Staycation, all I ever wanted Staycation...
August 2, 2013 6:11 PM   Subscribe

If you had the next week open and free and no obligations, what would you do? Or even just a day or an afternoon? I am looking for suggestions of what to do with my Staycation...things that usually get waylaid because the days are just too short. I relax best when even my downtime has some structure...things I have on my list so far after the fold.

Here are my ideas so far:
A good walk with my dog everyday probably including a dip for us both in the pond nearby
A leisurely trip to the library and some hours to enjoy the borrowings
An unrushed shopping trip for some new clothes and whatever else occurs to me
Painting the living room
Shrinks dinks!

So far I've mostly got down things I normally do (or try to do but am too rushed to) plus some stuff around the house, but I'm also looking for stuff like ShrinkyDinks, things that are rarely the first choice because there's so much 'important' stuff.

I am between Sturbridge, MA and the CT "quiet corner" and the Staycation is on for the next week or so. Trips besides day trips are kind of out because I want to spend the evenings with my husband, who is working as usual (bonus for ideas of things we can do in the evening with a few hours extra time provided by the absence of my commute.)
posted by Tandem Affinity to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (27 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Every day, a really nice breakfast, like nice coffee and fresh pastries and fresh juice, maybe on the porch if you have one.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:13 PM on August 2, 2013 [7 favorites]

  • Find out if there are any small regional museums in your area. (I know you've got Old Sturbridge Village and all but I'm assuming you don't want to go there?) Sometimes there are little micro-collections or galleries in places like historical societies or libraries, and if you go on a weekday or by appointment, you can be the only person there. It's a very special way to view things like that.
  • Same deal with factory and farm tours. Visiting on a weekday can be a unique opportunity to see people at work, see cool machines, learn about interesting things without a ton of children or tourists around.
  • Have coffee with friends who are retired, unemployed, or otherwise around during weekday afternoons. It's a little thing, but it's amazing how rarely a good opportunity arises to do it.

posted by overeducated_alligator at 6:33 PM on August 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

Have meals where you don't have anything urgent pressing after so you can leisurely sit and enjoy them, preferably in outdoor seating if the weather permits it, so you can watch the world go by and relax. Seriously, some of my most treasured memories with friends and coworkers are that first dinner after something major is done and we don't have anything we have to do, so we just sit and talk and eat.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 6:35 PM on August 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

I would tackle the fun sewing projects that I have been putting off. But that's just me.

Otherwise, I would curl up with a good book, visit a local park, or explore one of those roads that I've never been down but always said I wanted to see where it goes.
posted by tafetta, darling! at 6:50 PM on August 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

I do my hair and makeup really nice when I have some time. This is purely for fun, like I'm a 13 year old who gets to play with fancy makeup. Even if I then immediately wash it off.

I go people watching. Preferably in a different area of town.

I stay up late! Like by going to see a friend's band during the week.

I've also been known to scrub some random Thing really, really well. Think q-tipping the coffee grinder or toothbrushing the sliding door track.

Have fun!
posted by Ms Vegetable at 6:55 PM on August 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

Find a really nice coffee shop. Sit and drink coffee and leisurely read the paper, a real paper not anything that requires electronics to read.

I'd work on any of my 50 million craft projects, I can sit and faff and pick the perfect colours and not feel rushed.

Lay on the grass in my backyard with my dogs and listen to the wind in the trees, the birds and watch the clouds drift by. Tell my husband if he asks that I'm weeding, if he says anything hold up a random weed.
posted by wwax at 7:18 PM on August 2, 2013 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Hello, regional neighbor! I have found cool eats and places to visit at Connecticut Museum Quest.
posted by gnomeloaf at 7:29 PM on August 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you like to cook and/or bake spend the better part of a day making fabulous (or even mundane-but-potentially-time-saving) things you can freeze for later.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:31 PM on August 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

When I get the chance for a Staycation, I:
--cook wonderful meals and freeze them
--repot all my plants
--go book shopping and then lie around and read, guilt-free
--watch a marathon of a TV series that I never saw the first time around
--scrub down my patio furniture and then relax out there with some great snacks

I guess that I tend to do a mix of chores that I know will make me feel great when I complete them, mixed with a nice dose of guilty pleasure stuff. It works for me! Enjoy your time off!
posted by bookmammal at 7:34 PM on August 2, 2013 [4 favorites]

I always make it a point to spend at least one night at a nice hotel during any staycation. It's great if you can find one that's one or two towns over so you're not tempted to just settle into your normal routine. A pool or spa onsite is also nice.

