Lebanon, NH – After long, cold winters in northern New England, April school vacation is a time when normally, many families in New Hampshire, Vermont and beyond will escape for the week to warmer climates and recharge. But with the COVID-19 global pandemic still very much with us, travel outside of your region is discouraged by public health officials to slow the spread of the virus.
If your family wants to enjoy the break from school while observing pandemic safety guidelines, consider a “stay-cation” – fun activities and experiences while staying close to home. Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD) wants to encourage families to consider ways to enjoy April break without having to board a plane this year and offers the following suggestions for planning your own stay-cation. With a little planning and creativity, time away from work and school can be both restful and fun.
- Set Vacation Goals: Start by deciding what is important to you and your family during your time away from regular commitments. Are you seeking some rest and relaxation? New experiences? Family time? All of the above? Understanding this will help in setting ground rules, such as whether or not to check your email and planning out your time.
- Have Daily Themes: One fun option is to choose a theme for each day to plan your activities around. Involve the whole family by letting everyone brainstorm and offer ideas. Together you can create a colorful and fun calendar and post it in a common space. Some ideas include a family film fest, game day – whether it’s sports, board games or video games – getting takeout for all meals, doing random acts of kindness for others, and a kids’ choice day, where the little ones make the rules!
- Bring the Destination Home: A little imagination can take you anywhere, and if you were dreaming of faraway places, there are ways to bring them to you. For example, if you were planning on traveling internationally, spend time during vacation learning about a country you wanted to visit, practicing phrases in its native language, and cooking one of its signature meals. When the time comes that you can hop on a plane and go, you’ll be ready!
- Be a Tourist in Your Own State: With an abundance of natural beauty and fun attractions, New Hampshire and Vermont are popular tourist destinations for a reason. If you are lucky enough to live in one of the Twin States, you can enjoy your home state without the need to quarantine. Take a look at your state with fresh eyes and a new perspective. Stay in a town you have yet to visit, tour the State Parks, or check out a new attraction. Plan ahead, as there may be capacity limits in place and reservations required. A good place to start your planning is the tourism website for your state:
New Hampshire: www.visitnh.gov