Monday, March 09, 2015

Staycation Spring Break

So a million years ago when I was in school we didn't have a Spring Break. Instead, school was closed on Good Friday and the Monday after Easter. Those were our only days off between President's Day and the end of the school year. Now days, just about every private school and all the public school districts in our region have an entire week away from class during the Spring session. I remember how excited I was when I finally made it to college and had a Spring Break and now it seems everyone including preschoolers have a Spring Break! So working parents everywhere are using their vacation time or scrambling to make day care arrangements for the kiddos during the break. Some families use this time to make a fun getaway to a favorite destination such as Grandma and Grandpa's home in another city or state, and some families, especially those just thawing out from a long cold snowy winter season may choose to vacation at a warmer location such as a sandy beach or better yet, Disney World in sunny Orlando, Florida. However, if you're planning a "staycation" during Spring Break here are 5 activities you might consider:

1.) Start a children's garden. Let the kids research books and magazines for ideas for flower and/or vegetable gardens. Many cities also have a botanical garden and it's a fun visit for everyone in the family. The Missouri Botanical Garden, for example, has several demonstration gardens where the young gardeners can see and learn about a variety of flowers, plants, and vegetables. Then make a trip to a nearby nursery or the garden center at the local Home Depot or Lowe's department store and let them choose the seeds or plants for their very own piece of the garden.  Now it's time to start planting! Then let the little ones take responsibility for watering, weeding, and tending the plants. The kiddos really love telling everyone about the changes they find each and everyday in their very own garden.

Missouri Botanical Garden

2.) Let your children remodel their rooms. Discuss possible themes for the room such as princesses for the younger girls or dinosaurs for the boys.  Of course, currently "Frozen" seems to be what every young girl wants for her room. And, Superman, Batman, Spiderman, or any superhero is perfect for your little man's room. The older boys might like a sports themed room , and the tweenaged girls might tend to go for a room theme that headlines a favorite musical group. Then search the internet and local shops and department stores for just the perfect paint color, posters or wall decals, and bedding for the soon to be newly decorated room. Stores such as Target and Walmart have a wide variety of bed sets to match almost any theme and room color.

Soccer Room
Courtesy of Masterpiece Design Group

3.) Get a hotel room for a few days in your town. Make sure it is kid friendly with an indoor pool and lots of fun amenities and activities for the kids. A spa and fitness center are super nice for mom and dad too! Many hotels offer free breakfast and also have a welcoming package for the kids. For example, the Omni Majestic Hotel in downtown St. Louis give children a backpack filled with games and goodies that promote healthy eating. In addition, chocolate chip cookies with milk are delivered to the room for the kids on the first night of the stay.

Courtesy of

4.) If your school aged children are sports fanatics then it's always fun to attend sporting events during Spring Break. Professional hockey, basketball, and soccer are all in season during March and April. And the 2015 opening day for major league baseball is scheduled for Sunday, April 5th. And if your favorite sports team doesn't have any home dates during your Spring Break, touring the hometown arena or ballpark is lots of fun. Some cities also have a Sports Hall of Fame. For example, the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame is located at The Scottrade Center, home of the St. Louis Blues Hockey Club. In addition, the St. Louis Cardinals have a fantastic Hall of Fame located in Ballpark Village. It's filled with lots of Cardinal history and memorabilia. It's location is fantastic too with availability of several family friendly restaurants such as The Brewhouse and Cardinals Nation.

Busch Stadium
Home of the St. Louis Cardinals

5.) Spend a few days exploring new and old haunts around town. Old favorites such as a zoological park or science museum are enjoyable visits for all ages. Several cities also have museums geared just for children. For example, if you happen to live in or near Indianapolis you must visit the The Children's Museum! It's the world's largest children's museum and has many educational interactive exhibits. Makes for a very fun day! Here in St. Louis, the City Museum and the Magic House Children's Museum are both adventures worth taking! My personal favorite outing during Spring Break is a trip to the Saint Louis Zoo. I've made countless trips to this St. Louis gem over the years and have never once been disappointed.

Saint Louis Zoo

Whatever you do this Spring Break, the good news is you will make happy memories that will last a lifetime. Enjoy!

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