Spring break is coming up for my daughter in a few weeks. It’s tough because I’m a pastor, which means like Christmas break, it’s one of the busiest times of the year for me. Maybe you’re in a similar boat: you want to spend quality time with your kids but can’t afford to take an entire week off of work. So what can you do?
How about a one-day spring break?
Take one day off. And make the most of it. The memories you make in just that amount of time can still be precious to both you and your kid. Here are five ideas:
1. Gone fishing.
Weekends are always slammed with anglers at your local fishing hole. But during the week, the crowds are much smaller, which means the opportunities to catch a fish are greater. Go to your local lake, or stream, or river, or beach front, and take the kids. One of my favorite memories is going on a half-day deep sea fishing boat with my own dad, playing with the sardines, reeling in my first barracuda, and munching on a hamburger from the galley. That all happened in one day and it’s still as clear in my mind as if I had done it every week of my childhood.
2. Batter Up!
Take the kids to a day game! The season is about to start, and day games are usually impossible to take the kids to until the hot days of summer. Spring break is a great time to eat some peanuts and popcorn, chow down on a dog, and watch your favorite team in the mild spring weather.
3. Play well.
Particularly if you live in a climate where it’s not quite warm yet, or if you’d just rather not leave the house, why not bust out your favorite LEGO set and build it together? Or put together one of those really intricate puzzles that take way too much time to do on a normal weekend. Or you could take on constructing a model airplane, doing a paint-by-number set, or baking a very elaborate cake together — no matter what the actual craft or game is, there is something to be said for having set aside an entire day to do so without any other distractions. Getting long hours with your undivided attention and focus will be a treat for both of you — a mini-vacation from multitasking!
4. Camping close by.
Unless you live near a campsite, you may not have the time to go somewhere and camp overnight. But spending time in the outdoors with your kids is always fun. You can “take a hike” in your backyard or around the neighborhood, you can cook stuff on the grill as if you were out in the woods, you can sleep in a tent in your backyard and have a great time doing it.
5. Day trip.
Surprise the kids with a day trip. Don’t tell them you’re taking the day off — just do it. The spontaneous element — even if you plan it and keep it quiet — will feel even more special to your kids. My favorite trips as a kid were just like this. My parents would wake me up early and tell me to get dressed and we’d end up going to Disneyland or Sea World or Knott’s Berry Farm. If you do it on a Friday, you can spend the night in a hotel and drive back the next day. Hotel stays, even just overnight, add a certain grandeur to a day-trip in a child’s mind.More On