Sure, heading south to somewhere warm and sunny for spring break sounds like a little piece of heaven. But sometimes the budget just won’t allow for that kind of spending, especially with the over-inflated costs of travel during one of the busiest weeks of the year! And while planning a staycation (stay-at-home vacation) might seem like a boring alternative, when done right it can end up being just as fun (although not as warm) as the more expensive vacation options. Here are the top 10 awesome (and budget friendly) ideas for activities the whole family will love!
1.Plan a picnic:
Yes, spring break in Canada is definitely not picnic friendly weather. However, nothing is better than a winter living-room picnic! Get the kids to help pack a basket full of sandwiches, cheese, grapes, and other snacks, pack a big blanket and head on over to the living room floor. You can even take it one step further and have the kids dress up in some fun summery outfits, complete with straw hats and sandals!
2.Head over to the local library:
Your local library is so much more than just books! Depending on the age of your children, there are story time, puppet shows, theater events and other fun (and often free) activities. My local library even organized a pyjama party in the evening last year. It is a wonderful way to reconnect locally as well as entertain the entire family.
3.Get active and play a sport:
It might be cold outside but Canada is home to so many wonderful winter sports! Play some good ol’ street hockey. Or head on over to your local arena for free skate hour. Take a drive to your local ski hill and spend the afternoon skiing, tobogganing, or tubing.
4.Go one step further and learn a new sport:
Personally, I recently discovered how much fun curling is! Do a little research and try a new activity. Curling, ice fishing, or snow-shoeing are all surprisingly interesting and are great ways to spend an afternoon getting some fresh air and exercise.
Have you ever tried to break out of a room in which you have been locked? Depending on the ages of your children, the new fad of breakout rooms is the ultimate in team building activities. They are popping up in every major city and working together towards a common goal is such a great family-coming-together-as-one moment.
6.Get a hotel room (in your town):
If the budget allows, grabbing a hotel room in your local city, even if just for one night, is a great way to experience a vacation for less. You can even find a hotel with an indoor pool and spend the day splashing, just like you would if you were down in a tropical destination. Go out for supper or even order some room service, and voilà, a night off from cooking and cleaning too!
7.Geocaching (Scavenger hunt):
Have you checked out geocaching yet? It is basically an app for scavenger hunting. Download the app with the kids one afternoon and spend the day hunting caches. Geocaching is a great way to solve puzzles while working together and exploring your local neighborhood.
Make a big batch of warm, buttered popcorn, put on some comfy clothes, and grab your favorite movie series. Depending on the ages of your kids, some good ones are the Harry Potter series, Toy Story, the Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, X-Men. Lounging around all day watching movies sure sounds like the perfect way to unwind after a few days of activities such as geocaching and sports!
9.Boardgames + dinner:
In my hometown, there is a boardgame restaurant that the kids simply adore. It is basically a restaurant that, in addition to serving meals, has "game sommeliers" that come to your table and, based on your tastes, ages, likes and dislikes, suggest board games to play while you eat. Perhaps your city has one such restaurant. But, even if it doesn’t, the concept is fairly simply to recreate! You can even invite some other people over to bring some new games and turn the evening into a board games night!
This is perhaps one of my favorites. Here in my hometown, some of the local spas have themed "mommy and me" days during spring break. But a spa day is just as fun when organized at home. Break out those mud masks and nail files and you can have a fun time giving each other mani-pedis while exfoliating!
Spring break is a great week to reconnect with the kids. Life gets very busy, for both adults and children, and it is important to recharge as a unit. That recharging does not need to cost a fortune. With a little planning and some expert advice (ahem!) the week will be one of the best spring break’s you have ever had!