10 Ideas For a Spring Break Staycation

Most of us are still watching what we spend and how we spend it. Vacations may still be in the picture, but getting away for spring break may not be on the itinerary this year. Our answer? The staycation. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune and can still give your family a much-needed break from reality, even if it’s just for the day.

    1. Go camping. If you have a backyard, you can take your family camping. Grab the tents, a few chairs and make a stop at a grocery store to grab food for the trip. It doesn’t have to be a well-planned ordeal, since adventure is the name of the game. If your kids are city slickers, it’s time for them to let them get dirty in the great outdoors and if your kids are accustomed to camping trips, you can bet they’ll enjoy the trip as much as if you’d spent hundreds. Get a campfire going, tell scary stories and slumber beneath the stars.

    2. Have a movie marathon. Choose a theme and have a movie marathon one day. If you have young kids, you’ll have to be careful what you choose, but for teens, you can go with a string of classics that they probably haven’t seen like Taxi Driver or The Godfather series. Don’t forget the popcorn and candy! You can even have multiple movie marathons throughout the week, since they’re cheap enough to conduct more than once.

    3. Visit a museum. Go sightseeing in your own city or town. Hit the museum circuit. Many major cities have discount days for museums, so get online and check out prices to get a better deal. You will have to pay for exhibits, but if you’re getting a discount on the admission price, it will be easier to take the hit. While younger kids may get bored at an art museum, the whole family will enjoy a science museum.

    4. Stay at a hotel. If you don’t have a pool, this can be a godsend for the kiddos. Staying at a hotel for one night will give you access to the pool for two days, giving your kids plenty of time to splash around and have some fun. Some hotels also have day rates where you pay a small fee just to access the pool. If you have a resort nearby, this is sure to have water slides for the kids, but most children are happy enough just to get in the water.

    5. Check out the local “scene.” Grab a local newspaper and check out what’s going on around town during the week of spring break. There may be local art shows, live music or festivals going on during this time. It will expose your kids to things they don’t usually see and shake up your routine. You never know what event will spark a child’s interest, so it’s important to show them different events which may inspire a new interest.

    6. Attend a sporting event. If your city has a minor league team, the tickets to these sporting events are often quite affordable. If you can gather a group of eight or more, you can usually save money on tickets by calling the box office and inquiring about a group rate. To save money, skip the pricey food and snacks at the game and feed your clan before the game.

    7. Cook a big meal together. This may not be incredibly relaxing, but it will be fun to watch your family interact in the kitchen and work to create a big meal. Look up recipes online and take a vote on what everyone wants as an appetizer, entree and side dish. If you have a large family, you can assign two people to each dish and see who comes up with the best component of the meal. It gives your kids a little friendly competition and fills your tummies, so it’s a win-win!

    8. Visit the zoo. Most zoos are hurting these days and there’s a good chance you haven’t taken your kids to the zoo in years. Show them the wild side by taking them to zoo. In some cities it can still be a pricey outing, but it will be well worth it to watch your kids be amazed by the monkeys, giraffes, and bats. Kids don’t see these animals every day, so even the jaded ones will be eager to watch the animals interact and play. Check if your zoo allows you to bring your lunch along, so you can skip the snack bar.

    9. Video game tournament. If your family is loving Wii Sports, you can have a tournament and see who comes out on top. You can do this is teams if you have a large family. Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort tend to get the competitive juices flowing, even for the most reserved family member. You can even record footage of your kids going nuts when playing, that way you have something embarrassing on tape once their wedding rolls around.

    10. Have a dance-off. This is another activity that will inspire you to pull out the video camera ! Have your kids and their friends have a dance-off, working in teams or just one-on-one. You can be the DJ, which means you get to choose the tunes the kids have to dance to. Switch up the genre of music every 30 seconds or so and you’ll be guaranteed hilarious dance moves.

Having a spring break staycation can be a blast with just a little planning. If you have enough time, you may even be able to work in everything on your list. Remember to keep your happy face on when presenting ideas to your kids to get them excited about the activities. Younger kids will be easy to please, but if your teenager rather sit in his or her room and text than participate in a Wii tournament, respect their space and privacy. Remember that for today’s kids, texting or tweeting for hours is considered a staycation too.