This year is flying by at a scary rate… We’re now only a few weeks away from Spring Break and I’m already starting to plan it out… because no one wants to go into a week-long vacation, with the kids home, without a plan.
To keep the sanity (and them out of your hair), you’ve got to exhaust all of their energy. Sure, there’s a million ways to do that, but finding the most cost effective ones takes some planning and preparation. Here are 20 ways to keep kids busy during spring break:
Get Out and About:
1- Tour Free Play Parks: Set out every morning to hit up a different free kid’s park in your area. Your kids will love playing on new play sets every day, they’ll be excited about the adventure, and all of their energy will be exhausted by the end of the day. Bring a lunch and have a picnic at the park before coming home (and keep the house cleaner!) Cost: FREE with the exception of gas.
2- Scavenger Hunt: Make a list of things/landmarks to find around your city and make a game of it! You can drive or walk around your city on your scavenger hunt, and kids are learning at the same time! You can also do a paid scavenger hunt service here. Cost: FREE (unless you opt to do the paid service)
3- Wildlife Safari: If you have one near, getting out to a drive through safari to see the animals is a great day trip during spring break. It can be done in the cold or heat- which makes it a great option for any day. Cost: Mid-Range
4- National Parks: There may be some costs associated with visiting national parks, but springtime is the best time to go for a hike in Texas. It’s not too hot and not too cold. Just be sure to wear layers and adjust as you go. Cost: Low
5- The Zoo: The zoo is always a go-to for younger ones. Be sure to bring a wagon or stroller to place your little one in for when they get worn out. Find out ahead of time whether or not your zoo permits outside food/snacks and plan accordingly. Cost: Mid-Range depending on the number of kids you have and whether or not your zoo permits outside snacks/food.
6- Geocaching: If you haven’t gotten into this just yet, you’re in for a treat. This is on my plan for the upcoming spring break, and I cannot wait to tell you about it!! Basically, it’s going on a treasure hunt using GPS coordinates to find treasures. Running From The Law Blog wrote a GREAT post on it, and instead of re-inventing the wheel, I encourage you to visit her post here, to learn more about this fun activity. Cost: FREE (If you don’t upgrade the service- visit geocaching.com to download the app and for more information)
Rainy days got you down? Well, if you’re up to it- here’s your chance to let the kids go splash in puddles and get it out of their system. If you just washed the floors and aren’t up for the challenge, here are a few ways to get some indoor fun in:
7- Library: Libraries generally have daily-scheduled programs for children already in place, but during spring break, they are likely to have more. Get there early and enjoy some time at the library before or after your trip to a free park to keep the kids busy for a while.- for FREE. Cost: FREE
8- Movie Theatre: Many of the movie theaters in our area have free or discounted matinees during the week of spring break. Even if it’s a movie they’ve already seen, something about seeing it on a giant screen enhances the experience. To make the trip more cost effective, be sure to eat before you go and/or limit snacks to one per person ahead of time. Cost: FREE/Low
9- Bowling: A great indoor activity that will keep the kids busy. Check online for discounts before heading to the bowling alley- you might be able to find some great deals the week of spring break. Be sure to eat before you go to save on snacks. Cost: Mid-Range
10- Museum: From kids museums to art museums, here’s your chance to get your kids out and learning. This can be costly, depending on the rates and number of children you have, but can be an enjoyable experience for you all. Cost: Mid-Range
11- Trampoline Parks: What a great way to get the kids (and you!) some exercise! An hour or two of trampoline jumping is not only fun, but will exhaust all of their energy. Cost: Mid-Range
12- Arts & Crafts: Children love arts and crafts and there is no shortage of ideas on Pinterest for these types of activities. Make a plan ahead of time, gather the supplies and get on it during spring break. Cost: Low
Visits & Visitors:
13- Kid Swap: Need some time for yourself during spring break? Schedule some kid swaps with a fellow Mom or a few Moms. Have your fellow Mom’s kids over for the day- this keeps your kids busy (and out of your hair) while having fun. The next day, have your fellow Mom take your kids so you can get some time to yourself. This is one of the cheapest things to do that will keep both you and your kids (and your fellow Mom and her little ones) happy during Spring Break. Cost: FREE
14- Phone a Friend: Want to get away, but keep costs down? If you have a friend in a nearby city, phone them and schedule a visit, or better yet, have them come visit you. Having more people around keeps the kids busy, creates memories, and gets you some much-needed visit time with your friends and/or family. Cost: Pricey depending on travel costs and activities once they get here/you get there.
Expensive, but Fun Options:
15- Water Parks/Amusement Parks: If you get annual season passes, here’s your chance to make good use of them. Tour a little of the park each day instead of trying to cram it all into one visit. Check for spring break discounts/rates online or preschool programs that can save you money before going. Also, check on the food policy to save some extra bucks! Cost: Pricey
16- Beach Trip: It might still be too cold to get in the water, but going to a giant sandbox during spring break would still be super enjoyable for kids! Research rates and schedule your trip in advance to save some money. Cost: Pricey
17- Great Wolf Lodge: An indoor water park in the spring sounds like the best of all worlds. Great Wolf Lodge is a great place for families to visit, but be sure to bring food- it is also one of the most costly. Cost: Very Pricey
18- Explore a Nearby City: If you’ve always wanted to take a day trip to a nearby city, now’s the time. Plan your trip ahead of time and stop at all the pertinent landmarks/spots. Cost: Mid-Range/Pricey depending on what you plan to do when you get there, parking costs, and whether your brought food.
For Working Parents:
19- Camps: From Gymnastics to karate and art classes, there are so many spring break camps available to working parents nowadays. Start your research early. If you’re in San Antonio, check out My San Antonio and Alamo City Moms Blog for some great recommendations. Cost: Pricey
20- Date Day: Taking off a day or two for a date with your child strengthens your relationship and bond. If it’s possible, this is something to look into. Cost: Low
I hope these suggestions have helped you to better plan for the week of insanity that is fast approaching. This list is great and can be incorporated into your schedule in a multitude of ways- try all, or stick to one. See what piques your children’s interests, what works for you and your budget, and don’t forget to ask them what they’d like to do.
Know someone who can benefit from this list? Don’t forget to share it! Here’s an easy way to do that on Twitter right now:Before you go nuts, check out these 20 Ways to Keep #Kids Busy During #SpringBreak: Click To Tweet
Check out my posts on 15 Cheap Activities to Keep Your Kids Busy During Winter Break and Keeping Kids Busy Without Using TV.
What do you have planned for spring break? I’d love to hear in the comments below!