Every year school vacation week sneaks up on me. Especially February. With a child whose birthday is only six weeks after Christmas, I feel like I’m barely out of the holiday and birthday madness and then comes the expectation that I’m going to put together a trip that requires the coordination of said child, a husband, dog walkers, getting Nana to babysit said dogs – and cats? I don’t think so. So, NH February Staycation it is!
Here are six budget-friendly NH February Break Staycation Ideas:
- Craft day at Wiggins Memorial Library. 10 Bunker Hill Ave, Stratham NH. Want something open-ended that satisfies a variety of ages? This cute library has a different theme each day of February Break, with super accommodating hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. No pre-registration required. Thursday, the 28th, is the craft day, but for a full schedule clink the link to learn more about the great line up.
- Do you have a camp kid, or know someone who does? If so, then you surely know all about the braided activity lovingly known as “Gimp.” I can’t count how many times my son came home last summer with new strings asking daddy and I to help finish it. We even tried to Google it, with no luck. But lucky for us, help has arrived in the form of a “Gimp bracelet making workshop” on Thursday, February 28th, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Exeter Public Library, 4 Chestnut Street, Exeter. The library also has an entire schedule of fun activities for school vacation week, and it’s featuring a winter scavenger hunt all week long, too. Click on the link for more details. No pre-registration required.
- Another favorite is Firefly Pottery Studio at 72 Mirona Rd., Ste. 7, in Portsmouth. We love it because there are so many mediums to work with – from glass to clay to wood, ceramics, custom art and more. You’re guaranteed to have your kiddos’ undivided attention for at least an hour, maybe a bit more if you get lucky. For vacation week, they’re featuring “the week of technique.” Drop in anytime and they’ll teach you a new technique of your choice – bubble blowing, marbling, stamps and stenciling, paper masks, clay spinning, and more!
- Want to do a family activity outdoors (preferably where all family members are somewhat contained)? Take the kiddos for a morning skate at Portsmouth’s Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Duck Pond by Strawberry Banke in Downtown Portsmouth. They offer several morning skate times, along with plenty of time throughout the days to get lessons and skate with friends. Check the website later this week for an updated schedule of what they’ve got planned for vacation week.
- Need childcare – or just a break? I totally hear you. A great place to keep in mind is Action Kids at Brentwood Commons. The people and the programs they offer are spectacular, and they have extended hours for working parents. Every day of vacation week comes with a new theme – and it’s not all just fun and games. When my son went there for Columbus Day, they studied explorers. For Martin Luther King Jr. Day, they did a project about people working hard to make a positive difference in our world. They also have Saturday night “parents’ night out” where you can drop your kids off for a couple hours to play, eat pizza, and watch a movie. And the summer camp they offer is just a bigger, better version of their school vacation week schedule. I truly cannot say enough good things about the programs and their staff.
- I couldn’t put together a list of family-friendly places to go without including Artastic at 105 Lafayette Rd. in Hampton Falls. For the younger ones that want free play, they can go put on a fireman’s uniform and drive the truck, play dress up, or even lose themselves in the ball pit. When they’re done, there are ceramics and canvas to paint, mosaics to work with, a station where they can actually dip trays into water and ‘search’ for stones (which you pre-purchase) just like in the days when settlers looked for gold, and even a build your own stuffie station. I’ve been taking my son there since he was two-and-a-half and we still have fun.
I could go on and on about all the wonderful, fun places we’ve gotten to know as we head out for our regular ‘mommy and me’ adventures. But these top six should give you a good start to having a fun-filled, family friendly week that’s fun for both parents AND kiddos. Budget-friendly NH February Staycations are where it’s AT.
What do you think? Are you already familiar with some of these? Were you able to try any new ones this year? I’m looking forward to your thoughts!