Ok, so maybe you won’t be zip lining through the mountain tops of Costa Rica or snorkeling in Hawaii this spring break but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a blast or create cool memories. Here are a few of our favorite inexpensive ways to have fun that the whole family can enjoy.
1. Play ‘tourist’ in your town. We often take for granted the tourist type attractions in our own communities, growing up in NJ I still remember when a teacher asked our high school class how many of us had ever visited the Empire State Building or walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, both popular tourist ‘to-do’s’ when visiting NY, only 25 minutes away. Shockingly, and only a few of us raised our hands. Living so close and seeing these landmarks everyday we often forget to actually explore them. This spring break, pretend your family are tourists in your hometown. Visit the closest landmarks, zoos, etc… you never know what you might discover! Buy postcards and photograph the trip as if you were someplace new.
2. Go Camping…. indoors, set up sleeping bags and make tents with sheets in the living room, roast marsh mellows on the stove for smores. Turn off the lights and tell stories around the fireplace, use flashlights.
3. Go Hiking. Family walks are so much fun, pack lunches and light backpacks and off you go, depending on your kids ages you can create bingo games for things they might see along the way. Just put in your zip code on Traillink.com and they will connect you to the various trails and hikes in your area.
4. Swim no matter what the temperature! Research the indoor water options, there are plenty of indoor waterparks around the country and check to see if hotels or health clubs nearby allow day use of the pools.
5. Have a nostalgic movie marathon, break out some of your favorite movies from when you were a kid or teen, snuggle on the sofa, and serve flavored popcorn.
6. Throw a ‘Clean Out Your Closet’ party. Re-oganizing your room and closet may not seem glamorous but it actually feels really good once it’s done, the sense of accomplishment is astonishing. Take the old clothes and have a party, everyone brings their clothes and you swap, it’s a fun excuse to get together and everyone ends up with something ‘new’. This works for all ages. Donate whatever is left to Goodwill or a shelter.
7. Volunteer. If you are the parents of teens or preteens this can be so rewarding. Nothing teaches gratitude and appreciation like helping others in need. Call your local animal shelter, if your kids are 16 or older they can build with Habit for Humanity, but they also have volunteer options for kids 5-25 at habitat.org
8. Create a scavenger hunt. This is fun for all ages, especially for teens, make teams, list things they have to gather and give them a time frame. Items can include, a napkin from with a local restaurant logo, take out menu, change of address form from the post office, a business card from a lawyer- with bonus points if his name is John, things like that, get creative! To spice it up or make it more challenging, make a photographic scavenger hunt, include pictures they have to take, for example, their team holding a puppy in a pet store, team member with a person who is 85 years old, entire team on a slide, or sitting in a fire truck, extra points per fireman in the photo….these are just ideas, get silly, it’s a fun way for kids and families to bond.
9. Check out sites and applications like, Zozi.com , Living Social, and Groupon, they have incredible deals on fun things to do in your local area.
*Remember Vacation is truly a state of mind, so try to relax and bit, and let the rules slide more than usual. Part of being on vacation is the break from the routine. So surprise your kids with Chocolate/bacon chip pancakes, or serve breakfast for dinner, let kids stay up a little extra, anything that will make the week feel special adds an element of fun. Cheers to a wonderful Spring Break!