If you have the means, spend the night somewhere within driving distance of your home. Swim at the hotel pool, explore the local attractions—every town has a ton of free or inexpensive activities, so this won't break the bank—and leave plenty of time to explore the town.
If a "staycation" is in order, have each child choose one activity and try them all! You could play a pickup basketball game, visit the local children's museum and have a screening of Up all in the same day. No matter what you choose to do, you're doing it together.
THE RATHI REPORT
Tanuja: Today we got up and went for a family breakfast. We had a nice conversation at breakfast. After that, we shopped a little and then headed to the new modern wing of the Art Institute. The kids enjoyed seeing the interesting art. After the Art Institute, we walked on State Street enjoying the Macy's windows. Later in the afternoon, the holiday parade and fireworks were magnificent. After enjoying the fireworks, we went to a nice dinner. It was a wonderful family meal with great conversation. We talked about the week and the activities that they would like to eliminate. Overall, it was a nice get away in the city, which we don't get to do very often because of the busy schedule.
Raj: Fun day filled with nothing but family time. Complaints were limited to "we're walking too much" while the kids enjoyed the food and the sightseeing. The icing on the cake was the parade and fireworks followed by a great family meal, where all of us reflected on the past six days.
Nina: I enjoyed having my Saturday free, because normally I would have gymnastics, Science Olympiad and tennis. (That's five hours of my day!) This was good for me because I realized what a day without any activities was like.
Savi: Today we went to breakfast. After breakfast, we went shopping a little. We went to the modern exhibit of the Art Institute after shopping. I was surprised by what could be art.
We went back to the hotel and stayed there until the hour before the parade. We went down to the side of the curb, but we couldn't get a spot where we could see, so we stopped to get hot chocolate and went back to our room. It turned out our room had the perfect view.
Sabrina: I had fun hanging out with my family doing things in the city!