Springtime family fun on a budget
By Suze English |

Spring has sprung and so has all the warmer-weather family fun. Here's 10 things you can do with your kids to make the most of the longer days and special family time - oh, and they won't break the bank either!

Spring has sprung and so has all the warmer-weather family fun. Here's 10 things you can do with your kids to make the most of the longer days and special family time - oh, and they won't break the bank either!

Visit the Botanical Gardens

Most city botanical gardens have a dedicated children's garden or playground, and many have free activities for families to enjoy. Spring is the best time to visit these gardens because all the pretty flowers are in bloom. Browse Kidspot Weekend to find out what's on in the Gardens in your area - you'll find fun little ranger activities, nature walks, gardening clinics and lots more for kids and families. Plus, you'll always find large, open lawns to picnic or play a family footy game on, bike paths for all ranges of experience, and water features with ducks, fish and other wildlife.

Take up a sport

Sporting clubs around the country are starting their summer intake and there's a plethora of fantastic sports to choose from for all ages and passions. Most sports for children cater for both boys and girls, with many offering mixed teams and affordable holiday clinics. Typical warm-weather sports in Australia include cricket, baseball, gymnastics, cycling, swimming, softball, athletics, nippers, Oztag, rowing, sailing and more. Check out Kidspot's dedicated Sports for Kids section, or chat with other mums of sporty kids at Kidspot Social.

Beat the heat at the movies

Spring-time in Australia can feel more like summer to the rest of the world, and these are the days we wish for a cool, dark place to wait out the heat of the day - what better place than the cinema? Check out Kidspot's Family Movie Guide to choose the best movie for your family - we've made it so simple, with an easy rating system and trailers, plus all the information you need to pick the right family flick! And don't miss our Six must-read tips for taking the kids to the movies to ensure you have a fantastic and fun experience.

Get into activities

Kidspot has hundreds of fun games and activities for all ages in our fantastic Activity Finder. Find fun outdoor and family games ideas, art and crafts, science experiments, pool and water activities and much more. Discover how easy it is to make and fly your own kite, or create the perfect bubble mix! You can even find out the rules to those half-forgotten games you played as kids, like Red Rover and Capture the Flag.

Put on a fashion parade

Make spring cleaning your kids' wardrobes fun and easy by getting them to model each item on the catwalk! Place a lamp at each end of the hallway, grab the camera and pop on some fun music - then let the kids get creative dressing up in all their clothes so you can decide what still fits, what needs repairing, and what items are past their prime or can be handed down. The kids will love playing dress-ups and pretending to be supermodels for the day - brave mums might even get the makeup out!

Camp out

Camping can be an adventurous outing in the thick of nature, or you can pitch a tent in your own backyard - but you're guaranteed to keep the kids amused either way. Read our guide to camping with kids for tips to get you started. From helping to pack the gear and find the perfect campground, to pitching the tent and exploring your surroundings, camping is an all-family activity with endless opportunities for entertainment. If you're heading to a campground, research the local area for suitable hiking trails, picnic and swimming spots. If you're camping at home, let your kids choose the tent site, toast marshmallows over the barbecue and go on a wildlife walk after dark - they'll be amazed at the nocturnal wildlife in their own backyard!

Throw a garden tea party

Make the most of the warmer weather and host a tea party in your backyard! Simply throw a table cloth on an outdoor table and decorate it with flowers from the garden, pull out the toy tea-set and invite your child's little friends over for the afternoon. Keep it affordable by baking your own special picnic treats to suit the garden theme. Check out these sweet cupcakes or browse our Kids Cooking section for the perfect tea party food inspiration. Just be sure to slip, slop, slap and set your picnic up in the shade!

Get crafty

Every mum knows there's a world of imaginative fun in the craft box, but for those who need some inspiration on what to DO with all that crafty stuff, you simply must check out our fantastic slideshow of fun Kiddie Crafts - there's something for all ages, and all made out of stuff you can find around the home.

Hit the beach

The best thing about a day at the beach is that it can be as cheap as you want - all you really need to pay for is the petrol to get there! Grab your togs, towels, hats and sunnies and pile into the car for a free day of fun. There's more to the beach than the waves too - try a game of beach cricket, make a sandcastle fortress, explore the headland and rock-pools, or bring the fishing rods and see who catches the best dinner! Don't forget to take some footwear - the sand can get hot in Spring, and rocky headlands and bare feet simply don't mix.

Get gardening!

Gardening is a wonderful family activity that everyone can take part in. Even the smallest baby can enjoy the feel of placing his toes in the dirt, and digging, planting and watering are things that all family members can take part in. Spring is the perfect time to start your own family garden or veggie patch too. Check out this fun miniature secret garden activity and be sure to come and chat to the other green-thumb mums at Kidspot Social!

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