Spring break is right around the corner for most families. Most kids look forward to a week or so off school to play and relax with friends and family. While many families plan spring break trips, it’s not in everyone’s budget each year. Luckily, there are tons of frugal spring break activities you can do at home with your family.
Many of these things are free or very low cost so you won’t have to stretch your budget. Don’t get overwhelmed with the idea of planning all these expensive outings for spring break each year. Instead, check out these 8 frugal spring break activities and add them to your calendar.
1. Board Games
Don’t underestimate the power of a good board game. If you have some games in the closet but don’t get to play them regularly, spring break is the perfect time to break out the board games and make some fun memories with your family. You can make snacks like cookies, popcorn, and other treats for a game night or game day.
Let each person pick a game they’d like to play. Or, you can even raise the stakes and purchase some trinkets from a discount store to give away as prizes to the winners.
2. Dollar Store Craft
Fill some of the time during spring break by getting your kids to do a fun craft. Some frugal spring break activities don’t involve a ton of prep or materials. Start with items you have on hand then go to the dollar store and see if they have any craft kits you can use.
Consider asking your kids which craft they’d like to make. The dollar store has a lot of great selections whether it’s a bird house you can paint, crafts with popsicle sticks, ingredients to make homemade play dough and more.
3. Draw or Paint Outside
If the weather is nice, bring the kids outside to draw or paint something. Make it pretty laid back by using supplies you already have at home and let your kids take the lead on what they want to create. You can join in with them or just enjoy the nice weather and be present.
Follow up with a homemade picnic lunch after everyone has finished their masterpieces.
4. Ride Bikes or Go On a Nature Walk
Again, if you have great weather during spring break, be sure to get out and enjoy it. Pull out the bikes and go on a family bike ride during the day or early in the evening. This is also a great time to teach your kids how to ride a bike with and without training wheels if they need help. Have them set a goal to practice for 15 minutes each day.
Or, you can go on a nature walk and enjoy a new park or walking trail that you haven’t seen before. Be sure to pack water, snacks, and consider bringing your furry friend along if you have any dogs. They could use the relaxing outing too.
5. Park District Activities
Check with your local park district to see if they offer any activities or events during spring break week. They may have free events like story time, reading challenges, craft kids, and more. Our local library used to have lego building evening events for kids. Sometimes, our library has teen-themed events too like video game nights or creative writing clubs.
Scan the library’s website and review the event calendar for your park district so you can plan ahead. Open gym is a great way for kids to play with friends and burn out all their energy. Oftentimes, you can find a nice activity at a good rate for local residents.
6. Free Zoo
Are there any free zoos in your area? Be sure to take advantage of this during spring break. You can pack a lunch and make a full-day outing out of it. We have a free zoo in the city and have also been to the zoo in St. Louis which doesn’t charge admission for basic entry. The St. Louis zoo is huge so there’s a lot to see. If you could plan a day trip there (if you live within a reasonable distance), it could be well worth the trip.
7. Family Movie Night
We love family movie nights but sometimes our schedules get so busy. Spring break is the perfect time to plan a movie night at home or even a movie marathon. If you prefer to get out of the house, consider a matinee showing at your local theater. Movie screenings are one of the best frugal spring break activities to enjoy with your kids so long as you pick a good film.
If you do plan to stay home, really make it special by preparing a special snack or treat and letting the kids build a comfy fort in the living room. It doesn’t have to be so outside of the box either. My kids are happy with popcorn in a fancy bowl and homemade milkshakes.
8. Friend Day Swap
Utilize your kids’ friendships to make their spring break extra special. Talk to their friend’s parents ahead of time and try to plan something if they will be in town for spring break. You can invite their friends over on one day, then a friend’s family can host your child on another day.
Wondering what to do when you’re hosting your child’s friend? All the activities on this list will be 10 times more fun when one of their buddies in involved. Kids will also just naturally play and have a good time making up games when they visit each other’s homes so it’s a simple way to keep your child busy during spring break.
Summary: Frugal Spring Break Activities Everyone Will Enjoy
Don’t stress yourself out about a fancy spring break trip overseas if it’s not in your budget. The key is to just keep your kids busy and spend some extra time with them. These frugal spring break activities will help you get started in this area and build lasting memories.