Sunday, May 27, 2012

Staycation Destination 1: Star Trek Exhibition

My husband Dan, my 13 year old son Tristan and I want to make sure that we get to have some fun this summer, but we don't have the funds or the time to go on a big vacation, so we decided to have a "staycation."  A staycation is when you have a vacation close to home.  We're adding a fun twist, our staycation will happen one day at a time on various days, and each destination can happen at any time and will be a total surprise for Tristan!  We've dubbed these single day trips a Secret Staycation Destination.  Tristan will never know it's coming, we'll get in the car and just go!  There are lots of great things to do in Missouri that are either cheap or free, so we'll have a lot to choose from throughout the summer.

Today I managed to get Tristan ready to go without him suspecting a thing.  When I called him down the hall so we could leave to "go to the store," Dan and I told him we were really going on a Secret Staycation Destination number one and then explained the concept, he was really excited!  First we hit the local Taco Bell for a quick bite and took our food on the road.  We drove from our home in the suburbs down to St. Louis, and went to the St. Louis Science Center, one of our family favorites.  But the special thing about this trip is that the Science Center is hosting the final days of the Star Trek Exhibition!  Tristan was really excited, he's been wanting to go for quite some time, and we just never got around to it. 
Captain Tristan Mueller of the Starship Enterprise and his crew!

The exhibition was really cool!  They had conceptual art from the series, a huge timeline of all the different series' and movies, lots of the actual ships models that were used, costumes, props and tons of other cool stuff that any Star Trek geek would love, and we did!  It was really interesting getting a close up look at the uniforms and props, I loved seeing the details of it all, and it was sometimes very interesting how what looked like a painted block of wood with some buttons and labels glued on ended up looking like pretty cool technology once in the hands of a costumed actor on set.  They also had several photo ops throughout the exhibition, we had our our photos taken on the bridge of the Enterprise from the original 1966 series, those photos were done as a green screen. (above)

Captian Dan, "Engage!"
We also had photos taken on an actual reproduction of the bridge of the Enterprise D from Star Trek The Next Generation.  They didn't allow other photography inside, but we did take some pics in other areas of the Science Center.  They also had a Star Trek gift shop where Tristan got a T-Shirt that looks like the shirts the science officers wore on the original series with the Starfleet combadge silk screened on it, he's always wanted one.

We all had a blast, I told Tristan to be ready at any time this summer for another Secret Staycation Destination, he loved the idea of being totally surprised, it added a lot to the fun of the day.  We were so hot and parched by the time we left, we drove through Hardees for some cold drinks and headed home for a dinner of homemade hot sub sandwiches and mac and cheese while we settled in the living room and watched some of the classic Star Trek on Netflix.

You might not be into Star Trek, but there are probably lots of other things you'd love to do this summer.  Do you want to try having a series of Secret Staycation Destinations this summer too? 
Secret Staycation Destinations ahead!

  • Do searches online to see if there are free plays in the park, concerts, fairs, and make a list of the dates.  Also pick out some fun places to visit like zoos, landmarks, art museums or parks that you like to visit, just be sure to choose things that appeal to your group.
  • At least one person has to plan it and know the destination, but you can keep it a surprise for the rest if you want, or choose someone else in the group to be in cahoots with you.
  • Plan your destinations on days when you know everyone is going to be available.  One of the best things about one day excursions is that you don't have to take a week off work, just do several trips to different destinations one day at a time.
  • To keep it a surprise, make up a trip to the store, Grandmas house, or some other rouse to get everyone looking decent and into the car.  Come up with a story that is hum-drum but will at least have everyone dressed appropriately for your destination, comfortable shoes, clothing, etc.  If your kids get bored in the car, have them bring their games along to keep them busy until you arrive.
  • Make sure you pack a small cooler with cold drinks and snacks in the trunk of the car.  Also pack bug spray or sunscreen, etc. if needed.  If you're going all day bring a picnic lunch to save lots of money.  Be sure to pack this stuff all in the trunk so they won't know you're going to a Secret Staycation Destination until you're on the road.
  • Even if you've found a free event, be sure to factor in gas money, parking fees, and a little extra for incidentals, you never know.
  • Once you're on the road you can make the announcement that you're going to a Secret Staycation Destination and let them ask questions on the way if you want, giving only the most elusive answers you can, this is really fun and builds up the anticipation. 
  • Have fun!  Make it special, and remember it's not about how far you go or how much money you spend, it's about spending time with people you love doing things that everyone will enjoy!
  • If you plan to be home by dinner time, be sure to have something really simple planned to prepare for dinner, you'll all be tired and hungry.
We're really looking forward to our next Secret Staycation Destination, sorry, it's a secret! I can't tell you (or Tristan) when or where, but I will be sure to share it all afterwards!

Bright Blessings!

1 comment:

  1. You should check out the lantern festival going on at the Missouri Botanical Garden! It's happening through August 19th. I'm gonna take my camera along and see if I can get Ian to go, too. It looks pretty cool. Here's a link to some more info if you're interested!


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