Free and Low Cost Ideas for Spring Break

It’s spring. That perfect time of year when the days get longer, birds are singing, the grass is greener, weather is warmer and leaves start making their appearance on tree branches. But the best part of spring is Spring Break!


For our kids, it’s something to look forward to – a break from school and a change in routine. But for most of us single parents with little time and money, it presents a dilemma.


Whether it’s finding a day care, a spring break camp or a getaway trip with or without family, we are paying someone or something to keep them busy and safe if we have to work through spring break.


We have to plan to keep these kids busy and often times there is a financial cost in doing so.


But there are a number of free events and activities that any single parent on a budget can take advantage of within their community. The key is keeping them engaged and making use of this free break from school for the opportunity to bond, to learn, to earn money or to relax.


For kids ages 10 to 17, there are a number of free activities they can do. If your kids are staying in town and you have full responsibility for them during the break period, here are some free and low cost ideas.


Free Outdoor Activities for Kids Ages 10 – 17


1. Take a hike. If you have beautiful trails in the area that is safe to walk through, dress for the occasion and hike through the trails after work (weather permitting). With daylight a little longer, you may be able to squeeze in a 30 minute walk with your kids. It’s a great way to catch up on your day and a great opportunity to bond.


2. Plant flowers and do some gardening. Spring is a great time to plant annuals and perennials. Even if you don’t have a garden, you can plant seeds in a small container with soil. Seeds are relatively inexpensive at less than $1 for a package.


3. Plan a picnic. Find a park where you can relax and eat your packed lunch or dinner.


4. Fly a kite. Build a kite, head to the park or the beach and watch it fly in the sky on a windy day.


5. Take photos. Go to your favourite scenic place and take photos. If you have access to a graphics design software program, you can edit your photo graphs when you get home


6. Go fishing. In some communities, man-made lakes and ponds are stocked with fish and marine life. Borrow a fishing rod and go fishing. It’s not about getting the biggest fish but the experience.


7. Record your experience. With video recording features available on your phone, perhaps the budding film maker can use spring break to create a montage of their film ideas.


8. Play sports. With a number of local parks and venues available, kids can play tennis, baseball, soccer, frisbee, volleyball, badminton, cricket, football and a number of other sports outside.


Indoor Activities for Kids Ages 10 – 17


1. Cook together. Now that they don’t have homework to worry about after school, you can have the kids prepare the ingredients for dinner. Along the way, they will build skills and learn how to cook for themselves.


2. Catch up on leisure reading. For the bookworm in your family, creating a reading list may keep them intellectually engaged. They can find all the books online, find out which libraries carry the books and check them out. If you have an account with Audible or have a subscription to certain magazines, your kids could download the books or magazines to their computer or ipad to read during spring break.


3. Create art. If you have scrap pieces of a metal, plastic, bottles or ingredients like pasta, you can be creative and do arts and crafts.


4. Start a blog. If your kids like to write, this is an opportunity to set up a blog. They can take photos of things that inspire them and create a spring break online journal.


Low Cost Activities for Kids Ages 10 – 17


1. Community centers. Our local community and recreational centers often have spring programs that help kids build new skills.


2. Local Attractions. For a small price, you can explore your community by going to the local art gallery, museum or tourist attraction. Take a mini trip to another part of your city and rediscover the beauty of your community.


3. Animal farms. For the animal lover in your family, go to a petting zoo and visit the four legged creatures.


4. Take a horse ride. If you’ve never been and have always wanted to try something new, taking a horse ride through a trail is a great experience.


5. Hit balls on the golf range. For a small fee, release your stress and hit some golf balls in the golf range.


6. Water sports. With weather permitting, taking a canoe ride, rowing, water skiing or boating is a great way to spend your spring break. For a small fee, you can rent a canoe but motorized sports may cost you a bit more.


What will you and your kids be doing for spring break? Share your ideas.

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