Staycation a la Cornteen
May 19, 2020 9:54 PM   Subscribe

We are people who love to travel. But our Memorial Day holiday is going to be our umpteenth weekend in a row at home. Help us find a sense of occasion and not go crazy. What are some fun, vaguely vacation-themed things we can do at home?

No, we're not going anywhere. Not there, either. Or there. This will be at home.

Camping in the backyard does sound awesome. Unless your backyard is flooded to the point of being ripe for a cranberry bog. So no to that.

Our current plans are:
-"Spa Day" - mostly for Comrade Doll. Facials and mani-pedis.
-"Tour of Minecraftland" - extended time letting our kid show us around the stuff he and his friends have built in Minecraft.
-"A Day at the Ballpark" - mostly for me. An afternoon spent watching KBO baseball on ESPN2 and pretending we're really into it. The plan is to make this palatable for non-baseball fans by tying it to snacks: hot dogs, nachos, etc. But yes, we would make a show of rooting desperately for the NC Dinos for the day.

What else can we do this weekend that's not only fun, but is, in some way, evocative of a vacation we might have taken?
posted by DirtyOldTown to Society & Culture (13 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Fancy dinner at fancy restaurant? Dress up in your best clothes; make multiple courses (and/or order in if that's permitted in your location and you have good options). Use the best china, light candles and put flowers on the table. Get your kid to play waiter if they like that kind of thing.
posted by lollusc at 10:05 PM on May 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

Just in case you're not aware: not only is Korean baseball back, but so is top-level German (Bundesliga) soccer. There are a bunch of games on both Saturday and Sunday.
posted by kickingtheground at 10:48 PM on May 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

For the spa day, I suggest reviewing the previously side-barred "Great suggestions from barchan in response to "Help a girl on a budget have a spa day in the privacy of her own home," including links to DIY pampering concoctions."
posted by katra at 10:48 PM on May 19, 2020 [5 favorites]

Use only miniature toiletries that day to make it feel like you're at a hotel. Fresh sheets that night with a chocolate on the pillow. Home mini-bar with mini portions of snacks and miniatures of your favourite drinks. Put a sanitisation band across your own toilet seat. Steal your own sewing kit.
posted by terretu at 1:59 AM on May 20, 2020 [4 favorites]

Drinks and appetizers on the patio, if you have one. Hang up some sparkly lights to make it festive, play some music, maybe play a trivia game.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 2:47 AM on May 20, 2020 [3 favorites]

Depending on the age of your kids and whether they would find this cool or not, you could have a picnic indoors, make smores over a candle using mini marshmallows, have a disco, play old school party games, get a pinata, play board games.

On vacation I like to read a lot of books, so getting a new book and having time and a glass of wine to read it with would be vacation-like for me. Eating al fresco is also very vacation-y, although I'm not sure whether your backyard space is up to it.
posted by plonkee at 3:40 AM on May 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

Do you have a guest bedroom? Spend the weekend sleeping in it, as if it were a bed and breakfast room.

Use a tablecloth, and/or some fancy paper plates or those cheap plastic tropical-themed dishes and utensils that places like Target and Walmart sell every summer.

Buy or make some fancy pastries that you can warm up the microwave to have for breakfasts, along with some high quality orange juice.

Get some fancy TV dinners, so you can eat something “special” without having to cook.

Make some souvenir t-shirts that say “I went on staycation, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt”.

Spend an hour or two in the car, driving to nowhere, with everyone playing license plate bingo and repeatedly asking if you’re there yet.

Buy some fresh fish to cook, and pretend you caught it yourself.

Start each day watching the local news online from some town you might have visited.

Get a tan, if you can, or use a spray on product.

Get takeout food from a restaurant you’ve never eaten at. Take a chance on someplace you’re not sure about, just like you would in a strange town.
posted by MexicanYenta at 4:09 AM on May 20, 2020 [6 favorites]

Choose a country you want to "visit" and do activities themed around that country all weekend! If you're itching to visit France, for instance, make cassoulet, listen to Serge Gainsbourg, watch French films, and read French poetry to each other. If you want to add an educational component, learn a few phrases in the "local" language and read up on the history of the place you're "visiting."
posted by Mender at 6:00 AM on May 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

Spend an hour or two in the car, driving to nowhere, with everyone playing license plate bingo and repeatedly asking if you’re there yet.

DAMN, that sounds pretty good right now.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:59 AM on May 20, 2020 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I have a friend whose long scenic drives are keeping her sane right now. Bonus is that gas is very cheap and it's still sort of springtime in a lot of places (not here, we are already in summer). You may not remember how much you miss singing along in the car or listening to audiobooks or whatever you did when you had places to go.
posted by fiercecupcake at 8:34 AM on May 20, 2020 [2 favorites]

Plant a cranberry bog!!! (I've WWOOFed on vacation)
posted by aniola at 9:14 AM on May 20, 2020

If you had a vacation in the past that you particularly loved, revisit it.

Put on the clothes you were wore on that holiday, have a breakfast similar to whatever you had from the breakfast buffet at the hotel. Jump onto streetview, find your hotel and, starting from there, take a wander. Stop off for ice cream (ice creams from the freezer!) pop into kiddo's favourite shop (jump into the online version of the shop and everyone gets to buy something for delivery!), jump to YouTube for some things (wasn't the zoo awesome?! Someone must have posted a video of their trip to the zoo - here it is! Remember the monkeys?!) do a ridiculous reenactment of something (the waterpark was amazing, let's fill squeezy bottles with water and chase each other round the flooded garden!) and so on.

I did this the other day from my sofa and it was just brilliant - something about it being based on a trip I'd actually taken and loved, meant I could really fill in the gaps with my imagination.
posted by penguin pie at 3:33 PM on May 20, 2020 [2 favorites]

Whatever else you do, take a lot of pictures of yourselves and all your fun, and post them on social media with vacation-y descriptions.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 10:53 AM on May 22, 2020

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