Sometimes there’s no place like home—which is why a staycation can make sense for busy families looking for some quality, no-stress downtime this summer. But staying home doesn’t have to mean status quo. With a little planning and a few budget-friendly purchases, you can have the best vacation ever—in your own backyard. So grab the sunscreen and a piña colada, and check out these tips for turning your home into your new favorite staycation spot.
Set the Scene
Think about the last time you visited a hotel you loved. What made it so special? Recreating this at home may sound difficult, but it often comes down to little touches that are inexpensive and fun to find. Love the fruit infused spa water at the hotel front desk? Bring the luxury home by purchasing a glass beverage dispenser and filling it with your favorite fruits (cucumber is good, too) and ice. Even a large mason jar with a spout (Walmart, $14 – $30) can take staying hydrated to the luxe level.
Gauzy curtains floating in a tropical breeze make your last vacation sensationally relaxing? Hang a temporary rod and make a shady reading corner with a few sheer white panels (Target $5 – $20). Add a few large pillows, a soft outdoor-friendly carpet and pile up books for everyone to enjoy nearby.
Did you spend quality time reading in a hotel hammock swaying under palm trees in Hawaii? Buy an ENO hammock (Academy Sports, under $70) and snooze in suspended comfort all summer. The newer hammocks don’t require a Boy Scout badge in knot tying to hang–clips and straps make it a snap.
Did an evening of gazing into that special someone’s eyes across a roaring fire poolside make you melt? A mirrored tray with candles can set the mood at home, or go big with a portable table top fire pit, fueled by liquid propane, that will give you that warm glow (but without much heat) on a hot San Antonio summer night. (Lowe’s, $80).
Entertain the Kids
“I’m bored, Mom.” Those three little words can turn a staycation into too much frustration. Think outside the box this summer with these tips for keeping everyone occupied at home.
Large yard but no shade? With the temperature soaring, keep kids outside but out of the rays with a tent. The Ozark Trail 4-Person ConnecTent for Canopy (Walmart, $40) hooks onto your existing 10×10 straight leg canopy to add a little side room where kids of all ages can nap or let their imaginations run wild all day. Stock your tent with pillows, a few props, a craft box, a small cooler with water, and a new detailed coloring book and colored pencils to keep little hands and minds busy.
What’s a vacation without a little golf? Skip the wait at Topgolf with an inclined slope putting green that will let your budding Jordan Spieth practice shots every day. (Dick’s Sporting Goods, $50). Or blow the budget and go big with the “fun for the whole family” pool putting green, made from synthetic grass on a foam base, that allows you to practice lofting the perfect pitch over a water hazard and into the hole. (Frontgate, $500).
Have a pool and want to get the kids away from the computer and into the water for a little exercise disguised as fun? Set a budget and let them research and pick out a new water toy to take pooltime from “same old” to “swim-sational.” Kids especially love the floats that allow them to soak siblings and innocent bystanders with an endless supply of pool water. (Walmart, $30)
Staycation sounding great right about now, but you think your home needs more than a minor makeover to be the oasis you are imagining? We can help you with that! Upgrade to a permanent paradise with one of these amenity-packed properties for sale in San Antonio and enjoy a get-away every day for years to come.
Did your last vacation leave you more stressed than refreshed? Did the packing, the slow-moving security lines at the airport, or the rowdy wedding party that kept your kids up all night at the hotel make you wish you had just stayed home? Well, the good news is—you don’t have to go away to get away. San Antonio is a great destination, and we are lucky enough to live here! With a little staycation planning, it’s easy to make the most of what the city has to offer. And with a few purchases and a little imagination, you can turn your home into a relaxing retreat, so it’s “5:00 somewhere” in your own backyard all summer.
While Six Flags, SeaWorld and the Witte Museum are great, chances are you’ve already been there, done that. A staycation is the perfect time to shake it up and venture a little further afield. This week, we will help you jump start your planning with several cool (and Dunlap Team tested) things to do in the Alamo City. (Check back next week as we show you how to make your home a staycation-worthy paradise.) Click on any of the green establishment names to be directed to their website.
