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Spring Break Activities

Last-Minute Spring Break: Save by Staying Local

Posted on 3/7/2013 12:04 EST

It might be too late to book spring break tickets to the Bahamas, but forgoing a big trip will certainly save you money, and you and your family don't have to travel to an exotic location to have fun. Here are some affordable spring break activities to help you make the most of a staycation.

Photo by sxc.hu/martintxo7

Try something new.

Let a site such as Groupon or Living Social prompt you to take a class -- maybe cooking, dancing, or photography. It all depends on the deal of the day. Even if you're just checking out a new restaurant, your family won't have to travel far to enjoy a new experience. With options changing every day, it's perfectly acceptable to wait until the last minute to plan your spring break activities.

Take a hike.

Now that the weather is getting nicer, there's no excuse not to go outdoors for some spring break activities. Visit a nearby park and walk one of the trails, or add more entertainment to the mix by sending your kids on a scavenger hunt. The National Wildlife Federation provides instructions and sample lists. If you're feeling really outdoorsy -- and it's warm enough -- campground fees are often lower during nonpeak season and you're less likely to need an advance reservation. If your family lacks the necessary equipment or inclination to "rough it," you can always turn your backyard into a camping space and retreat to your beds for backup if it gets too cold.

Go on a road trip.

Use Gasbuddy to find the cheapest place to fill your tank and take a ride to a nearby city or state. This way, you can seek out spring break activities in a new environment without spending a fortune on airfare for the whole family. Check out some other free travel apps from our recent roundup to help you save even more. Hotel Tonight can help you find the least expensive last-minute accommodations.

Take a field trip or two.

Many museums have free days, but they tend to be weekdays during school and work hours. Take advantage of your family's time off and visit nearby museums and historical sites gratis. Check for half-price admission and other deals online as well.

Photo by sxc.hu/Krappweis


This spring break activity puts your spare time to good use and teaches your kids what it means to be a Good Samaritan. Divide your time among different organizations: One day you might serve at the local soup kitchen, the next you might help build a home with Habitat For Humanity. Visit Serve.gov to find out where you can make a difference in your community.

Get out of the city.

If you live in an urban or suburban area, spend part of your break somewhere a little more rural, slower paced, and quieter. Unlike some last-minute spring break trips, staying on a farm or ranch is often an inexpensive option. What could be more fun for kids than farm animals and nicer for parents than a week away from chaos? Visit Farm Stay U.S. to find accommodations in your state.

by Alyssa Goldman (Google+ Profile)

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