- Plan experiences around your hometown this spring break for ultimate family fun.
- Explore a familiar space in new ways. Movie marathons, camping and archeology activities are all options!
- Local organizations and events are taking special precautions to safeguard against COVID-19. When attending events, remember to wear your mask or choose virtual options.
This year, many families are opting to stay in town for spring break. But time out of school doesn’t have to be uneventful just because you’re at home. There’s plenty to do right in the vicinity of your home town. Plus, a staycation lets you relax in the comfort of your home while exploring nearby areas that you may not usually have the time to discover.
If you’re starting to feel a bit stir crazy with all of the time spent at home this year, we have you covered! Here we’ve gathered new ideas — both in-person and virtual — to help you explore and experience your community and its offerings in a fresh way.
Nine fun spring break “staycation” activities
#1. Enjoy virtual storytimes. Make storytime part of your staycation routine! Whether you start your day with a story or opt for a post-lunch quiet time with a reading, virtual storytimes are a fun and free resource.
The Dakota County Library offers a variety of virtual storytime opportunities for young ones to participate in from home. For example, the library’s Facebook page hosts virtual events to support early literacy, highlight history and share culture. The YouTube channel has additional resources and activities for children and their families.
#2. Explore a smaller town near you. Have everyone jump in the car and pop over to a main street with small-town charm. Stillwater, Hudson and Red Wing are all great options. After you’ve enjoyed the drive as a family (maybe playing road trip games along the way), warm up in local cafes and window shop. For an extra special treat, give each of your kids some pocket cash to spend however they’d like at one of the kitschy shops.
#3. Learn from home with the Science Museum of Minnesota. Although the Science Museum of Minnesota is taking precautions due to COVID-19 and is temporarily closed, they still offer a variety of online community resources. Take a day to virtually explore the museum through at-home activities that inspire kids to learn about archaeology, have conversations about race or even build an at-home alligator nest.
#4. Have a movie marathon! Get the entire family together to set up a movie marathon at home. Stock the pantry with favorite movie snacks and candies then set up a cozy area to enjoy the movie. Film series such as Harry Potter, The Incredibles or Star Wars are popular family movie choices, and choosing a film franchise to start and finish might help it feel a bit more like an event.
#5. Schedule a virtual get together. Similar to a virtual housewarming party, you can host a virtual dinner party or play date to break up your staycation. Start by sending a virtual invite to your friends or long-distance family members and set up a time to connect. You might plan the event around a meal, game, certain talking points or just a casual conversation.
#6. Camp out (or in)! If you’re in the mood for a cozy night at home, stay in and camp out at your house. Put up a tent (or makeshift fort) in your living room or basement and play camp. You can get a fire going in the fireplace, make s’mores, share campfire stories and have everyone sleep in the same room. For an added element of fun, set an alarm to search for the Northern Lights or stargaze.
#7. Attend a virtual art class or performance. During this unpredictable time, the Minnesota Conservancy for the Arts is offering a handful of virtual classes and access to online performances. Whether you’re interested in enrolling in private music lessons or joining a doodle club, there are plenty of options that cater to everyone’s creativity and skill level.
#8. Plan your “perfect” day. Everyone has different ideas of what the perfect vacation, or staycation, entails. Challenge an older kid to come up with day plans that meet a specific budget, think $30 to $50. Have them plan in advance, so you can help them finalize the details of the day. This exercise will help ensure kiddos can do what they hope throughout the staycation, and it’s a great exercise to practice staying “on budget.”
#9. Visit the zoo. Create a sense of adventure during your staycation by spending the day exploring the zoo. By offering ticketed-only entry, local zoos are taking special precautions against COVID-19 while safely sharing fun learning activities. Make a reservation at the Como Zoo or Minnesota Zoo, or visit their websites for digital programming that brings the animals right to your living room.
Ready, set, go!
Before spring break starts, try to tie up any loose ends that you may have with work or school responsibilities. Then relax and enjoy your spring break! Moving forward, add a few of these experiences to your spring break agenda. Not only are they a blast, but they’ll help foster positive family bonding.