School holidays are a great time to connect as a family, let off some steam, and get kids excited about what’s ahead. However, there’s also a misconception that school holidays have to come with a big price tag. With expensive holidays across the country to costly camp programs, it’s no wonder so many parents are struggling to find budget school holidays ideas that don’t break the bank.
If you’re worried about the school holiday affecting your wallet, you’re not alone. A Finder survey discovered that 40% of parents currently feel burdened by holiday hosts. With 12 weeks of school holidays every year, parents need to find a way to make the most of this time for their kids without overspending.
The good news is fun can be cheap or free. There are a lot of ways you can enjoy these school holidays without worrying about your budget. In this guide, we’ll share 6 budget-friendly ways to keep the kids busy during the school holidays.
1. Explore Nature
Whether you live near the beach or in the heart of a city, there’s always nature to explore. Nature is the lowest cost option when it comes to holiday fun with kids. Join your kids hiking or just walking through nature. Find new trails, visit waterfalls, and do things you wouldn’t usually do in your day-to-day routine.
A great way to make nature a bit more fun is to create your own scavenger hunt. What are some things you can find in nature, like a really big rock or a certain bug? Add all of these to a list and have your kids check them off as they explore.
2. Visit a Nearby City
While many families feel pressured to take exotic vacations, why not experience somewhere a bit closer to home? Visiting a nearby city is a great way to see something new and out-of-the-ordinary without going that far. From small towns to bustling cities, there’s so much to see.
Catch a bus or train to a nearby destination, and look for free or inexpensive places to explore. Most cities or towns have museums and kid-friendly attractions, so these are a great place to start. Becoming a tourist for a day is a great way to teach kids the excitement of travel.
3. Host a Movie Afternoon
You don’t have to head to the cinema to see some great blockbusters. Host your own movie afternoon (or morning or night!) with your kids and some friends. Choose some favourite flicks or even a marathon of movies, and prepare the best inexpensive movie snacks like popcorn.
Better yet, you can watch a large variety of movies for free if you have a streaming account like Amazon Prime Video or Netflix. A movie event is also a great way to give yourself a break as a parent.
4. Take a Dip in the Pool
Some school breaks are sweltering hot, so why not cool off at the pool? The beach is fun but it can also be a lot of work, not to mention the expense of travel if you don’t live near a public beach. Instead, head to your local pool.
Most local pools offer a kid or family discount, especially during the off-season. Plus, you can usually purchase an annual or season pass that will save you big time. From pool games to relaxing in the water, this is the ultimate school break activity.
5. Go Backyard Camping
Camping is a childhood staple, but it can also be a costly trip if you’re not careful. Cut down on the expense and time of camping by camping in your own backyard. This is a better alternative to traditional camping if you have young kids who might not be up for a bigger wilderness adventure.
All you need is a tent and some sleeping bags. Set up in your backyard, and do all of the fun camping activities. From smores to campfires to scary stories, this will be a memory you and your kids will cherish for years to come.
6. Visit an Art Museum or Gallery
Finally, share the gift of creativity with your children on their next school break. Local art museums and galleries usually have kid-friendly activities that are affordable or free. Not only can your kids see art up close and personal, but they can also get their hands dirty.
This is one of the most educational options on this list, so it’s a great pick for all year round. Check with your local art museum or gallery to see if they offer any events for families.
Enjoy Budget School Breaks as a Family
If you’re looking for ways to keep your kids busy during school breaks, look no further than this list. Who said you had to pay an arm and a leg to have a great time together? As long as you’re encouraging kids to use their minds and be active, they’re having a good time.
Don’t let the financial burden of school breaks get in the way of your financial goals. A little bit of creativity goes a long way during these times of the year.
For more help getting your finances on track, talk to a money expert at Debt Busters. Our friendly professionals are here to help with everything from budgeting childcare expenses to saving for the future. Contact us to get started today!