COVID-19 is still keeping travel off the table for lots of families, but that doesn’t mean your spring break can’t be exciting! There are endless ways to have fun on a staycation–from backyard carnivals to virtual snorkeling trips. We’ve found all the best spring break activities for your family to enjoy while staying safer at home. You might just have the best spring break ever!
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1. Take a virtual trip
These days, you can travel the world without leaving your couch! There are so many wonderful virtual travel sites out there, you’ll have spring break activities for every day of the week. Check out these 25 Fascinating Wonders of the World to get you started.
2. Go trekking in the National Parks
National Parks are a top spring break destination, but if you can’t get to one in person this year, no worries! The National Parks website is full of virtual tours, photos, and maps for you to explore. If you want to get even more in-depth, play Trekking the National Parks. This family board game is the next best thing to visiting the parks themselves!
3. Visit a museum online
If the great outdoors isn’t quite your thing, go for culture instead! Hundreds of museums worldwide have created virtual tours that let you walk their halls and admire their treasures. Find inspiration with these 17 famous art museums. Choose your favorite pieces, learn more about them, then break out the art supplies and create some masterpieces of your own.
4. Puzzle out the world together
Jigsaw puzzles make great family activities, especially when you use them to travel the world. A huge puzzle might take your family all week to complete, but think of all the fun you’ll have chatting and laughing while you work! Here are a few to try (and find more of our favorites here).
- United States of America 1000 Piece Puzzle
- EuroGraphics USA Globetrotter 1000 Piece Puzzle
- World Map 1000 Piece Puzzle
- Re-marks Vintage Atlas 1000 Piece Puzzle
5. Plan your next vacation
With any luck, it won’t be too long before we’re all ready to travel again. Get a head start on your next trip by making your plans now! Break out the guidebooks and layout your agenda, then show kids how to use the web to research hotels and airfares (it’s a great life skill to learn anyway). Pull out the map and plan your route, too. Not sure where you want to go yet? Use these free printable Travel Bucket List pages to brainstorm as a family!
6. Have an escape room experience at home
Escape rooms were all the rage pre-pandemic, but a lot of them haven’t re-opened yet. Fortunately, you can re-create the experience at home. You can buy escape room kits to fit just about any interest. Feeling clever? Challenge your kids to design their own escape room adventure! Otherwise, here are a few to check out.
- Secret of Dr. Gravely’s Retreat (13 and up)
- Escape Room, The Game: Panic on the Titanic, Alice in Wonderland, and Dawn of the Zombies (16 and up)
- Jumanji Escape Room (10 and up)
- Operation: Escape Lab Disaster (6 and up)
7. Learn to cook
Are you a kitchen whiz? It’s time to pass those skills on to your kids. Not exactly Martha Stewart? That’s okay too. Check out this roundup of virtual cooking classes your family can attend together. Nothing tastes as good as something you’ve made yourself!
8. Snack on international treats
Take a break from Cheetos and Oreos, and find out what the rest of the world snacks on instead! You’ll find lots of international snack boxes available on Amazon, like this one from Turkey. Try them out as a family—you might just find a new favorite! If you enjoy the experience, consider signing up for a monthly snack subscription box like Universal Yums.
9. Head out on a scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts are fun to do at home or around the neighborhood. Make your next nature walk more fascinating with an outdoor scavenger hunt. Search your house for items that start with each letter of the alphabet. Find lots of great free scavenger hunt ideas here, or buy this cool card game that includes both indoor and outdoor ideas.
10. Start a family book club
Being able to read is one thing, but really enjoying books is completely different. That’s what a family book club is all about: exploring books—old favorites and new reads alike—simply for the fun of it. It allows a family to connect over their like (or dislike!) of a book, to talk about what the books mean to them, and develop the sense that all reading is worthwhile. Get all the tips you need to start your own family book club here.
11. Try out bird watching
Once you turn kids on to the world of birds, they’ll have a hobby for life. They’ll need binoculars, of course; here’s a kid-friendly pair to get them started. You’ll be surprised how many birds you can find right in your own backyard once you hang a feeder or two. Make your own, or hang this simple model in your window to bring your feathered friends up close. Check out all our favorite birding activities here, from books and games to hands-on exploration.
12. Go camping in the backyard (or the living room)
If it’s warm enough, set up a tent in the backyard (or even sleep under the stars). Too chilly for that? Camp out in the living room instead! Set up a tent (we love this space-themed option), roll out the sleeping bags, and tell some ghost stories. Make s’mores in the microwave, or splurge on this popular indoor s’mores maker. You can even do some camp crafts like weaving lanyards or making pinch pots. (Try this kit for all the supplies and ideas you need.)
13. Do a science experiment
If your kids love to experiment with new things and make a bit of a mess, science projects are the way to go. We’ve got a collection of fifty easy ones you can do with household materials you already have. Or try one of our favorite science kits–for middle and high school kids or the younger crowd.
14. Tie dye shirts, or socks, or pretty much anything
Somehow, tie dye never seems to go out of style. It’s one of those perfect spring break activities everyone in your family will enjoy. Learn how to tie dye on Instructables, and buy a Tulip One-Step Tie Dye Party Kit here.
