Part time Parent automations, rules or boolean, or other?

Sorry if this has been answered somewhere else, but here's my situation and what i want to happen.

I'm a part time father who shares custody of my 2 younger kids with my ex-wife, 50/50 split, so the kids are with me every other week. i have a 2 story house and the kids bedrooms and playroom are on the 2nd floor. When my kids aren't with me, the 2nd floor is essentially shut down.

I want to be able to have automations happen via a certain time, but only when they are here. My idea was to have a 2 button Pico act as the mode trigger. Button 1 = Kids are here, Button 2 = Kids are away.

i'm aware of mode manager, and i have my daytime, evening, and night modes triggered via timed events. I tried to make modes for "Kids are here" and "Kids are away", but it seemed like they got mixed up with my other modes. So i figured a boolean "Kids are home" is true, but i kinda am getting lost on setting up the rules based on that. So i deleted everything in that regard.

I'm hoping some of you creative minds out there can point me in the right direction. I want to have lights turn on at 7:30 when they are here, and have thermostat set points act 1 way when the kids are home, and then have different set points when they are not, so i'm not heating or cooling unused spaces.

i appreciate any help

Well .. I strive to make things effortless. like the house knows what I want, so My thoughts are to have an arrival sensor of some type for their presence. If one of them has a phone? Or a samsung arrival sensor. Those work great. Is there something that generally goes back and forth regularly with them? You could attach an arrival sensor to that. NFC could be another effortless way, but I think a bear to set up. If they have a phone, then wifi presence would be a plus or the hubitat app with inaccessible dashboards or life360, but mom would probably not like you always knowing your children's location. Just a few thoughts. I'm not a fan of having to press a button to do something. I generally like things to be hands off, so maybe take a look at your habits when they are present versus away and build something off of that. Even if it's a contact sensor on the door to the upstairs that the door is closed when they're away and open when they're present. In my opinion, your habits would be a good thing to build an automation from. A samsung arrival sensor would simply connect when they arrive and keep harmony with the ex as you wouldn't be able to track it. (I dont' think, anyway) So you could attach that to a backpack or similar.

[EDITING - I have another idea]

Come to think of it, you wouldn't really need to have something really "special" to do some of this. Really, you could base your wishes on activity within your home. Push out the reset times on the temperature aspects of the automation. Again, just by monitoring your habits. When they're here, this door/window/closet/drawer is open/closed. Setpoints are probably not so far off that they couldn't be achieved within a few minutes and wouldn't reset until a set amount of time. I'm just throwing out some ideas that I think are possible, but you're the one living the automation, so you have to say if it's a possibility or not.
I don't know that I would do a mode entirely, but base your home automations on use and activity. Using restrictions in your rules so you're not writing a rule for each mode. Especially if you only want lights and temperature.

Contact sensors on their bedroom doors or something like that to change modes? Or invoke Alexa/Google "kids here" via virtual switch?

But you should be able to add a "kids home" mode without too much trouble. You just have to be sure to trigger it reliably whether that is a switch, a presence fob, a door sensor, or whatever.

i want a physical button because i do go upstairs for cleaning and laundry purposes, plus i have cats that go up there so any kind of sensor wouldn't work.

They are 5 & 7, so no phones, and no present sensors either, just not doable.

either way, whatever may trigger the "kids are home" variable, i'm stumped on how to go about writing the rule.

i appreciate all the help folks.

side bar; i do automation systems for a living in the luxury AV world, (Savant primarily, formerly Crestron), so i know a thing or 2, i'm just new to Hubitat.

Good to know.
Have an alexa?
How about tying a voice command to a virtual switch.
"Alexa, the kids are here"
on with the switch
which changes the rules. No remotes, nothing to lose track of.
when it's not your week
"Alexa, kids are away"
off with the virtual switch. Life gets quiet for a week?
easy rules to write - literally just adding in a virtual switch condition.

A button can run a rule. No fuss, no muss. Just make button press X activate the rule, and button press Y deactivate. It will be your trigger in the rule.

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using button controller

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I don't use Mode Manager, but it looks like you can also directly use a button to change modes. Edit: 4th option down in picture copied from documentation.

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Amazing. Thanks!

The only thing that I am unsure of, and you probably would have to try, is if you press button 1 to set "kids mode", what happens when you press button 2?

I am not sure if Mode Manager will resume normal modes on button 2, (I.E. no longer button one) or whether you would have to add button 2 to all the other modes, or some of the other modes. I can't quite tell from the documentation.