Treat yo self
February 16, 2015 5:46 AM   Subscribe

Today is the one year anniversary of a significant event in my life and I'd like to mark the occasion by treating myself. But I didn't plan ahead and I don't know what to do! I have the entire day off and I'll be flying solo. I'm in Milwaukee. Money is not a concern.

I'm not into mani/pedis or make up. I just had an expensive hair cut. I know a lot of you will suggest massages; how would I find a reputable place that does walk-ins?

I don't really want to go out for a fancy dinner by myself and everyone I know is working/otherwise occupied tonight.

I know that Chicago would expand my options, but it's cold and I don't feel like driving for 4 hours. I have to work tomorrow so I can't stay anywhere overnight.

Any bizarre suggestion welcomed! I looked into one of those indoor skydiving places but the closest one is a four hour roundtrip.
posted by desjardins to Grab Bag (29 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I stink at things like this as well and had no ideas, walked away from the computer, and then thought, "SCRATCH TICKETS!" Go out and buy like $200 worth of scratch tickets.
posted by kinetic at 6:13 AM on February 16, 2015 [4 favorites]

I was wondering if you had a Korean Spa. We have one in Atlanta and one of these days, I'm going to go and do the whole nine yards.

I might get a day pass for a VERY upscale gym. Swim, take a class, sit in the sauna/steam room. Then get your favorite meal as take out and go home.

Watch your favorite movies on Netflix.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:14 AM on February 16, 2015 [6 favorites]

Here's a list of day spas In Milwaukee. You should be able to call in and get a massage.

Order some really nice take out somewhere and get a nice bottle of wine .
posted by gt2 at 6:22 AM on February 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

Is there a hobby you'd like to try? Say knitting or dressmaking or photography or gardening? Maybe go to a specialty local store and ask for help and splurge?

Get an updo or a blow-out for your haircut?

Yoga class?

Go to a real bookstore and buy as many magazines as you want and sit in a cute coffeeshop and eat cake and read your magazines? Or go to a used/antique bookstore and buy a leatherback copy of an old favorite?

Go to a nice lingerie shop and buy yourself a fancy comfy bra and matching undies? Or a nice clothing store and buy a new dress or shoes?

Is there a Botanic garden nearby that has a large tropical greenhouse? Maybe wander around in the warmth and steam? (Probably before a blow out.)

Visit an aquarium? Your local library?

Peruse the antique stores and buy yourself a piece of jewelry or piece of art?

Get yourself great deli things or takeout for dinner? Nice chocolate or another dessert from a favorite bakery too?

posted by umwhat at 6:28 AM on February 16, 2015 [8 favorites]

Here is a thing I did to celebrate getting paid for an unexpected piece of work - went to the spot where there are always people selling the Big Issue and homeless folk, and asked one of them if they'd like to go to dinner at some nearby restaurant with me, my treat. We talked about whatever, and it was kind of nerve-racking but really great. I did the same thing with a homeless lady a few months later, when for whatever reason I fancied a meal out but didn't have a dinner companion.

Just to qualify - I am a BIG fan of spending time alone, but this was a thing I did when I wanted to celebrate, and it felt good to share my good fortune in a small way.
posted by greenish at 6:29 AM on February 16, 2015 [10 favorites]

I am not good with these things either (I would get a bottle of whiskey and watch TV all day to "celebrate"), but I would be sure to include the kitties and get them a can of tuna!

Fwiw, when I wanted to reward myself, I used to go buy CDs. How about a binge Amazon shopping spree? See if you can time it so things are delivered for a few different days so you come home to a surprise all week.
posted by 724A at 6:35 AM on February 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

"Go to a real bookstore and buy as many magazines as you want and sit in a cute coffeeshop and eat cake and read your magazines." YES, do this, please, for me. :P

Also ice cream or fancy chocolates.
Go for a bike ride, go skating, go to a theme park (seriously, I did this yesterday), go to a concert -or any live music performance-, go to one of those weird places where you can eat in the dark or drink vodka in a tea cup, take a nap, bake cookies, buy something nice for your house. I don't know, but if it's a celebration, food and music are a must.

