Ahh, the joys of spring break. Many families may head to hotter climates soak up some rays, but you’re staying home with your family this year. The question is, what fun (and relaxing!) activities can you plan without shelling out a bunch of money? We’ve got ideas for you.
1. Foster a furry friend for the week (or weekend).
Help out a friend who’s going on vacation, or volunteer to foster a dog from a local shelter. Many places need fosters just for the weekend or for one night, so it’s a perfect way to shower some love on a cat or dog in need, even if you don’t have the time or resources to have a pet full time.
2. Have a dance-off.
3. Go camping indoors: If you don’t have the space for the giant one you use for legitimate camping, make a fort with blankets and chairs. Make s’mores in the microwave, tell ghost stories, sing songs, and snuggle up.
4. Plan a future trip: It’s cold now, but what lovely adventures can you plan for when the weather is warmer? This doesn’t have to be a super-expensive trip to a city five states over. Is there a nearby wacky festival you’ve been dying to check out, or a waterpark that’s a family favorite?
5. Create a new spin on pizza.
This yummy tortilla pizza recipe puts a new spin on a family favorite!
6. Go sledding.
7. Donate: Go through your closet, and enlist your kids’ help. Set aside clothing you can use for DIY projects, like making an infinity scarf out of an old tee. Then take your big bag of unused stuff to a charity like Goodwill. It will clear your closets and make you feel good.
8. Redecorate: This can be something as simple as switching the couch and the loveseat around and seeing if you like that design better. (If you can’t go away on vacation, you can still change the scenery.)
9. Savor having solo time with your loved ones.
Have one-on-one time with each kid (and carve out time to have a date night with your hubby, too)!
10. Buy new plants to liven up your interior.
11. Host a themed movie night: Invite another family over so you have twice the videos to choose from. Flip through your Netflix account and check the bargain bins at your local stores. Set up a kid-friendly video downstairs, and one for the adults upstairs (think “Cars” for the kids and “Drive” for the adults). Create snacks and drinks that match your theme.
12. Make salted caramel popcorn for said movie night.
13. Have quiet time to yourself.
Light candles, take a bath, read a book — do whatever relaxes you and enjoy uninterrupted bliss for a few hours.
14. Enjoy a family spa day: Paint your nails, use natural remedies to pamper your skin, or even experiment with (washable!) hair dye.
15. Bake cookies for your frazzled friend or busy neighbors.
16. Shovel your neighbor’s driveway (and then maybe they’ll make you cookies).
17. Make colorful ice globes.
Decorate the snowdrifts lining your sidewalk by creating these colored ice globes. All you need are balloons, water, and food coloring to create these awesome spheres. This tutorial walks you through it.
18. Learn something new: Keep it fun, like learning how to say “I love you” in every language.
19. Museum Visits: Museums often have one day a week where they offer free admission. Check out their websites and take your kids along. Take it a step further by making it a scavenger hunt. Before you go, write down all the things they expect to see, and get as specific as possible, like a sunset, a bowl of fruit, or a couple in love.
20. Go to a local hockey game.
21. Send postcards.
Who says you have to go out of town to send postcards? Send a few of your loved ones postcards with a warm message on the back telling them how much you miss and love them — and set up a time to go see them.
23. Head to the library: check out books and videos, and look up the schedule online to see if there are any cool workshops or readings going on during break.
24. Try yoga as a family.
25. Play a game you’ve never played before.
How do you keep your kids busy during spring break? Share with us!
C. Dixon likes to read, sing, eat, drink, write, and other verbs. She enjoys cavorting around the country to visit loved ones and experience new places, but especially likes to be at home with her husband, son, and dog.