15. Start a backyard (or windowsill) garden
There’s never been a better time to start a garden in your own backyard. Grow your favorite veggies, or plant a butterfly garden full of flowers. Older kids can use the tools you have in the garage, but younger ones will appreciate these gardening supplies made just for them. No room for an outdoor garden? Plant herbs in pots on your windowsill instead. This cute kit includes customizable pots and a variety of other supplies. Need some instant gratification? With a Chia Pet, you’ll have sprouts before spring break is over!
16. Decorate your windows
Window art is something that can be enjoyed inside and out. Paint your windows Mondrian-style, like this idea from What We Do All Day. Make mosaic suncatchers, or try painting some instead. You can even just a write a cheery message with window markers to brighten everyone’s day.
17. Scatter painted rocks around town
This is one of those spring break activities that will bring a smile to others, too. Gather the family and paint rocks (here’s some inspiration for you), then take a stroll around your neighborhood and leave them for others to find. If you don’t have rocks lying around, grab this kit, which also includes paints and brushes. Don’t forget to seal your rocks against the weather when you’re done painting.
18. Host a tea party
Do you have your grandmother’s old tea set lying around somewhere? Or maybe your fine wedding china that’s been sitting in the attic for years? Break it out and host a fancy afternoon family affair. Dress in your best clothes, put on your finest Downton Abbey accents, and nibble daintily on some posh treats. Entertaining Diva has all the info you need to host a perfect afternoon tea.
19. Build and race wooden cars
Vroom vroom! First, paint and decorate the wood cars in this all-in-one kit. Then, it’s off to the races! You can build ramps from rain gutters, or use blocks to create the ultimate race track around your house.
20. Dive into the virtual ocean
Did you know that Google’s Street View option includes miles and miles of underwater reefs for you to explore? Turn the experience into an adventure by donning your bathing suits and swim fins while you navigate the incredible underwater scenes around the planet. (No swimming required!)
21. Blast off to outer space
If your kids are space-crazy, why not try a bunch of out-of-this-world spring break activities? Build a rocket, design a lunar lander, or shine a constellation flashlight—find those ideas and more here. And don’t forget your online options, like these virtual space missions or NASA’s Mission to Mars activities for kids.
22. Color together as a family
Coloring can be a quiet ,solitary activity, but it also makes for terrific family time! This coloring kit has six different sets of coloring pages that go together, each showing a different fun activity. Break out some snacks, grab your crayons or colored pencils, and color in some artwork while you listen to music or watch a favorite family movie.
23. Put on a play
Lights, camera, action! Tap in your kids’ dramatic talents by putting on a play at home. They’ll have a blast choosing costumes, designing sets, rehearsing, and finally putting on a show for an admiring audience. (You could even invite friends and family on Zoom!) If your kids love to act but aren’t sure they can write their own play, look into these books for ideas.
- 12 Fabulously Funny Fairy Tale Plays
- 10 Minute Plays for Kids of All Ages
- The Skit Book: 101 Skits From Kids
24. Throw a backyard carnival
This might be one of our favorite spring break activities! Spend the week setting up a carnival in your own backyard, then invite friends and family over for a socially-distanced afternoon of fun. A Turtle’s Life For Me has tons of tips for setting up your own games and booths. (Plus, we can show you how to make your own Plinko board.) Don’t forget to stock up on inexpensive prizes for the winners!
25. Fill the sidewalk with art
26. Curate an art show
Spend the week learning to make all sorts of arts and crafts projects. Then, put the best on display around the house. Film a virtual tour for friends and family members, with each artist sharing their favorite pieces. Here’s a whole roundup of free online art resources.
27. Master wacky challenges
Beat That! is one of those family games that is sure to bring on fits of the giggles. Each card contains a new crazy challenge, from trick shots to rhyming contests. Family game night is about to get wacky!
28. Compete in the Family Olympics
If you’re looking for spring break activities for kids who love to move, family Olympics are the way to go. Plan a day’s worth of fun family events and games, and compete to see who can take home the gold. Make medals or trophies, and don’t forget to hold an opening ceremony. Learn how one family does it at Physical Kitchness.
29. Conquer a backyard obstacle course
If you can’t get enough of Wipeout or Floor is Lava, it’s time to create your own obstacle course in the backyard. You can buy an obstacle course set, but it’s also tons of fun to create your own from whatever you have available. Frugal Fun For Boys and Girls shows you how it’s done.
30. Set up the ultimate domino chain reaction
First, watch this video of unbelievable domino setups to give you lots of ideas. Then, plan and arrange your own incredible domino chain reaction. See if you can make it climb a ramp, trigger a rolling ball, or even make a picture when it’s done. Don’t forget to film it when you finally set it off! Need dominos? This set offers 1000 colorful pieces at a good price.
What awesome staycation spring break activities do you have planned this year? Share in the comments below.
Looking for more? Try these Easy Hands-On Activities Families Can Do At Home (Teacher Approved!).