Staying in town for the holidays? Here are some great ideas to make your staycation feel extra special. Try something new and see your block from a fresh angle with photography days out, dine out with style at farmer’s markets and get silly with the kids on flea market scavenger hunts. With these ideas, staying will be the new going.
First off, set some ground rules. There will be no distractions this staycation. That means no phones, no email, no video games, no TV, no chores. This is family time – buckle in. (<== that a dead giveaway that this is a guest post. I would never say “no devices”. I’m weak and I do not want to give up my device either.)
Tour your local museums and galleries
Hit up some local culture by tracking down your nearest museums and art galleries. Chances are there are some right on your doorstep that you never thought of visiting before. Learn about the world, discover a rich tapestry of history and take in works of art made by the masters. Local museums that focus on your particular area are always fascinating, showing you more about the place you live and it’s past than you ever realized before. Every town has a story to tell.
Visit a National Park
The USA is home to some of the most staggeringly breathtaking national parks in the world, unrivaled in their diversity. From the amber crags of the Grand Canyon and sweeping vistas of the Rocky Mountains to the alpine lakes of Yellowstone and the snowy peaks of Glacier, there is beauty to be found everywhere. Step outside and make a day of it wherever your closest national park happens to be. Depending on the weather and location, there is a whole range of activities to be explored, whether it’s hiking and biking, swimming and boating, or a more leisurely picnic and stroll.
Go Scavenging for Treasures
Not just any treasures my friend – for there are certain unexpected gems that can be found in only one type of place, and that is at flea markets. There are hundreds of them popping up every day all over the United States, selling wondrous wares and tantalizing trinkets all at bargain prices. Some of them offer food, music, and entertainment, allowing you to make a real day of it. They are curiously captivating places to go with or without kids, a little like exploring Aladdin’s cave, but without the risk of drowning in molten gold should you touch something expensive.
Try a New Restaurant
This is supposed to be time off from your usual routine, so if you fancy treating yourself to a nice meal out, don’t go anywhere you’ve been before or go often. Try somewhere new. Sample that place you keep hearing good things about but haven’t been to yet, or even somewhere you wouldn’t normally consider. Be sure to see whether there are any good deals available on LivingSocial – you might just come across something spectacular. Take it one step further and order something you’ve never tried before. You daredevil, you.
Get into Photography
Shift your perspective and make your town, your muse. Whether you choose to use a digital camera or your phone, here are some ways to get striking shots:
• Look for interesting patterns, textures and reflections
• Go out at different times of day to see how the light changes. Early morning and just before sunset offer particularly good lighting
• Seek out contrasting architecture and colors
• Experiment with high and low angles
• Choose a theme. It could be people, buildings, boats, cafes – whatever captures your interest
• Pick out the unique elements that give your pictures a local flavor
Take a trip to the spa
You’re on holiday – kind of – so it’s time to relax. What better way to do so than with a pampering massage, facial or dip in the pool? By staying at home, you save money on the cost of travel and accommodation, so you can afford to spend extra on little luxuries. LivingSocial frequently has deals on spa visits, which often include lunch and bubbly as well. Another tip is to check the social media pages of your local spas to see if they have any discounts or package offers available. Then go slap some mud on your face and chill.
Other Things to do:
- Ice skating
- Golf – Hit golf balls at a driving range or go to a mini-golf course.
- Indoor rock climbing
Whatever you choose to do on your staycation, try to find ways of experiencing your hometown through new eyes. There is so much out there to see if we will only look hard enough.
Have you been on your own staycation? What were your favorite activities? Let us know in the comments.
Hollie Jones is a freelance writer and Lifestyle blogger from New Jersey. She is part of the Hollie and the Ivy and loves to write about arts and crafts, interior design and Travelling.