Spring break and Easter Week are almost here, and if you have any children, coming up with frugal and fun things to do during the week-long break can be challenging. Plus, the uncertain economic conditions have many families cutting back on expenses, so spring break vacations may not be fiscally feasible. Here are some frugal holiday break ideas for a memorable week with your kids.
If your family really wants to travel, one of the key tips to be thrifty and fun for a spring break vacation is to plan ahead. Budget how much money you could spend for the whole trip, and then allocate the budget into different days and activities. Be sure to include some money for emergencies and unplanned expenses. Another notable option for frugal vacations is camping. Many provincial, state and national parks provide inexpensive lodging choices, such as cabins. Camping will provide you and your family valuable bonding time in the wilderness, exercise opportunities, and appreciation of the natural wonders.
Be a Tourist in Your Own Town and City
Become a tourist in your own backyard will allow you to have many fun day trips. This is an excellent idea if you are new to the city, as you will discover many attractions that are available at your doorsteps. First, make a list of local museums, science centres, parks, zoos, aquariums, community centres, ethnic neighbourhoods (e.g., Chinatown or Little Italy), factory tours and attractions. Then, consult with your family on the top five to ten places your family wants to visit. Next, browse the attractions’ and tourism office web sites for any coupons and deals. For example, a quick search on the Internet tells me that the local art gallery offers admission by donations every Thursday afternoon. Therefore, I could plan to visit the art gallery on Thursday afternoon. Similarly, you could plan your to take advantage of these deals for your staycations.
Volunteering with Your Kids
If you wish to spend more time with your children, one of the best ways is to volunteer together at a local charity or non-profit. There are many child-friendly opportunities: retirement homes, beach clean-ups, and local community centres. You and your kids will feel good about them and will learn the value of giving back to the community. Contact your local volunteer centres for opportunities.
Story Time and Other Library Activities
Many public libraries offer spring break events and programming, such as story times and “meet the authors,” during the spring and Easter breaks. Visit the web sites of your local libraries for time and locations of these activities. In many cases, stories are read out loud by story-tellers and the kids have a chance to participate and interact with the story-tellers.
Baking and Cooking with Your Children
If one of the spring break days rains, then a fun activity to do at home is cooking and baking. Brainstorm with your children on what to bake or make, and then search the Internet for kids-friendly recipes. Next, spend the morning shopping at a local supermarket. If you use flyers, coupons and rebates, you could be showing your kids how to save money on grocery shopping. Then, spend the afternoon on cooking and baking. Encourage your children to release their creativity with decorations and embellishments.
Movie Night Time
At night, you could create a fun movie night at home. Rent movies, or better yet, borrow DVDs from the local libraries, then watch the films with your kids. Prepare popcorn and juice to serve during movie time.
If your kids generally have a lot of scheduled activities afterschool, then offer them a week of doing nothing may be beneficial. In our hurried lives, our children are sometimes overscheduled, and having a week to relax together would be a welcomed change and could reenergize your kids.
Memory Creation on the Last Spring Break Day
On the last day of the holiday week, encourage your children to create a memory book or a scrapbook to document the fun activities that they did during spring break. Include mementos, such as transit passes, ticket stubs, postcards, photos, stickers and maps. Your kids would now have something for show and tells or class presentations.
What are some of your frugal ideas for spring break and Easter week? Share them with us in the comments below.