How to Survive a Holiday Staycation

Brianna Krueger's picture

When the holidays come around, if you’re playing hostess, there’s a good chance there are no travels on your horizon. Which is unfortunate because after the family comes, drives you up the walls, and goes, you begin to kind of wish you’d flown to Hawaii instead. Not say the family drove you that crazy, but the warmth of the sun soaking into your skin as you lay ocean-side, the sand between your toes, the taste of a fresh pina colada cool on your lips, and no watch with island time on your side… Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Unfortunately, again, it’s just fantasy.


While some folks are lucky to have two weeks off a little thing called school, many people in the working world are right back at their job come the New Year, meaning no vacation happening. And for children of those workers, that means two weeks at home.


In the cold. In the snow. In the alone because all your friends went to Hawaii. 


To those unable to travel comes a steady boredom of ‘welp, been there, done that’ and ‘IDK’ when asked ‘what do you want to do?’ The most travel one ends up doing is from one channel to the next. However, not all stay-at-home vacations need to be so mundane. After all, plenty of people take staycations, where they choose to stay home! As a kid, that baffled me (why be home when I can be surfing in Hawaii?), and as lover of travel, it sometimes pains me. (But then the lazy part of me is all ‘what’s next on my Netflix queue?’)


However, I’ve learned the appeals of staycations because you can have the best of both worlds. Maybe you can’t have the Hawaiian sun, but you can have fun at home or in your backyard – figuratively, but also literally.


How to Survive a Holiday Staycation


Here are 5 ideas to get your holiday staycation in motion


Light ‘Em Up Sledding

My dad likes to build fires. If he has something worth burning, he will light it up – sometimes beginning in the middle of the afternoon because he’s that excited.

And on one of those excited afternoons, my dad decided to start a fire on our sledding hill. Never mind the fact that there was somebody there –me – trying to sled. However, what my dad did was actually something cool because sledding down the snow past a giant flame (about two feet from the sled path) added a mix of danger (and warmth) to the game.

Disclaimer: if you decide to replicate this on your staycation, please make sure a not crazy adult is around and that you already have an established sled path so that no one gets hurt. Should your sled aims towards the fire, abort!


How to Survive a Holiday Staycation: Light 'em up sledding


Scavenger Hunt

Being on a staycation does not mean you have to spend it locked up in your house. In fact, it’s good to get out, but when it comes to what to do, it’s that ‘welp, been there, down that’ and ‘IDK’ feeling sinking in again. To make going out not such a bore (or a stress trigger with all the crowds) have a little fun and make up a scavenger hunt. It gets you the freedom of being out of the house without actually having to worry about standing in line because you’re out for fun – and to win.

Now excuse me, my team needs to touch a stranger’s hairy back…


How to Survive a Holiday Staycation: staycation scavenger hunt


Snow Furniture

Assuming you have snow (which could be unlikely – one year, living in Minnesota we didn’t have snow till April), building a fort can be cool, but totally overdone. Mix it up and make some snow furniture. The whole family can get a use out of a snow sofa and read the ads for all the big shopping sales!


How to Survive a Holiday Staycation: Make Snow furniture


Pose with your Posse

I love taking goofy pictures with inanimate objects. There’s just something funny about seeing a person snuggle up to a statue. So to cheat a little, when I was in Carmel, Indiana one year for the holidays, my cousins, who were on their own staycation, offered up a fun way for us to get out of the house and snuggle up with some statues.

Around the entire city, we hustled through the cold to take turns posing with all the different statues (and some sculptures), all of which are a part of the “Man-on-the-Street” series by J. Seward Johnson Jr. Walking around game us a nice time to bond, laugh and work off some pumpkin pie.

If you don’t have a group of cousins to entertain you for this staycation idea, rope in some newly made friends. (And by friends, I mean the statues – nothing saying friendship like an inanimate object – at least this friend won’t blow up your social media network!)


How to Survive a Holiday Staycation: pose with your Posse! Photos taken in Carmel, IN: with the Man-on-the-Street series by J. Seward Johnson Jr.


Get Warm

There is something incredibly cozy about being zipped up in a onesie. Minus the bathroom part. My wearing of a onesie inspired an offset in my cousins to where they all wanted one as well. (What can I say, I’m a trendsetter.)  So for the entirety of the holidays we sported the fashionable onesies because in a onesie you can:

•    Build a pyramid
•    Sit on a snow couch
•    Marathon movies
•    Dance
•    Eat
•    Everything! But with warmth!


That’s one souvenir that will get a lot of use and will be good for future staycations!




Brianna Krueger is the Chief Editor for Wandering Educators


All photos courtesy and copyright Brianna Krueger



Holiday Staycations: 5 ways to have fun at home or in your backyard – figuratively, but also literally.

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