If you are like me, your kids have spring break next week and you are staying at home.
If you are also like me, you may be looking for things to do with your kids that won’t cost you an arm and a leg but will keep everyone in your family from killing each other by the tenth consecutive day of being home together.
So, with the help of some readers, I compiled a list. We have already done one of the things on the list, and I’m hoping to do a couple more over the course of the next eight days.
Stuff to do when the weather is good:
1. Put the bikes in the car and head to a bike path or rail trail you’ve never checked out. Not sure where to find one? Just Google “rail trails” in your state and you’ll have a whole list. We may check out the Farmington River Trail in CT this week.
2. Take a trip to the zoo. If you live near NYC, the Bronx Zoo is free on Wednesdays. Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it!
3. It’s baseball season! Some minor league teams have started their season or are starting it this week. Check out a minor league game! They are cheaper than major league games, you can get decent seating fairly inexpensively, and there are often some fun activities for the kids at the game!
4. Visit a state park you’ve never been to before. If you live near the coast, check out one of the beach state parks, bring some shovels and buckets, make some sandcastles, pack a picnic lunch, and chill out!
5. Go for a hike. One of our favorite hikes is at Kent Falls State Park in Kent, CT. Lovers Leap State Park in New Milford is also an easy hike when you have young kids. Google “easy hikes for kids in (your state)” and you’ll get a good list of choices.
6. Visit your local nature center. We just visited ours for the first time yesterday and the kids loved it!
7. Try geocaching! We just discovered this yesterday also (which is what led us to the nature center). The kids absolutely loved this, and so did I. Definitely fun for all ages.
8. Go on a scavenger hunt! You could do this in your own back yard or you could do this on a hike/at a state park/nature center. Need some ideas? Check out these 30 printable scavenger hunts for kids!
9. Make an American Ninja Warrior course/obstacle course/decathlon in your back yard.
10. Put your kids to work and do a family yard clean up. If you have space, help them clear out an area where they can have their own garden, or set up some container gardens for them.
11. Visit a local working farm. UCONN’s animal barns are open to the public seven days a week. Google “working farms in (your state)” to get a list of farms you can visit with your kids!
12. Try your hand at disc golf (Frisbee golf). This is so much fun, and it’s just like regular golf, except instead of using golf clubs and a golf ball, you use a Frisbee, and the “hole” is a metal and chain basket. If your kid can throw a Frisbee, your kid can play disc golf (you’ll need to bring your own discs). There are courses all over the country — in CT there are more than ten different courses (I’ve played the one at Cranbury Park in Norwalk). Click here to find a course near you!
13. Make a bonfire during the day and make s’mores.
Stuff to do when the weather sucks:
14. Make a seriously kick butt fort. Simple string/rope, clothes pins or binder clips and a couple bedsheets are all you need. Or, if you want to go one step further, check out this one that uses pool noodles, duct tape, and sheets.
15. Visit a museum you never have the chance to go see during the year. Your local library often has free passes to many museums.
16. Clear a space inside where you can grow some seedlings to plant outside when the cold weather is gone for good. Recycle egg cartons/milk cartons/yogurt containers/etc. to plant seeds in. (If you are really ambitious and make those gardens/container gardens when it’s nice out, you can transplant the seedlings into the gardens you prepared outside on one of the good weather days).
17. Have a Stay in PJs Movie Marathon Day and make popcorn/snacks/etc. If you’re worried about the kids getting antsy make a chart and every time they say certain words in a movie everyone has to do jumping jacks or jog in place etc. ( A modified drinking game!)
18. Have a “Messy Day.” Make slime, flubber, playdough, all DIY recipes you can find on Pinterest. Simple, easy fun without too many rules!
19. Have a “Chopped — Spring Break” competition. Take four ingredients out of your pantry/fridge and challenge your kids to come up with an appetizer/entree/dessert.
20. Give your kids a cookbook and let them pick out a new dish to try as a family. Make a list of ingredients. Take your kids to the store and teach them how to shop for the least expensive items on the list. Then get cooking!
Be sure to take lots of pictures of whatever you do. You could even make a Spring Break Staycation 2017 photo album, just like you would have if you had gone away. Get some individual pics with each of your kids with you. Moms are so often behind the lens, your children will appreciate a Mom and me photo, and they will love these in the years to come!
Is there something your kids love to do that isn’t on the list? Please share!
Have a great spring break!