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The holidays don't have to end

Christmas is over. The New Year is over. School holidays is over. I am lucky that it is summer in Australia and I live near the beach, so I can make the holidays last a little longer. Sometimes I make them last all year. And here are few ways I do this, that you might like to do yourself:

1. Annual pass to the zoo. In August 2020, needing to do something that was getting out of the house and giving me a break from writing without taking up all day, I purchased an annual pass to our local wildlife park. Mogo Zoo is a fabulous zoo. It began life as a rescue sanctuary for wild animals and is now part of a conservation program. It currently has a very well-established and content white lion pride. I bought the pass for $99, and a single visit is $35 for an adult. I went 3 times in 2 months, so it's paid for itself already. And now that the school holidays are over I can go back to visit my furry friends, in the peace and quiet of the non-school-holiday period.

2. Local walks. Hidden in my suburb is a boardwalk that takes you along a cove and if you keep walking along you will come to another boardwalk through mangroves. It's so well hidden that only the locals know about it. Yes, I take visitors along this walk, and yes, if I see a tourist out walking I will stop them and tell them about this peaceful walk. It is magical. I take this a few times a year. This year I plan to take a book and a picnic with me to really give myself that 'holiday year-round' vibe. I also simply take a walk around my home town of Batemans Bay. I take a book and act like a tourist.

3. Local arty shops and museums. Most towns have a shop or a couple that sells unusual arty objects. Couple this with a visit to a local museum or art gallery and you can have yourself a day out that is also free. My local arty shopping district is Mogo, the same town as the zoo, and I often wander around the shops, have a bite for lunch, look at the art, check out the art supply shop for things that I have no intention of buying. I pretend I'm a tourist and I simply can't bring anything home with me. It might sound silly, but it is one way of making myself feel like a tourist in my own town.

4. Play games. My husband and I do this on days when it is hot or raining and we don't want to spend all day watching TV. We'll get out the deck of cards and play them, or we'll play Yahtzee. Put some music on in the background and it's like being at a holiday house. If it's hot, we put drinks in an ice cooler. If it's cold, we put on the log fire. I have been known to swap over cushions and bed covers to give the impression that I'm at someone else's house. For one holiday-at-home event, I de-cluttered the living room. You don't have to go to this extent, but it can be fun.

Another way to holiday at home is to set up a menu for the day and travel the world virtually. I did this for 6 weeks and it was so much fun. We got to eat lots of yummy food from around the world. We visited Kenya, Jamaica, England, Canada, France, Los Angeles, and Japan.

Our word search books are designed to give you year-round fun. One final tip to keep the holidays going is to take a puzzle book to a beach or a park or even sit in a cafe.

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