I live in the South. And for reasons that I do not understand, Spring Break comes verrrry early here. My kids are on Spring Break this week and just as it has in the past – Spring Break snuck up on me this year.
For most of you, however, Spring Break is on the horizon. It will be here soon, and you need to get a plan. Last year, we did a big Spring Break, which I planned entirely from my desk at work – you may remember the blog I did on “How to Book Spring Desk From Your Desk“.
This year, we needed to do something local, and preferably less expensive. So with the help and advice of some friends, I came up with a plan that was easy on my wallet and (most importantly) extremely fun for the kids.
My plan involved a short drive (under 2 hours), a trip to a hotel with a waterslide park (reminding myself that it would be total chaos, but totally fun for the kids), a trip to a local set of caves and a big waterfall, and a sleepover in a train car (again, this seems fun for one night, right?).
There is nothing particularly genius about my plan – except maybe for the fact that I managed to swing a plan together at all. But I did come up with a few key takeaway ideas this year, which I will share with you.
Be a tourist where you live. There are so many things that are local to you that you probably never do. Some of the BEST outings that I considered were taken right off the pages of TripAdvisor and other tourism websites for the city in which I live. I had no idea we could charter a boat and go fishing on our local lake, or that there was a Native American Cherokee tribe reservation within an hour of our house where we can explore, or that there is a GIANT ziplining park nearby. You don’t have to travel far (or stay in a pricey hotel) to take in some new experiences.
Consider State and National Parks
I recently spent an afternoon wandering around a Civil War era fort that is now a national park. From the road, it didn’t look like anything special, but once I got inside, I was amazed to discover that it involved a really entertaining and informative film, a short museum with a bunch of cool artifacts, and then a TON of informative materials to look at (and extremely knowledgable guides) as we wandered around the property. Do you know how much this afternoon cost us? About $8. EIGHT DOLLARS. That’s because this was a National Park. There are probably a ton of similar things around you – you may drive past them all the time. I highly recommend these as an option.
Be A Kid for the Day (or Two)
Lets be honest – there are some activities that my kids LOVE that I absolutely HATE. The germ-invested indoor play-gym comes to mind… But if you are trying to put together a Spring Break plan that is both easy and fun, well… just get over it and go do some of those things. Candidly, having a pre-teen is all the reminder I need that soon… very soon.. the little guys won’t want to hang out with me on the waterslides anymore. So I’m trying to do MORE of the things that make THEM really happy. Indoor waterslide park? Yes! Swimming on a Tuesday night? Sure! Sleep in a cramped traincar-hotel for the night? You bet. Sit through the incredibly annoying animated movie they are DYING to see at the movie theater. Grab some popcorn because I’m there. Just go for it – they will totally remember that you did.
Whether it’s big budget, or not, my point here is that you can have a LOT of fun in ways and places that are within minutes or hours of where you live.
Happy Spring Break 2016!