10 things to do on your family STAYCATION this Spring Break!

Are you sticking around for Spring Break this year? The number of people that go into debt for vacations is insane. You do NOT have to go somewhere exotic or drop hundreds of dollars for a few hours getting your feet rubbed at the spa to have a memorable spring break vacay. You can go the budget-friendly staycation route—living the good life close to home.

The key is making a plan. Decide what activities you’re gonna tackle BEFORE spring break sneaks up on you, so that you can tally up the total cost and adjust your plans if need be. Don’t forget to budget for:

  • Transportation
  • Entrance Fees
  • Meals
  • Activity Equipment
  • Time off work

There really is an endless list of activities that you could do with your family to keep entertained for the entire spring break, but here are 10 ideas:

Bring a picnic and play some games

You don’t have to be sporty to enjoy some active time, either. Pack up some home-made food, portable music, and bring a fun activity like Spikeball, Bean bag toss, or Croquet. See if you can borrow a lawn game from the endless number of people on your Facebook page instead of buying a new one.
*If you’re local to me, you can head down to Tulista Park near Sidney with a volleyball and play on their beach court (which is also right next to a skateboard park, the beach, and a community arts centre…hello!)

Do something artsy

Even if you can’t draw a straight line with a ruler, you can get creative. If you’ve never done a Paint Nite, give it a go this spring break. You probably don’t even have to buy tickets to an actual Paint Nite – chances are, you KNOW someone that could lead your family through a guided painting! You could check out the splatter room at 4 Cats art studio, take a pottery class, or go to a local gallery. Google a DIY craft and stock up on a few supplies to have some fun at your dining table if you’d rather stay in!
*Victoria BC locals, check out the ART BATTLE at the Victoria Event Centre!

Do something physical

Drop in to a rec center that you haven’t been to before. You could skate, swim, partake in family sports and activities… whatever they offer! Or try something that you haven’t before… like a climbing wall, trampoline park, or laser tag. Whatever it is, get your bodies moving! See if you can take advantage of a day pass, punch card, or weekly pass to maximize your $.

Go on a bakery adventure

Drive into town somewhere and park the car. Then get out and wander around until you find a bakery. Buy one treat at that stop and share it. The goal is to find new places to treat without using google maps and get some steps in while you search! You can vote for your favourite after you’ve decided you’ve had enough walking, or enough sugar!

Experience Luxury… at home

Kids… you’re going to Gramma’s for the day, because Mom and Dad are booking in some R&R. The key here is to get in some relaxation time together. Put some candles around the tub and dim the lights. Give each other a massage. Jump in the shower together. Paint your toenails, trim your beard. Order skip the dishes from a fancy restaurant and eat it at your dining table in your house robe. Snuggle and read to each other, or rent a movie. Put the phone away and ignore the clocks, because it’s time for you.
*If you’re local to me and have never been to the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, it’s a real luxury treat! If you book for a treatment, you are allowed to spend 4 hours in their heated outdoor pool and hot tubs right on the ocean. If you’re going to spend $$$ on a spa treatment, get your money’s worth by choosing a place that has a grotto or mineral pool, like this one, so that your dollar per hour goes way further.

Host a board game night

Invite some friends over and play some board games. There are some seriously fun ones out there! Play a game that includes the kids, have a BBQ, put on a movie for the littles, and bust out the games for the grown-ups. Try “Speak Out” with the kids – it’s hilarious. A list of my must-have games includes Codenames, Guestures, BANG, Ticket to Ride, Cranium, Sequence (they have a kids version too) and Settlers of Catan. Check out your local thrift stores to buy a pre-owned game (I literally just bought three for five bucks) or ask your friends to bring their fav board game over.

Have a pancake competition

If you’ve got some lazy mornings available to you, make the most of them by infusing a little friendly competition. Make a breakfast buffet and see who makes the better pancakes. The kids can be the judges!

Go on an adventure

Go hiking, biking, or kayaking. Just get outside. Make a scavenger hunt out of it and ask the kids to find you the smallest leaf, or the biggest rock. Go somewhere you haven’t been before. Go geo-caching or play POKEMON GO. (Graham and the boys have been battling geodudes all over the place lately)

If the weather just ain’t right outside, check out a local attraction.
*If you’re local to Victoria, check out this list!

Camp

Whether you score an awesome spot at a campground, or you pitch your tent in your backyard, camping creates memories. Get some sparklers or glow sticks, ingredients for smores or banana boats, and get your propane fire pit ready for fun!

Find some animals

See what attractions your local farms have; chances are there will be a market or farm tour available. You could also check out a petting zoo or the actual zoo.Book a trail ride on horseback, or go on a horse carriage tour. Check out the local bee farm (some of them have honey tasting bars, yum!)
*If you’re local to Victoria, we are lucky to have the bug zoo, butterfly gardens, Shaw ocean discovery center, beacon hill petting zoo, and urban bee farm!

Happy budgeting for your stay-cation this spring break!
~Lindsay Plumb

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