Oh my goodness, spring break is quickly sneaking upon us! With that comes the search for fun spring break activities. I love spring break since my boys are all in school now I miss the times that they are home. I always want to make spring break special for them. Thankfully, fun spring break activities do not have to break the bank.
The relationships that we have with other people are one of the most important things in our lives. In particular, that means our relationship with our kids, spouses, and families. Time spent with the one ones that mean the most to us helps to build-up those relationships with bonding time. That’s what makes fun spring break activities important – they give us quality time to bond with our kids. When our relationships are better, our lives are happier.
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Fun Spring Break Activities can be Small and Easy!
Most of the time, my kids’ requests for fun spring break activities are small that can be easily done. Much of the time they are not expensive, but only require some time. One of their most favorite spring break activities is visiting a neighboring town, going for a hike, and having picnic at their favorite park. Sometimes we get so wound up in wanting to make things special and go “all-out” that we forget to ask them what THEY want. What my kids crave quality time with me more than expensive things.
Remembering that TIME is What Makes the Spring Break Activities Fun
I try to remember that I only have so much TIME with my kids. They will not always want to hang out with me. They will not always want to tell me everything that is on their little minds (even if currently the topics are mostly fictional stories, transformers, and video games.)
This is the time to make memories with them. I want to share with you some of my best ideas for fun spring break activities. Many of them are easily done and cost nothing. Others have a small cost, but all of them are TIME with your kids and opportunities to make good memories.
Fun Spring Break Activities of All Kinds
The following list is divided into categories to help you find the activities that best fit your child, your budget, and your area. I would love to add to this list, so comment below with any additional ideas that you have!
Cheap and Fun Spring Break Activity Ideas
You don’t have to spend a lot of money in order to have fun. Here are some fun spring break activity ideas at a small cost!
1. Local Day Trip
I love a good day trip! Check out your area’s attractions. There may be something fairly close that you have not gotten around to seeing!
2. Roller Skating
My boys love this fun spring break activity. It is often on the request list. Even if you have smaller kids, some skating rinks now have little “walkers” made from PVC pipe that your little one can hold on to while they skate. This is a great and fairly inexpensive way to burn off extra energy! Many skating rinks have a lower cost time to come, like $2 Tuesdays.
This is another fun spring break activity that we all enjoy. Many places also have modifications in place for the younger ones, like bumpers that come up in the gutters and ramps to roll the heavy balls off of. Many also have discounted times to go!
4. Indoor Pool
Nothing quite says “Summer’s coming” like swimming. Even if it’s too cold outside to enjoy the water, many communities have local indoor pools that you can go to for a small fee. We recently got one of these in our area and I am looking forward to exploring it!
Some have entry fees, others do not. Look around in your area and see what’s available. You can make this fun spring break activity educational as well, especially if it is a hands-on kids’ discovery museum.
I love camping, but we usually go in the summertime. I have a friend that loves going in spring weather because it’s better for fishing and hiking. Just make sure you bring all the appropriate gear for cooler nights!
7. Go Out to Eat and Let the Kids Pick the Place
It can be a fast food place, or perhaps a place that has a play area. Kids love getting to make “grown-up decisions!”
8. Ice Cream
I will use this term loosely to include frozen yogurt as well. That makes it healthy, right? 😛
9. Local Festival or Attraction
Check your area’s website for any fun activities going on over spring break! Some areas also have some pretty neat attractions. Ours has a pioneer village that you can go walk around in that has buildings from the 1800s. Educational and fun!
10. Local Zoo
I love the zoo perhaps more than my kids do. I love walking around, seeing all the animals and taking pictures! This might be a good chance to let the kids take some pictures as well for future scrapbooking or art projects. (or just for fun!)
11. Horseback Riding
This one is not available in all areas, and may not be all that low cost, depending on the place. It does need to be supervised by a knowledgable adult. I had to include it since it IS one of my favorite fun spring break activities. For us, my Mom owns the horses so it’s a no-cost activity. Even if you don’t have that option available to you, search for a local barn that might give lessons
Free Fun Spring Break Activities That Get You Out and About
This fun spring break activity is a classic for good reason. Who does not like to enjoy a day in the park to plan and enjoy the sun? You can stay as long as you like, whether it be a quick 15-minute play break or if you decide to hang out for hours.
Picnics are another favorite spring activity for my kids. Sometimes we take a blanket and just carry our lunch outside, and other times we bring it to the park. You can make this as simple or as elaborate as you want.
