Happening in Kansas City
You usually hear the voice before you see the man. It’s a deep, gravelly, full-throated voice that people can hear from across the room, and it’s usually spewing out laugh-inducing insults — sometimes crude, sometimes cutting, but always good-natured — into a nightclub crowded with karaoke revelers or drag show audiences. The distinctive voice belongs to Robert “Buddy” Taylor, a fixture of the Kansas City gay nightlife scene, who has worked at, performed at, owned or managed so many bars and nightclubs here since the mid-1980s.
His latest venture is the Main Street bar Sidekicks Saloon, which he bought during the summer. OUTvoices Kansas City sat down with Buddy to talk about his life and career.
“I was raised out in the country on a farm,” he begins. “It was great. I loved living out on a farm. … I played in the first gay softball league in the 1980s, and the rest is history.”
Later, after relocating to Florida, Buddy returned to Kansas City on vacation and stopped into “this little bar called Changes. … And I asked the manager how hard it was to tend bar. … And this was actually a Monday night, and he told me that one of their barbacks had just quit and if I wanted to come in the next night, I could just barback Tuesday and Wednesday and I could make some money on my vacation. I said, ‘Well, you know, it just seems like everybody has so much fun [behind the bar>.’”
This account illustrates two of Buddy’s most significant qualities: his tremendous work ethic (I mean, really, who gets a job while on vacation?) and his love of the social life inherent in the nightclub scene. His barback gig quickly turned into a bartending job, and Buddy decided to return to Kansas City permanently.
Later, in 1986, he began working at the now-shuttered Club Cabaret, tending bar there for many years. In 1994, he moved to a new venue, Missie B’s, which was not much more than a storefront bar at the time. That’s where his Belle Star persona was born.
Having performed in several Bartender Revues up to that point, Buddy remembers “walking up to the stage, and someone said, ‘You need to get a drag name, bitch!’ And I said ‘Let’s come up with one.’ And we ended up having a contest that was six weeks. We got 5,000 names, and I narrowed it down to the top 12. … And that’s how my name Belle Star came about.”
Eventually, Buddy left Missie B’s to open his own bar, Time Out, which catered to a Latino crowd. That venue, successful as it was, was torn down by the city to make way for the Sprint Center. Then, soon after a venture that was marred by an unfortunate partnership, Buddy returned to Missie B’s and began doing shows again.
Jan Allen, now manager of Missie B’s, has known and worked with Buddy for two decades. “When he left here and he got his own bar, I think that it was sort of a struggle. But he built a crowd. And then the city came in and said, ‘We’re going to tear this building down.’”
Allen says of Buddy’s career: “I think his charity work is definitely one of the highlights.”
She is referring to the extensive fundraising that Buddy has done for Family Health Care on Southwest Boulevard, a nonprofit safety-net clinic that provides family medical care. For the clinic, Buddy began the “12 Months of Christmas,” which held benefit performances throughout the year to buy gifts for young patients affected by HIV. Eventually, these performances morphed into the “Angel Tree Fund,” where bar customers can adopt a Christmas angel ornament for which they pledge a holiday gift for a clinic patient.
Now, with Sidekicks Saloon, Buddy has moved into a new chapter of his career, and this one is not without a bit of controversy. Sidekicks traditionally has been Kansas City’s gay and lesbian country and western venue, but now it will cater to a more diverse crowd, with drag shows, Latino-themed nights and karaoke.
Some in the community have criticized these changes, but Buddy defends them.
“If you bring me enough country people to keep it open seven nights a week … I’ll do it,” he said. “But you can’t — there’s not enough country people, and this is not just in Kansas City. … There’s not enough young cowboys growing. ... Running Sidekicks, I have to do what pays the bills.”
This pragmatism is characteristic of Buddy. Aside from all the fun and games involved in the nightclub business, it is a business, and hard choices underlie all of it. The fact is that Sidekicks Saloon may have closed if Buddy had not bought it. And the upgrades he’s made are impressive — new bar tops, tiling, improved restrooms and nifty freeway shield and neon sign designs give the place a clean and expansive feel that still preserves the country and western look.
