Keeping the kids entertained during the holidays without constantly dipping into your wallet can be a real challenge.
However, spring is one of the best times of the year to get outside and make the most of the sunshine after the long winter chill. Here are some other great ways to enjoy these spring holidays on the cheap.
Picnic in the park
Here in Tasmania we're fortunate to be spoilt with an array of parks and picnic spots to explore, and spring is one of the best times to see them all. From Launceston's legendary City Park with its band of resident monkeys to Devonport's Mersey Bluff, there's sure to be a park, walk or playground you've never seen before.
Beach side treasure hunt
The water may be a little too cold for a dip but there's still plenty to explore at the beach. Take buckets to collect shells, explore the rock pools, build a sandcastle or enjoy a game of beach cricket. A walk along the sand is one of the best days out at this time of year.
Enjoy some culture
Call by your local art gallery or museum where free activities abound during the school holidays. Even if there's nothing specific on in your area in terms of programs, a tour of the current exhibit is always well worth a look. Most galleries boast a decent cafe for a pit stop to re-fuel hungry kids.
Build a fort or cubby
Grab the sheets and blankets and let the kids have some fun constructing a fort or cubby house. Whether it's inside under the dining table or out in the garden using the washing line and pegs, kids love to create a secret hide-out for themselves.
Head outside on a spring treasure hunt to gather up the new season blooms, twigs and gum nuts to transform into artwork. Try pressing flowers between pieces of paper towel in your heaviest books and paint gum nuts and leaves to turn into unique creations.
Grow your own veggies
Now is the perfect time to start planting your summer veggies together, including direct sowing snow peas and dividing strawberry runners. The best part is you don't need a large garden to get started: a small patch, raised bed or a few pots will do.
Cook the harvest
Spring is the perfect time to make use of all the great new season fruit, especially strawberries, blueberries and fresh peas. Why not try transforming this bounty into a new dish, pot of jam or berry-filled cake topped with new-season pansies.