5 Staycation Ideas For Families: Fun and Safety This Holiday Season
It’s coming! It’s almost here! It’s the holiday season, that time of year when everything gets a little more complicated and a lot more beautiful. A lot of us are spending the holidays at home, so it’s the right moment to collect the best staycation ideas that keep you entertained, warm and safe at the same time.
Staycation Ideas for Families Large and Small
Will you be having guests this holiday season? Family from out of town? That cousin from Missoula or your mother in Boulder coming down south to flee from the snow and cold? Or will you be on your own, just your merry old selves? Either way, what will you be doing during those long days before and after Santa comes to town?
Have a Crazy Day
One of the best staycation ideas we’ve had in a long, long time is, in fact, a twofer. The first of them is this: have a crazy day. Whether you have two guests, five, or it’s just you and your family, just make a pact with everyone involved. On two consecutive days, you will all agree to honor this idea. For the crazy day, set up a schedule in advance: start with a power breakfast for the whole bunch, then go out and do stuff. For instance, visit a local place like the Big Cat Rescue. Have lunch, then go on to the next fun thing – maybe the zoo at Lowry Park? The Aquarium in Tarpon Springs? A farm? A brewery? An outlet? Go nuts!
End the day by going to see the coolest Christmas lights in the area and have dinner out. Come home late, cap it all with a drink and go to bed.
Have a Lazy Day
The next day just have a lazy day. Make sure your fridge is stocked in advance with cold meats, cheese, veggies, crackers, chips, fruit, and ready-to-eat casseroles. Not to forget, make sure everyone understands that no one is supposed to do any actual work today! It’s a day for watching TV, reading, making plans for the new year, writing emails to friends, playing games or just sleeping in and napping like crazy. You can just make lists of things you need to buy for the big party, or lists of online classes you’re planning on taking next year, or lists of who’s been naughty or nice. Whatever floats your boat!
A Night at the Movies
Movies, as in “several”. On our list of ideas, this always gets a vote, because movies are fun and we hardly ever go anymore. So go! Get the gang together and go out in the afternoon. Watch a movie, take a break, have a cup of coffee, stroll around, buy a pair of silly glasses, cram everyone in the photo booth and take a funny photo, then jump in again for another movie! After all, it’s the season: you’re likely to be catching some of the biggest box-office hits of the year. Come back late, kids and all – because every now and again they get a break, too.
Kids often get left out of regular lists for staycation ideas. But this one is a hit with the very young, too, and always gets a laugh. It’s easy: let everyone roam around the house and take clothes out of wherever they can find them. Of course, make it clear things should be kept in order and smaller items are a no-no. Then ask everyone to dress like someone you all know. It could be a relative (present or not), a movie or cartoon character, a family friend, just about anyone you can think of.
If dressing up is too much of a hassle, or just too much, you can just play a freestyle version of Guess Who. One of you has to think of a famous person, whether real or imaginary, and the others will have to guess it by simply asking yes-or-no questions: Is it real? Is it a living person? Do we know them personally? Are they a family member? You get the idea. It’s surprisingly fun, as long as you keep controversial figures out of it. And you can choose categories to make things clearer – like literary or movie characters, relatives, actors, singers etc.
Is Your HVAC System a Go for the Holidays?
During the holidays, it’s easy to get carried away by the festive part of the season and forget the elementary precautions. For instance, if something goes wrong with your HVAC system, that Christmassy spirit may run into the ground faster than you can say “I’m cold!”. So, in addition to the six staycation ideas, we’re giving you a few extra ideas to keep everything under control.
Lower the Thermostat
Just by a couple of degrees, that is. Don’t overdo it, just nudge it down a little bit. It will do your electricity bill a lot of good, since everything is running overtime during the holidays. Plus, no one will feel it. In fact, with several people around the house and the oven almost always on, the temperature will feel just right rather than stuffy.
Keep Your HVAC System Guest-Ready
So you’ve had a great time leading up to Christmas, but just as your mother-in-law is taking a nap before the big family dinner – poof! Cold air comes out of the vent instead of hot. Aaargh!
With guests hogging up the facilities, you can quickly find everything is harder to handle and crises likelier to happen. How can you prevent that? Well, the basic method works best: contact your HVAC specialist ahead of time and do a check-up and ac maintenance before everyone arrives. Replace the furnace filter and check that all filters are clean – remember they should be replaced once a month! Check all the vents, the air flow, the thermostat. Well, in fact, just relax: they’ll know what to do.
Teach Basic Safety
That leads us to the most important notion: people who are not used to how your house works may need a few instructions on basic safety. Explain how the heating works and, if they are unfamiliar with your HVAC system, teach them not to leave flammable items around the heating sources. It may seem self-evident, but HVACs differ quite a bit. Especially if there are kids around, they will need to understand how heating works in your home.
Staycation ideas aside, safety and comfort are more important than anything. Before you have anyone over, make sure your home is ready. Have an HVAC specialist over (if you’re in Trinity Fl, Land O’ Lakes Fl, or any of the other areas we service, we’ll be happy to help out) and don’t forget to keep strict safety rules for everyone.