Sunday, March 1, 2015

Our $10 March Break Entertainment Budget

It's coming....March Break!! Children are cheering and parents are groaning but with a little planning it doesn't have to be a week filled with expensive outings to keep the kids entertained. Here's our plan for the March Break (note that this is in addition to our regular grocery and gas budget for the week). Be sure to check in the actual week of to see how we are doing! In no particular order here are our activities for the week. Some days may involve more than one activity.
1. Visit the public library. COST: FREE
Most libraries will have a special selection of events during March Break, everything from story time to crafts, to Lego building and cyber camp. Even just a change of scenery and some new books and puzzles can help to break up the week and there is something for every age group from babies to teens. Our local library already has their schedule of events up (my kids are interested in quite a few so looks like we will be there a fair amount!)
2. Play Time at McD's. COST: $2
My kids love to play in the PlayPlace at McDonalds. We normally go early (pre 10am) when it is far less crowded and get a coffee and muffin combo (we eat a full breakfast at home first). The kids share the muffin as a treat and mom gets to enjoy the coffee while they play. If your budget allows by all means you can spend more then the $2 I have listed here but it is possible to visit without spending a fortune. Our rule is that when the coffee is empty it's time to go and the boys have usually had enough sliding and climbing and are ready for a new activity.
3. The Bulk Food Store: COST: $2
Ever since they were toddlers my boys have LOVED to go to the Bulk Food store. It always amazes me how they hang onto their loonie with pride and take their time walking the lines of bins to decide. Sometimes they choose to spend it all on one treat, other times they split it up into many little bags of treats. Its a great way to break up the day with an outing, learn about money and weights and enjoy the rewards afterwards!
Our local Early Years Centre is a great opportunity for kids of all ages to learn through play both with parents and peers. If you have never visited there are a ton of activities to keep little hands busy from arts and crafts, playdough, lego, toys, music, and circle time.
5. Have a picnic: COST: included in grocery budget
We usually incorporate a mini "cooking class" into picnic day. We begin by decorating "chef hats" and then the kids help me to create their picnic. It's a wonderful opportunity to have them help in the kitchen and also practice some fine motor skills. We cut fruit and cheese into bite sized pieces, use cookie cutters on our sandwiches and of course there is usually something special for dessert! Then we lay out a blanket in the living room and set up our picnic. While they eat I read them a story :)
6. Visit someone special: COST: FREE 
Take the time to visit someone special over March Break. Grandma and Grandpa, nana or a favourite aunt or friend.
7. Have a theme day: COST: FREE
We haven't picked our theme yet but some ideas include tropical, superheros, wild animals, dinosaurs, etc. We spend some time learning about our theme, dressing up and pretending!
8. Go for an ice cream: COST: $4 Even if its a blizzard outside going somewhere for an ice cream date is sure to bring some smiles. I suggest following this special outing with some time at the park or outside building snowmen/forts to help burn off that steam!
9. Craft Day: COST:$2 
We have a fairly large supply of craft supplies on hand but I know that my boys always love to pick a wooden item to paint and decorate from the Dollar Store. They also add various decorations such as beads and buttons, pom poms and ribbon. In addition to their painting activity we will also do some spring Easter crafts such as toilet paper roll bunnies and tulips from empty egg cartons.
10. One or more of the following ideas: Depending on the weather additional activities might include a visit to the park, head to the Peterborough Zoo, baking, visit indigo/chapters for one of their free events, March break program at the legislative assembly go Ontario, the Durham region astronomical association: event at opg, Free March Break Fun at Lansdowne Place.

Be sure to check in to see how our week went! I would love to hear your ideas for free or cheap family fun for the March Break holiday! Share them on the Kawartha Bargains Facebook Page here.