Darren Steinwand, owner of the gay sports bar OutABounds, has known Buddy for several years. “Buddy,” he says, “is somebody that, honestly, hands down, is very open-hearted, very caring as far as taking care of other people and doing what he can to help.”
Jan Allen agrees: “People love Buddy, and he will always have a following.”
But perhaps Buddy puts it best when asked what he sees for his and his new bar’s future — “I expect to be successful. I expect no less. We are well on our way, well on our way, and I’m happy.” "
If you are ever in need, please use one of these national resources for the trans community. Most resources are not just for the transgender community and can help any LGBTQ+ person in need. If we don't have your location listed, you can ask the national organizations to help you search for locations close to your home.
National Suicide Hotlines
National Suicide Prevention Chat: Available to the U.S and U.S territories for free, online support
BeFrienders Worldwide: This gives access to suicide prevention lines and chats all over the world, just select your country and it will direct you toward the correct correspondence
Find a local Helpline: Which gives access to suicide prevention lines and chats all over the world
Trans Lifeline: Available in the US- at 1-877-565-8860 and in Canada- at 1-877-330-6366 both are 24/7, confidential, and free
LGBT National Help Center: This provides all of the following amazing resources!
Toll-Free National Hotline
Monday – Friday 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. ET
Saturday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET
Monday – Friday 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. ET
Saturday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET
For teens and young adults up to age 25
Online Peer-Support Chat
Monday – Friday 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. ET
Saturday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET
One-on-one confidential peer support; not for casual chatting.
Trans Teens Online Talk Group
Weekly moderated group for trans teens ages 12 – 19
Wednesday from 7-9 p.m. ET
Join the group here
The Gay & Lesbian Switchboard of New York
Monday – Friday 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. ET
Saturday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET
NYC hotline providing peer support and information on local resources
Advocacy Organizations for the Transgender Community
National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) - provides information, support, and advocates for transgender people
Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC)- Helps to advance equality for trans people of color
Trans Women of Color Collective (TWOCC)- Advocacy group for transgender women of color
Trans Latina Coalition- Advocacy group for the Latin Transgender community
Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC)- Advocacy group located in Massachusetts
Transgender American Veterans Association- Advocacy for Transgender Vets
The Task Force's Transgender Civil Rights Project- Advocacy and education about trans issues
PFLAG's Transgender Ally campaign- Advocacy and allyship campaign
HRC's transgender resources- Resources and advocacy for trans rights
Family and Trans Youth Support
Gender Spectrum- Provides advocacy and support for families, transgender youth, and educators
Gender Diversity- Provides advocacy and support for families, transgender youth, and educators
Trans Families- Provides advocacy and support for families, transgender youth, and educators
Trans Youth Equity Foundation- Provides support for families and trans youth
PFLAG Our Trans Loved Ones- Support for families with people who have trans members
COLAGE Kids of Trans Community- Support for children with transgender parents
Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF)- Legal Defense for those who identify within the transgender spectrum
Transgender Law Center (TLC)- National legal services and advocacy for transgender people
Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP)- Legal services for trans people
Trans Doe Task Force- Legal services for trans people
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)- Provides legal services for trans individuals
GLAD Trans Rights- Gives legal help and provides information about your rights
National Center for Lesbian Rights - Transgender Law- Has legal outlets for the transgender community as well as a surplus of legal information
NCTE- A collective of over 80 organizations compiled to help navigate the name and gender change process
NCTE Directory- Compilation of the US and national resources for legal help for the trans community
American Bar Association- Has a list of resources for education and help regarding transgender legal issues in the US
Transgender Youth and Equality- Provides legal support to transgender youth as well as education about rights
Trans Equality- Information regarding gender equality and your housing rights
CenterLink- Helps find an LGBT community center
AKT- A UK resource center that provides housing to LGBT+ community members under the age of 26
Stonewall Housing- Provides LGBT+ members housing and support throughout the UK and London
Bill Wilson Center- Provides support and housing for all members of the LBGT+ community as well as families
Los Angeles Host Home- Resources for finding host homes for LGBT+ Youth throughout California
Time Out Youth- Helps Provide homes for transgender youth who have been kicked out of their home
National Coalition for the Homeless- Provides resources to help find local homeless shelters/housing/host homes
National Homeless Law Center- Provides policy advocacy, public education, litigation, and advocacy training and support to prevent and end homelessness and to protect the rights of people experiencing homelessness
Support Groups for the Trans Community - Kansas City
- Trans+Social: Weekly social support group held at UMKC exclusively for trans+ individuals who are college students or young adult community members. Email email@example.com for the current time and location.
