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Spring Break with Kids: Staycation or Vacation?

backyard camping

7 Awesome Spring Break with Kids Ideas for Either One

Spring break is just around the corner (or already here). Whether you are staying put at home or, yikes, are planning a last-minute spring getaway, we have you covered.

Spring break with kids is certainly different than spring break as kids! It’s a challenge to plan just the right things to make everyone happy. At the same time, as parents we have to think about our jobs and our wallet as well.

If you don’t get any time off, your spring break with kids plans are probably already made and consists of some sort of day camp.

spring break with kids


For those of us parents who get to take some time off, have some flexibility in their hours or, like me, work from home, we need to plan some fun activities to keep our kiddos entertained.

A staycation is a vacation at home. But even though you’re not physically getting away, you still need to mentally get away while having some fun with the kids. So a staycation isn’t just vegging on the couch — unless it’s a movie day (see below) — and will take some preparation. You can use these worksheets to help you budget and plan your staycation.

Here are some ideas for your staycation spring break with kids:

  1. Museum day. Having driven across the country with kids I know there are museums all over in even some really small towns. Museums are fun and can be educational at the same time. Win-win! We live in Denver so we have a lot of museums to choose from like the Nature and Science Museum, the Art Museum and, of course, the Children’s Museum.
  2. Movie day. I always loved these when I was a kid (and bonus those of us who have to put in a few hours of work too can do so during the movies). Pick a theme or make it random but this day you get to stay in your pjs and watch some of your favorite family movies. Make popcorn and some goodies and chill.
  3. Swim day. So you may not be in Mexico and the weather may still be a bit frightful, but there may be a pool (indoor or out) or, depending on where you live, a beach where the kids can enjoy some swimming and you can relax (as much as a parent can relax at a pool) poolside. If there’s no pool available, you can create a backyard water park with sprinklers, water balloons and a water slide.
  4. family travel with kidsTourist day. The thing about living somewhere is you think, “I can do that thing-everybody-else-travels-to-our-town-to-do anytime” so you wait. Years go by. And you’ve never done it. Today is the day you get to do that touristy thing near you you’ve never done before. For example, I’ve lived in Denver-proper since I was 10 but I’ve never been to the Molly Brown House or the Denver Mint or the Brown Palace Hotel so we could do a Denver history tour.
  5. Art day. Buy some paints, markers, glue and other artsy craftsy items, cover the floor with paper (or go outside if it’s warm) and create. You can pull out supplies separately to make it last longer. For instance, start with drawing — pencils, crayons and markers — then pull out glue for some cutting and pasting then pull out the paints.
  6. Library day. Libraries often have activities for children especially during school breaks so check your local library schedule and see if there is anything your children would be interested in. Before or after the activity, you can hang out and look for books. Some libraries near us have toys and computers in the kids section for play time too.
  7. Campout day(s). Need to fill two days. You can spend a good part of one day prepping for the campout and a good part of the following day enjoying your camp site and cleaning up. Pull out your camping gear, set up a tent, pull in the sleeping bags. Have a cookout on the grill. Have a fire pit? Remember the s’mores. Play some games like flashlight tag or tell stories.

You can make any of these more fun for your kids by bringing along some of their friends or playing car games on the way. Keep a RideSafer vest in the car for bringing those friends safely on your excursions.


Did you get some unexpected time off or just have been too busy to plan your spring break with kids? Here are a few ideas for a last minute travel with kids vacation plan:

  1. Camp for real. Depending on where you live, how well you fair in cold or how far you can travel to reach a good destination, you can go camping or RVing. Camp grounds will be less busy than during the summer time so you are more likely to get that perfect spot and have fewer people around. Nature is coming back to life with birds singing and flowers blossoming. Bonus, fewer insects! RV rentals are available through RV Share.
  2. Spring training. Are you a sports loving family? Hang out in Arizona or Florida for baseball spring training. Spring training is a good way to watch some games in a relaxed, lower cost fashion. Many places in Scottsdale offer spring training packages. Bonus, go to spring training in Arizona and take a drive to the Grand Canyon during a less crowded time.
  3. family spring breakFlorida beaches. Some family friendly Florida beaches like Panama City have put a ban on drinking on the beach during March to deter college kids and be more inviting for a family spring break with kids. Clearwater also bans alcohol on its white sand beaches and offers family entertainment at their Sunset Festival on Pier 60 364 days a year. Or collect your fill of shells on Sanibel Island near Fort Myers Beach.
  4. So Cal. If your closer to the west coast than the east, you might prefer a jaunt to sunny Southern California. For instance you can make Pacific Grove your vacation base and enjoy Monterey Bay Aquarium and Asilomar State Beach where you can get up close to seat otters in a rented kayak. Or stay in San Diego for the famous San Diego Zoo, Sea World and nearby beaches. (Check current travel restrictions for California.)
  5. Come sail away. Is a coastal vacation still not enough water for you? You might still be able to book a deal on a spring break cruise. Cruises are relaxing because you have everything you need right there; activities, food, accommodations, scheduled programs, babysitters! Many cruises are geared toward family travel so you’re sure to find one that will accommodate your desires. (Some small-ship lines such as American Queen Steamboat Company and American Cruise Lines that operate vessels on U.S. rivers and in U.S. coastal areas are sailing spring of 2021.)
  6. Outdoor adventure. Set out with adventure experts O.A.R.S. for experiences like whitewater rafting in Grand Canyon or hiking in Macchu Picchu. They have a catalog of options to help you leave the screens and chairs behind for some outdoor family fun.
  7. Skiing. If you live some where warm you might want to go some where cold during spring break. Head on out to Colorado or Utah for some skiing. Ski towns offer more than just skiing. For instance near Breckenridge, Colorado, there’s a sled hill, dog sledding and sleigh rides. All resorts offer ski lessons for the kiddos, and you if needed, so you can drop them off and enjoy some time to yourself whether on the slopes or in the hot tub.

Make ordering your RideSafer vest a part of making your spring break travel plans. It’s the easy to use, easy to pack travel car seat.

We want to know, do you have any additional ideas? Share your comments below.

By Amie Durocher, Creative Director at Safe Ride 4 Kids and certified CPS Tech since 2004

Copyright 2022 Safe Ride 4 Kids. All rights reserved. You may not publish, broadcast, rewrite or redistribute this material without permission. You are welcome to link to Safe Ride 4 Kids or share on social media.

We originally published this post in March 2018. We updated the article for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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1 comment

  1. Thank you so much for this helpful tips. Traveling for a vacation with kids really needs a lot of safety precautions and can very stressful for inexperienced travelers. Great post.

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