Even if you’re not planning an elaborate family vacation for spring break, you can still have plenty of fun while school’s out.
We put together some easy, fun and economical ideas for a Chambana-style spring break staycation. You might decide that you want to stay home every year!
1. Take a road trip. You don’t need to wander far from home to feel like you’re on a getaway. The neighboring towns of Bloomington-Normal, Tuscola, Monticello and more have plenty to explore. Check out Flesor’s Candy Kitchen or the Children’s Discovery Museum in Bloomington (East Coasters — Normal is home to an Emack & Bolios, the only location west of Massachusetts). If you’re willing to go a bit farther, you can take a drive to Indianapolis to spend the day at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and stop on the way home for a hearty meal at The Beef House.
2. Do an overnight. Book at room at a local hotel with a pool, just for an overnight visit. Stay up late, go swimming and watch a movie. Cap it off with room-service midnight snacks and sleep late the next day. Some places will let you block a room just for a few hours so you can use the pool!
3. Go camping. There are some great parks within driving distance, including Clinton Lake, which has a campground. It may still be chilly — although so far, we’ve had a very mild March — so bundle up in sweaters, fleece and sleeping bags for a camp-out. Roast marshmallows, tell scary stories — and head home the next day without spending the college fund.
4. Explore Campustown. Taking the family to Campustown might be a hassle most of the time, but this year the students also happen to be on spring break next week. Check out all the museums, like Krannert and Spurlock, grab lunch at Sliders and Fries and spend time window shopping at Urban Outfitters (but parents of readers beware: There are some “colorful” graphic Ts on sale there lately). Get dessert at Cocomero and head home again!
5. Kickapoo State Park. Once ravaged by strip-mining, today Kickapoo State Park is 2,842 acres of outdoor fun. Camp, canoe, fish, hike and more in this Oakwood, Ill. park. You may be driving just 26 miles from our twin cities, but you’ll feel like you’re in another world.
Got a staycation idea? Share it in the comments!