Skip to main content

11 Spring Break Staycation Ideas

Amber Brandt  |  February 25, 2020

After a long winter, spring break is a sure sign of sunnier days ahead. It’s also a very popular time for families looking to adventure together. But perhaps a family vacation to an exotic locale isn’t quite in your travel plans this year. You’re not alone. In fact, only about 50% of people plan spring break trips, and a mere 4% of Americans won’t take off any vacation time at all this year!

But never fear. If your family is firmly in that 50% who are staying home this spring break, there are plenty of ways you can enjoy your time, connect with each other, and have a little fun. The best way to make sure that happens (and that you nip sibling cabin fever in the bud before it has a chance to happen), is to plan ahead. Here are 17 fun ideas you can use to carve out a relaxing staycation together:

Explore state or national parks. Do you have a park nearby? Pack a picnic lunch, wear your hiking shoes, and get out into nature together.

  1. Visit the library. It’s easy to get lost in a book, and when you don’t have the pressure of time, you can spend a leisurely afternoon flipping through books, catching story time, and learning new things as a family in your local library. This is an especially great idea if your plans get foiled by rain.
  2. Backyard camping. If you live in a region where spring has already sprung, it’s never too early to pitch a tent in the backyard or sleep out under the stars.
  3. Visit a museum, aquarium, botanical garden, or zoo. Even if it requires a short day trip, experiencing art, animals, or nature can do a family good.
  4. Family film festival. Everyone loves a cozy day with a good movie. Curl up on the couch in jammies, pop some corn, and watch a family-friendly flick.
  5. Book a nearby hotel. Just because it’s not technically a vacation doesn’t mean you can’t stay in a hotel. Pick a part of the city you don’t normally visit (or a town nearby) and book a night out. You can enjoy dinner, a movie, or local entertainment, then take a dip in the hot tub before bed.
  6. Volunteer. Many people think about family volunteering opportunities at Christmas time, but there are always needs and ways you can make a positive impact in your community.
  7. Plan for pampering. Staycations are a great excuse to splurge on a self-care service like massages, facials, or pedicures.
  8. Explore creativity. Pull out the colored pencils and pipe cleaners. Craft, draw, or make music as a family.
  9. Take advantage of local fun. Do you live in a city with an indoor waterpark, amusement park, or local community pool? Purchase a day pass to break up your week or check out local listings for sporting events or concerts happening in your area.
  10. Try a new restaurant or recipe. Whether you venture out or explore your own kitchen, trying new foods can be a fun (and tasty) learning experience for the family.

Lastly, it’s important to remember it’s totally okay if every second of your staycation isn’t spent together doing family things. It’s nice to carve out designated “kid time” and “parent time” where everyone gets a chance to relax doing the things they love and enjoy down time at home. And don’t forget to ask your kids if there are specific things they’d like to do while you’re together – and maybe you can make them happen!