10 From GEM: Spring Break Edition:
10 Ways To Maximize Your Staycation
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for spring break. I’m tired of the daily grind of dragging the kids out of bed, getting them ready for school, packing lunches, dropping off two kids at two different schools…you get the idea. Momma needs a break, too! Check out these 10 no-stress staycation ideas. My family is going to do numbers 2, 4, 7, and 8. I’m going to do numbers 1, 3, and 9 on my own. And as much as possible, number 10.
1. GO WINDOW SHOPPING
Window shopping isn’t meant to gauge how much money you should spend on clothing or other items. In fact, money is out of the equation. Window shopping is supposed to be done to learn more about yourself and your personal style. Go to all the stores you love but may be out of your budget. Try on clothes or sample items that you don’t think are your style. All you’re doing is identifying trends and patterns and deciding how those things speak to you. No money necessary.
2. LISTEN TO MUSIC
Of course, you listen to music all the time. Now your purpose is to go back to your youth and dig out the music you jammed to during significant times of your life. Make a list: first kiss song, first slow dance song, songs that lifted your spirit, etc. A quick Internet search can remind you what was topping the charts any number of years ago. Share the music with your kids and show them how music was much better way back when.
3. FINISH THAT BOOK
You’ve been trying to finish Fifty Shades of Grey for the last eight months, but every time you think you’re going to sit down and read, yet another important thing has to get done yesterday. On your staycation, set aside some time—maybe a half-hour every day—to kick up your heels and read.
4. TAKE A HIKE
If you’re not lucky enough to live close to one of America’s beautiful national parks, visit one of your state parks. There’s probably one within an hour’s drive of where you live. Plan to take a hike, by yourself or with your family. Take along a light lunch so that when you find the perfect spot, you can settle down and enjoy nature’s bounty. Some state parks also have awesome exhibits and nature programs to check out.
5. PLANT SOMETHING
This is the perfect time to get started in the garden. If you don’t have a garden, buy planters of different colors and sizes and try your hand at growing a beautiful indoor garden.
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6. CATCH A MATINEE MOVIE
For once, you can skip the late Saturday showing of the latest blockbuster and go see a movie during the late morning or early afternoon. The theater will probably be less crowded so you don’t have to worry as much about the glow of rude people’s cell phones during the show. And, the money you save by catching a matinee can be put on concession treats.
7. HAVE FUN IN THE BACKYARD
Just because you’re staying home doesn’t mean you can’t turn it into a resort. Play all kinds of outdoor sports or hold a tournament. If you’re lucky enough to live in a warm climate, maybe you can play in the pool or get out the Slip ‘n Slide. Do some of your eating outside. If you’re stuck indoors, maybe you can turn the basement into a resort. Be creative in the games and activities you come up with.
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8. PLAN SUMMER VACATION
Hard to believe, but summer really is just around the corner. Now is the time to think about what you’ll do over summer vacation. Pull the whole family into a discussion about places you want to visit and things to see and do. The advantage of planning ahead is that you can save money. If you’ll be traveling, you can find pretty good deals right now. Since you won’t be out of town the entire summer, come up with things you want to do around the house and locally.
It’s your vacation and cleaning is the last thing on your mind. But you don’t have to make a big deal out of cleaning. Find a task that you’ve been putting off but won’t take a lot of time to do. A simple job like cleaning out one cabinet in the kitchen or purging items from your makeup drawer will give you a great sense of accomplishment. Don’t forget to include the kids. They can start working to earn and save some of that summer cash.
10. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your vacation days must be filled with nonstop activities for yourself or your kids. It’s okay to while away the days without well-defined plans—or plans at all. This is especially good for kids, who need to learn that life isn’t always stimulating and that boredom is a natural part of life. Besides, they need to figure out what to do when they get bored and so do you.
Got any inventive things to do over spring break? Share your best ideas below.
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Alexis Trass Walker lives in Gary, Indiana, with her husband and four children. She is a stay at home mom and writer who loves all things chocolate. Read more about Alexis on her blog lilliebelle.org or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.