the stories they tell on tape or video. Take lots of pictures. Gather old pictures, documents, and memorabilia from the attic (you know the ones of Mom as a cheerleader in high school). When you get home, you can put them all together in a family scrapbook program. You will need to scan the old pictures, but you can use your digital camera for the new pictures or have your regular pictures developed on CD-Rom. Find some music on the Web that corresponds to the different time periods and events you describe in your family history album. You can really get creative and have lots of fun with this project. Print the album; or put it on CD-Rom and you've got a great Christmas present.

Better yet, send your kids to the relatives (or camp, or anywhere!) and stay home with your spouse for a day or two of R & R & R. That's Rest, Relaxation, and Romance. To get prepared for this rare and unusual event, visit 1001 Ways to Be Romantic.

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