- Trans+Allies: Facilitated discussion group open to everyone. Held once per month during the academic year (Sept-Dec, Feb-May) at UMKC. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the current time, location, and topics.
- EQUAL Trans Support Group: Held at the LIKEME Lighthouse (3909 Main St.), 5-8 p.m. on 3rd Thursdays. Open to everyone. Contact email@example.com for more information.
- SOFFA (Significant Others, Family, Friends, and Allies) of Transgender Persons: 6:30-8:30 p.m. on 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at various Johnson County libraries. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the current location.
- PFLAG: Held monthly at 3 p.m. on the 4th Sunday at the LIKEME Lighthouse and the 2nd Sunday at Village Presbyterian (6641 Mission Rd.) For parents, family, friends, and LGBT+ individuals.
Note: Check out http://likemelighthouse.org/calendar/ for social events for LGBT+ individuals.
Counseling Options for the Trans Community - Kansas City
If you are a student, college counseling centers often offer a number of free sessions per year. As with all counseling centers, it is recommended that you request a counselor who is knowledgeable about trans issues.
- Community Counseling and Assessment Services at UMKC: Offers income-based counseling with counseling practicum students; sessions as low as $5. 816-235-2725
- Counseling Services: Brookside 51 Building, Room 201 816-235-1635 email@example.com
- T. Michael Henderson, MS, LPC, LCPC: 7280 NW 87th Terr., Suite 210, Kansas City, Mo.; 816-841-7772
- Teresa Rose, Ph.D.: 4200 Somerset Dr., Suite 239, Prairie Village, Kan.; 816-363-9500
- Richard Abloff, Ph.D.: 6306 Walnut St., Kansas City, Mo.; 816-444-7890
- Daniel C. Claiborn, Ph.D.: 8826 Santa Fe Dr., Suite 170; Overland Park, Kan.; 913-438-2100
- Donna J Davis, PLPC: 816-442-3481, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Megan Monroe, LSCSW: 816-435-2829; MMonroeMSW@kc.rr.com; MeganMonroeMSW.com
- Transgender Institute: Caroline Gibbs and Patti Concannon. Therapy geared toward MTF and FTM individuals wishing to transition, as well as children and teens; 8080 Ward Parkway, Suite 400, Kansas City, Mo.; 816-305-0943
- Trevor Lifeline: An LGBT+ 24/7 counseling/crisis line: 866-488-7386
Health Care for the Trans Community - Kansas City
- KC CARE Health Clinic: Offers a range of free health care services. 3515 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; 816-753-5144 http://www.kccareclinic.org/ (Also offers counseling)
- Truman Medical Center: Free and reduced-cost medical care, including specialists; 2301 Holmes St., Kansas City, Mo.; 816-404-1000; http://www.trumed.org/ (Also offers counseling at 300 W. 19th Terr.: 816-404-5700) Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm
- Transgender Surgery Services In Kansas: This is a compiled list of hospitals and doctors throughout Kansas that do gender-affirming surgeries.
