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Tips for Vacationing Where You Live
If you need a weekend getaway, you may not need to look any further than your own hometown.
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard my fellow small town dwellers complain that there is nothing to do. This is especially true now that the economy has taken a dive, and many can no longer afford to take long trips to expensive resorts. Does that mean that you have to become an “I’m so bored that I’ve gained fifty pounds and developed a brain bleed from my eye sockets” kind of homebody?
Of course not! No matter what town you live in, there are always places to go and things to do. Just follow these suggestions and your hometown world will open up for you.
Get to know your neighbors. Many people live in one place for years and never say hello to the guy next door. Have you introduced yourself to the people that live closest to you? Consider organizing a front porch tea. Set up an Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and make an effort to talk to the people that stop by. Join your neighborhood watch. There are many things that you can do to socialize with new people or create new events, and they don’t have to cost you a fortune.
Get a blast from the past. What do you think people did before they had technology? Maybe it's time to find out. Ask the local old timers, or take a trip to the library. Look up outdoor games like Kick the Can or Mother May I, and give them a try. Invite some friends, and make it an event. Organize a scavenger hunt or a badminton tournament.
Get to know the park system. Even the smallest of towns usually has some kind of a park not too far away. Go for a hike or a picnic. Organize an in the park poetry reading and invite the town to attend. You can even do something like Louisa Mae Alcott’s characters in Little Women, and role play through a book like Pilgrim’s Progress.
Explore your town’s mom and pop shops. Most small towns are blessed with dozens of interesting stores and restaurants that don’t get the attention that they deserve. If you take a trip downtown, you may find treasures that you never dreamed existed. Pastries from an actual bakery (yum!), beautiful and inexpensive art, reclaimed and recycled just about anything. Better yet, the shops that you like will probably provide better service to you since their existence depends on it.
Go to your town’s cultural events. Almost every town in the United States sponsors some kind of cultural get together. Blended ethnicities often prompt festivals based on heritage. Towns that are near farming communities have harvest festivals and street fairs. Every town has its writers, artists and musicians who often sponsor events to present their arts to the public. Watch your newspapers and handouts for these events, then plan to attend. And don’t forget the county fair.
Be a tourist. Check the phone book, the library, and the Chamber of Commerce in your town to discover what your town has to offer. Many small towns have historical societies that provide tours of the town’s historical sights. Search for museums, theaters, and coffee houses. If you have a computer, do a web search. See if your town has a tourism board that lists the types of entertainment available.
Book a hotel room and leave the family at home. Hotels have amenities that may not be otherwise available, like a spa, pool, or hot tub. And after a few stressful months, who wouldn’t consider a stay with a maid and room service a kind of mini vacation? It doesn’t have to be an exotic place like The Caribbean. Most of us are so harried these days that a few hours alone are a paradise in and of themselves.
These are just a few suggestions of ways that you can create your own mini vacation at home. With a little brainstorming, I am sure you can come up with many more. So don’t let the current economic state get you down. Life was meant to be lived, so enjoy!
What type of mini-vacation do you prefer?
A Few Ideas
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Educational toys designed to inspire. With the latest learning toys, construction toys and more, your little ones can enjoy endless hours of imaginative play.
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Tulane Campus Block Party
Left, right or straight? A Road Trip Game
Looking for a new adventure?
Get a few friends together and get in the car and drive.
Here's a game my siblings and I used to play when we wanted to go on a road trip, but didn't know where we wanted to go.
First, decide a playing order. Then, just drive.
Whenever you come to an intersection where you have to stop, the player who's turn it is gets to decide whether you go left, right or straight. Then the turn shifts to the next player.
This game can either take you on an aimless trip, or it might just take you to a new and exciting place to go that you didn't know existed. It will be up to fate and your choices to take you where you are going, where ever that is! Just keep playing until you either are tired of it or until you see a place to stop that interests you. Just be careful that you can still find your way home.
What child's games are you still willing to play?
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Tailgate Your Picnic
Here's a suggestion for a road trip that you won't soon forget-
Tailgate your picnic!
People all over the USA are bringing the party with them whenever they go to their sports event. But why not tailgate just for fun? Invite some friends. Pack up the car. Choose your favorite park, fishing hole or scenic overlook and have a party. What a wonderful way to create an outing that everyone can enjoy!
Find a Museum Near You
- MuseumsUSA Home Page
MuseumsUSA has listings for 15600 museums, 80 museum associations and 1900 vendors serving the museum community. We provide an interactive guide to exhibitions, tours, lectures, performances and other events on the calendars of museums across the cou
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Directory and Interactive Maps of Museums across the Nation including address, hours, phone numbers, and website.