Spring Break Staycation with Kids

March 23, 2016
Two girls laying their heads on their arms while they pose on a trunk outside.

The cost of flights and other travel expenses can really add up—especially for an entire family. Why not plan spring break activities to do at home as a family?

The best staycations include a little organization:

  • Do some research and planning just like you would for a family travel vacation.
  • Pick the parameters of your staycation. A good rule of thumb is no more than a 2-hour car ride anywhere, but you know your family’s limitations best.
  • Decide when your vacation starts and ends. Having set dates will keep you on target for family fun.

Here’s 10 ideas for a relaxing, fun, kid-friendly spring break staycation. Increase memories and decrease debt. Check out the local sights and sounds you may not realize exist because they are in your backyard. Spring break with kids is about to get a lot easier.

  1. Try something new – Check out your neighborhood, city or the next town over. Do a DIY store workshop (Home Depot and Michael’s have a list of workshops posted in their store and on their website). Check the calendar of local events at your neighborhood library’s website. Try Geocaching, laser tag or paint ball. Ask the kiddos what new thing they want to try. Or, make a list and pick your something new out of a hat.
  1. Camping – Go camping in your backyard—or inside if weather isn’t permitting. Plan meals and activities as if you were really away camping. Kids will love the tent or fort you set up. Agree on some ground rules for the entire family: No television, limited smart phone use, no laundry during the duration of your camping trip—whatever works for you.
  1. Local Tourism – Be a tourist in your own town and do things only tourists do. You might see a show or concert; play mini golf at the local hotspot; go to an amusement park, themed restaurant or dinner theater. In fact, do the most touristy thing in your area. Take lots of pictures, act like a tourist and get your family to write up a blog post or Yelp review.
  1. Sporting Events – As a spectator or athlete. Spend a little money on a major team event, or check out some local minor league teams, packs a picnic and make a day of it. Go play golf, tennis or go bowling as a family.
  1. Go to a museum, zoo or botanical garden – Most communities have a Children’s Museum that’s not only kid-friendly, but specifically made for your tiny tots. Spend the day at the farm, farmers market or zoo. It’s the perfect time to talk about spring and animals and nature. Is there fresh product or flowers to pick in your area? Try an art museum and then set up an art studio at home to try and recreate a favorite painting or sculpture from your family excursion.
  1. Get outdoors – Check a book out from the local library for reading in the park with a picnic lunch. Fly a kite, go on a nature walk, hiking or biking trails. Pack plenty of water and snacks for all outdoor activities.
  1. Fairs, festivals, or a local historical site – There are a plethora of fairs and festivals during the spring, you just need to do a Google search and you’re set for a family fun extravaganza. Rainy staycation? Stay home and create a family film festival. Get plenty of snacks and have everyone pick a favorite movie to watch. At the end of each movie have a brief discussion led by the family member who picked the movie.
  1. Splurge – Splurge a little, do a few things you wouldn’t normally do – like taking the entire family to the movies and dinner. Maybe a family spa day like a mom and me mani/pedi at Snip-its. It’s your vacation after all!
  1. Seaside escape – Explore the local shore. Whether that be ocean, lake, river or stream. Plan the day or weekend excursion like you are going on a seaside visit. Play some family water sports, go boating, canoeing or paddle boarding. Or, choose a relaxation day of reading and family games.
  1. Tournament time – Host a board game tournament. Buy a couple new one’s no one has tried, fill out brackets and invite friends and neighbors to join in. Reward the winner – no clean-up duties!

If you do a spring break staycation this year make it relaxing and fun for the whole family. Let go of everyday obligations and other things that encroach on family time when you are home. Enjoy each other and enjoy where you live. Take lots of pictures, create a scrapbook or family album. Try a family travel journal—make sure everyone contributes. Create lasting memories and share some of your favorite photos with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.