As a single parent you may struggle to think up single parent family activities to do while your children are on vacation from school, and financial constraints may hold you back in this regard.
However there are a number of extremely affordable options open to you if you know where to look. The important thing is that you find time to do something with your children as a family. This will instill important family values in their minds.
Single Parent Family Activities
Clearly there are a number of single parent family activities that do not require you to go away for a holiday:
- You could, for example, simply go to the movies together.
- If you want to do something that requires a bit more fresh air you could take your children for a walk in the park.
- Arts and crafts are great activities to do as well as you will be able to join your child in creating something new and exciting.
For more prolonged and memorable activities try one of the following holiday options:
This is one of the activities that will be cheaper for some single parents while not quite as affordable for others. Cruises, if you get the right ship at the right time, can actually be very affordable. They are certainly cheaper than flying anywhere, and unlike a plane trip the cruise forms part of the holiday. Even if it’s a short cruise that takes a few days and puts you right back where you started at the end of it, it will be a memorable trip for your children, especially if they have not been on a boat before. If you live within driving distance of a port you are in luck. However if you have to fly to a port to go on a cruise this kicks up the cost significantly so you may want to try alternative holiday option.
Renting a hotel room for the night is one of the cheaper options that you will have available to you. There are always cheap hotels in your area. You don’t have to travel far as it is just the experience of being away from home for one night that you are aiming to give your children here. When choosing a hotel you should look out for things like:
- A pool
- A shuffle board
- Table hockey
- An arcade
- Other fun single parent family activities and games for families
The end result is that you get to have a mini holiday that your young kids will enjoy without the additional expenses of having to pay for gas. You need not stay much longer than one or two nights. This is an activity that can be done at any time and does not depend on school vacations.
B&B’s of Farmstays
If you live within easy traveling distance of the countryside take some time to look into what farm bed & breakfasts are around in your area. Staying on a farm for a few days can be a great experience for a kid who doesn’t get to see much wildlife. There is plenty for you and your children to do together on a farm, so if you can find one that offers activities and interesting food it could be a very affordable way to spend time with your children. However remember that often these places charge tourist rates, so watch out.
Some of the activities you can enjoy at a farm include:
- Feeding cows or horses
- Collecting eggs
- Harvesting fruit trees or grapevines
- Petting goats
Single Parent Meetups
Single parent Meetups are places for you to meet up with other single parents as well as an avenue for your children to meet other children in similar situations to themselves. Single parents can be very resourceful, and the best place to find ideas for single parent family activities is from other parents. The meet up itself can provide a source of entertainment for all concerned. Common activity ideas that come up at these Meetups include:
- Organizing a group camp – out
- Organizing a road trip to some cheap motel with a pool
- Going to a zoo, aquarium, or museum sleepover
- Organizing a hike to a local waterfall or swimming hole
On top of finding new activities to do with your children you will also have the opportunity to create a support network of other single moms and dads.
Going camping is one of the outdoor activities that you and your children will enjoy. Even if you are a single mom who has never camped before, don’t worry. You don’t need a man to pitch a tent and learning how to do these things together with your children provides a teaching opportunity.
Even if you’re not religious church camps are a good place to look if you want to go camping with your children. This is because everyone is generally welcome and the prices are usually low, if there is any cost at all. You can conduct an Internet search for “church family camps” in your state to see what options you have.
National parks tend to be among the cheaper options if you are looking for somewhere to camp with your children. They are also guaranteed to come with great scenery. In addition the wildlife that you can see here is like nothing else your children will have ever seen in their lives, making the experience that much more enjoyable. Just be sure to take the appropriate safety precautions with your own life as well as with your children’s while you are there.
You don’t need to go away for a long time to have a great ‘vacation’ with your children. Sometimes going somewhere overnight is enough to excite them and get them thinking about the great outdoors. One of the best activities that you could do with your children involves simply going on a road trip. You could camp or head for a hotel, but the point is that you go away, anywhere, for a night or two, maybe just for the weekend.
The best idea is to choose a destination that is only a few hours away. That way you can leave in the morning and take your time getting there, stopping along the way to take photos and explore the surrounding areas. Let your children dictate the pace, within reason, that you will follow to get to where you are going and make the most of a short trip.
If you are looking for ideas about where to go for a road trip, explore resources like theGreat Western Road Trip. The Internet in general can help you find what you are looking for if you know what to search for. Failing that, just get in the car and head out. See where you end up. But keep a map or GPS with you so that you will be able to find your way home again and so that you can avoid getting lost in the process.
If you have friends living a little distance away you will be able to combine the above section about road trips with a visit to your friend’s home. If your friend has children, even better, because this will allow your children to have a socializing opportunity. Arrange well ahead of time with your friend to make sure that everything is convenient for them and for you. If the friend lives a few hours away you can plan this as a quick weekend vacation. If your friend lives further away then it is something you will have to reserve for when school is out. Whatever the circumstances you should be able to manufacture a great holiday for yourself and your children if you have friends living in an interesting, or even in a not-so-interesting, place.
In addition to considering the homes of your friends, don’t forget about the homes of your family members. Children enjoy visiting their grandparents especially if their grandparents live far away. Aunts and uncles with cousins are generally also a winner. It is important to maintain family ties in any case, so why not do so in a way that also gives you and your children an opportunity to have a vacation? In addition when you stay with family they often feel obligated to help you with the kids, which in turn gives you, the single parent, an additional break.
There are several affordable holiday options available to you as a single parent who wants to spend quality time with your family. You would be surprised at what activities you can afford if you put your mind to it. A lot of single parents fall into the trap of not doing very much with their children because they lack the belief in their ability to do these things. This is a frame of mind that you must aim to avoid at all costs. At best it is counterproductive and at worst it is downright damaging to your child’s development.