Once at the hotel, I always scope out a nice place for dinner and another for breakfast. Fully recharged by checkout the next day.
posted by nubianinthedesert at 7:43 PM on August 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

Oktoberfest in August.
If my spouse had to work the week; I would be quite sure to have them off to work with a breakfast every day and home to a supper. I'd sleep between 10-3 during the day; but heh. Never hurts to be kind to your partner.
posted by buzzman at 7:56 PM on August 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

I would get all of the odd jobs around the house done, have one day for a day trip somewhere nice and reasonably local, and leave two days for sitting on the sofa smoking pot and playing video games.
posted by goo at 8:24 PM on August 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Wine tasting at Sharpe Hill Vineyard? They are open Fridays.
posted by gudrun at 8:33 PM on August 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Get a mainicure and pedi. It's like a spa day but cheaper :)
posted by DarlingBri at 8:46 PM on August 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I too am originally from the "Quiet Corner" and so I am beholden to tell you about Shady Glen if you haven't ever heard of it. It is worth a pilgrimage on one of those days.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:48 PM on August 2, 2013

Best answer: I get precious little vacation and my plans for a week off fell through last week. We made the conscious decision to do things in our area that we'd never done before. This required resisting the strong urge to do projects around the house and doing a little Internet research. It was completely awesome. I didn't answer my phone or check email, or even the regular mail.

The key was doing a little internet research, making a plan the night before, and getting out of the house early. The only rule was that it had to be something we'd never done before. Weird local museum, followed by go-kart racing, followed by dinner at a restaurant we'd never been to. I very easily could have had a leisurely breakfast every morning, but by 11 am I would have decided it was too late to take a day trip and would have spent the rest of the day doing yard work or cleaning the garage. I told myself that all those projects would wait until I got back from my "vacation."
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:36 PM on August 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Find all your socks, throw all of them out and replace them with 24 new pairs, all of the same kind. Then you'll never have to match socks again.

(It's the only thing I did during my last staycation for which I'm still reaping the benefits.)
posted by mcav at 9:37 PM on August 2, 2013 [7 favorites]

I would get a massage.
posted by forza at 10:07 PM on August 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Find all your socks, throw all of them out and replace them with 24 new pairs, all of the same kind. Then you'll never have to match socks again.

I do this every two years. I literally wear flip-flops to Target and buy the second-cheapest Hanes socks. It's so, so worth it.
posted by Precision at 10:09 PM on August 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

One of my favorites is to build a pillow fort! I like to do a quick laundry load so I have warm pillows and blanket to curl up in. Then my pup by my side, a bowl of fruit with chocolate dip, and an iPad with some excellent creature features (Tremors, Sharknado woo). If I can find them, I sometimes toss on some white Christmas lights and fall asleep in the fort, lights off.
posted by inevitability at 10:10 PM on August 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Start a 1000 piece puzzle and work on it a little bit each day.
posted by Sweetmag at 10:50 PM on August 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'd do a mix of pampering, household projects, and getting out of the house:

-scan family photos and organize digital pics
-organize/purge bookshelves
-local hikes
-day trip to beach town or redwoods
-coffee and/or wine at patio cafes
-visit fine arts museums
-learn to knit
-shoe shopping

(I could go on and on...)
posted by JenMarie at 11:06 PM on August 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

Find a nice bed and breakfast near you.
posted by empath at 1:49 AM on August 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Get out of your comfort zone. If you go to Starbucks every day, stop. Do something different. Turn off your "at home" routine. The fun thing about vacations is the fact that you aren't in your natural routine. It's not where you are as much as what you are doing.

Plan it like a vacation. Take the initial Saturday and Sunday to clean up and prepare, do your stuff, and then take the subsequent weekend to decompress and reorient back into normal life. In the meantime, plan your time the same way you would for a vacation. Become a tourist in your own town. Try the different restaurants, go to your area's tourism webpage and try the things listed there. Go to the zoo that you haven't been to since you were 13 and hated it.
posted by gjc at 4:04 AM on August 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

And blow bubbles!
posted by Ms Vegetable at 6:18 AM on August 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

The last time Mr Corpse and the little Corpses left town and I had time to myself I did a jigsaw puzzle in front of the TV while watching Tivo'd shows that nobody else ever wants to watch. It was glorious.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:19 AM on August 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for all your answers! they are all favorites because they all made me think of things i want to do even if it can't be this week. Obviously I can relax now in knowing i have at the ready a loose calendar of stuff to do....or skip if I feel like it!

Except for the socks - i simply must maintain a large collection of non-white fun socks. but that was exactly the kind of thing i think will be very attractive to someone else. It's also making me think it would very enjoyable to toss all the unmatched mates I have now and buying 10 new pairs of 'staycation souvenir socks'.

Thanks gnomeloaf for the blog link - it will be a continuing resource! EC, the Shady Glen is on the schedule. I am excited to get to know the quiet corner a little better...i'm just over the ma border and somehow the state border has remained a barrier to our getting familiar with what's close but in ct.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 8:15 PM on August 3, 2013

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