4 Ideas for a Family-Friendly Spring Break

March arrives with the promise of spring break, one of the most anticipated weeks of the school year for both teachers and students. This week off from school gives kids a chance to relax and teachers a much-needed break. Parents, however, may not find spring break week quite as exciting, as they have to scramble to think of ways to make it fun for kids. It can seem overwhelming to keep them entertained for the whole week, but we have some ideas to get you started, whether you’ll be working, traveling, or staying at home.

Plan a camping trip

With the weather in Texas warming up and bringing us some of the nicest temperatures of the year, spring break is an ideal time to plan a camping trip. It’s the perfect opportunity to get the kids away from the TV or video games and out enjoying nature. Aside from the usual perks of camping, like hiking and roasting marshmallows, many places offer tons of additional family-friendly activities to keep kids entertained.

You can find traditional camping all across Texas, in places like Jellystone Park in Hill Country. With campsite options that include tent sites, RV sites, and cozy cabins to rent, Jellystone caters to campers of all experience and comfort levels. Rough it at a rustic tent site, or go glamping with a full kitchen and bathroom. On premises, they have plenty of fun activities, including laser tag, gem mining, a trampoline park, two pools and a splash park, and much more.

If you have younger children or just don’t have the time or energy to take a big trip, try camping in your own backyard. You won’t have to worry about packing, and you can still do all the fun things like setting up a tent, building a fire to make s’mores, or telling ghost stories while you sit under the stars. You won’t have to deal with the hassle of traveling to the campsite with kids, and you are in control of just how rustic or high-tech you want to get.

The classic beach vacation

If you are willing and able, taking a beach trip is still a very popular choice for a spring break vacation. Texans are lucky to have a long stretch of the Gulf Coast, with plenty of beaches to visit. Try quiet and family-friendly Surfside Beach in Brazoria County or explore the many opportunities to interact with nature in Port Aransas.

If you have a desire to get out of Texas, there are plenty of nice beach towns along the Gulf Coast, such as Orange Beach in Alabama or Siesta Key Beach near Sarasota, Florida. The beauty of a beach trip is in its simplicity—you can rent a house and even cook meals yourself to save money and avoid the struggle of dining out with kids.

Hang out at home

Got the week off with your kids and want to take a break from the hustle? Create an agenda for a fun-filled week at home. Dedicate one day to arts and crafts. If it’s a sunny day, get some sidewalk chalk and turn the driveway or back patio into your personal canvas. Or gather some construction paper, markers, glue, and glitter, and make homemade spring or Easter cards for friends and family.

If you have little adventurers who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, keep them busy with some fun science experiments one day. Build a volcano with clay, baking soda, and vinegar; make some homemade slime that will keep them entertained long afterward; or construct a density bottle to see how liquids interact with one another.

School might not be in session, but learning can still be a priority. Take advantage of the nice weather by setting up a reading station in the yard. Visit the library or bookstore and let everyone pick out a new book to read for family reading time.

By the end of the week, you might get a little stir-crazy and be ready to venture outside of the house. Take advantage of a true Texas tradition with the Houston Rodeo, which runs through March 18, or the Austin Rodeo, which will run from March 10-24.

Expand horizons with day camps

With summer just around the corner, many working parents won’t have the extra days to take off for spring break. Don’t despair! There are plenty of places kids can go during spring break. Many school districts offer a special camp that week that gives parents the option to drop off and pick up their children during a specified time period.

Many YMCAs across Texas offer holiday camps to keep children busy and entertained when school’s out. You can also check with local museums to learn more about their school break learning opportunities. For example, the Health Museum in Houston offers discovery camps that provide education and the chance to make friends. The DoSeum in San Antonio offers camps for kids ages 3-11.

No matter what your plans are for spring break, we hope you have a safe and enjoyable week.