- KU Medical Center: These are the names of trans-friendly providers that work for the Kansas University Medical Center: Practitioners: Meredith Gray, MD OB-GYN; Taryn Acosta Lentz, Ph.D. – Merriam, KS; Margaret Tuttle, Physician’s Assistant – Kansas City, KS; Kathryn Thiessen, Adult Health Nurse Practitioner – Wichita
- Sharon Lee, M.D.: 340 Southwest Blvd. Kansas City, Kan.; 913-722-3100; informed consent hormone therapy without a referral from a counselor.
- Mary Jacobs, A.P.R.N.: 1001 N. Minneapolis Wichita, Kan.; 316-293-1840; informed consent hormone therapy.
- Cynthia Glass, M.D.: 373 W. 101st Terr., Kansas City, Mo.; 816-942-8200. Provides hormone therapy. Requests a referral.
- Gender Pathway Services at Children’s Mercy Hospital: pediatric endocrinologist Jill Jacobson, M.D. This clinic provides counseling and health care for transgender children; 816-478-5254 or 816-960-8803
Legal Aid for the Trans Community - Kansas City
- Madeline Johnson, gender attorney. 4051 Broadway, Suite 4, Kansas City, Mo.; 816-607-1836; MJohnson@ELMLAWKC.com. Handles discrimination claims, name changes, gender marker changes, and birth certificate amendments.
- OutLaws: UMKC Program that connects LGBT+ students with law students to help with the legalization of name changes and more. 500 E 52nd St. UMKC School of Law Kansas City, MO 64110 United State of America Contact Email E: Jcwbfv@mail.umkc.edu
- ID Change: Hub for name and gender marker change in Kansas
Editor’s Note: The University of Missouri Kansas City established a Trans+Social Group in February 2014 to provide a safe space for individuals who identify as transgender to meet, connect and discuss topics related to gender identity and expression. Two UMKC School of Education students in the counseling psychology doctoral program, Alex Ross and Michelle Farrell, helped create this program. The group is open to UMKC students of all ages and young adults in the Kansas City area who identify as transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, genderfluid, gender non-conforming, non-binary, bigender, agender, third gender, questioning, and/or somewhere beyond the binary gender system. Ross posted this resource guide on the Facebook page called LGBT in KC, and we are reprinting it with her permission.
last updated June 17, 2022
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After the last 2 years of dealing with the pandemic and packing on those COVID pounds here are some motivational quotes that can be the spark plugs to our wellness engines. You can have a full tank of gas, a clean carburetor, all the fluids topped off, and 300 horsepower of Detroit’s finest under the hood, but you’re going nowhere without that initial spark. In your quest for well-being, you need a catalyst to move you from idle to ideal. Here are some motivational jolts to inspire you to get your health and fitness vehicle moving.
Make time for exercise each dayPhoto by Victor Freitas on Unsplash
Thomas Paine said, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” You will have conflicts with making time for exercise each day. The treadmill will conflict with your enjoyment of the living-room couch and its fluffy pillows. Your body will engage in conflict with dumbbells and exercise balls as it seeks better health. Embrace these conflicts with excitement, and walk through the smoke and fire. Triumph is waiting on the other side.
Marathon runnersPhoto by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash
John F. Kennedy said, “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” The firefighter’s 55-pound weight loss did not just happen one day on a call. The computer programmer’s success in the Chicago Marathon did not just happen on a Sunday in October. The 4th grade teacher’s significant drop in cholesterol level did not just happen the day before spring break. These people made things happen…and it took time.
Ralph Marston of The Daily Motivator website, wrote, “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” Let today be the first day in 28 years without a cigarette. Stay an extra five minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym today. Start training today for the three-day breast cancer walk that is scheduled for the fall. Tomorrow is always waiting to see what you put in your piggy bank today. Invest wisely and watch the dividends grow.
Full MoonPhoto by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Jill McLemore once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars.” Set that goal to trim 75 pounds from your body. Only losing 42 pounds puts you way out there with the North Star. Aim to run 750 miles this year. Coming up 68 miles short will still put you past that former planet Pluto and on your way to the Orion constellation. Dropping eight waist sizes by Christmas instead of the projected 10 will let you glow with the luminescence of several brilliant wonders in the sky. By the way, I think there’s a full moon tonight!
