We got the message from our child’s school, they will be observing spring break this year and “there will be no online class during the week so please plan your time without the routine of homeschool”. I never thought that planning a life without homeschool would make me nervous, but a whole week at home without some routine is making me anxious already. So, I’ll be planning a spring break at home where we will be taking a break from homeschooling, organizing and fretting over the next grocery trip. Here’s the plan:
It’s going to be short, 3-5 days. Let’s be real, I cannot recreate a 7-day beach vacation in the NJ suburbs.
Create lots of fun during your spring break at home
Our usual vacations involve a timeshare condo at a resort with a full schedule of planned activities and a lot of outdoor time. Therefore, I’ll be doing my best to come up with a few pre-planned activities and surprises to keep it fresh but won’t require a lot of participation and direction on my part.
Hikes, bikes and big games make up a huge part of our trips. I’ll take out my bike (I only ride a beach cruiser on vacation, but I’ll dust off my mom bike) and commit to biking the neighborhood with the family. There are many hikes in our area with great views and a little history so that will be on the agenda. Lastly, I have in my Amazon cart a giant Connect 4 game we always play at our favorite Marriott.
I don’t know about you, but we have seen plenty of movies during our quarantine so I plan to change it up a bit and use the outdoor projector I bought last year (and used once) for an outdoor movie.
To give me and my husband a break, I’ll be sure to have a good beach read and a good sports-related audiobook for him ready to go. These are our go-to activities while watching the kids splash in the pool. We may be watching them spray each other with the hose but it will serve the same purpose. Either way, I’ll mix a giant drink for us to share, another vacation tradition, and toast to our little break from the new normal.
Create food experiences during your spring break at home
A big part of our vacation is finding the best vacation food. Fresh seafood and gourmet meals may not be an option this time but easy and fun vacation food can be done. Curbside pick-up is still available to us, so I plan to pick up a few hard to recreate meals like Thai or Chinese. The rest of the time will be easy and fun like our favorite vacation PB&J. I get the soft white bread and we shamelessly eat sandwiches (with chips!) for lunch in our swimsuits. Sometimes we get crazy and make hotdogs or macaroni and cheese. Throw in some beach-y fruit like pineapple or watermelon, if available, for fun and nutrition. The point is to spend the least amount of effort and time so you can get back to the fun.
Create the vacation smell for your spring break at home
Recreating the beach vacation smell is easier than you may think. Dig through your cabinets for a scented candle any scent (except maybe Christmas pine) will work. The idea is to set a scent memory. Burn the candle for a few hours a day during your break and in the future your family will associate the scent of “spiced apple” or “spring lilac” with the hopefully happy memories of your quarantine break. I do this with laundry soap by bringing the special scented Tide pods on our vacations and washing clothes and comfort blankets during the trip so they smell different when we get home reminding us of the trip. It’s fun to open your suitcase when you get home and smell the trip (in a good way).
With a little thought about the things that make your family vacation special, you can easily recreate the feeling of spring break at home during this strange time. It may be your most memorable vacation yet.