Spring break is just around the corner, and while some families will be dusting off their Disney ears or hitting the beach or the slopes, many of us will be spending the week at home, trying to strike a balance between relaxation and filling the days with fun and adventure. Here are some ways to have fun without traveling far or breaking the bank.
Catch a Ball Game
Hit up a professional game or even a local high school sporting event. Eat popcorn and cheer enthusiastically.
You'd be shocked by how many geocaching locations are near you! Use the Geocaching app to plan your scavenger hunt.
Visit an Animal Shelter
Visit your local animal shelter to spend some time with the animals. Call before you go, but many locations are thrilled to have people come in and walk, pet or play with the animals waiting for their forever homes. They are all in need of supplies too, so ask about that before you go.
Take a Trip to the Zoo
You won't get to pet the cats at the zoo like you will at the animal shelter, but you'll get to see and learn about some amazing creatures. Spring is a great time to visit because there are often babies!
Take a Train Ride
This is especially a hit with the younger, Thomas the Train crowd. All aboard!
Have a PJ Day
Pick the day with the worst weather and declare it a pajama day. Stay in pjs all day watching movies, reading books and playing board games.
Go on a Bike Ride
Find a local trail that is suited for your family's biking needs, and strap on your helmets for a fun and healthy adventure.
Visit an Amusement Park
You know that amusement park that isn't too far away that your kids always want to go to? It's the perfect time to finally take them.
Take in a Show
Go to a play or to a concert. Nothing matches the energy of seeing a live performance!
Head to a Local Park
Staycation activities don't have to cost a dime. My family has lived in our town for nearly a decade, and there are still parks we haven't visited.
Visit a Museum
From large, fancy museums to small, local historical societies, there is bound to be a place nearby to learn about some local history or immerse yourself and your kids in a bit of culture. Plus, many of these establishments are free or very inexpensive.
Stay Overnight at a Hotel With a Pool
Let's be honest, the best part of any vacation is the hotel pool. Pack up for a night and give the kids the thrill of the week with a day (or two) at a hotel pool. Pick a hotel with a good continental breakfast for a little something extra.
Slow things down with some bait and a couple of fishing rods at the local fishing hole. I personally think fishing is boring. But quiet, boring moments are when I best connect with my kids. They are getting older, so I take those moments when I can.
Try Backyard Camping
If you can't get to a campground—or if you aren't into camping—pitch a tent in the backyard. The kids will love "roughing" it, and you don't need to worry about the monster packing list that goes along with going on a camping trip it with kids.
Have Ice Cream for Dinner
Second only to the hotel pool, the best part of vacation is all the treats. Skip the vegetables for a night and load up on calcium and sugar for dinner. The kids will think you're the coolest—and they'll be right.
Visit the Local Library
Our local library packs the week of spring vacation with all kinds of activities. Check your local branch to see if they have anything fun planned for the kiddos. Even if they don't, take a few hours to spend some time there reading and checking out books. An entire building of free books? Yes, please!
Go to the Movies
Check your local listings, and hit up a movie everyone will love. Look for a matinee or a bargain day for the best deals.
Set up a Playdate
Your friends and the parents of your kids' friends are all in the same boat as you. Reach out to get together for playdates or to swap kids for a day or two. Watching kids play at the playground or bouncing for a couple of hours at the trampoline park is always more fun if you have another adult to talk to.
In my family, we're terrible bowlers, but we sure do enjoy it!
Go on a Unstructured Day Trip
Just drive. Stop where you feel like it. Check out streams and waterfalls. Stop at restaurants that look good. Stop to look at interesting murals or to watch livestock. Impromptu trips and activities often make the best stories.
Try Horseback Riding
Find a local stable that gives lessons and giddy up.
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