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Your Good Life Guide to the Hudson Valley. It's Fun Here!
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Inexpensive and Fun Things to do with Kids on Spring Break

spring breakBy: Dana Vieira

So, what do you do with a whole week off from school and children whining for something fun to do?

There are a lot of things you can do with the kids that do not cost a lot of money or are free, and most of it can be done in your own city, and some in your own backyard.

Here are just some of the fun ways to spend spring break with the kids without breaking the bank, or losing your mind.

1. Backyard Campout – Set up a tent, grab the sleeping bags and flashlights and have a fun night of ghost stories and counting stars. If you have a outdoor fire pit you can roast hot dogs and marshmallows, sing songs, play games and tell stories.

2. Movie Night – You can do it indoors or outside. Invite the kids friends over, set up some chairs, or pillows and blankets if indoors, pop the popcorn and watch a fun comedy or spooky movie under the stars.

3. Visit your local library – Many libraries have special events; storytime, arts and crafts for the kids during the week. Or just visit and check out some books or movies, let the kids play on the computers, and get some nice quiet time for yourself as well.

4. Visit a local indoor play place – Many cities have Bounce House’s that have inflatable slides, jump houses and much more. For a low price you can get around 90 minutes of play time for the kids while you sit and read a book or surf the web.

5. Visit your state park – Many state parks have playgrounds, beaches, water activities, and lots of ground to run and play. Pack a picnic lunch and head over for the day. Grab some ice cream or frozen yogurt on the way home.

6. Be a tourist in your hometown – Go out and spend the day in your city. Visit shops and museums, things that you usually bypass because you live there. Eat lunch in a local cafe. Visit your local city welcome center and grab some coupon books. You can get buy one get one coupons to museums, or the zoo, or aquarium. Stroll the streets and just enjoy a day in your city.

7. Make a cookie or lemonade stand – Help the kids set up a table and some chairs, make some cookies and lemonade and have them draw up some signs and sell to the neighbors. Kids love to create and do grown up things, plus it gets them involved with the neighbors, it is fun, and they can make some pocket change while at it.

8. Set up a mini water park in the backyard – If the weather is nice, set up a small pool, a sprinkler, and maybe a slip and slide. Break out the beach chairs and umbrella and spend the day in the backyard. Get water balloons and play balloon toss or have a water balloon fight. Then eat some ice-pops as a snack. Fun, free, and cool.

There is so much you can do with the kids during their spring break from school without emptying the wallet and without them being stuck in front of a TV and playing video games all day.

With a little creativity and some planning you and the kids can have a fun and enjoyable spring break together.

Have fun and enjoy these moments while they last, they grow up way too fast.


How to Dress a Child for Winter

winter clothingBy Anne Reynolds

Dressing in layers gives children more time outside because they can shed or add clothes depending on changing temperatures. Dreams of building a snowman, sledding down a slippery slope or making snow angels in freshly fallen snow entices even the youngest couch potato. Whether your child is taking advantage of a snow day or bundling up to play an outdoor sport, verify he is dressed properly before sending him out for winter adventures.

1. Check the current temperature and the forecast for the day. Listen to your local news channel, weather app or online meteorological service.

2. Consider your child’s body temperature and the activity in which he will be involved. Include lots of layers for shedding when body temperature rises or the sun comes out, heating up the atmosphere. Remind him to add clothes when temperatures start to drop.

3. Dress in clothes that will keep him toasty, whether sitting in bleachers watching an outdoor football game or participating in a winter sport such as skiing or snowboarding. Include two to three layers covered by snow pants and a down jacket. Bring along a quilt or blanket to wrap around when the wind chill is biting.

4. Begin with snug undergarments including long underwear or spandex pants. Cover the long underwear top with a turtleneck or long sleeve cotton shirt. Add a flannel shirt, sweater, sweatshirt or fleece jacket. Use water resistant pants especially when playing in the snow, such as snow pants or bib overalls.

5. Pull up wool socks on both feet. Insert each foot into fleece-lined or water proof/breathable fabric boots. Consider purchasing boots with removable linings for easier drying. Add ice spikes to the bottom of boots, especially for ice fishing days or walking on slick sidewalks and driveways.

6. Complete the top half with a hooded down jacket. If your child gets overheated, he always has the option to remove the jacket and play in his second layer.

7. Finish the wardrobe with mittens or gloves and a hat. Anything waterproof will shed moisture, prevent chills and avoid long drying times. Pick a knit or fleece-lined stocking cap and insulated gloves.

8. Slather on sunscreen and put on shades. Even on cloudy days, rosy faces give way to snow burns. Put on similar attire and join your child for a brisk walk looking for animal tracks or turn shoveling into a game creating designs in the snow.