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Top 10 Ideas for Spending Spring Break in Manhattan Beach

Apr 03, 2020 12:30PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Where are you headed for spring break? Nowhere? Hey, us too!

If you're like most Manhattan Beach residents, you're stuck at home with your kids for spring break during the coronavirus quarantine. But that doesn't mean you have to be climbing the walls. We've got a whole list of ideas of things for you to do with your kids.

Before we even get into specifics, check out this list of Spring Break Ideas on the Manhattan Beach Unified School District website. This list was compiled by the outstanding MBUSD Communications Committee, with special thanks to Jessica Vanzura, Heather Averbook, and Heather Hoffman.

1. Take a (Virtual) Trip

Our first suggestion is to take a virtual trip. For example, you can "visit" any number of spectacular destinations through virtual tours online. Think Blarney Castle in Ireland, Buckingham Palace, the Great Wall of China, or even Mars. Additionally, almost all major museums have online sites to visit, starting with the Smithsonian, Getty, and Louvre museums.

But rather than taking a bunch of random tours, think of a way to organize it. Maybe focus on just one country or topic. Or "visit" a different country - or continent - each day. Or look at how you can group different destinations. At the DigMB household, we're going to visit one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World each day.

2. Get To Know Your Ocean

We live right near the ocean - Why not use this time to get to know it better? Local aquariums and oceanic groups have a host of resources to keep you and your kids occupied.

Our beloved Roundhouse Aquarium Teaching Center is closed, but they are offering links to various online events and videos. Stay in touch with them on their Facebook page for all of the relevant updates. (Don't miss their upcoming Jelly Time Live Facebook event on jellyfish on Sunday, April 5, at 11:00 a.m.)

The Aquarium of the Pacific has a whole Aquarium Online Academy that offers both on-demand videos and activities for all ages and a schedule of interactive live programs with aquarium educators.

And Heal the Bay has been offering a series of "Knowledge Drops" - an interactive science education series with fun lessons about the environment. You can sign up for future Knowledge Drops or view videos of past events on their site.

3. Learn Manhattan Beach History

How much do you know about our town? The Manhattan Beach Historical Society has a wealth of information on its web site. Here's a fun walking activity: Use the old photographs on the Manhattan Beach historical society's web site to take a walking tour of Manhattan Beach, as seen through the lens of history. (Using proper social distancing guidelines, of course.)

Then you can quiz your family on trivia questions: Where was Roy Casey's vegetable truck located? Where was the first beach cottage in Manhattan Beach built? Where was the Manhattan Inn located? How much did dinner cost at Ole's Cafe?

4. Read Books or Do Puzzles

Reading books is still legal! If you're looking for the newest and latest, check out pages: a bookstore. You can swing by their store window for suggestions, and/or place your order on their website. They offer curbside pickup, local delivery, and shipping options. At press time, there appear to be a few jigsaw puzzles left too.

Speaking of puzzles, the Bo Bridges Gallery now has beach-themed jigsaw puzzles as well. Visit their website to order.

Also, don't forget about Manhattan Beach's Little Free Libraries. You'll find one in almost every neighborhood. Take a book - and leave a book - to keep the exchange going.

5. Try Old-Fashioned Outdoor Fun

Don't stay cooped up in the house for the whole week. Especially during warm sunny days, try to get outside as much as possible. Some still-legal outdoor activities include:

  • Create chalk art in the driveway or sidewalk
  • Plant seeds to start a garden
  • Plan a backyard camp-out
  • Play hopscotch
  • Use those empty delivery boxes to make a cardboard fort
  • Go on a neighborhood scavenger hunt (Here's a sample list for a kid-friendly neighborhood scavenger hunt: Find a red leaf, a purple flower, a blue car, three different kinds of birds, a giant sidewalk crack, a butterfly, three different kinds of dogs, a delivery truck, and one cat. You get the idea.)

6. Go On a Bear Hunt

Speaking of scavenger hunts, one of our favorite new developments from the coronavirus epidemic is the emergence of "bear hunts." Families are putting a stuffed bear in their front windows or in front of the house so that kids who walk the neighborhood can "hunt" for bears. Be a good neighbor and put one out for other kids too.

7. Play Social-Distancing Bingo

There are several variations of this idea out there, but this site has a great multi-week set of family "social distancing" Bingo cards. Each square has a different family activity you can do under social distancing. Who will get to "Bingo" first?

And don't forget about other classic kids' indoor activities like board games, card games, and cooking projects.

8. Create a Time Capsule

Why not create something to remind yourself of this strange, strange time? LONG Creations has designed this widely copied COVID-19 Time Capsule that your kids can fill out. Check out the downloadable time capsule worksheet here. (Thanks to Heather deRoos for the idea.)

9. Check Out New Music

Why listen to the same old songs if you can try something new? We love this list of playlists from MBUSD and Mira Costa High School staff (thanks to Rebecca Allen for the idea).

10. Volunteer

Last but not least, most in-person volunteer opportunities are shut down. But you (and your kids) can still do good deeds from home. Here's a good starter list of at-home volunteer opportunities for kids. For kids and adults alike, if you have just about any skill (writing? photo editing? art? translation?) check out this list of places to volunteer online.

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