Zig Ziglar stated, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Tom Cruise was another aspiring pretty face in Hollywood about 30 years ago before starting to audition for parts in TV shows. Jared Fogle was a morbidly obese college student at Indiana University in the 1990s before beginning his Subway diet. Mark Zuckerberg was just another starry-eyed Ivy Leaguer until he began to implement a social network idea. They all have that common bond: They started something.
These motivational quotes should help get your wellness engine running and once your car is started there’s no telling where your health and fitness can go. Don't forget to end me a postcard when you get there!
This health and fitness article is brought to you by that guy who’s sneaky like a black hole and bright like a nebula. My name is Ron Blake and I can be found playing with my telescope at email@example.com.
Every year, many people put aside their work, daily stresses and responsibilities and escape on a vacation, somewhere far away from reality. It may be a secluded retreat in the mountains, or days relaxing at an exotic beach or resort. However, with the pandemic including social distancing, travel restrictions, and financial constraints, those plans may have to be shelved. But the desire to escape reality is very much alive. So, with many people remaining in their homes, how can that off-work journey happen? We have some tips for making the best of the situation and creating vacation memories without leaving home. It’s called a staycation.
What’s a staycation?
A staycation is, quite simply, a vacation at home. How realistic, how exciting, or how relaxing you make it is up to you. Theme it up for a more authentic “away-from-home” experience.
What makes a great staycation? Well, that depends on what you consider a vacation. Some people want adventure, while others like relaxing with a drink in their hand. Still others use vacation time to unwind by tackling DIY projects such as renovations. So, what would you enjoy doing if you could craft your own staycation? (Which, by the way, you can.)
Commit to it
Once you’ve decided to schedule a staycation – whatever it ends up being – commit to it. Mark it on your calendar. Plan for it. Make concrete plans. Research for the top tips for your staycation. If you’re working, ask for those days off of work. Don’t just say you’re going to have a vacation and spend the weekend lounging on the sofa, noshing on Cheetos and surfing the internet, unless a week of rest is the staycation you’ve planned.
Whenever you’re going for vacation in your home – especially in these times when so many of us are working from home – try to unplug so your mind’s not on work and responsibilities. It’s especially important to take time off from work when you are working from home. Set your work email to the “out of office” setting and write an auto-reply message. Then, don’t check your work emails unless absolutely necessary. Consider NOT telling your boss that you’re vacationing at home. Turn your cell phone off or on silent, and set a small window of time each day to check for email messages.
Skip the news. The idea is to get away from stress, away from reality. Just concentrate on your vacation experience. The news cycle can wait for a week. Really, it can. This is the time to be good to yourself.
Prepare for your staycation much like you’d prep for any other vacation. Create your itinerary. Decide what kind of activities you would like to do each day of your vacation. What kind of staycation would you like? Cultural learning, straight-up fun, pampering, relaxing? Write your vacation goals down, and then make a game plan. Don’t want to cook while on vacation? Gather menus from local restaurants that deliver, and have them on hand. You could even incorporate different restaurants into the theme of your vacation.
Before your official vacation start time, do all the necessary prep work. Complete all chores in advance. Wash the dishes, dust, pay the bills, scrub the toilets, empty the trash. Do the laundry BEFORE your staycation begins. You don’t really want to be sorting and folding while on vacation, do you?
Set the Mood for your Staycation
Many people have saved money in anticipation of an annual vacation to pay for things like hotel rooms, meals, plane tickets and a rental car. Why not channel some of those funds into your at-home vacation paradise?
Create your staycation space – really, truly, set up a space that exudes the theme of your vacation. Move the furniture, change the lighting, order pillows, fairy lights or scented candles – whatever your theme is, run with it. Look at magazines or online trip websites for inspiration. Think about the destination you want. Paradise under the palms? Set up a piña colada or margarita station at home. Roll up the rugs and go barefoot like you’re on the beach. Set up a hammock between backyard trees or on your back porch.
