6 Spring Break Activities on a Budget

You’ve been warned: The schools within the San Diego Unified School District have spring break at the end of the month. Instead of letting your kids laze around or spend the week glued to a mobile device or TV, you should plan trips and constructive activities for them. These planned activities will provide structure and give your family something to look forward to.

Not everyone can afford to take their family to Hawaii for spring break and even Disneyland is really expensive, but luckily for us, there are thousands of things to do throughout San Diego County!

Here are some ideas for spring break activities that won’t break the bank:

1. Visit Birch Aquarium

Take your family to San Diego’s favorite aquarium any day of the week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Introduce your children to various Pacific Ocean dwellers, tropical fish and local sea creatures. Outside, there’s a hands-on tide pool with an accompanying view of the ocean. Your visit may also include a free show: the aquarium’s website specifies times when the staff will be feeding the different tanks.

2. Go camping at Lake Jennings

Give your family the gift of adventure by planning a close-to-home camping trip. There are so many campsites throughout San Diego County, but Lakeside’s Lake Jennings takes the cake for its spectacular views, its freshwater fishing, its free wi-fi and its year-round RV and tent camping. There are also lots of fun activities available to prevent the kids from getting bored.

3. Check out Cabrillo National Park

There’s a surprising number of things to do at this historical site. The Old Point Loma Lighthouse is one of the main tourist attractions, but you should also take a stroll to the Whale Overlook area, where your family may be able to spot a whale, but will definitely enjoy the view. While several other structures and monuments can be found at the park, another favorite is the intertidal zone, where your family can explore the tidepools and the tiny creatures that call it home.

4. Julian Day Trip

If you want to venture a little outside of San Diego, Julian is the perfect place. Hiking, camping, fishing, horseback riding, gold mine tours and gold panning, golfing, museums, orchards and plenty of amazing food – this little town has something for everyone. Don’t forget to stop at the famous Dudley’s Bakery, then go next door to buy some Julian Pie Company pies for future desserts.

5. Balboa Park

Your family has probably been here before, but since so many things are constantly changing at Balboa Park, spring break is an excellent time to go see what’s new in some of your favorite museums. The world-famous cultural park boasts 17 museums, gardens, picturesque fountains, performing artists, a miniature train ride for children, a historic carousel and more than a dozen restaurants.

6. Volunteer

Teach your kids the importance of giving back and loving your community by asking them to volunteer for one day during their spring break. If your children love animals, maybe they can volunteer at the San Diego Humane Society. If they like to be outdoors, sign them up for a beach or park cleanup. Other volunteer opportunities include donating blood at the San Diego Blood Bank, helping out at the San Diego Food Bank and other options.

Planned activities encourage exercise, education and are excellent opportunities for family bonding. For more ideas about how to keep your family active, check out Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups’ articles.

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