In recent years, there’s been a big emphasis on “Staycations” in the place of traveling to a distant vacation spot.
If God should call you this year to stay put on your time off, perhaps there might be good reasons to stay and enjoy the place and the town you call home.
So, just for starters, here’s five things you can enjoy on your “Staycation”:
1—Activity Jar—Take a mason jar or similar container and fill it with strips of paper that each family member has written an activity on at the beginning of your time together. Each day, gather the family together and pull one slip of paper from the jar to let everyone know what the activity of the day will be. Start with a list of things and let each one pick what they want to write on the paper to put in the jar. If you have five days to share, then perhaps each one gets five selections to include in the jar. Depending on your schedule, you might be able to select more than one per day.
Activities can be such things as:
-Making a Cake
-Building a Birdhouse
-Playing Softball or Kickball
-Throwing a Frisbee
-Flying a Kite
-Painting a T-shirt
-Having a Scavenger Hunt
-Enjoying a Nature Walk
-Making a Living Room Fort
-Playing Water Balloons
2—Make an Heirloom Recipe Together—This can be something that has been passed down from generations. You can explain how the recipe is made and the person it came from, and perhaps share a picture and personal recollection of what made the person and the recipe special. It’s kind of like a guided tour of history—just your own family’s history.
3—Shop at a local store together, one that is owned and operated by people who live in your own community. Let each family member browse the store and find something that catches their eye, an item that will help them appreciate where they live, and let them purchase it as a souvenir. These special souvenirs might just become favorites that begin a collection that will endure a life-time, and bring enjoyment for years to come.
4—Find outdoor activities that are unique to your area and go enjoy an outing each day of your “staycation.” You may have a zoo in your area, or if not, maybe a petting zoo. There may be a dairy farm where you can take the family for a tour. You may have a “pick your own,” blueberry or strawberry fields, or a local farmers market to select some fresh produce to enjoy during your staycation. You may have a lake, a river, or a beach nearby, or there may be a swim club or tennis courts as a part of the local parks and recreation department. Maybe you can do some fishing, crabbing, or kayaking. Perhaps there are basketball courts, or a nature trail, a playground, or a skate park. And you may have a local miniature golf, or water park the family would enjoy. Additionally, for indoor activities, you might have in your area, bowling, roller skating, ice skating, a trampoline park, family bikes, or indoor bumper cars or sky diving. You may also have museums, libraries, theatres, aquariums, conservatory’s, craft shows, or car shows, or other local attractions that will provide mounds of fun. These outings can make for great family bonding times, and cultivate memories that everyone can enjoy.
5—Finally, check out a few restaurants in your area that are locally owned and operated. It might be a burger shop, a seafood market, or a comfort food diner. Find out the days and hours of operation, and the indoor or outdoor seating they may have available. Go and enjoy an amazing meal and time of relaxation and recuperation. Order dessert, tip the waiter well, and make the memories last.
These are just a few ways that you can make your staycation a very memorable time. Plan ahead, and get everyone involved, and watch how much fun each day of your staycation-vacation can be.
And remember, include a little down time too—to snuggle on the sofa and watch a good movie, or enjoy a breezy afternoon in a hammock. Reading books, and playing board games, or checkers might also be tucked here and there in your free time. Simple one-on-one conversations can bring great delight, plus add strength, clarity and focus to your relationships. A little together time, and a little individual time will make for a well-balanced experience for all.
All in all, it’s time to unwind and relax, and to take a little time to recuperate from all the hard work you’ve been putting in throughout the year. If you enjoy your vacation well, then you’ll be all rested up and ready to go back and be fully engaged at work again, and will have great memories to cherish and add to next time.
Plus, the money you save from hotels, flights, gas, and travel–might just be an opportunity to do some great and amazing things, such as: 1-help build an orphanage, take a mission’s trip, or help put a down payment on a house, 2-make some much-needed home repairs or upgrades, or build a swing-set, 3-open a special savings account for a rainy day, or buy a second-hand car, 4-start a college fund, or a small business, or 5-support a missionary, or a special missions project. Either way, you’ll be in the plus–and you’ll enjoy all the benefits of your staycation!
Remember to set special hours of the day for technology use, set a budget and stick to it, establish some “no complaining and arguing” guidelines, take turns, let everyone have fair representation, and keep it fun!
Article Written by: Debbie Harper, Ph.D.