Beach vacations. Tropical destinations. Long weekends. Spring break often means big bucks for plenty of families.
Spending tops $1 billion, according to one report, and that’s just for college spring breakers partying in locations in Florida and Texas. That tally doesn’t include the countless families, faced with a week off of school and questions about how they’ll fill the time.
For those on a strict budget, finding a fun and affordable way to fill up the week may be tough. But it’s not impossible.
Here are eight ways to have fun this spring break -- without breaking the bank.
1. Skip the movie theater.
Instead of heading to the theater to watch a single movie (and spending $40 or more for a family of four), plan a movie marathon at home. Rent $1.50 movies from Redbox or, better yet, borrow movies from friends and family. For less than $10, you can spend a day snuggled up on your couch with homemade (and healthy) popcorn and the pause button for when your preschooler runs to the bathroom at the movie’s climax.
2. Branch out
Take a road trip -- to a town nearby that you’ve never visited. Pack a picnic. Explore the town’s parks and playgrounds. Check out a library storytime. Visit a local museum.
3. Look out for deals
Some family fun centers -- from bounce house venues to trampoline parks to go-kart tracks to bowling alleys -- offer spring break deals for families. Look out for special deals in your area to take advantage of cheaper fun.
4. Use your museum membership
Maybe you sprung for the $100 or so family membership to your local children’s museum, science museum or zoo. Use it! And then check out other museums, zoos and destinations where you can use that membership to get in for free or a discounted rate. The Association of Children’s Museums lists its reciprocal network on its website. So does the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.
5. Go camping
Check out a new state or national park campground near you. Or, just set up camp in your backyard. The National Wildlife Federation offers all kinds of tips for campers, including an entire list for those new to it.
6. Take in some sports
Tickets to a professional sports game are out of reach for many families, but minor league and college teams offer affordable -- and sometimes even free -- ticket options. In many cases, teams offer special promotions with deals on concessions or giveaways for kids. Check the local teams in your area to see what’s scheduled.
7. Board game challenge
Pull out all of those board games that have been gathering dust in the closet, put together some fun snacks and start playing. Looking for some new games to play? Check out The Board Game Family’s blog.
8. Get to work
Tired of stuff taking over your life? Need a new bedroom color? Tackle a big project in your house together -- from painting a bedroom to reorganizing rooms. You could even clean out your closets with plans to hold a yard sale at the end of the week.
A beach vacation might sound fabulous. But you don’t need to be at some exotic destination to connect with your family. In fact, a week of affordable, low stress fun is often the perfect way to make some memories.
The team at CESI is committed to helping you make wise financial decisions and to helping you understand how to get out, and stay out of debt. For a free debt analysis, contact us and find out how we can help.
Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit service provider of comprehensive personal financial education and solutions for all life stages and for all of life’s milestones. Our goal is enhanced economic security for everyone we serve.
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