A staycation (or stay-cation, or stacation) is a period of time in which an individual or family stays at home and relaxes at home.
As there are many families going through tough economic times right now, I thought it would be a good time to talk about Staycations. Even if you can’t afford to go far during your vacation time this year, you can still take the opportunity to make it a fun time for your kids and add a little culture while you’re at it. Recently, we hosted an Argentinian Wine Tasting Party and I thought why not extend this fun to the whole family and make a week out of it. I love a theme, so I’ve come up with some ideas so that you can pretend you are visiting Argentina for the week.
Most important thing you need is food. Argentinians love their beef and barbecued meats so stock up. This recipe for ‘Best Chimichurri Sauce’ was found in House and Home Magazine in August’08. Chimichurri Sauce is an Argentinian condiment. I served it with beef tenderloin, barbecued and then thinly sliced, placed on top of fresh bread slices and topped with this garlic and parsley condiment. It was delicious and easy to make!
For best results, use a mini food processor to turn the aromatics into a paste.
3 large cloves garlic, peeled 2 shallots 1 bay leaf 2 tbsp red wine vinegar 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves ( or 1/2 dried) 1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes 1/2 tsp salt several grindings of black pepper pinch sugar 2 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves ( gently pressed into measuring cup) 1/2 cup olive oil 1. Combine first 10 ingredients in mini food processor and puree to a paste. Scrape into bowl. 2. Finely chop parsley in food processor. Add to garlic mixture. 3. Stir in olive oil. Chill at least one hour (or overnight) before serving with barbecued meats.
Next the family needs to learn to Tango! You can watch instructional videos on youtube such as this one:
Get some roses (real or plastic) for the kids to use as they tango around the room. You can also find tango music to play on itunes by listening to the Latino radio stations or find music to purchase by typing Argentina tango in the search box.
Greet your kids each morning with ‘Ola Buenos dias’ and say ‘Gracias’ at every opportunity. Encourage your kids to learn some new Spanish words. You can find free Spanish lessons on-line at:
Plan activities that you would normally do on vacation, but near your own home such as hiking, swimming or kayaking. Before you go, you can watch some videos on Argentina so that you can imagine the scenery while you are there.
Ushuaia, Argentina- penguins-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dk-FIi0kSKY&feature=related
Patagonia- Argentina- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0jlOF7Bci8
- organize a soccer game with friends and family
- rent some movies based in or about Argentina. See this list for ideas http://www.amazon.com/gp/richpub/syltguides/fullview/11RHHX0TVZUK2
- buy or borrow from the library some children’s books on Argentina http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&keywords=Argentina&rh=n%3A4%2Ck%3AArgentina&page=1
- For young children give them a snorkel and mask in the bathtub to find the penguins and seals
- Make craft time all about penguins. Try some of these ideas! http://familycrafts.about.com/od/penguins/Penguin_Projects.htm
- the adults can sample Argentinian wines all week or host a wine tasting party (http://www.argentinawineguide.com/), I recommend Don Nicanor blend or Malbec
Do you have any other ideas? Post a comment and share!