Whatever you do, please tell us if you had fun. :)
posted by divina_y_humilde at 6:51 AM on February 16, 2015 [3 favorites]

I would find the fanciest hotel and ask about swimming in their indoor pool (many places offer this in the winter) and whatever spa services they offer, as well as their restaurant. Even though you're not staying overnight, you could take advantage of their amenities.
posted by xingcat at 7:01 AM on February 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

I vote that you take yourself on the most ridiculous, indulgent date imaginable.

Go to a walk-in place and get a massage. Then go hang out at a bookstore, have some coffee, buy yourself whatever looks interesting. Then, for supper, forget fancy dinners. Go to the movies--I recommend Jupiter Ascending because it was amazing, but whatever--and order the giant popcorn, a soda, and some sort of candy. Then add butter to the popcorn--way more butter than you'd ever add when there's another person watching you. Then sit in a dark theater and watch space explosions (or whatever) and eat as much popcorn as you want.

Then go home and drink a bottle of wine while telling your cats how amazing the movie was.
posted by MeghanC at 7:03 AM on February 16, 2015 [8 favorites]

If umwhat's suggestion of a tropical botanical garden is appealing, check out The Domes. If I were enduring February in Wisconsin right now, that's where I'd head first.
posted by dr. boludo at 7:12 AM on February 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

Yelp is generally a good resource for finding massage/spa places, as you'll be able to tell from the reviews if it's legit or not. If you have any nearby swanky hotels with spas, winter weekdays are probably a good time for specials. (It looks like WELLspa at the Pfister is your best super-luxe option.)
posted by Lyn Never at 7:28 AM on February 16, 2015

Spend the day at the museum, because you've got a nice one there, do the massage, then get takeout from a super fancy restaurant and a damn good bottle of wine (or Dom).
posted by Dashy at 7:37 AM on February 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

Apparently Milwaukee has nifty geocaching.

1. Shop at American Science & Surplus for prizes.
2. Make yourself ridiculously warm. Go to the hardware store and get a zillion of those iron oxidizing things for handwarmers and footwarmers -- they will make you feel unbelievably cozy. (If you don't have superwarm outdoor clothes, you could make this your excuse to visit a specialty shop -- maybe this one, I dunno.)
3. Geocache!
4. Remove every trace of cold from your body. Maybe a spa, maybe just sipping hot beverages in front of a bar/hotel/restaurant fireplace while reading.
6. It is Monday, so most chefs have the day off. Order takeout from a tiny family restaurant, or go to a foofy food store to purchase something luxurious and quick-to-prepare. While you're at it, treat the cats.

posted by feral_goldfish at 7:41 AM on February 16, 2015

I would go to an amusement park and ride every.single.ride. All day. No matter how uninterested I was in an "amusement", I would try it out to get outside of my box.

I'm afraid I don't know what roller-coaster parks are in your area but surely the good people of Milwaukee have a local place?

The reason I suggest this: it can be incredibly cathartic to go on rides - you get anxiety, and a rush of adrenaline, on many coasters. And you get to scream your head off - hey, it's socially sanctioned! At the end of the day you feel completely tired and *invigorated*. It's a great temporary mood-lifter and loads of fun to boot.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:41 AM on February 16, 2015

I have an annual celebration event for an important life milestone where I do only MY favorite stuff. Last year I went to my favorite coffee shop with a great book and sat for a few hours and read with the fanciest drink they had made with whole milk and extra whipped cream. I had a great scone too. Then I got a manicure (not your thing but this might be a good massage time?) and went to the movies. I got takeout from my favorite place for dinner, ordered whatever I wanted, and then sat in my jammies with my heat turned up and my favorite music playing and hung out with my cat. Oh, I went to the yarn store and splurged on some super super nice yarn and started an interesting project that I'd been really wanting to do for awhile that day, too (nice because this was a treat that keeps on giving!) Basically, I just completely enjoyed my freedom.

Have fun today, whatever you do, and enjoy celebrating in any way that suits YOU!
posted by sockermom at 7:45 AM on February 16, 2015 [7 favorites]

Overnight in the poshest hotel in town.

Day trip or overnight trip somewhere.

