A Peek Into Our Spring Break Staycation

posted by Andrea | 04/8/2019

We’re “back to reality” after a fun-filled week off from school for Dave, Nora, and Simon. 

Although we didn’t GO anywhere, I think the kids actually had a great time at home, especially since Dave and I had several fun outings and activities planned every single day. 

And by “planned” I don’t necessarily mean we had specific plans for each day — more just a laundry list of “could be fun to do over break” ideas that we chose from each day once we knew what the weather was like, how kids slept, what we were in the mood to do, etc. 

We stayed busy… but I had to laugh when I flipped my calendar page over at the beginning of the week and noticed I didn’t have anything written in for the entire week! Glorious! 

I should note that Dave was home ALL break — since he’s a teacher, he has the whole week off too, making it much easier (and much more fun) to pull off various crafts, game days, excursions, experiments, etc. 

Many times, one of us did something fun or went somewhere special with the older 3 while the other one stayed home with Clara. She was a bit under the weather all week, and I’m so thankful I had another adult around as Clara mostly just wanted to be held. 

Thankfully, Clara is on the mend now and back to her happy-go-lucky self! 

Overall, we had a very fun-filled, yet relaxing spring break “staycation”…

Here’s what we did! 

DAY 1: 

  • Went to a local play group in the morning
  • Raided the grocery store for “fun foods” (Pringles, GoGurt, pudding cups, caramel corn, Lunch-ables, granola bars, cookies, suckers, gummy bears, ice cream, etc.) WOW, this food is expensive! Now I know why I don’t buy it regularly!
  • Made truffles
  • Set up the trampoline (our kids Christmas gift from my parents)
  • Enjoyed Culver’s for dinner (with custard!)
  • Gave Dave and the boys hair cuts

DAY 2: 

  • Made fresh batches of gak and slime
  • Went to the LolliPop’s concert (our local symphony puts on amazing concerts for kids every couple of months)
  • Went to the library to get a huge stack of books, games, CD’s and DVD’s
  • Played with neighbors in the afternoon
  • Had Dave’s parents over for dinner

DAY 3: 

  • Enjoyed cinnamon rolls for breakfast
  • Went to the zoo (we got a membership from Dave’s parents for Christmas) and brought special snacks along
  • Rearranged the play room, rotated a few toys around, and figured out a new/better way to store the LEGO’s 
  • Watched one of the movies we got from the library (with a caramel corn + candy snack)
  • Read several of the books we got from the library
  • Made personal pan pizzas for dinner
  • Watched the Michigan State basketball game

DAY 4: 

  • Simon treated us to donuts for breakfast using a gift certificate he got for his birthday. 
  • Finished a science experiment kit we got for Christmas
  • Went on a hike through a local nature preserve (each kid got to choose a special snack to take along)
  • Did a bunch of yard work while Clara napped and the older kids jumped on the tramp with neighbor friends
  • Spent lots of time building with LEGO’s — I think Dave might enjoy it more than the kids!

DAY 5: 

  • Had a board game marathon in the morning
  • Went to the neighbor’s garage sale (nothing for us to buy though)
  • Played outside for almost the entire afternoon — I did a bunch more yard work
  • Enjoyed snack time on the trampoline! 🙂
  • Went to a local pizza buffet for dinner (it was a kids-eat-free day and included a dessert buffet!)

NOTE: this was the very first time we’ve ever gone to an actual restaurant with all 4 kids… the older 3 did fantastic, Clara was a pain in the butt! 

DAY 6: 

  • Ran some errands in the morning
  • Stopped at the library for a bunch more books and CD’s
  • Broke out new sidewalk chalk and bubbles
  • Enjoyed Easter candy for a snack during the day and ice cream cones for dessert after dinner
  • Set up a tent inside and the older kids had a slumber party in the play room!

DAY 7: 

  • Spent a relaxing day at home — playing outside, watching movies, playing LEGO’s, etc.
  • Did face paint, tattoos, and painted Nora’s nails
  • Got Simon’s photo book in the mail and the kids had fun looking through all their old photo books
  • Made a huge turkey dinner with special desserts
  • Let the kids sleep in the tent one more night 🙂

DAY 8: 

  • Made Monster Cookies, Oreo Blondies, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Returned our cans and bottles and let the kids use the money to buy something small at the grocery store
  • Had my parents over for lunch 
  • Washed our cars and bikes and played outside all afternoon
  • Went to Dave’s parents’ house for dinner — which meant the kids got to stay up late

Funny Story: our yard used to have tons of “lava rock” in the planting beds — and although we’ve removed most of it, a few pieces still show up from time to time when we’re digging. The kids found some of the lava rock when they were digging and asked me what it was; without really thinking, I said “it’s lava rock” — so now they think our yard is filled with rocks made from cooled lava. They are brushing them all off and saving them! 

