Ester Marsh: ‘Staycation’ can be lots of fun!

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 25, 2024

A few weeks ago, I had two of my three grandchildren here at “camp Jaja.” It was supposed to be around August, but it was moved up and I made it work! You forget how many beautiful places we have right here in Rowan County. Of course, our new Bell Tower Green park is a gem, but I haven’t been to Dan Nicolas in a while and it is just beautiful. Another place I have heard of and finally was able to go to is Tiger World. It is right in Rockwell, and I love the place, and my kids and grands (2 and 4) do too. Lots of amazing memories made, and yes, it wore Jaja out. With Memorial Weekend here and kids out of school for the summer, I wanted to address that not all people are able to go on a trip during the summer months. Whether it’s due to finances, job, illness, you name it, fact is that not everyone goes on a vacation. Not going on a vacation does not mean you can’t make wonderful memories and have a fantastic summer.

Salisbury really works hard to have, recruit and bring exciting events to our city. So even if you don’t have any plans to go on vacation, plan your summer with exciting events during your staycation. Check out the website for an exciting summer schedule at

As I mentioned, our beautiful Dan Nicolas was a hit with my grands. Many of the activities are free and if there is a cost, it is very low. Besides Tiger World, we have Lazy 5 Ranch. I have mentioned Salisbury Community Park before, it’s off Hurley School Road and it’s a beautiful park to take your dog(s) on a leash, your mountain bike, run the trails or walk on a paved path that goes past Salisbury Community Lake with plenty fish in this lake for fishing which can be a great fun family event. Make sure you get your permit through N.C. Wildlife before you throw your line in the lake. How about our transportation museum? Truly, I am only touching some of the amazing activities/places you can go to right here in Rowan County.

As you can see, with planning and a little bit of research, you can have a fun-filled, active summer. Of course at our YMCA, we have a fun-filled Camp Wallace summer camp each week this summer. This year, we really have stepped it up and camp is going to be amazing. How about coming to the pool and splash pad with your family? The Fred Corriher Branch in China Grove also has a splash pad and fields and trails to stay active in a fun, safe environment. With the YMCA reciprocity, you can go to any YMCA in the country for free! As long you go 51% to your home YMCA, you can visit all the others. University YMCA, on this side of Charlotte, has an amazing outdoor splash park and outdoor pool with slides which is so much fun. And/or join a local outdoor pool, just because you are not going on a vacation doesn’t mean that this summer has to be uneventful or boring. Check your budget (if any at all) check your days and plan this summer so it is memorable, fun and active for you and your family. And if it’s just you, check with your local YMCA, your churches or Rufty-Homes for fun-filled trips and activities to keep you active and excited throughout the summer. I am wishing everyone a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend, please take a moment to honor the U.S. military personnel who have died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

And I am also wishing you a fit and active summer whether it’s on vacation or staycation!

Ester H. Marsh is director of healthy living of the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA.