/ Lifestyle

How to enjoy spring break with the family, without breaking the bank

Let’s face it, by the time we get to March every Canadian is looking for some sort of break.

Whether it’s a break from the cold or a hiatus from the long, dreary nights of winter, we’re ready to bust out of this snow globe. But between the fact that March is still peak season for heading south, and the price of traveling with your whole family seems to have skyrocketed, spring break can get expensive quickly.

Feeling the crunch on your wallet, but still looking for a holiday? Here are some of our favourite tips for how to make this spring break the best one yet for the whole family, without breaking the bank.

Take advantage of your city’s free or specialty programs

There are many places that offer free programs for kids when they’re off school, whether it’s your local library, or another city-run organization. Local parks and outdoor skating rinks often offer free admission throughout the break, and local trails are often free for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.  If your kids are more inclined to indoor activities, the local YMCA usually offers budget-friendly day camps, and their programming caters to a wide variety of interests. See what you can find in your area, and go enjoy!

Bring the beach to you

It’s lots of fun to spend spring break on the beach, but not always realistic to do so. If you can’t go to the beach right now, why not bring the beach to you? Set up a kiddie pool in the basement, visit a local pool, or even just use your bathtub, and get everyone in their suits to enjoy some fun in the water. You can even make a few umbrella drinks, or have a BBQ if you’re feeling particularly summer-y.

Theme Days

Kids love any kind of theme day at school, so why not bring the experience to life at home? Some ideas could include: a movie day, a dress-up day, a baking day or even an 80’s or 90’s day. Pull out old clothes, make some costumes and have some fun together.

Become a tourist in your own city

When you’ve lived somewhere for a while, it’s easy to forget about all of the neat and interesting things that surround you on a daily basis.  Think: if someone was coming to visit your city, where would you suggest they go? Which parks, landmarks, museums or galleries are worth seeing? And when was the last time you and your family enjoyed those places? Pack up the kids and become a “tourist in your city” – take in the sights, eat lunch at a local place, and, if you want to save some money on parking, take public transit so you can relax while you tour!

Get a last minute deal

If you have a slightly larger budget and are feeling a bit more adventurous, you can take advantage of a last-minute deal on a trip, whether that’s down south or elsewhere. If you’re able to be flexible about where you actually end up going, it’s possible to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a trip that you might not have otherwise been able to afford.


While your days of enjoying spring break sans kids may be behind you, there’s no reason why spring break can’t be just as much fun at home, even on a budget. Here’s to enjoying your spring break, and the time you spend with your family!