DAY 9: 

  • Drove to visit my sister in Indiana and brought lots of the baked goods we made the day before
  • Visited the Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend, IN
  • Had lunch and dinner with them and then drove home again.
  • Brought special snacks and movies for the car rides and the kids enjoyed staying up extra late again
  • Dave watched the Michigan State game 

DAY 10: 

  • Went to Arby’s for lunch using freebie certificates we won
  • Lots more jumping on the tramp
  • Went to a local park
  • Enjoyed a SUPER warm day that finally warranted wearing shorts and sandals (the kids were so excited!) 
  • Got to bed on time in preparation for school and “real life” the next day! 

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Growing up, my family almost always traveled somewhere warm over Spring Break — and although it was fun and exciting (and I loved coming back with a tan) I think Dave and I would agree that our week at home was much more enjoyable for our current stages of life than any warm destination could have been. 

We were able to do several fun things with our kids, enjoy quite a bit of down time for ourselves, finish a few books, catch up on Netflix, work ahead on school and blogging stuff, and cross a bunch to-dos off our list.

Not bad! 

There will most likely be a time for Spring Break travel in our family’s future, but as far as we’re concerned, a staycation was the ideal way to spend our week together! 

What did YOU do over Spring Break this year? 

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30 comments

  1. Haley

    04/18/2019

    They’re adorable.

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  2. Haley

    04/10/2019

    They are so cute.

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  3. Debbie

    04/09/2019

    Seems like a fun filled Spring break!

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    Andrea Reply:

    it was!

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  4. Carolyn

    04/09/2019

    I agree with you on the processed junk food, it is expensive! My husband is a firm believer in avoiding the processed foods, prefers cooking at home from single ingredients. He had me read the labels and see the garbage that is in prepackaged foods and compare the cost per ounce/pound. The stuff is more expensive than prime cuts of beef! And the first ingredient is usually high fructose corn syrup, which you can buy for $75 for a 55 gallon drum, cheaper if you are buying a truckload like the manufacturers do, and it is not at all healthy. We do flat bread pizzas and stromboli at home, with good ingredients. Way cheaper than eating out. Hubby is the chef as well as the home barber/stylist. So I am having my older son learn to cook from him as I tell him he will be graduating high school before you know it and being able to cook for yourself is a task that you can always use. That eating the processed foods that you microwave, like his father doesis more expensive and not healthy in the long run eating such garbage.
    My boys also wanted to sleep outside in a tent in our yard last summer, I told them it was a firm no as we have bears in the area that I was seeing once or twice a week. We have an electric fence around our garden and bee hives to keep them out. And we cannot put our garbage down the hill the night before as the bears wil tear it apart. Learned the hard way on that one. My compromise was to let them set their sleeping bags in the loft and camp there. My boys always loved going to the zoo and aquarium. I consider that a great family outing as we all enjoy it.

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  5. JoDi

    04/08/2019

    Oh that poor little one! I don’t recall ever seeing a photo of her not smiling from ear to ear. She must have been feeling terrible. It was good to see her looking much perkier later in the week!

    Sounds like an awesome spring break to me! Lots of fun activities and time together. You don’t have to go somewhere else to enjoy those things! You packed a lot of good memories into those 10 days.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Yeah, it was a ROUGH week for Clara (and mom) but thankfully, Dave was home so we could “tag team” — one of us stay home with Clara while the other went out with the older kids. Everything worked out, but I’m certainly glad she’s feeling MUCH better!

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  6. BB

    04/08/2019

    “NOTE: this was the very first time we’ve ever gone to an actual restaurant with all 4 kids… the older 3 did fantastic, Clara was a pain in the butt!”
    I just laughed right out loud at this one! Could not imagine that sweet girl being a PITB!

    I saw Nora petting a dog on a couch – at your Indiana sisters? Made me wonder if she (or any of your other kids) are gonna be wanting a dog now!

    It sounds like y’all had a gloriously wonderful Spring Break AT HOME! I totally agree with you that at the age your kids are, and the super things y’all did during this time, made it all the better for being mostly at home.

    Besides, Spring Break is the ‘big signal’ that the end of school for the year is a whole lot closer!

