The time between the hustle and bustle of the holidays and the awakening of Spring can often times be a cold and much needed time for vacation days.  Rather than jetting off to a tropical island for a week, we suggest having a winter staycation in the comfort of your home and town!  While it may be tempting to spend your week on the couch with a cozy blanket, we feel it’s also extra important to make the most of vacation days by planning some fun winter staycation activities.

A staycation is a great opportunity to strike a healthy balance between relaxation time and trying new activities.  We’ve put together a list of 7 local activities and ideas for you to try during your winter staycation.

Take a Cooking Class

Straight from the likes of Julia Child or Paula Deen (our southern takes over) – you yourself can be a self-proclaimed chef!  Zest Catering is one of the only local companies offering cooking classes.  For an incredibly reasonable cost, you can learn to cook Carne Asada or Italian cuisine – mama mia!  To sign up, visit the Zest website at zestcaters.com

Treat Yourself to Something Special

Pamper yourself – you deserve it!  We recommend Tracy’s Salon on Main.  Tracy’s is not only a full service salon, but also offers spa services including facials, microdermabrasion and a variety of massages.  You’re going to be so relaxed you won’t want your staycation to end!

Take and Arts & Crafts Class

Orchard Barn is a locally owned and operated business where you can create custom art, hold design parties and purchase specialty items.  Don’t worry about being too artistic – Orchard Barn makes everyone look like a professional and you can say ‘I made that’!  You can also make it a family affair and schedule time with the kids.  Find Orchard Barn on Facebook and take a look at all their fantastic creations.

Catch Some Local Talent

Much of the history of our community is made up of the sounds of the mountains and there is always traditional music being picked in the Heart of Appalachia.  Throughout the winter months, there is nothing more heart warming than taking in the local talent and catching a show.  We suggest visiting the Heart of Appalachia website – heartofappalachia.com – for a full calendar of shows throughout the chilly months – you are sure to find something you love!

Host a Party

Now, you may be thinking – a party, after the holidays?  When we say party we mean a low key event with close friends and family.  You’ll have extra time to prepare, which eliminates a lot of the stress that comes with hosting a party after a long work week.  You can have a totally casual get-together, or choose a fun theme – and feel free to think outside the box in that regard (since many of us are already flooded with invites to ugly sweater parties during the holiday season).  Watching movies and baking cookies is always a fun and low key group activity.  If your’re seriously missing the summer months, try a tropical theme – a few cheesy palm tree decorations. margaritas, and summery foods should do the trick.

Catch a Movie

Here in our town, we are lucky enough to have an impeccable movie experience!  If you are looking for the latest in new releases, Norton Cinema is your go to place!  Go watch ‘A Dog’s Way Home’ – and thank us later!  You can also have a vintage movie experience at the Park Avenue Theater located in downtown Norton.  Take it back several years for a timeless experience and check out their website at parkavenuetheater.com.

Take a Day Trip

When we say staycation, we don’t rule out the occasional day trip – in fact it can be rather refreshing!  Just a hop and skip away from Wise is Pikeville, Kentucky.  Known as the City that Moves Mountains, Pikeville has become quite the hub for tourism, and unique ‘play’ opportunities.  In your quest for a fun, yet relaxing day trip, we recommend scheduling a time at the Epic Escape Game where you are locked in a room for up to 60 minutes and given clues that will lead to your successful escape.  Pikeville is also home to Dueling Barrels Brewery and Distillery where the owners are Irish immigrants and found a special kinship with the mountains.  Emerge yourself in some local history and take the Hatfield and McCoy Driving tour designed to be a self-guided tour pointing you to the sites of each historic feud. 

Happy Staycationing!