Spring Break on a Budget: How to Entertain Your Kids

happy kids jumping in the air while going on a hike outside

Spring break is right around the corner with the summer holiday following closely behind. Your kids will be home for a week. You're sure to hear the dreaded cries of "I'm bored." If you're on a tight budget, you might think there isn't any way to entertain your kids over the school break. Don't worry. There's plenty of things you can do on a small budget or for free. Here’s how to conquer spring break on a budget with your family!

Photographic Scavenger Hunt

Spring break comes after a cold winter. Take advantage of the warmer weather during spring break to get your kids outside and more active. You can create a list of scavenger hunt items for your kids to capture via photographs.

Some items to include on your list are:

  • Red car
  • Black cat
  • Wildflowers
  • Flowering tree
  • Yellow flower
  • Greenhouse
  • Red bird
  • Brown bird
  • Orange tabby cat
  • Trampoline
  • Swingset
  • and so much more.

This is one fun and easy way to have spring break on a budget- You don’t need to buy anything! You can search as a group if you have younger kids. If you have older children, you might consider breaking up into two groups. After the scavenger hunt, everyone can meet back at the house for a snack and to view the photos.

Stay at Home Movie Afternoon

Taking your kids to movies is always an expensive endeavor. Keep your spring break on a budget by enjoying a stay at home movie afternoon. You can rent your kids' favorite movies and make up their favorite snacks. Most grocery stores have a microwave popcorn that pops in a bucket similar to the ones at movie theaters.

It's a good idea to turn off all the lights in the living room, so it's dark like at the theater. If it's still to light, you can hang towels in the windows for the afternoon to make the room even darker.

Visit a Local State or National Park

If you live close to a State or National Park, you can take the kids for a day of outdoor fun. Most of these parks charge a small per car fee, but it isn't very much. National Parks have a Junior Ranger Program for kids, and the visitor's center has more information on the local ecology and wildlife.

Depending on the timing of your visit, there may be a ranger-led program or a nature hike. Many of these parks have picnic areas, and some offer campsites if you want to stay the night. In some cases, you can bring your bikes and take them out on the trail. This is a great way to keep your kids active, get outside, and celebrate spring break on a budget!

Local Library

Libraries are going out of their way to get people through the door. Your local library probably has a kid's program in place. They might have a reading hour or crafts classes. Call your local library and see if they have any events planned over the spring break holiday. You can always stop by to check out books and movies.

Camp Over

Kids miss their friends during school breaks. You can schedule a camp over and invite all of their friends. With sleeping bags and maybe a large tent, you can let the kids camp in your backyard.

You can create a fire pit for the kids to roast hot dogs on a stick and marshmallows for s'mores. Sit around the campfire and tell ghost stories. If you like, you can spend the night outside with them. Older kids may want to go it alone.

You don't have to listen to your kids whine about boredom or go broke visiting theme parks. There's a lot to do in your area on a budget, and some things you can do for free. Start with these tips and imagine some of your own possibilities.