Spring Break and Staycation Guide in and around Lake Country

Spring Break Staycation Ideas

I don’t know about you, but I {was} so ready for spring and spring break. I mean, I still am, but things have drastically changed in the past week. Between all the snow we got this year (although no snow days…) and the sicknesses going around {CoronaVirus}, I’m beyond ready! I hope we don’t get one last snow storm, and this warm trend just continues. 

So, usually different schools (elementary/middle/high school) in the area have spring break on different weeks, but we polled our Instagram followers and overwhelmingly, most children are off of school the week of March 23 to March 27. BUT, with COVID-19 making it’s way into Waukesha County, some schools have turned to virtual school starting March 16 and continuing with their planned spring break March 23, for a two week break from meeting in the classroom. If your spring break is on a different week than the last week of March or if COVID-19 has affected your school’s spring break dates, send us a message/comment below!

For many families, traveling this spring break season isn’t feasible (and now it’s really not with so many travel restrictions). Don’t fret if your travel plans were cancelled or if you were planning to stay local as there are plenty of options here in Wisconsin for a great Spring Break Staycation that are budget friendly. However, first check our Cancellation Guide due to the coronavirus/COVID-19.

If you are 100% healthy AND your destination is not closed, sometimes just driving an hour away from home seems like a great vacation. Pack up your kids and take them on a short road trip. The past few years our family tried out different water parks – such as our Spring Break Staycation Guide sponsor, the Ingleside and Springs Water Park in Pewaukee, Three Bears Resort in Warrens, and Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan. The kids had a blast!

This year, we recommend more nature settings. Pending weather, here are three great hiking spots in Waukesha County. Here’s another great guide to Devil’s Lake

Do you have more ideas for spring breaking during the coronavirus pandemic? Comment below or send us a message!

Lake Country Family Fun reader Heather S. suggests heading to Madison for your spring break. Here are her tips for a successful day trip:

  • Start your day at the Henry Vilas Zoo. Admission is free, and it’s open year round! Make sure to visit the Arctic Passage and Badger exhibits. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy Vilas Park, or eat at Zuzu Cafe just across the street. 
  • Next, head downtown to the Capitol building and walk through (also free).
  • The Madison Children’s Museum (my child’s favorite) is right off the square as well. Make sure to go up to the roof for amazing views of the Capitol and Lake Mendota. The Madison Children’s Museum is great for kids ages 0-10. 
Madison Children's Museum
View from the Madison Children’s Museum looking at the Capitol.
  • Head down State Street for window and people shopping, and stop at the UNION AT UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON for delicious BABCOCK HALL ICE CREAM.
  • Another quick stop is the GEOLOGY MUSEUM on the UW-Madison campus. Admission is also free, and there are dinosaur skeletons and rocks/geodes in a special room with a secret light.
  • For the nature lovers, check out OLBRICH GARDENS. The outdoor garden admission is FREE!
    • Do note that the BOLZ CONSERVATORY is CLOSED MARCH 9-20 FOR MAINTENANCE.
  • Other Madison attractions
  • Head south of Madison to Lake Geneva and stay at the Ridge Hotel. They are having a SPRING BREAK SPECIAL.
Visit Milwaukee with Kids Milwaukee County Zoo
The Milwaukee Zoo is always a fun visit!
  • Visit the MITCHELL PARK DOMES and be transported to a tropical environment, or the desert in one location. They are definitely a tropical escape right here in Wisconsin!
    • The show dome always has something spectacular going on. The Attack of the Giant Monsters 2 Minature train show goes through March 29, 2020.
    • Then the April Showers Spring Garden Show will be on display April 11 – May 25, 2020.
    • Whether checking out the koi in the Tropical Dome or the deserts of the American Southwest in the Desert Dome, the Domes are like a mini escape while being relatively close to home. 
    • Lake Country Family Fun reader Heather S. points out that the desert and tropical domes both have scavenger hunts for kids. You can pick up a worksheet as you walk in, and don’t miss the I-spy game in the desert dome as well. And “after you work up an appetite, head to the Mad Rooster Cafe for lunch. Breakfast is served all day.”
  • Head a bit south of the city to Oak Creek and wander around IKEA – don’t forget to eat some yummy Swedish meatballs!
  • Check out these other fun options for exploring Milwaukee With Kids! (ie. Discovery World)
  • While I did attend and graduate college at UW-Green Bay, I have not ventured that direction much since having kids.
  • Luckily, Lake Country Family Fun reader Heather S. is here to share her tips:
  • For more local fun in the Appleton area, check out Go Valley Kids (it’s the Lake Country Family Fun version of the Fox Valley).
  • If you have an 11-15 year old, the Village of Sussex is hosting a babysitting course on Monday, March 23, 2020. Sign up HERE.
  • Visit the Waukesha County Park system, or a park system close to you. Click the link to find links to each of the Waukesha County Parks and our guest contributor Jann’s family’s experiences at each park.
  • Take a spring hike at one or all of these three hiking trails in Waukesha County.
  • Watch a Spring Break Planetarium Show at the Retzer Nature Center on March 24. Only $3.50 per person! OR check out these April Shows.
  • Head to Snips and Giggles on March 19 for their “Lil’ Ladies Night” *Must register in advance. At time of publish, only 1 slot left. 
  • Looking for a service staycation? The United Way is hosting a service opportunity on March 21 in Waukesha. This family-friendly volunteer event will offer healthy, do-good activities for your heart, mind and body! 
  • Michael’s Craft Store in Brookfield will be offering a Spring MAKE Camp
  • The Salvation Army of Waukesha County will be making and serving free bag lunches {TBD on 2020 details}.
  • In addition to the lunch program, the Salvation Army will also be hosting a babysitter course through safesitter.org on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 to teach safe and appropriate babysitting skills. This is open to boys and girls age 11-14. {TBD on 2020 details}
  • Check out this guide to fun Indoor Play locations to break out of the house and burn off some energy!
  • There will be a ton of Easter Egg Hunts, and activities going on in the area.
  • Find a great playground at a new park to explore on the nice days!
  • Check out our ever-popular Events Calendar to explore and check out new events and places in our communities.
  • Attend Storytime and Art (secret pizza party) at Creative License in Pewaukee on Saturday, March 28, 2020. 
  • Have your children take a Petite Chefs class at The Petite Chef in Dousman. Details here. {2020 details TBD}
  • Check out the Hartland Recreation Department’s Spring Break Trip Week, March 23 – 27, 2020 – for children ages 5-11 years old. Call to sign up 262-367-0352.
  • Book a night at the Ingleside in Pewaukee. Check out their Spring Break Package HERE that includes:
    • Overnight accommodations in a newly remodeled premier guest room
    • Water park passes for each registered guest
    • 1 large one-topping pizza
    • 4 soft drinks
    • 4 slices of garlic bread
    • 60 arcade credits
    • This is similar to their Country Christmas Package that we experienced. Read about it HERE.
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