Fun At-Home Budget-Friendly Spring Break Ideas

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Manic:  Spring break on a budget with antsy kids that want to have some fun!

Managed:  Deciding on a couple of fun activities that can be done at home, which keeps the family on budget and the kids entertained.  We plan to do some fun stuff outside of the home later in the week, but starting off the break with some inexpensive ideas keeps the overall costs down, as the Spring Break week progresses.

Idea #1 A Slumber Party that Gives Back!

We actually only had two girls sleep over, but I called it a “slumber party” to make it sound more fun for my very busy tween girl!  The girls wanted to have a neighborhood lemonade stand, so we did, but we all agreed that the proceeds would go to ASPCA (The Animal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).  You have probably seen those heart-breaking commercials filled with sad images of dogs and cats who had been abused, but then rescued by ASPCA.  You know, the ads with country superstar singer Sarah McLachlan?  Well that night as the girls settled in for slumber, that commercial came on, so we all voted that the lemonade proceeds would go to that charity.  So when morning came, we went to work to create our neighborhood lemonade stand.  Take a look at our lovely creation:

We found a tablecloth that I had used previously, bought some inexpensive cookies, added a few flowers and our lemonade and strawberry lemonade sale was on!

And guess what?  In 1 1/2 hours, we raised $70!  I couldn’t believe our success and neighbors who had heard about the sale, were coming to buy more, but we had to clean up, because we ran out of supplies!  So for only the cost of the lemonade mix and cookies, we made a pretty good profit.  I told the girls that I would match what they raised, so we proudly sent a check in to ASPCA in the amount of $140!  Now that is a successful lemonade stand that gives back!

Idea #2:  Do Some Fondue:

You can make a healthier version of this by leaving out the marshmallows and the rice crispy treats, but we went for fun!

You don't need a fondue pot for melted chocolate, but I do like this one that I bought at Party City by Wilton Chocolate Pro. I purchased it for $40, but I just found out that you can get it on for a lot less. This pots works really well!

3.  Set up a fun “movie theatre”:

Sometimes we take some old raffle tickets that I have left over from events that I’ve done in the past and use them for pretend movie tickets.  We will buy a movie from our cable On Demand channel, pop some popcorn and then set up a movie counter, complete with signs, a snack area and play money.  Kids love going to the pretend movies and this is a lot cheaper than going to a real movie theatre these days!  And once the movie rolls, moms can get some time for themselves to do the laundry…or maybe even take a break and enjoy a moment to themselves!

4.  Hair Salon Fun:

My daughter loves to buy the wash-out hair color cans and do her hair and her gal pals’ styles.

Sometimes I will buy my girl a can from this line because I can get it at Walgreens and it washes right out.

They all take turns doing hair and getting dressed up and then they call it a home makeover.  A performance usually comes next with a dance that they put together to show us for fun.  The dance incorporates some exercise and brain work, too.  So this is an inexpensive fun idea, too.

Got out my old crimping iron for a fun at-home style. She then put on a costume and did a performance for us. Free home fun.














5.  Play Restaurant:

Our funny-looking Mickey Mouse pancakes are the perfect pretend restaurant food idea and these can be served any time of day!


This is another fun idea and we’ve done it both ways….I’ve been the chef and the waiter and my kids have donned the aprons, set up a table and prepared a meal to serve us.  My daughter has always called the restaurant the Blue Fish…not sure why since seafood isn’t on the menu, but it works and we love it!  Since cooking and eating will be on the daily agenda anyway, creating a restaurant makes for another fun and budget-friendly at-home Spring break idea.

I found these cute little syrup bottles at my local Safeway, so I bought them and saved them for our restaurant play. They were a tasty hit!

Now that we’ve had a lot of home fun, we can venture out later in the week to the zoo, hiking and more.  What cost-efficient Spring Break ideas do you incorporate into your kids’ week off?  Share here in the comments section and have a wonderful Spring Break!









  1. Absolutely love the slumber party. Great ideas! I heard is was the best slumber party Ever!

    • managedmom says:

      The girls were very proud to raise money to help innocent animals and I was super proud of them, too! Plus some of our neighborhood boys volunteered to help out, too. The boys made signs and waved to passing cars, inviting them to try our yummy lemonade!