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Ask Ester: Ideas for a great staycation

Q. Due to the economy we are not able to go on a vacation this year. We like to keep our children active and also do things with our children, what do you recommend?
A. A “staycation”! There is nothing wrong with that and there are so many neat things you can do right here in Rowan County.
I am glad you mentioned staying active ó let’s start with our YMCA.
Besides our traditional full- day summer camps, we also offer half-day specialty camps like Acting in Film camp, Survivor camp, YMCA Model camp, So You Think You Can Dance camp, Art camp and a full day specialty sports camp.
As a family you can come and take a splash in one of our pools and get some rays and cool off on our outdoor Splash Pad.
Are you ready for a “mountain” climb? We have 12 walls, 24 feet high, with endless climbing possibilities for you and your children. How about a bike ride on a mountain or beach trail? Our Expresso bikes in our Xrkade will take care of that. Want to dance with your child on the Dance Dance Revolution? If your child is like my son, he or she can show you some awesome moves. Are you interested in bowling or a game of golf on the Wii, or playing volleyball outside on the field?
Hungry? Jan, from our deli will make you the best chicken or egg salad sub or salad. This year is the first time we have joined an outdoor pool. We joined our local West side pool and racquet club and so far we are loving it! We normally get a season pass to Carowinds but with the way gas prices are we decided to stay local and are very happy we did.
Don’t forget our other YMCAs and check them out to see all the great things they have to offer you in your Staycation. (Outdoor climbing ropes course, skate park to name a few)
“Digging” for precious stones? Dan Nicholas park has so many fun things to offer at no or low cost. How about a Safari? Not too far out of town we have the Lazy 5 Ranch where you can “go on safari” in your own car or on a wagon pulled by a beautiful Belgian draft horse.
Check with our local Chamber of commerce to get all the information about all the awesome stuff that will help you plan your staycation. In last week’s column I discussed making a vacation exercise and eating plan ó you should do the same with your staycation.
I believe the better you plan your staycation the more great things you will be able to do with your children, and the more things your children can be part of at no or low costs. I hope you were able to attend Pops at the Post this past Saturday. It is a great free cultural family event. If you missed it this year make sure you plan it in your staycation next year!
I believe with planning you can stay within your budget and make this summer a time you and your children will not forget.
I hope to see you again at the Y!
Next week: The importance of being CPR certified and having an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) in public places.
Contact Ester Marsh with health and fitness questions at 704-636-0111 or email her at emarsh@rowanymca.com.

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