Dreaming of a mountain retreat? Set out pine-scented candles and decorate the room with cottage home decor. Plan for any purchases you’ll need for your staycation. Does your week require some relaxing pillows, aromatherapy candles, a tent or hammock? Dreaming of an overseas vacation? Hit the international foods section of your grocery and stock up on items from that region to set the mood. Planning a spa retreat week? Buy a set of high-thread-count sheets, a couple of luxurious pillows, scented bath salts, essential oils, and a super-soft robe.
To make your staycation ambiance even more realistic, you can make a vacation soundtrack with music that reminds you of that particular place, or perhaps a past favorite vacation that you’d like to recreate. Going to the beach in your mind? Ramp up some Jimmy Buffet music. Missing that trip to Brazil this summer? Make your own compilation of Brazilian favorites including the likes of Roberto Carlos or Anitta. Or, queue up some internet music mixes.
Think about your favorite luxury hotel amenities and try to replicate some of those special touches at your own staycation. Love peppermints or chocolates on your pillows? Do it. How about a fruit basket, or a water pitcher of cold spring water infused with the subtle flavor and inviting look of cut fruit? Make it happen. This is all about helping you feel like you’re somewhere else.
How about a pampering week, helping you release all the stress that’s built up this year? Consider a self-care “getaway” with a spa day, a YouTube yoga session, or a self-manicure. Start a journal of self-discovery. Draw a warm bubble bath, adding some calming essential oils like lavender or chamomile. Slip into the welcoming suds as you relax your mind and body. Soft music and candles invite you to soak away the stress. Then, wrap yourself up in the soft hug of a luxurious robe. This vacation is all about being good to yourself.
Retail Therapy Weekend
If you have money saved up that you won’t spend on a vacation this summer and miss shopping, you may want to arrange a retail therapy staycation. Curl up on the sofa with a glass of wine and start online shopping. You could budget what you had already set aside for your anticipated actual vacation, and spend some of that money, or just “window-shop” and dream from the comfort of your favorite recliner.
Plan Future Vacations
You can’t travel much right now, but the future is wide open. You’ve been staring at your walls for quite a while now, longing to escape. Why not start that escape, at least in your mind? Begin planning your post-pandemic dream holiday or road trip (or plane trip). There’s no time like the present to ponder where you’d like to visit – start with the continent or country, and narrow it down from there. Search online for destinations, hotels and fun activities. Jot them down and start planning for next year.
Look online for interesting destinations and then start searching for places you can stay, like at hotels or bed and breakfast inns. What kind of activities can you participate in while there? Plan who will take care of your home, pets, how you will get to the airport, and even whether you will need airport parking when you get there. The things that usually stress you will be all figured out. There are plenty of online resources online, like travelbinger, that will make this task easier. Take notes, plan your budget, and work out the details so when it’s time to fly the pandemic coop, you’ll have all your ducks in a row for your next adventure.
Cook a fancy dinner
The internet is filled with how-to-cook videos. Zero in on one and cook that meal and impress your spouse or family. See if you can find fanciful foods that fit into the theme of your staycation. Or, ask your family to pamper you and cook (including doing the dishes.). You can also sign up for delivered meal preparation kits. These kits arrive at your doorstep with all of the ingredients, already prepped, along with step-by-step directions. You’ll feel like a professional chef in no time.
You may be someone who just needs to chill for a vacation. Vacations don’t always have to be about excitement and activity. Sometimes, you just need peace and quiet to de-stress from life. Create your zen vacation in a quiet place of your home – make it off limits to children (if you have them). Then, unplug your clocks or put them in the closet so you can’t see them. Turn off your phone, put on earphones (if there’s house noise you can’t block out) and just…chill.