Often local libraries will have programs for the kids. They think it’s fun while you know it encourages reading!
I love a good hike. It gets the kids into nature where they are not even thinking about their screen time. They are just out enjoying the sights and sounds of outside. My youngest loves to find a “hiking stick” along the way. I actually bought a hiking stick last year. It helps much more than I thought it would when it comes to my knees not hurting after the hike.
This fun spring break activity is great for both you and the kids. It burns calories and helps boost your mental health while you spend quality time with your kids.
17. Wade in a creek
This one is weather dependent for sure! If you decide to do this one, then bring the kids a change of clothes and a towel. Even if you just plan on wading, the rocks in creeks are slick! I also recommend some shoes to help protect feet from rocks and any glass that might have accidentally gotten in the creek.
Flip flops will work, but water shoes or sandals that strap to the feet work better because they are more secure. If your kid can’t swim and the creek is deep enough, make sure they wear a life jacket. Safety first! Look for crawdads in the water. They are mud-colored and hard to see but can be fun to catch. Just grab them in the head section behind the pinchers! If you grab the tail they can twist around and pinch you. (For some reason, this risk of getting pinched makes them more fun to catch…boys….) Look for them under rocks as well.
–Remember scavenger hunts or treasure hunts? Geocaching is like that and they have locations worldwide! It is a free activity, but you need your smartphone for GPS. They give you coordinates through an app and then you go find the “cache.” They come in different sizes and containers and they have varying difficulties. Some contain knick-knacks that you can trade out, but all of them have a log that you sign and then put back. It’s pretty cool to see how many other people have found the cache. You can also log it online. It is a real live treasure hunt. This one is on my “to-do list” with my boys.
19. Visit the grandparents!
This one is a FAVORITE of my boys and we MUST do it about every chance we get. This activity is highly encouraged by my parents as well.
Fun Outside Spring Break Activities at Home
Sometimes it’s just good to take a day and enjoy being at home! I get tired of go, go, go all the time. If you are looking for fun spring break staycation ideas, I have you covered!
20. Sandbox play
When my oldest son turned 2, my parents got him a sandbox with a cover over it. We are still using that sandbox 9 years later. It has held up remarkably well. The only issue that we have had with it is if it rains and then is very hot and humid, the sand will mold. When it does this, we scrape out the moldy sand, bleach and scrub the box and add new sand. My parents also have a sandbox for the boys that my dad made and they use a mesh cover over it and have never had this issue.
21. Scavenger Hunt
This one can be quite fun and requires next to no prep. All you need is a list of things that are likely to be found outside. See who can collect the most!
22. Nature Art
When I was a kid, I once took some acorns, turned them upside down and glued their little hats on and lined them up like little people on a piece of cardboard. I created a “summer camp” scene. That was my nature art. Mom kept it and framed it. The fact that I remember this piece of art that I made over 25 years ago, should say something about how fun and memorable this fun spring break activity can be!
23. Blow Bubbles
24. Bubble Art
This one involves paint and bubbles. Due to the mess, I like to use it as an outdoor activity, though I suppose you could do it indoors if you don’t mind cleaning up afterward. You put some paint in the bubble mixture and then use a straw to blow bubbles. Then you put your paper (or whatever else you have on top of the bubbles and watch as it makes a fun pattern.
25. Make and complete an Outdoor obstacle course
For this fun outdoor spring break activity, you can use whatever you have laying around. Kids love to be timed! Use your imagination to come up with as many obstacles as you can and then time the kids to see who can go through the fastest. It can also be modified for indoor use as well.
26. Plant a garden
Kids enjoy learning about plants and they are more likely to eat their vegetables if they are involved in helping to grow them.
27. Make rockets
There’s something fascinating about rockets and doing them outside is just downright fun and exciting. There are many ways to do this, from DIY versions to store-bought ones.
28. Shave Foam Writing
If you have preschoolers, they may not enjoy practicing their letters very much. With this great sensory activity, you spray out shave foam and let them get messy! Have them practice writing or drawing. If you choose to do this one indoors, I suggest a cookie sheet to help contain the mess.
29. Knight Training
My mom gets full credit for coming up with this game. On the rafters of her covered porch, she hung a foam ball by a string and has two foam swords for the boys. The idea is to swing the sword and hit the ball without it hitting them. (extra points for super cool moves!)
