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This is one of those times of the year when parents almost dread the fact that their kids are out of school. Why? It’s because they have to find something to occupy their time, especially if they still have to work every day.

For those who can take the time away from work and spend it with the family, I want to encourage you not to dismiss the idea of a staycation, even during Spring Break, and here’s why.

Traveling during Spring Break is EXPENSIVE

Tourism is at its peak during Spring Break, so the hotel, entertainment, and hospitality industries look to make a lot of money from travelers. This drives up the prices of everything from gas to food prices. Yes, there are deals out there, but they are usually “get them when you see them” and can run out very quickly.

You can create a staycation experience that rivals any out-of-town trip and the other tips I’ll give in this article will tell you how.

Your city has hidden gems

Can you, honestly, and truly say that you’ve been EVERYWHERE your city and state have to offer? I know you’ve been to the Zoo a million times or to the same museums even more, but have you taken advantage of everything that they have to offer? Some of these attractions may even offer Spring Break camps for your family to enjoy! 

Have ever researched a company like Memphis’ A Taste of Possibilities that takes people on historical tours of their cities and places nearby that they may have never known existed?

What about those places that you say you have no interest in visiting? Why not give them a chance because they may surprise you, even if they seem childish or everlastingly boring? You could be missing a hidden gem!

Ask those elders where you live about the places that they know of as well! They are a wealth of information that you weren’t around to know about at all!

Some cities or civic groups also have scavenger hunts you can participate in that help you enjoy your city even more!

It’s all about what you make of the time you have!

Transform your home

“Hello? Oriental Trading Company? I’d like to order some carnival games!” With their games, prizes, tickets, and more, you can turn your backyard or shared areas in your house into a carnival for the ages. You can even change out the attractions each day.

family indoor tent

Or turn your home into a movie theater, showing a different movie in each area of the house, and turn your kitchen into a concession stand with all those family treats that you limit to special occasions. You could also prepare a bag of favorites for each family member with treats just for them. Give it to them minutes before their chosen movie starts. Watch out for those movie hoppers, though! They will try to get into another movie they didn’t choose.

Another idea is to turn your house into a hotel and allow everyone to temporarily switch rooms. This may mortify your teenagers, but it could be fun. Prepare for this by asking everyone to do a thorough cleaning of their room and packing away anything age-inappropriate, special, breakable, or flammable. Allow everyone access, within reason, to other areas of the house that they aren’t normally privy to access.

Go stay in a hotel…and live a little

While your family may frown at this one, it can be quite the experience if you choose the right place. Consider checking into a hotel that is either downtown or in a known tourist area in your city. Find out all the amenities that the hotels have to offer and choose the one that provides the most comfort, freedom, and entertainment for each member of your family.

Let the kids experience ordering room service, swimming in a heated pool, visiting the hotel’s game room, etc. Book a spa appointment and send Dad to the hotel’s pub-style restaurant to watch the game. The possibilities are endless!

The key to making this work is to have FUN! Rules are still needed, but a little laxity goes a long way to them having fun.

Volunteer…wait WHAT?

Yep! Spring Break is a wonderful time to help others who may not be able to enjoy the season. Let your kids and teens earn activities by doing things for others. It doesn’t take very much, nor does it have to be time-consuming.

Spend an hour at a soup kitchen, gather up things to be donated and drop them off where they’re needed most, help with a supply disbursement, make blessing bags to hand out to any homeless you encounter during your time away from home, or drop off a monetary donation to the charity of your choice.

Come up with a reward system where they can redeem hours or number of activities done for the activity of their choosing.

Start a kid-based or family business

Wait… I thought we were talking about Spring BREAK?! Yes, we are, but this is the perfect time to sit down as a family and map out your plan of attack. Sandwich stands, beverage stands, and cold treat stands set up in the right place in your neighborhood can be mutually beneficial! Research store models like Geddes school supply stores and see how you can tweak that into what you and your family want to build. You never know what could shoot off into orbit until you try.

The point is that a staycation isn’t all bad. With the right planning and a little bit of research, Spring Break can be the stuff of legend that makes those who traveled jealous! Try one or two of these ideas and see what works best for you! These same ideas may also be useful for other breaks. With a few tweaks, you can make staycation breaks the norm!

If you decide to venture out and have a travel adventure, check out this post on Summer Travel Tips with Young Kids.

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