Q&A: Cost saving activities during school holiday


Do you have any suggestions for things families can do together while the children are on school holiday? We don’t have a lot of money to spend, but we would like to take advantage of the time off to strengthen our relationships and have some good old-fashioned fun. Any ideas?

Answer: “School holiday” doesn’t have to automatically mean “theme parks” or “trip to Australia.” Expensive options like these may not be feasible for struggling families, especially with young children. Fortunately, there are plenty of other things you can do with a week off from school.

The main purpose of school holidays is to provide a needed pause in the schedule for students (and teachers). Looking at it that way, it’s a relief to realise that there’s no need to pack the week with too many activities; in fact, doing so might be counter-productive. It doesn’t have to be the “blowout” of a lifetime – just an opportunity to chill out and spend some quality time as a family.

A few ideas:

  • Plan a couple of stay-at-home movie nights, or hit an afternoon exhibition.
  • Check out inexpensive attractions like local museums and art galleries.
  • Weather permitting, try to get outdoors as much as possible – picnics, bike rides in the park, hiking, etc.
  • Take time to laugh, talk, and dream together.

In the family, the best things tend to happen when you aren’t expecting them. So stay loose, stay open, and leave margin to just sit and listen to your children. Let them tell you what they’d like to do and how they want to spend their time away from school. You’ll be glad you did.

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