Polar Vortex aside, spring really is on its way. The sun will shine, flowers will bloom and kids will be out of school for Spring Break. And even if you can't afford a fancy vacation this year, there are still plenty of inexpensive ways to enjoy Spring Break with some good (and cheap) family fun.

1. Become a tourist (in your own hometown).

Instead of heading out town, save money on gas and airfare by booking a room at a local hotel. Let the kids swim in the hotel pool in the evenings, and become tourists in your own town during the day.

Make a list of all the free local attractions you can visit, and search Groupon and other deal sites to score deep discounts on lodging, meals and destinations.

2. Enjoy a "staycation" at home.

Prefer not to leave the house? There are plenty of fun ideas for an at-home staycation that won't break the bank. Remember, the best memories are usually the ones that cost the least.

Plan a movie marathon in your PJs with DVDs from the library. Read a book as a family and plan a family book club. And if the weather is warm enough, you could even spend your days hanging out together in the blow-up pool in the back yard.

3. Volunteer in your community.

If you can afford the trip, voluntourism is all the rage right now among families who want to expose their kids to more of the world. But even if you can't, you can still turn Spring Break into an exercise in volunteering.

Look for community organization that welcome children as volunteers, and then donate your time as a family to a cause you all believe in. Your kids may groan at first, but in the end they'll have more fun than you might expect.

4. Visit far-away friends and family (and enjoy their hospitality).

Under the right circumstances, visiting relatives who live in other parts of the country can make for a fun and cheap family trip. If you stay in their home you won't have to pay for a hotel room, and you'll probably save money by not having to dine out as much too.

Plus, — if they're people you truly like — you can spend most of the time at home talking and just hanging out, so you will save on the cost of expensive outings as well.

5. Plan a "Playdate Hop" with other families.

Plan a "playdate hop" with other families who will be in town over Spring Break, and your kids will never know they're missing an expensive vacation. You host one day, and then other families can take turns hosting on other days of the week. Your kids enjoy fun activities with friends, and parents get to enjoy some adult conversation. It's a cost-effective win-win.

6. Take a trip that's "not-big-like-Disney."

Depending on how you personally define "cheap," a smaller trip can be a good alternative to a big budget vacation. For example, instead of heading to Disney World or an exotic beach destination, take a trip to a nearby state park or Six Flags. The family will still have fun — and you'll probably experience fewer headaches too.

Do you travel over Spring Break? Or do you stay home to save money?