July 21, 2022

Stay·ca·tion: /ˌstāˈkāSHn/: A period in which an individual or family stays home and participates in leisure activities within a day-trip distance of their home. Does not require overnight accommodation. Also known as “StayKay” or “Holi-Stay” The first known use of staycation was in 1944.

Vacations are a wonderful break from the hustle and bustle of daily life, yet often involve swapping one form of a packed schedule for another. With a Staycation, families can enjoy a much-needed respite with activities consumed in smaller chunks, all while still spending nights in the comfort of home. And, with either zero or minimum daily mileage goals, Staycations can be enjoyed year-round as they are not dependent on large blocks of travel time.

How to organize a Holi-Stay?

Start by determining your drive: both in distance and motivation. Whether you opt to simply stay home and check items off the lazy-day wish list or pack the car for a day trip, start out by mapping out your destination. It may be only as far as the living room for an epic fort-building contest or it may be a road trip in search of North Carolina’s best ice cream – the beauty of a Staycation is the flexibility. With no reservations to make or check-out times to beat, itineraries are much more pliable and relaxation mode can remain engaged.

For a true Staycation, consider these at-home ideas:

  • Spa Day!
    • Splurge on fluffy robes for the whole family
    • Set up stations for manicures, pedicures, and facials
    • Buy bubble baths and lotions in various scents
    • Give your hair a formal blowout
    • Take turns with shoulder massages
    • Serve tea or mimosas with a fruit tray and cookies
  • Head (in) to the Movies!
    • Select a favorite movie and create a menu based on meals or restaurants highlighted in the movies
    • Spend an entire day checking a trilogy of your must-see list with all-you-can-eat popcorn
    • Set up a backyard theatre and watch a favorite flick under the stars while enjoying smores over a campfire
  • Head (out) Back to Nature!
    • Leave the electronics inside and set up a campground in your backyard
    • Set up a tent (or two) with sleeping bags and pillows
    • Lay out a game area with cornhole, lawn darts, or a table for board games
    • Plan on bike rides or hikes (don’t forget your bug spray!)

No matter how you choose to spend your At-Home Staycation, make sure to do the prep work to alleviate the temptation to gravitate to daily drudgery. Stock your fridge, vacuum the floors, put away the laundry, and give the beds a fresh set of sheets. This day is about relaxing, not catching up!

If a full day indoors causes cabin fever, step just outside of Chatham Park and into Pittsboro proper. Learn the history of the area beyond the amazing restaurants and shops. Create a visual scavenger hunt using the Courthouse Clock as Homebase and end the contest with ice cream to celebrate.

Ready to hit the road for a day trip? Max out your mileage by first selecting what time you’d like to depart and what time you’d like to be back home. This day doesn’t have to be about pre-dawn departures as there are several “getaways” quite close to Pittsboro.

For a road Holi-Stay within an hour of Chatham Park:

  • Head North
    • Spend the day in Durham and catch a ballgame at the historic Durham Bulls Athletic Park
  • Head South/Southwest
    • Tour the quaint train town of Southern Pines
    • Visit the famed Village of Pinehurst
  • Head Northwest
    • Take the plunge at Wet ‘N Emerald Pointe Water Park
    • Stroll through the Greensboro Science Center
  • Head East
    • Explore the nonprofit wildlife sanctuary right here in Pittsboro at the Carolina Tiger Rescue
  • Head West
    • Make a day excursion to the world’s largest natural habitat zoo in Asheboro at the North Carolina Zoo

Or, if the road is calling your caravan further, two hours will open the car doors to:

  • US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, which has endless activities and events throughout the year
  • Bassett, Virginia: Bassett is the home of Bassett furniture, a hot spot for genealogical buffs, and sits right on Smith River and Philpott Lake.
  • Pageland, South Carolina: Known as the Watermelon Capital of the World

Keys to a great day trip? Create a great playlist with favorites from all participants and sing your way down the highway. Reach back in time for imagination-only games like “I Spy,” “Twenty-questions,” or “Road Trip Bingo” and make a promise to dine only at local restaurants. And once you are home for the night, offer hotel-style turndown service while everyone recalls their favorite part of the day.

Pittsboro is a great place to live, with many unique destinations just a short drive away. This year, take a vacation to nowhere – try a Staycation right here at home.