If you grew up in San Antonio, you no doubt visited one of the nearby caves during an elementary school field trip. But have you ever attended a concert in one? The Cave Without A Name in Boerne offers a calendar of events that includes music and theater. A fellow agent attended a string-quartet performance there and raved about the beauty of the setting and the sound. Check out a performance by Terri Hendrix with Lloyd Maines on July 1st at 7:30 pm. The cave is located at 325 Kreutzberg Rd., Boerne, TX.
To continue the cave theme, Bracken Cave, located less than 20 miles from downtown San Antonio, is the summer home to more than 15 million Mexican free-tailed bats, making it the world’s largest bat colony, and a sight to see when they emerge en masse from the cave at dusk. To attend a viewing this summer, you must be a member of Bat Conservation International, and then get your hands on tickets, which are already selling out quickly for the next few months. But it is worth the time to make this one happen.
Music and Roosters
Luckenbach Texas is a perennial favorite with fans of country music acts, but the little 1849 trading post turned dance hall, where “Everybody’s Somebody,” is more than just a place to see Cody Canada and Kevin Fowler. (Although that’s not bad, either.) Open year-round with live music daily, a general store and a bar, Luckenbach offers a place to sit in the shade under 500-year-old oaks to people-watch and relax while enjoying a free acoustic outdoor show. Kids love watching the chickens that wander freely among the picnic tables. Bring your favorite stringed instrument to join the Thursday night Picker Circle, or check out one of their many day-long festivals, like the upcoming Hill Country Food Truck Festival, featuring food trucks and Texas wines this Saturday, June 24th. Auto enthusiasts should add the August 26th LuckenRod Classic Car & Rod Show to their calendar.
Know your porters from your stouts? (Does anyone?) Hops make you happy? How about a tour of a few of the local breweries crafting sensational beers right in your backyard. Sit outside under the Hay Street Bridge at Alamo Beer Company on Lamar St. and enjoy a pint at a picnic table, pitch some washers, hear live music, or nosh on food truck fare. Go on a Thursday for a brewery tour at 6 pm, then stay for “Beer, Bacon and Bingo” from 6:30 – 9 pm. Pet friendly Busted Sandal Brewing Company at 71114 Oaklawn Dr. welcomes visitors to their tasting room and brewery Wednesday to Friday from 5 – 9 pm and Saturdays from 2 – 9 pm. Every Wednesday is Customer Loyalty Pint Night—bring in your Busted Sandal pint glass or buy a new one and they’ll fill ’er up for $3. (Extra points for checking out Sangria on the Burg, right down the street at 5115 Fredricksburg Road, for some of chef Julio Sanchez’ delicious fare and one of their eponymous fruit-forward beverages.) Freetail Brewing Company’s original 4035 Loop 1604 W. location is right around the corner from our new Phyllis Browning offices, and offers a full compliment of brews, pizzas and a pretty view of sunset from the patio. But across town, Freetail’s new South Presa brewery is taking things to the next level with a big “bring-your-own bites” tasting room and tours Thursday through Saturday. It’s also where you can tap into drop-in yoga classes hosted by Mobile Om every Thursday night. Ranger Creek Brewing at 4834 Whirlwind Dr. bills itself as Texas’ only “brewstillery.” They offer a unique, educational tour where you can learn how they make their beer and bourbon on Saturdays from 2 – 4 pm. Time your visit right to check out their monthly Pizza Night, when Vero Wood Fired Pizza is on-site with their 750 degree oven imported from Italy to fire your pizza in 90 seconds!
Farm to Table
You’ve been meaning to do it for a while, but now is your chance to stop putting it off and make that trip to the Pearl Farmers Market. It really is as good as the publicity makes it sound, with over 45 vendors from within a 150-mile radius selling produce, meat, eggs, baked goods, cheeses (don’t miss CKC Farms’ goat cheese, from their happy Blanco herd) and other products and treats. Saturdays for 9 am – 1 pm and Sundays from 10 am – 2 pm, you’ll find music, families picnicking on the grassy lawn, kids running through the fountain area, and more dog breeds than you likely knew existed. Eat in one of the surrounding restaurants to cool off or shop surrounding specialty boutiques for that hard-to-find gift you know you’re going to need at the last minute. Make a day of it with a walk along the river to the lock and dam to delight the engineer in your life while taking in the art installations along the way.
Have your own great idea for a staycation outing? Let us know. And watch for next week’s staycation continuation!