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Staycation spots give residents cheap mini-vacations

By: Autumn Matz, Placer Herald Correspondent
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As gas prices and unemployment rates increase, many people are looking for less costly activities to enjoy on a free day. A staycation may be just the ticket. A staycation combines the words stay and vacation and refers to a vacation spent close to home, according to Urban Dictionary. Whether it is outdoor activities in natural beauty or a night filled with fun at a bowling alley, there are many local activities that can offer up a great staycation experience. Fun for the family Strikes Family Entertainment Center in Rocklin provides more than just a fun night of bowling. “[Strikes is] the perfect family spot,” said Strikes employee Bobby Ruiz. “ It’s fun for the whole family.” Each bowling lane has a state-of-the art computerized scoring system as well as an individual eating area where bowlers can wait for their turn. The center also offers other activities including an arcade, a rock wall and a game of shuffleboard in Coach’s Classic Bar and Grill. “I think our restaurant makes us different because it’s not the usual snack bar food,” Ruiz said. “We have a full-service restaurant and a full-service bar.” For groups or individuals who want more privacy, Strikes has a back alley where bowlers can enjoy four private lanes, leather couches and a pool table behind closed doors. The center also offers weekly activities that are divided by days of the week. Tuesdays are trivia nights, Thursdays are college night, Sundays are industry night and patrons can look forward to a night of karaoke on Wednesday nights. Strikes Family Entertainment Center is located at 5681 Lonetree Blvd. For more information, call 632-8200 or go to www.strikesbowling.com. More than just books at local libraries The Rocklin Community Library is another place where people can enjoy activities close to home. “I think that a lot of people enjoy [the Rocklin] library because it’s really part of the community,” said Rocklin Library Manager Eve Nyren. At the library, people can check out several items including books, DVDs and CDs and more services. “People can check out as many DVDs as they want,” Nyren said. “People are happy when they hear about that.” People can also take advantage of the Wi-Fi that is available in the library. “We are starting to get more people that come in with their laptops,” Nyren said. Every Wednesday and Friday, through Dec.11, the library will present Mother Goose on the Loose for babies and toddlers and Story Time for children ages 3-5. Adults can enjoy Tea Traditions with Anne Evans every second Saturday of the month. The tea sessions include modeling the methods for making and drinking tea around the globe. It also includes examples of Japanese and Chinese tea ceremonies. The library also hosts a book club that meets the first Tuesday of every month from 5:30-7 p.m. The Rocklin Library is located at 5460 5th St. For more information, call 624-3133 or go to placer.ca.gov/Departments/Library. Get outdoors Hidden Valley Falls and Folsom Lake are just two of several outdoor locations that offer a wide range of activities locally. Hidden Falls Regional Park in Auburn offers visitors a view of a year-round waterfall as well as 221 acres of land with seven miles of trails. The park opened up to the public in 2006 and offers a number of activities for visitors including hiking, running, biking and horseback riding. Hidden Falls Regional Park is located at 7587 Mears Place in Auburn. For more information, call 889-6807. Another option for Placer County dwellers is Folsom Lake. Folsom Lake provides visitors with the opportunity to do activities such as swimming, wakeboarding and water skiing. For those who are interested in activities outside of the water, the Oaks nature trail is just over three quarters of a mile and is accessible for the disabled. The trail gives walkers views of the lake and woodland as well as the opportunity to see deer, fox, wild turkey and several varieties of reptile. Folsom Lake is located at 7806 Folsom-Auburn Road. For more information, call 988-0205 or go to www.parks.ca.gov.