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When You Can Finally Get Out: 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 when 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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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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2020: Stay inside and Love It (The Covid-19 Getaway)
This year made the need for the "Home Getaway" even more important. Covid-19 caused us to be stuck inside. Many of us were unprepared for what came over us in the wake of this pandemic. We are isolated, alone, bored out of our minds and aching for human contact. But there are alternatives to our normal social activity. Here are a few ideas:
- Write Letters. Most of us know someone that has moved away and lost contact. Most of us also have something that we wish we said. So, put on your mask and gloves, pick up a pen and paper, and say it. Turn this time of suffering into a time to heal. Renew acquaintances. Catch up with family and friends the old fashioned way.
- Read a Book. I have heard that this has become a favorite. Bravo! Books have a tremendous power t teach, to generate ideas, Pick up a "how to" and learn something new. Introduce yourself to new ideas, an new genre. Experience new feelings through the eyes of the author.
- Try YouTube. You can find a video on almost any subject on Youtube. I have learned how to do peacock eye shadow, build a solar battery, and repartition my hard drive by watching YouTube videos. Is there something that you are curious about? Now is a good time to investigate it.
- Investigate Other Countries or Ethnicities. In a world full of unrest, what better time can there be to make an effort to understand someone else's traditions, struggles, history, beliefs and points of view? get online and read their stories, Converse over messenger or Facebook, make a pen friend and ask a lot of questions.
- Explore the Arts. There are two approaches you can take to this suggestion: study art history and appreciation or become an artist. Get a book or find a website that explains the various styles and artistic periods and probe your own tastes. Do you live the Baroque period, or is Dadaism your thing? Find an online art critics group and discuss the various works that have gained attention. Or, pick up some paper and crayons, some clay, or some trash and make something beautiful from it.
- Get Down and Dirty. Now is a great time to clean out that closet, basement or garage, to redecorate. reorganize, redo. Get ideas from magazines, websites or sites like Pinterest.
- Get a Conversation Going. You don't have to be seen in person to be seen. join a group on Live, Messenger, or Facebook. Or just pick up the phone. Go through your contacts file and call everybody.
These are just a few ideas that are becoming popular during this phase of the Pandemic. I hope they help.
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
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- Museums - Locations, Maps and More
Directory and Interactive Maps of Museums across the Nation including address, hours, phone numbers, and website.
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© 2009 Vanessa Kristovich