Spring Break Staycation

It’s that time of year again—sporadic days of warm weather, talks of summer vacation plans and stores increasing their stock of gardening supplies. These signs also point to the arrival of spring break. While many households will take the week to travel to family-friendly destinations, leaving Long Island isn’t necessary to have a fun-filled week off.

This spring break, try taking each day to treat your little ones to something new around the house. They’ll have a week to remember and you won’t have to break the bank in an effort to live up to the spring break hype.

Do a DIY project

Nothing says free time like completing a project. Bring out the artsy side of your child and work with them to create something great. Build a terrarium, craft a desk out of empty cereal boxes, draw a family tree, repurpose dad’s old shirts or make some origami animals. A quick Google search will yield hundreds of mess-free projects your family can work on during a rainy day.

Introduce a new hobby

Everyone needs a hobby, so help your child find their passion this spring break. Each day, introduce them to something new. Spend one day in the garden (weather permitting, of course), one day baking, one day reading and so on and so forth until they’ve discovered something that piques their interest.

Make a meal together

Cooking and baking is a lifelong skill every child will learn once they grow up, so why not expose them to the fun of the kitchen early on? Throwing together a yummy dessert or a dinner meal is a great way to bond with your child, and they’ll feel the pride of having helped make food for the family.

Teach the value of a dollar (and get spring cleaning done)

No child likes chores, but with a little incentive it might not be so bad. Make a list of all the household tasks that need to get done. Maybe their room is messy, the laundry needs to get done and the dishwasher needs to be unloaded. Have your child help with each task and then give them a dollar for each successful completion. You’ll have the house clean and a child who can look forward to buying their favorite candy during your next trip to the supermarket.

Learn at the library

The library is a location often taken for granted. With everything from board games to computers to seemingly endless shelves of books, there is always something new to discover at your local library. Take a day to expose your child to all the wonders your library has to offer. Be sure to check their activity schedule as well, libraries are chock full of events for children, and most of them, if not free, cost just a couple of dollars.

Day trip to a local attraction

Check out the dinosaur exhibition at LICM.

Have cabin fever? Take a day to explore one of Long Island’s many family-friendly attractions. The Long Island Children’s Museum, the Cradle of Aviation, the Long Island Aquarium, Planting Fields Arboretum, Old Westbury Gardens, the Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium and the Nassau County Museum of Art are just a few of the fun, educational places you can take your child to during their week off. Be sure to check with your library before you go, many of these places offer free admission passes through your town’s library.

Scavenger hunt around town

Long Island weather is unpredicatable this time of year, but should your spring break week grace you with a warm weather day, spend it outside. Take your to-do list and turn it into a treasure hunt of sorts. Give your child a map of all of the places you’re going to go and make it educational by providing clues with some local history. No treasure hunt is without reward though, culminate the hunt with a trip to the toy store.

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Allison Eichler
Allison Eichler is the former editor of Hicksville News and Farmingdale Observer and creates beauty content for Long Island Weekly.

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