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Spring Break on a Budget

How to Have an Awesome Family Spring Break on a Budget

I don’t know about you, but we are thrilled that Spring is almost here! But with the new season, comes Spring Break for our kids. Of course, they all want to know where we will be taking them. The kicker is that just because they have the week off, doesn’t mean that we do. Sadly, that is not always how “adult” life works. Even though we won’t be taking them anywhere for Spring Break, we still have some fun plans in store for them. The bonus is that these ideas won’t kill our budget either!

Spring break alternatives

While we know that at least one kid will complain about not going anywhere, we are going to do our best to make sure they enjoy their week off. And that they aren’t just sitting in front of their electronic devices while we work!

That being said, here are a few of the things that we have planned to keep them entertained and stimulated, all at the same time.


I realize that this is not a word commonly used, but it is one of my favorites. It means to wander aimlessly, and we embark upon these types of adventures fairly regularly. In fact, we try to keep up with our “Perambulation Sunday” every weekend that the kids are with us.

Perambulation Sunday is when we pack a backpack full of healthy snacks (mostly!) and water bottles and hit the road. We try to pick some place that isn’t too far away. A lot of times we will ask the kids where they would like to explore or which direction they want to head.

Once we arrive, we find the first available place to park and start walking. These adventures are really cool because we have found some great parks, playgrounds, fountains, dogs, cats, trees, book stores, restaurants, rivers, lakes, streams, etc. You get the idea!

The kids love it and we love it. It creates some lasting memories and some great family bonding time, all the while costing very little. Sometimes the only cost is the gas to get to where we want to go (which can be as short as 5 minutes away) or we could splurge for appetizers. We rarely do the latter, but it has happened a time or two as a special treat.

Overall, this is one of their favorite things for us to do together, so it is high on our Spring Break list.


We are members of two different museums in our city and like to utilize our memberships as much as possible. Both of the museums are part of the ASTC passport program. This program is awesome!

Basically, any science center that is a part of the program is eligible to use your membership at. We have used ours in quite a few other states during Spring and Summer breaks. And that means that we get into those museums for FREE!

Not only that, but when we purchase the annual membership, the fees are tax deductible (depending on your specific situation). We belong to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and Marbles Kids Museum, both of which are in downtown Raleigh. So those are the two that we plan to hit up during Spring Break this time.

Food Creations

As two adults who know their way around a kitchen pretty well, we like to instill these skills into our kids. This might not sound like a really exciting thing to do during Spring Break, but the kids love this!

To us, as parents, this is a great lesson in flavor profiles and science. Two things that will serve them well in life.

A few of the kids ask us regularly to concoct something in the kitchen and see if it works. Since they are all out of school, and have a plethora of time on their hands, what better way to spend it than to teamwork something?

Our plan is to let them come up with a few things they would like to make and then they have to actually do it. All on their own. And this includes cleaning up after themselves! But it has to be done within a budget, so that is going to be even more of a challenge.

Since we haven’t told them yet, I can’t wait to see what interesting ideas they dream up. I just hope that some of them are edible!


The last thing we have planned is going to be less well received. Gardening for beginners!

We are working on creating 3 raised beds at our house this Spring and need the kids help to make it a reality. They have started helping already, but there was whining involved. Go figure!

We did start digging out one of the beds and a few of the kids helped get the seeds started inside. They are growing pretty fast so far. Our hope is that the beds will be ready to plant them in by the time we need them.

Therefore, the kids will be helping dig out the beds and figure out the layout for what should go where. We did already start asking them to read some gardening books we got from the library to help us decide which crops worked best with each other for the best soil. That project excited them, for about 1 hour. And then they got bored!

Sometimes you just have to love a child’s attention span. Either way, they will love all of the fresh food that they helped to grow once it is ready. This little project not only helps with our budget this year, but our overall health. Plus, it teaches them the value of hard work and potential positive rewards.

We are excited about all of the things we have planned for our family during Spring Break this year. All of these ideas won’t really interrupt the work that we both have to do that week either. So we call this action plan a win!


    • Shanah Bell says:

      Thank you for continuing to read the posts and hope our stories inspire you as much as Laurie did. As for Laurie, she sold the site to move on to some other projects, but is still doing a little bit of freelance writing on some other sites.

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