Go camping for your staycation – for a night, a week, or somewhere in between – you choose. Set up a tent in the backyard, complete with sleeping bags and camp lights. Don’t forget the mosquito repellent or citronella candles. Pack up snacks in bags for a more authentic experience, and string lights in the trees or at the top of the tent for some extra ambiance.
Snag a couple of bags of ice from the store and fill a cooler with food and drinks to keep with the campout theme. Cook your meals on a grill, or have a fire pit if regulations allow. Roast marshmallows or craft s’mores. Tell stories around the fire. Stay up too late and laugh too much.
If your idea of camping is closer to glamping, or you don’t have a backyard, then move things indoors. Set up a tent or have your kids create a tent by hanging sheets and other fabrics in clever ways. Unleash your children’s creativity with tent-making – they know how to make the best tents and forts. Set up your indoor camping ambiance with flashlights and flameless candles for light sources. Eat from paper plates and make s’mores in the microwave. Search for a campfire video to play on your TV.
Have a family costume night or a themed party during your staycation. Challenge your kids to dress up as their favorite movie character, singer, or superhero, using clothes, props and supplies already in your home.
Love watching movies? Build a staycation around that. Have a themed movie marathon. Each family member picks a movie that you all watch, or you could categorize movies, like comedies, animation, action or another genre. Don’t forget the popcorn. Plan ahead and surprise your “movie audience” with their favorite movie theater candy and sodas.
Romantic Night in
Try to set up a cozy, romantic room or patio area to enjoy a night in with your loved one. Group candles around your backyard. Flameless candles are great and there’s no fire hazard. Set up a hammock or pillows or some other way to relax. Chill a bottle of wine, soda or whatever happens to be your favorite beverage. Make up a cheese tray. It can be fancy, or it can be laid-back. Pour a bag of chips into a bowl if that’s your style. Set the perfect mood for a romantic staycation. Play some music, relax, and kickback.
Many people love to travel to new locations and learn about culture, architecture, art, languages, food, and more. The opportunity to learn something new during your staycation is limited only by your imagination.
Because of the pandemic, many museums now offer free virtual tours. Spend days in the Louvre, or take an interactive tour of Mark Twain’s house. Visit zoos virtually, or set up Zoom meetings with friends or relatives in different countries so you can practice conversing in a foreign language.
Travel the world for free using your local library card. Libraries have a wealth of e-books available to download from the library’s website onto your own device. Just pick them out and download, prop your feet up and escape into a mystery, thriller, romance, fantasy, or whatever genre you enjoy. Have your favorite beverage and snacks near your reading haven.
Take an online class on cooking, digital art, sewing, or something that intrigues you. This is your staycation. If your goal is to spend more time outdoors, consider starting a new flower or vegetable garden or a compost pile. Set up a rain barrel water collection system, making use of the rainwater rolling off your roof.
You can even make it a learning vacation for your pet. Learn how to teach your pet tricks or a new skill, like sniffing out smells. Or, just chill with your cuddly cat on your lap. For some, that’s a heavenly vacation.
For those who would rather “do” than chill, spend your staycation time learning a new craft. Clear out your schedule and spend that time really digging into whatever it is you want to learn. Use budgeted summer vacation money to order acrylic or oil paints, modeling clay, mosaics or stained glass supplies, whatever strikes your fancy, and learn a new skill you’ll maintain long after your staycation is over.
Renovate a Space in your Home
For those who need to be active during vacations, think about a renovation vacation. Since you’ve been home so much the last two months, no doubt you’ve zeroed in on a corner or a room of your house that’s begging for an update or a redo. Your construction project can make the whole family feel involved and useful. Repaint the kitchen and add a backsplash or replace the flooring. Update your bedroom, adding new curtains or blinds. Turn that depressing basement into a new game room, guest room or home office. Browse among the DIY articles from professionals for inspiration and guidance.
Whatever your stay-at-home vacation fantasy is, try to make it happen. This pandemic won’t last forever, and the vacation you take this summer, at your own home, may just spark some of the best memories ever. Don’t forget to take photos!
For more ideas visit porch.com