How to have a Summer Staycation in Toowoomba

Getting #FOMO thanks to all your friends’ Instagram holiday posts? Not for long.

As much as we love the long summer holidays, it’s not always easy to get out of town for a short break when the New Year has rolled in and everyone’s spent from Christmas. But even if you’re not driving the family up the coast, you can still have the perfect staycation close to home.                                                                                               
We’ve picked five things to do in the Toowoomba region in the New Year, so you can capture that vacation feeling without leaving the comfort of your own home.

1. Start a new book

One of the great joys of holiday relaxation is diving into a new book – a good story can transport you wherever your imagination is ready to take you. Whether you’re leafing through a paperback on the verandah, or thumbing your way through an eBook, there’s no escape quite like reading.

Some of the must-read releases of 2017 include The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club by homegrown author Sophie Green, The Last Tudor by New York Times best-selling scribe Philippa Gregory, and The Vandemonian War, Nick Brodie’s history of British colonialists’ conflicts with the Aboriginal people of Tasmania.

Visit QBD or Dymocks to stack up on your summertime reading.

2. Try a dish you wouldn’t normally try

Vacations are all about splurging on fancy restaurants with unfamiliar cuisine, but when you’re on staycation, you can experiment with new tastes minus the price tag. Set aside your weekly staples – the spaghetti bolognese, the veggie stir fry – and let your inner Nigella Lawson shine through with some kitchen flair.

If you’re looking for recipe inspiration, pick up a new cookbook like Jamie Oliver's new 5 Ingredients  (now at QBDor try Nigella's latest At My Table: A Celebration Of Home Cooking (available at Dymocks). 

Or chat to the friendly retailers in The Market Room, namely Toowoomba Fresh, Central Seafood Market, Andrews Meats or Hanaro Mart (for some Korean inspiration) who’ll be more than happy to recommend a new dish and the ingredients you need to achieve it.

For many though, a true holiday means no dishes. Why not dine in at Chong Co, Yum Cha or Noodle Hut for some delicious Asian cuisine or the recently opened Vapiano for an Italian experience.

3. Go to a show

What’s a holiday without a night out? From the glitz and glamour of musical theatre to intimate cabaret, stand-up comedy and live music, the summer holidays has no shortage of options. 

However, you don’t have to head to the big smoke to see some great shows, with plenty to see and do around the region. Check out What's On at The Empire Theatre with everything from an Elvis Impersonator to the Chinese show Shen Yun in January, or see some free live music in one of our many parks with TRC's Summer Tunes 2018.

Or find your inner creative at USQ's McGregor Music Summer or Arts Retreat program in 2018 and tell ‘em we sent you.

4. Take a class and meet new people

From basket weaving to birdwatching, flower arranging to fire twirling, there’s a class for every hobby under the sun these days. What’s more, your town's craft or hobby classes provide a great opportunity to meet some like-minded locals who share your interests (and your desire to learn new skills).

There are ample opportunities to take a class in the New Year and we recommend checking out TRC's The CHANGE Project for classes in Seed to Feed or weekly social gardening at the community organic gardens; or try your hand at one of their fitness classes.

For something different, check out Darling Downs Potters' Club who are offering beginners classes for wheel, hand building and children at the beginning of every term throughout 2018.

5. Have a bubble bath (or a dip in the pool)

No, seriously. It’s not a holiday without some ‘me’ time, so switch off your phone and kick back in the warmth of water. A holiday trip to the beach is fun, but there’s nothing quite like soaking your troubles away in private. The more suds, the better – unless you happen to be in the pool instead of the bath.

Karma Living has all you need for maximum relaxation, or try The Body Shop for all your body and bath needs.

And if you’re still not sure how to spend your staycation these Summer Holidays, come visit us in-Centre and enjoy a lunch with friends, spoil yourself with a new summer outfit, or zone out in the comfort of a cool dark cinema at BCC

Happy holidays!