Family Friendly Things to Do During School Breaks or Vacations

With a week of school break left, here are some suggestions for things to do.  As always, your suggestions and comments are welcome!

1) Use your library card to get free or discounted passes to visit a “”new museum”” such as the Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda or the Oakland Aviation Museum.

2) Visit the online fun at your library web site.  For younger children try TumbleBook Library (read or listen to animated, talking picture books in several languages);  the International Children’s Digital Library (this online library has illustrated children’s books in English, Spanish, French, Russian, Farsi, Chinese and Vietnamese).  Play online games and other activities in different languages Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese and more. For tweens and teens lean to code at Treehouse (Santa Clara County Library) for free.

3) Have a “”smelling party”” and refresh your spices.  Spices lose their strength.  Have a party by checking your spices, making a list of those that need to be replaced.   Try places like Sprouts and Whole Foods bulk spices section to purchase only what you need.  For example, organic cinnamon is around 99 cents an ounce at Sprouts.  Visit Savemart or FoodMaxx to purchase spices at 99 cents – $1.50 a package.  Check the ethnic section or ask for El Guapo spices. Sneak in a learning experience by tasting the spices, talk about how they are used in cooking, how they are grown, where is the spice grown.

4) Teach your children to cook a family favorite dish.  Ask them what they would like to learn to cook. Spend some time in the kitchen together.

5) Look through the pictures from this year.  Add date, location and information captions.  Use your favorite photos to create a photo book for 2013, a family calendar for 2014 or a collage.  Photo books at Blurb begin at $4.99 for digital versions and $12.99 for hard copy.

6) Write a letter together about what happened in 2013 – a year in review.  Or write a letter for things to do in 2014.  Think of what fun it will be to open the letter in December of 2014!

7)  Create a table book of your favorite children’s artwork.  Scan the items. Add captions and dates. Use the images just like photos and create a photo book.

8) Take a walk with the seals – the elephant seals at Ano Nuevo.  Reservations are open.  The cost is $7 per person.

Coupons & Savings: Save 15% on all print book purchases through January 6th, 2014. Use code SAVING15% at checkout.

Marian’s note:  Prices quoted as current as of December 2013,  and of course they may change.  I am an affiliated with Blurb but all ideas in this post are mine.


Marian Kicklighter, Silicon Valley Mom

Originally Posted on: 12/30/2013
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