(Travel is always how I splurge.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:49 AM on February 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

Tom and Donna would head to the mall and buy something ridiculous that they normally would never splurge on, followed by cake and champagne.
posted by cecic at 8:24 AM on February 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

I guess Milwaukee must be flat, but if there's any little bump of a hill - I'd want to go tobogganing! Or I guess, ice skating, if there's an outdoor rink. Then, hot chocolate, followed by a swim and sauna at one of these fancy hotels or spas. Then, happy exhaustion. Also, congrats :)
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:26 AM on February 16, 2015

I'd a night in a 5 star hotel (maybe this fits the bill?) and basically re-enact Marge's stay at Rancho Relaxo. Order a big fancy room service dinner, maybe book a spa treatment if they have a spa (TripAdvisor big-ups this one), take a long soak in the tub, and generally lounge around in a robe feeling decadent.
posted by nerdfish at 8:57 AM on February 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

Lunch or dinner at Braise, with antiquing in Walker's Point?

Dinks in the rotating room at the Hyatt?

Seconding the Domes...this weather has been awful and next week will be worse, so spending some time in warmth and pseudo-nature would be nice.

Is there still ice skating at Red Arrow Park?

Get something awesome at the Milwaukee Public Market and then cook at home?

Personally I'd just get a pint of Ben & Jerry's and an order of Toppers pizza while binge watching Netflix in my pajamas, but your mile will definitely vary on that one.
posted by christinetheslp at 9:21 AM on February 16, 2015

1. This might not be much fun if it's cold, but maybe go downtown and shop for a piece of art you wouldn't normally shell out the money for. Find something that really speaks to you and makes you feel good, then splurge for it even though it will likely be pricey.

This has the benefit of letting you celebrate the significant event each time you see it in your living space.

2. Do you have any local spots you like, as in cafes, bars, or the like? If you're a people person and like striking up conversations, maybe announce that you'd like to buy everyone in the place a drink, a dessert, or whatever. If people thank you or ask why, you can just say you have something you want to feel good about today, and you wanted to share that feeling with others. Then go from there and see what happens!

Whatever you end up doing, I hope you have a great time!
posted by banal retentive at 9:35 AM on February 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

For complicated travel-timing-related reasons, I once got a hotel room, swam in the pool, had a delicious take-out dinner, and then hopped back in the car and drove the rest of the way home in my pajamas. Even though I was doing this with a small child in tow and was at a generic hotel in upstate NY, I felt like the richest person in the world for a while after that, and the memory still makes me smile.

I'd get a room at the Pfister, walk down to the museum, get a massage at the spa, get room service, watch a movie in the room, and go home around 10pm unless the bed was comfier than expected.
posted by tchemgrrl at 10:11 AM on February 16, 2015 [3 favorites]

I can recommend the Iron Horse Hotel for its food and spa services, though I don't know how easy it would be to book them as a non-guest. Heck, maybe book a room anyway? If you live and work near Milwaukee, could stay the night at a hotel downtown? And they are SUPER pet friendly if you have a furball you'd need to keep with you.

Probably there are no roller coaster parks open when it's 14 below zero and there's a foot of snow on the ground, lol.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:13 AM on February 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

If you don't want to go out for dinner, have you considered hiring a private chef to come and make you something glorious that you can eat in your PJs? It's a Monday, I'd imagine a last-minute booking would be easy.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:40 AM on February 16, 2015

Twitter can be great for finding good masseurs - just try a bunch of searches.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 12:14 PM on February 16, 2015

A piece of jewelry or a piece of art. I'm wearing the lapis ring from Athens and I can see the tile mosaic from Istanbul *right now*, and they both make me outrageously happy and mark those trips as events for me.
posted by ersatzkat at 12:27 PM on February 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Pfister is indeed awesome but sadly the art museum, like most art museums, is closed Mondays (except during summer).
posted by feral_goldfish at 12:47 PM on February 16, 2015

Not too bizarre, but since you are not going out for dinner, why don't you pick up some of your faves that you never get to eat/drink? Brie? Really high end chocolate? Wine? Truffle beer?
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper at 1:57 PM on February 16, 2015

What they said! And because it is fun to think about:

Do something you're not normally allowed to do. Spend money, or eat fattening food, or waste time, or partake in your smoke/drink/drug of choice.

Your day is partway over now, but you still have plenty of time. Let us know what you did!
posted by bluesky78987 at 1:57 PM on February 16, 2015

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