*I will include a note of caution for this one… make sure the foam swords are soft and do not have anything inside to stiffen them! When you give two boys swords and send them out to play, someone is going to get whacked when things start getting exciting! We have a strict “target zone” that does NOT include the face or other sensitive areas.
30. Nerf Gun War
Did I mention that I had boys? Nerf gun wars rank as one of their favorite outdoor activities at home. Sometimes their Dad even joins in on the fun. Below are my boy’s picks for their favorite nerf guns and why. They have an entire arsenal so these picks are well tested. (All except for the tactical vest. That’s on the “want” list.
Oldest Son’s Pick (age 12) Nerf Modulus Regulator – favorite features – select-fire, which lets you choose between semi-automatic, 3 round burst, and full automatic firing styles. He says it’s a good primary weapon for running nerf wars.
(Mom note: It’s also huge and takes batteries, but also has attachments that you can buy separately.)
Youngest Son’s Pick ( age 8) – Nerf Ravager Alien Menace – favorite feature – rotating barrel that shoots two darts at a time and it looks cool.
Mom’s Pick: Nerf Tactical Vest Favorite Feature: Safety glasses (Because we don’t want to put any eyes out) and pockets (so they can pick up all the darts after they are done)
Fun Indoor Spring Break Activities to do at Home
Sometimes on spring break mother nature does not get the memo that you want to have fun on nice spring-like days. Especially on those days, it’s nice to have some ideas for fun spring break activities that you can do inside at home.
31. Reading Time
No matter the age of your children, there have been numerous studies published about the benefits of reading to your kids and the benefits they get from reading themselves. Older kids might protest this one if they do not enjoy reading, but like any skill, reading gets better with practice. Designated reading time also gives you a chance for some peace and quiet as well.
32. Baking Together
Both of my sons still enjoy helping me make a batch of chocolate chip cookies. They have “helped” me make them since they were toddlers. This is a great way to spend time with your kids, as well as develop small motor skills, math skills, and reading skills.
33. Cook and Let them Help
Allow more time for cooking when you have helpers, but this is a great way to teach them some valuable life skills. Everyone needs to know how to cook.
This is my favorite type of painting, mostly because of the low cost of the supplies and that it’s easy to clean up. Even if you are not the best painter in the world, it’s still fun to creatively express yourself.
35. Marbled Art
Much marbled art is done by pouring. It looks fantastic and fun, and very messy. While I’m not afraid of a little mess, I am afraid of a really big one with paint that I can’t clean up permanently all over my kitchen floor. That’s not really the home look I’m going for. However, this no-mess marbled art looks very fun. It contains the mess in heavy-duty ziplock bags. It looks like so much fun you might find me doing this fun spring break activity solo.
36. Make Homemade Puppets
Remember sock puppets or paper bag puppets? They are very easy to make using whatever materials you have on hand. The kids get a kick out of them too and it gives them a creative outlet as well when you encourage them to come up with stories using the puppets.
37. Have a Puppet Show
Let the kids use their new puppets to act out a story for you. You can use almost anything as a puppet stage. If you are running low on creative ideas, try using a cardboard box or hanging a sheet over a tension shower rod in the doorway.
38. Make Sculptures From Modeling Clay
There are two types of modeling clay, the kind that stays soft and the kind that actually hardens. The type that hardens can either be the type that you have to bake in the oven, or the type that can air dry. I prefer the type that can air dry for kids since the creations can break when fired in the oven. The kids love being creative and it gives us a good opportunity to make memorable gifts for family members, special occasions, or just because. (Edit: After doing some research, I have found that the type that you bake in the oven can also be boiled. I may have to give that one a shot myself! It looks fun! )
39. Scrapbook together
Let the kids take pictures, or use ones that you already have. Let them be creative!
40. Make musical instruments
No, not real ones. Use whatever you have laying around the house. You could put dried beans in an oatmeal container and shake it, or string rubber bands around a box. Check out this post from Learning Liftoff for some other ideas for DIY musical instruments.
41. Private Rock Concert
After the kids get done crafting their own DIY instruments, you can have them put on a “rock concert” for you. Cheer and clap like it’s the best thing you’ve ever heard and watch their faces light up with joy. Video it – their future girlfriend/boyfriend will want to see, I’m sure. (Or you could just keep it for blackmail later…)
There are tons of recipes for these. Find one that suits you best, if you do not like either of the ones that I linked to.
