You don’t have to leave home for spring break fun!
Though spring break can be a time to travel, it can also be fun at home. Whether you’re staying home by choice or for budgetary reasons this year, these spring break activities will keep your family entertained and making memories. No need to pack a suitcase!
Before you start
The first rule is you have to treat spring break at home like a vacation. That means no chores! OK. You are going to have to do some basic chores like dealing with dirty dishes and preparing food. You may even have to do some laundry. But do your best to treat the time like you would if you weren’t home.
You also can designate your staycation days if you aren’t able to take the entire week off. Just plan for your spring break activities on Monday through Wednesday or whatever works best for your family. Whatever you pick, communicate about it so you, your spouse and your kids are on the same pages and know what to expect.
Another neat idea that we’ve done in the past and are doing again this year is a combination vacation and staycation. We’ll spend a couple of nights away on a family trip and then a few days at home for spring break. It’s the best of both worlds and, quite literally, what my children opted to do this year when we gave them choices.
Our family does like to have a meeting ahead of time to talk about what we’d most like to do. This helps us to prioritize our time and our budget for spring break activities. You can give your kids a list to pick from or just ask them for their ideas or both.
Finally, remember simple activities can be just as fun as more complicated ones. My kids’ biggest requests for the staycation part of our spring break this year were going to eat hibachi for lunch and playing games together.
1. Go see a movie.
We love movies in my family. Whether you go to the theater or watch something at home, a good movie is a great spring break activity. Find a movie you’ll all enjoy, have snacks at the ready and enjoy!
2. Check out local exhibits.
My family lives in a mid-sized Midwestern city. We’re not overwhelmed with choices of exhibits to visit, but there are always a few things going on. In fact, we have one art exhibit we’ve been talking about checking out and haven’t found time for. Spring break is a great time to make that happen.
3. Explore other nearby cities.
Because we do live in a city that’s not so big, exploring nearby bigger cities is a good option. We can drive an hour north or south and be in bigger cities that have more activities and things to do. Then, we come back home and sleep in our own cozy beds. Where you go will depend on what you do, but think about children’s museums, zoos, aquariums and any other family friendly venue.
4. Eat out.
Thanks to meal planning, preference and time constraints, my family only eats out on Sundays after church. Some weeks we have another meal out as well, but we don’t eat out very much these days. When we travel, though, we definitely eat out more often. So, another great spring break idea for at home is going out to eat. Go somewhere special or different. Or try a new restaurant.
5. Have a board game day, afternoon or evening.
We love playing games in our family. They can be a great way to pass the time and make some great family memories. Use games you already have, buy a new one or make one up.
6. Try out a new recipe.
Spring break can be a great time to try out a new recipe together as a family. Even better, find a recipe your whole family can prepare together like pizza subs, peanut butter honey nut cereal clusters or puppy chow. For even more awesome family recipes, be sure to get the “Favorite Recipes from Families with Grace” cookbook for free!
7. Set up an obstacle course.
During remote learning, we had a gym assignment to set up an obstacle course at home. It was easier than I’d expected and we had way more fun with it than anticipated. Since then, we’ve done this a couple of other times. Use your chairs, pillows and whatever you have around to make a simple obstacle course. If you want, time each other to see who can do it fastest.
8. Have an indoor campout.
If you live somewhere warm, you can have an outdoor campout if you want. But for those of us in colder weather, an indoor campout is a much better spring break activity. Pull out sleeping bags, air mattresses or whatever works and sleep in the same room together. We used to campout in our living room, but now we campout in our bedroom.
9. Buy some “souvenirs.”
Our kids love buying souvenirs when we travel. They don’t have to be big purchases, but just something. Make souvenirs a part of spring break at home. Hit up the Dollar Tree and let them pick something. Or budget a set amount of money for souvenirs and head to their favorite store(s). Don’t forget a little something for yourself and your spouse, too!
10. Go to the playground.
Going to the playground can be a great spring break activity to help burn off some energy. Keep a check on the weather and pick a good time to go. Let your kids pick which playground they want to go to and plan to spend an hour letting them have fun. Be sure to get involved with them. (Personally, I love swinging with my kids!)
11. Play video games together.
If you’re a video gaming family, play together. Recently, my son was so excited to play Minecraft with both my husband and me. It was a treat for him to share that with us, and we all had fun with it.
Another great video game option is to have one person be in charge of the controller and everyone helps decide what he or she does. For example, we once had a blast playing Monopoly on the Xbox. My husband had the controller and we played against computer players. Our whole family talked strategies and made decisions for what to do in the game. It was incredibly fun!
12. Go to the library.
Libraries are awesome resources and can be great fun, even over spring break. If your town or city is small enough, chances are the library probably has some spring break activities of their own planned with extra story times and crafts. Check out those events or even just go and get some books to read together or individually (or both!) over break.
My kids always liked to play at the library when they were smaller. Our libraries offer a variety of toys and imaginative play items that are a hit. Explore the toys the library as well.
13. Try geocaching.
Geocaching was super popular a few years ago, but it still around now. We’ve had some fun with geocaching as a family. (It can also be a great date idea for parents!) Download a geocaching app and find locations around you. We’ve been surprised at the places we’ve found items. Our kids really enjoy it.
14. Get crafty.
Crafts aren’t really my jam, but small art projects together as a family can be fun. Color together at the kitchen table, use some of the craft kits you inevitably have stockpiled in your house, make cards or sweet crafts to send to grandparents or whatever you enjoy.
Spending time together helping others is a great spring break activity. Not only do you get a chance to impact your community, but you show your kids the importance of helping others and get that warm. fuzzy feeling as a result.
16. Have a family yes day.
Having a family yes day can be great fun for kids and adults alike. Pick a day where you say yes to whatever your kids ask to do. We’ve done this a few times and do have some rules. For example, the kids can’t ask us to travel out of town or spend more than a set amount of money on something. We’ve been pleasantly surprised, though, at how well they work together and the fun activities they come up with. (Read more about how to have a family yes day.)
17. Make videos.
Speaking of family yes days, during our most recent one, we made movies together. My daughter and I paired up and my husband and son paired up. Each pair picked a song for the other to lip sync and make a video to. We had so much fun making the videos and then watching them together!
18. Have a cake decorating contest.
Our family enjoys watching baking shows on television. (Well, my son doesn’t so much if I’m being honest!) Seeing contestants bake and decorate cakes is especially fun. So we tried our hand at it. I baked a cake in two pans like it would be two layers. Each pair got a cake and a bowl of homemade buttercream icing. We picked a design to copy (a cartoon bear) and got to work. Without telling them who decorated which cake, we sent photos of the final versions to my parents and my husband’s parents to pick the winner. But, you don’t have to pick a winner.
And you can use store-bought cake, cupcakes or cookies along with canned icing to make it even easier. No matter what, it’s a great spring break activity that results in having some sweet treats!
19. Plan intentional one-on-one time.
When our two children were really young, we started having what we called “one-on-one playtime.” We’d set a timer for 30 minutes and separate so each child got one parent for a half hour. Then we’d switch kids and parents. During their 30 minutes with each parent, our children got to pick what we played. It’s a bit different now that they’re 10 and 13, but they both still enjoy having us to themselves. Spend the time talking, playing, reading or whatever you like to do to connect with each other.
20. Be lazy.
We all need downtime. Some of my favorite memories with my kids come when we are being lazy together. Put down electronic devices and see what you come up with wanting to do. Maybe you talk or make silly jokes. Maybe you put on a talent show or have a dance party. Unstructured time with our kids can result in the most awesome moments!