As a mother of two young children, I understand the importance of keeping the kids entertained during the much-anticipated spring break. But, it takes some real strategy to plan spring break activities that are both fun. And Affordable for the whole family.
Over the years, I’ve gotten very creative with finding fun things to do with my kids and husband during this week with no school and little (?) work. Because tell me you haven’t noticed this: The most obvious activities are often also the most expensive. But before you stress out, I’ve got you covered. Through trial and error, I’ve come up with tons of ideas that keep everyone connected and engaged. Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities, indoor activities, craft activities, or even a short day trip to take with your family, fear not – there are plenty of things to do that will give you a Won’t cost an arm and a leg.
Featured image by Hannah Heston.
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Outdoor Spring Break Activities
Depending on where you live, some of the best spring break activities are those that can take place outside. As a California mama, I am fortunate to have the ability to take my kids to all kinds of outdoor activities that my husband and I also enjoy.
1. Picnic with friends. Call up some of your best friends (maybe even some other parents!) and head to the park with a blanket and some snacks. A classic that never goes out of style. If you’re looking for recipe ideas, these are our favorites.
2. Explore a park in your neighborhood. Go on nature walks and get to know your neighborhood a little better. Bonus points if you can find a trail that educates you about the land.
3. Go hiking. After being cooped up all winter, I am sure we all yearn for some fresh air. Good news – this is one of the best ways to get it. Disclaimer: The hike may not be best for children under five unless you are okay with adding a little extra weight to your back!
4. Bike along the beach. Who doesn’t love a nice bike ride? Beaches, parks and trails make for a family-friendly spring break outing that doubles as good exercise as well.
5. Organize a sand castle contest. This is the one my kids can’t get enough of. Grab some buckets and head to the beach to get your kids to show off their creativity in the sand. And if you live where it’s still cold (looking at all my New England friends), ice castles work too!
6. Volunteer at a community garden. I love bringing my kids to the community garden during spring break to teach them early lessons in giving back while also giving them a sense of pride in what they do.
7. Clean up the beach. Another spring break activity that’s a great learning experience as well. Go to the beach, the park, or your neighborhood to help clean up litter. This is the perfect opportunity to teach your kids about the importance of sustainability.
8. Build a lemonade stand. As classic as it gets. Fun for the whole family and a great way to train your budding entrepreneur.
9. Car wash for a good cause. A neighborhood car wash is a fun way to cool off, help your neighbors, and do something for a good cause.
10. Collect and paint rocks. Simple yet effective! Find some rocks in your backyard and paint them into little characters. It keeps kids entertained, lets them be creative, and provides an opportunity to play with their rock characters all day long until bedtime.
Indoor Spring Break Activities
If you live somewhere the sun hasn’t come up yet, you’re still in luck! There are wonderful spring break activities that you can do in the comfort of your own home. Here are some of my favorites that my kids enjoy.
11. Create a vision board. Be smart when teaching your kids the value of manifesting their goals. For all the instructions, get Camille’s Complete Guide to Sight Boarding here. (Trust me, as an adult who has dreams of his own, you will Dear This.)
12. Organize a book club. This could mean reading a book out loud to young children or assigning the same book to all family members. Set a time limit for getting it done and have a night to discuss it when everyone is done.
13. Hooks and latches. It’s a relaxing hobby that I enjoy, which means my kids want to join in too. The best part about it is that it’s chill and oh-so-cool. If you’ve never done this before, these instructions have everything you need to get started.
14. Make puppets and do a skit. Inspiring future entertainers! It’s always so much fun to watch the stories my kids make up.
15. Explore a museum. Museums are a wonderful indoor activity because there is so much to see and learn. You can take a deep dive into almost anything for hours.
16. Write a play and perform it. Channel your inner Von Trapp family and start a family theater troupe at home!
17. Have a family movie night. With all the streaming platforms available, it’s possible to have a movie night in to keep the kids (and mom and dad!) entertained.
18. Enjoy a game night. UNO, Go Fish, Rummy, and more! There are plenty of options for games for all ages at home over spring break. For a list of our all-time favorites, see here.
craft spring break activities
19. Try tie-dye. Anything and everything – shirts, dish towels, tote bags! Tie-dye is a little messy but a lot of fun. Be sure to take it outside.
20. Make ceramics together. Find clay at the dollar store and let your kids get creative with the shapes. Paint them afterwards for some more fun!
21. DIY your own play-dough. All the fun of making with fewer stakes than porcelain. Great for youngsters who just want to knead and shape dough.
22. Sign up for craft classes. Shh… Home Depot has classes once a month for kids of all ages.
23. Make a Scrapbook. Keep all your memories in a homemade book filled with printed photos. They’ll love taking it out and seeing all the fun you’ve had as a family.
24. Paint and put on an art show. Who knows, you might just be raising the next Picasso.
25. Design costumes and host a fashion show. …or the next Vera Wang!
26. Mail letters and art to loved ones. Surprise some long distance loved ones with handwritten letters and drawings to warm their hearts.
27. Make wind chimes. Such an easy activity that can be showcased on your porch for years to come.
Affordable Spring Break Trips for Family
If you’re looking to get away but don’t have the budget to go on a full-fledged spring break vacation, there are plenty of ways to feel the same way without breaking the bank. Here are some spring break activities that can make for affordable day trips with the family.
28. Exchange of house. Ask a friend of yours if he would like to swap houses for a few days. This makes it feel like you’re in a whole new place without paying for a hotel.
29. Camp or Glamping, If the weather is fine, go out into the open for a few nights and stay in a tent. If that’s not your vibe, cabins are always a fun and relatively affordable option too.
30. Take a road trip. Make a playlist, pack snacks and hit the open road. Even if you don’t have an overnight destination, sometimes the road trip is the most fun part.
31. Visit a National Park. Venture outside your neighborhood parks and take a few hours away for a change of scenery.
32. Go to an aquarium or zoo. My inquisitive kids love it, and as an adult, I must also say it’s a good time.
32. Explore a science center. This is another educational experience that everyone enjoys.
33. Volunteer on a farm. For animal lovers and for a change of scenery! Check out farms in your area and see if you and the family can spend the day helping out.
34. Meet friends in a nearby city. If you have friends or family nearby, ask if you can come over to spend the night and explore their area.
35. Visit historical places near you. Being cultured is a great spring break activity.
36. Rent an Airbnb. Last, but not least, an Airbnb is always a fun way to escape. Not the cheapest, but not crazy expensive either!
Happy Spring Break!