43. Make oobleck
What is oobleck, you say? I could be fancy and tell you that it’s a non-Newtonian fluid, but even to a former science teacher like myself that doesn’t mean very much. It is a super-concentrated solution of water and cornstarch. (Which means it’s pretty safe even if you have small kids). Use a disposable cup and fill it about half full of water. Stir in cornstarch until it stops being able to dissolve. Then stir in more until you get a consistency that will move like a liquid when you put your finger in slowly but if you try to jab it quickly, it will feel more like a solid. Very interesting sensory experience. When I taught high school science, this ranked as one of my student’s favorite activities.
44. Make a bird feeder
There are all kinds of ways to make bird feeders. Use whatever you have on hand! One of the simplest ways is to take a pine cone, spread peanut butter on the open parts and sprinkle birdseed on it. I have also seen them made out of old pie plates. Use your imagination!
45. Play Charades
This is not just a fun spring break activity, it’s a game that can be played anytime and is easily adaptable to different age groups of kids. The ideas is that the kids act out words. You may have to help smaller children with some of the words if they cannot read yet. Each word is written on a piece of paper or an index card (or a picture of the word for younger kids). On each player’s turn, they have to non-verbally act out the word. Kids can brainstorm words themselves, or you can look at a list of charades ideas.
46. Play a Board Game
There are so many video games in our society that we sometimes forget just how fun a simple board game can be! It also helps teach kids how to react and be a good winner and a good loser.
47. Have a tea party
I will admit to being a bit of a tea junkie and “ruining” my kids on it. My kids love hot tea! For them, I usually sweeten it a bit with some honey or a teaspoon or two of sugar. Our favorites include peppermint tea, fruit tea, vanilla chai tea (with milk and sugar) and green tea with pomegranate. A few little snacks to go with the tea are also fun (and for my boys, a non-negotiable if I want them to buy into the “tea party” idea. )
48. Make a marble run
Why not incorporate some learning into your day? You can use very simple materials to make a marble run. The kids will enjoy seeing who can com up with the wackiest path for the marble to follow.
49. Have a Contest
Who can come up with the most imaginative Lego creations, build the tallest block tower, or stand on one foot the longest? Have a small prize at the end. (Maybe a coloring sheet, an extra 10 mins of screen time, or something else small.)
50. Masking Tape Roads
Make roads all over the house for those hot wheels cars!
51. Masking Tape Shapes
I have seen several variations, such as:
- Who can find a specific shape?
- Building something in a particular shape
- Finding something that will fit in a particular shape
52. Dress up
At first, the fun spring break activity came to mind for girls. However, my boys also enjoy dressing up. They just call it making up “costumes” instead. 🙂 Theirs tend to go the way of superheroes and making up costumes of possible video game characters.
53. Cardboard box make-over
It can be a rocket ship, a playhouse, a tent, an airplane, whatever you want it to be!
55. Non-traditional Painting Materials
Paint with q-tips, cotton balls, carve potato stamps, or any other thing you can find around the house
56. Blanket Forts
Old-fashioned? Yes, but also still tons of fun. All you need are some blankets, chairs, and whatever else you can dream up.
57. Let them “Camp out” in the living room overnight
My boys have made this a Christmas tradition, but it’s a fun activity at any time!
Real ping pong goes a bit fast for smaller kids + there is also the possibility of the ball smashing into something breakable inside the house. Using a balloon solves this. It moves much slower and the kids have tons of fun. You could also move this fun spring break activity outside if it’s pretty out. The wind might give them more of a challenge. You can use tennis rackets, sticks, or even just your hands!
I started making my kids keep a journal over the summer to keep their writing skills sharp. This year, I may start during spring break as well. It’s a great practice to work through feelings and to help you remember things that would otherwise be forgotten. (We usually use a composition notebook for the journal, although you can get something fancier to help encourage the kids to get more excited about writing.)
60. Family cleaning time
Who can get their chore done the best/quickest?? (Sounds like a fun game to me!)
The Last Thing You Need to Know About Fun Spring Break Activities
Whatever you decide to do over spring break, remember that it’s the TIME that you spend with your kids that will make great memories. Kids need quality time more than they need stuff. One of our favorite things to do that I did not mention here is to simply have a lazy morning at home. Sometimes the simplest things make the best memories. Remember to slow down and enjoy the small things. I hope that you have an amazing spring break!
Do you have a favorite activity that you do over spring break? Leave me a comment! I’d love to hear from you!
Updated: March 10, 2020
Original post: March 13, 2018.
Need more ideas? I found these posts from Tipjunkie.com to be extremely helpful and inspiring!
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