BY TARYN CHAMBERS GIVAN
Make the best of these trying times by trying out a few of my favorite staycation ideas and destinations close to Texarkana.
I remember the moment my husband and I made the tough decision to adjust our travel plans for the first half of this year. It took a few weeks for me to accept the fact that in February we wouldn’t be walking hand-in-hand on the beaches of Jamaica.
That trip had been a source of my inspiration for months. I had started packing well in advance, shopped my closet for items that I would feel more comfortable wearing abroad, ordered matching shirts—you name it, I did it.
Eventually, I had to check my attitude and direct my Type-A personality toward planning staycation activities. I had to tell myself, “Travel plans for 2022 may be adjusted for now, but there are ways to feel like you are on vacation while close to home!” Some of you may need that same reminder. But don’t worry: a staycation is a great opportunity to explore our community from the comfort of your own home.
I encourage you to fully embrace the vacation mindset and unplug. You deserve it. Your family deserves it.
Destination Themed Decor
Decorate your family room or common area like the location you’d want to visit. Dollar Tree and Party City are great places to shop, and Pinterest has amazing DIY ideas. As an added bonus, dress the part to really set the mood.
Your family can “travel the world” virtually and experience it by region using your Amazon account. Choose Amazon Explore from the list of options and enjoy.
Build a Tent Indoors
Until the temperature outside is pleasant, set up a tent inside using chairs, comforters, sleeping bags and pillows. This is the perfect nook for telling stories, singing songs and reading.
As the weather permits, you can change scenery by simply heading outdoors. If you’re a thrift shopper or attend garage sales, you’ll be surprised what you can find. We bought a practically new tent from a neighbor’s garage sale and used it for my “outing” on Mother’s Day one year. It was perfect!
Grab Connect Four out of the closet, download Heads Up on a smartphone, play Disney Monopoly and turn on the competitive vibes.
There’s nothing like creating a lineup of your family’s must-haves with a few new-to-you movies added in while enjoying your favorite snacks in pajamas. And if you all fall asleep on the couch, that’s even better.
Texarkana Museums System
offers fun and fascinating ways to explore Texarkana’s past, present and future all in historic downtown Texarkana, USA. Visit the Museum of Regional History, tour the Ace of Clubs House, and enjoy science-based learning at the Discovery Place.
The Perot Theatre
is Texarkana’s cultural icon and hub of local, national, and international entertainment for the region. Buy tickets to a show and explore the theatre before the curtains rise or call the box office at 903-792-4992 to request a free tour for your whole family.
College Bowl & Holiday Entertainment
offers fun for the entire family with bowling, laser tag, an arcade, and delicious food and beverages. You haven’t lived until you’ve battled your kids in the laser tag arena.
Painting with a Twist
offers a fun-filled experience out of the ordinary. It’s great for date night, but they also offer fun for all ages. Watch their website (paintingwithatwist.com/studio/texarkana) for kid-friendly dates and times.
Holiday Springs Water Park
provides a fun and exciting way to beat the heat. Whether your family would rather relax by the wave pool or zoom down water slides, the water park is a destination that will make your kids feel like they’re truly on vacation. Watch holidayspringswaterpark.com for deals on season passes to the park, which will open this summer under new management.
A Short Drive Away:
Sci-Port Discovery Center (Shreveport, La.)
provides a fun, educational environment for people of all ages to explore and actively engage in the world of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Your kids will love Sci-Port’s interactive exhibits and iMax theatre—and I have a feeling you will, too.
DeGray Lake Resort State Park (Hot Springs, Ark.)
is located on the shores of beautiful DeGray Lake with lodging and amenities, along with outdoor fun and adventure year-round. The resort offers tons of activities, including marina and boat rentals, swimming, trails, horseback riding, golf, disc golf, interpretive programs and tours, and an escape room.
Craters of Diamonds State Park (Murfreesboro, Ark.)
is the only place in the world where you can search for real diamonds, a variety of rocks, minerals, and gemstones in their original volcanic source. It’s kind of a big deal, and it’s just a short drive down the interstate. People of all ages will love sifting through the soil to hunt for treasures.
Find more things to do at home with your family here!