It doesn’t matter if you celebrate Columbus Day, Leif Erikson Day or both, as you’re probably still on the look out for fun ways to enjoy these special days without spending a small fortune. Luckily, these amazing holidays have a lot to offer anyone willing to do a little looking around. You can easily take this time frame and embrace the explorer within yourself. These tips will help you find adventure and fun around every corner, without forcing you to foot the bill for such an expedition. So, get your explorer hats on and have some fun as these two holidays will help you learn more about the country, yourself and your sense of adventure, even if you’re on a tight budget.
1. Be adventurous
Both Christopher Columbus and Leif Erikson were explorers, so while you’re celebrating their honorary days, you might want to become an explorer yourself. This doesn’t mean you have to purchase airline tickets to a foreign country or even hop in your car for an across the country road trip. Instead, you might want to consider exploring your own town or city. Go to an area you rarely ever visit and see what it has to offer. You might be surprised by how much certain things have changed since the last time you were there. You can also spend some time exploring a park in your area. To spice things up, come up with a scavenger hunt to keep everything fresh and exciting, especially for children. You might also consider hiking a new trail or even trying out a new park. If you do plan on traveling for the holiday then use a map instead of your GPS or take it to a new level and use a compass.
2. DIY Helmet
Whether you have kids or not, making a helmet can be a great way to have some fun during both of these holidays. On Christopher Columbus Day, you’re going to be working with more of a Spaniard helmet, which can easily be made of newspaper and feather. However, you have a bit more versatility to work with on Leif Erikson Day. This day offers a wide assortment of Viking options, which can be a lot of fun to work with. There’re many tutorials online for these helmets, so you can even make a few if you’re up for the challenge. If you have a lot of time to spare, then you can even consider making a helmet with a beard by crocheting. No matter what you choose, have some fun with it. You can even parade around the home in your new creations.
3. Recreate Cultural Meal
Food can really help you to embrace the culture of a holiday while also adding fun to your experience. Luckily, these two holidays actually give you a wide assortment of options to choose from. For Christopher Columbus Day you can choose between Spanish or Italian cuisine. Spanish meals will help celebrate the country that sent Columbus on his mission. One of the most common dishes in Spain is paella, which is simple to make and can be customized to suit your family’s individual tastes. Columbus himself was Italian though, so a nice Italian meal should be fun too. You have a wide variety of pasta dishes to choose from here if you’re on a tight budget or need something easy to whip up. Finally, if you’re celebrating Leif Erikson Day then you might want to look into some Viking recipes. These meals might not be as traditional as you would normally pick. In fact, you will have to keep things simple with meat, bread, vegetables and dried fruit with honey. You can even try your hand at making your own mead for this celebration.
4. Community Event
Community events are fairly common for Christopher Columbus, but the events might depend on which area of the country you reside. If you’re in the Pacific Northwest, you might find that Leif Erikson community events are more common. No matter where you live, you should try to find an event to help your family celebrate the holiday. This will allow you to learn more about the holiday you are celebrating, as well as the person behind it. Plus, it will bring you closer to your community, which is a very valuable thing to embrace during such holidays.
5. Study History
One of the best ways to showcase this holiday is to learn more about it. There is certainly a lot more to Christopher Columbus Day than him discovering America. As a matter of fact, this claim is widely disputed by so many today. Columbus Day was also created to help boost relationships with Italian Americans during a particularly tough time. Leif Erikson Day is often celebrated by those that have Viking ancestry because they believe this brave explorer was the original person that discovered America. No matter what you believe, knowing the history of the two men will help you learn more about the country you live in, which is always important. You might also want to spend some time learning about Native American history during this time, particularly when it comes to the tribes that might have interacted with the two men.
6. DIY Boat
If you’re looking for a family friendly and inexpensive activity, then you might want to consider building your own boats. You can work with a wide variety of styles here, as both Viking and European boats will help celebrate the holidays. There are lots of models for sell as well as tutorials on how to make these boats. However, if you want to cut expenditures substantially then you can always make your boat out of recyclables. See what you have around the house and then let the family create their own boat. You can always compete to see which boat floats the best and which is the fastest. In fact, you might find this activity will keep the family busy all day long, which will make your holiday even more memorable.
7. Celebrate Native American Culture
One major aspect of both of these holidays is the Native Americans they interacted with. These tribes were here for quite some time prior to explorers. Thus, knowing more about Native American culture and history is crucial to celebrating these holidays. Native American culture and their overall future on the continent were changed exponentially due to the explorers that navigated to their lands. In many cases, the Native Americans actually came to the aid of the explorers. Their lack of hostility also allowed the explorers to return home to share the news of their discoveries. So, no matter how you feel about the explorers and their special holidays, celebrating the Native Americans that lived here first is always a good way to improve on the holidays.
8. Enjoy Sales
Columbus Day tends to be a three day weekend for many people, which in the retail world is a great opportunity to show off some sales. You should find everything from vehicles to mattresses on sale, so shop around to see if you can score some major deals before the holiday season. You probably won’t see another holiday sale until Black Friday arrives, which will signal the beginning of the holiday rush. So, prepping for the holidays now or simply getting the things you need for your household at a discounted price is certain to make your budget a lot happier. Many restaurants will also offer deals too, so you might be able to grab a bite to eat or a drink at your favorite venues for a lot less than you’d normally pay.
9. Host a Get
A three-day weekend is also a great time to have a get-together. Autumn can be a very busy time for the whole family, so this might be your last excuse to get everyone you love together before the holidays begin. So, try to have a little fun if you can. You can whip up decorations for these holidays with ease too. One of the best options is to simply stick with autumn décor to supplement the items you have to decorate for this holiday. If you don’t have any décor then consider printing out maps or hanging up those you already have. You can also make a board that shows where you’ve traveled. To add more fun, you can purchase different markers to allow your guests to showcase their adventures too. When it comes to food, you can whip up appetizers for cheap or invite your guests to bring their own favorite dishes for a potluck celebration. You can even ask to keep the meals themed for the holiday. As far as entertainment is concerned, you can give almost any game a holiday theme. You might also consider making up a scavenger hunt.
10. Stay Home
Often, many people like to travel during Columbus Day due to the three-day weekend. However, if you’re on a budget, your best option might be to stay home. This will allow you to save money but will also give you a chance to relax and rest before the busy season is in full swing. This holiday is a great time to put your feet up and catch up on documentaries on the holiday, which should be playing on TV or streaming on your favorite services. You can also catch up on work around the house to ensure you’ll have an easier week when you do go back to work. Your three-day weekend is entirely up to you though, so use it wisely to ensure you feel brave enough to explore your world when your break is up.
Although these holidays are considered to be quite minor, you might be surprised by the many ways you can enjoy them. These simple tips will help you find your perfect way to celebrate and learn during these holidays, which might give you even more reason to rejoice.