    Thanks for letting us in on your doings for the break, it was fun to see and hear about all you did.

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    Andrea Reply:

    yes, the restaurant experience with Clara was less than desirable!
    but… now we can say we did it — LOL!

    And yes, Dave is always shocked to realize how close we are to the end of the year once we get back from spring break… yay for summer!!

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  7. Erin

    04/08/2019

    This all sounds so wonderful!

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  8. Heidi

    04/08/2019

    We haven’t had our spring break yet (4 more days!) but my husband and I are both teachers so we’re taking our two kids to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for a few days for our first Dollywood visit of the year and some time in the national park. We’ve gotten season passes to Dollywood for the last couple years and we’re big travelers…..so you probably think we’re a little crazy! 🙂

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    Andrea Reply:

    oh yay — hope you have a super fun trip!

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  9. Pixie508

    04/08/2019

    My 4yo still had preschool, and since I still had to pay for it either way, and my husband had a week long training class, we skipped the Spring Break trip.

    On Monday, I took my oldest out for a special breakfast, just the two of us, and then to the library where he picked out more books than necessary, but hey, he loves to read. Tues I had to run to my doctor, so he tagged along, and then I took him to get smoothies, he came home and read. Both afternoons, the kids played together. Wed my youngest had swimming, and then I took them to the local trampoline park. Thurs while my youngest was at school, we did a costco trip, and just hung out and played, and Fri, we went to an indoor playground (it was pouring) with a friend and her kids.

    The weekends were pretty standard fare for us. But, the kids enjoyed doing a few things that they don’t get to do very often, and just having some extra time to relax and play

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    Andrea Reply:

    glad you got some one-on-one time with your oldest — that’s fun too!

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  10. Dawn

    04/08/2019

    We live in Florida but have family in the UP (Manistique area). We visited there in August one year and the weather was SO beautiful! Your spring break sounded really fun – you can tell by the kid’s faces they loved it! So many great memories!

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha — you come to Michigan and everyone from Michigan goes down the Florida!

    And yes, coming to Michigan in August was probably fantastic. The only thing better (in my opinion) is coming in mid October (maybe early October for the UP) when everything is so colorful. I LOVE Michigan in the Fall!

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  11. Chris

    04/08/2019

    Sounds super fun! I love the tent slumber party idea!

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    Andrea Reply:

    yes, the tent was a BIG hit!

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  12. Kristina R

    04/08/2019

    Potawatomi Zoo is near where we live & we go often! It’s such a nice little zoo. Sounds like a fun week!

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    Andrea Reply:

    it WAS a fun week 🙂

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  13. JJ

    04/08/2019

    Time together where it’s enjoyable for the whole family is priceless!!! Your kids will look back with fond memories and continue on some of the fun. I hope Clara feels well soon!!!

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    Andrea Reply:

    thanks 😉 Clara is feeling much better now!

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  14. Katie

    04/08/2019

    Sounds like a great week to me! Our school district doesn’t even have spring break. We normally just get Good Friday and Easter Monday. This year it is only Good Friday. 🙁 We just keep plugging along to the end of the year. We are counting down! 🙂

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    Andrea Reply:

    oh wow — no spring break? That’s rough! Do you get a winter break?

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  15. Annette Silveira

    04/08/2019

    This sounds like a perfect week. My granddaughter’s break coincides with Easter so we’re taking her camping with us. We have a trailer and camping has always been our preferred getaway. Her mommy (my daughter) is finishing her Masters Degree in Education this month so it will give her a few days to get some work done without a two-year-old attached to her body. How do they always know to get closer when you most need space

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    Andrea Reply:

    yay for camping. We’ve never been camping, but Dave went all the time growing up. We hope to try it once all our kids are potty trained (maybe next summer!)

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  16. Stephanie

    04/08/2019

    This sounds so fun and relaxing-spending quality time together without driving long distances, staying in a hotel, and eating all meals in a restaurant. I imagine the kids will have really good memories of their time at home with you and Dave.

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    Andrea Reply:

    for a family who enjoys being home, it was an ideal week. The kids would have liked to swim in a pool, but it just didn’t work out for us that week.

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  17. Karen

    04/08/2019

    Potawatomi zoo is our zoo we go to all the time. I hope you loved it!!

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    Andrea Reply:

    we did enjoy it. Not all the animals were out due to cooler temps, and they were doing lots of construction, but it was a good way to spend the afternoon. Our kids also really liked the play ground right next to the zoo!

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