Did WCPSS mess up your Spring Break plans? If you’re not going anywhere, you can still relax and unwind from the rigors and routine of school: eat, sleep, play, and repeat. Here are some "staycation" ideas to enjoy the break (literally) in your own back yard:

Backyard Camping Trip. Depending upon the overnight temps, Spring Break may be the perfect time for a backyard getaway. Turn off the cell phones – then set up a tent with sleeping bags, make s’mores over a camp fire, tell ghost stories and play flashlight tag.

Pajama Day. Spend an entire day at home. Make nachos, popcorn or whatever your kids enjoy; play old-fashioned board games; and watch sports, movies or Netflix marathons. Spend quality time with your kids doing whatever you never have time to do because of school schedules.

Video Game Olympics. Cold weather can force families to stay in during the Break. If this is the case, Wii offers lots of fun sports options where everyone can take a turn, or even play tournaments for prizes. Dress in team colors and enjoy sports drinks, protein bars and fresh fruits and veggies to give it an authentic touch.

Be a Tourist in Your Own City. How many people never get around to seeing the sites in their own town? Take advantage of Spring Break and tour your local town or surrounding area; visit the zoo, aquarium or museum. If you live in a rural area perhaps you could visit a local farm or vineyard. If you’re a history buff, take a walking tour of buildings in your town and discuss the architectural influences of the period in which they were built. Then build a scrapbook of photos from your trip! Top places to take visitors in the Triangle. Check out your local department of tourism for more ideas in your area.

Go to a Hotel. You may not have time or budget to get away for Spring Break, but you could rent a room at a local hotel with an indoor pool. Take a break from cooking for the weekend and let the kids enjoy the hotel amenities. Many hotels offer ‘staycation’ rates to make the adventure even more affordable.

Sundae and Movie Day. If your kids love movies, choose a theme, then select some classics to binge on for a day. Create a sundae bar with lots of ice cream flavors and toppings.

Fly Kites. Pick a morning, pack a picnic lunch, and head to the park to fly kites. It’s a fun activity both parents and kids can enjoy. And the fresh air and exercise will be good for you!

Make your Backyard a Home for Honey Bees. Honey bees pollinate the nuts, fruits and vegetables we eat, so our food supply suffers when their population is down. Bayer CropSciences’ North American Bee Care Center in Research Triangle Park is giving away free seeds to grow plants that attract bees through its Feed a Bee Campaign. The goal is to grow 50 million flowers to make it easier for honey bees to find the food they need — pollen and nectar. Bayer has several partners who will help plant the seeds, and is inviting the public to plant seeds in their backyards, too. Learn how you can get your free seeds at feedabee.com.

Soak up some Triangle History. From the Revolutionary War to the Civil War, a trip back in time is no farther away than a visit to one of the area’s local historic sites, where docents, re-enactors and historians offer an authentic look into the past. Also check out 10 Free Kid-Friendly Destinations and Activities in the Triangle.

Try Something New. Hike in a cave, travel on a zip-line, ski at night, or try geo-cashing. Design an adventure that is close to home – but has the feeling of a big adventure.

Make this time off extraordinary by putting together a schedule for each day outlining what you plan to do … or just 'wing it' by deciding what you want to do each morning. The precious moments together will do you and your kids some good.

Tips shared from Julie McCaffrey at PishPoshBaby and Odile Fredericks at Carolina Parent.
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