It’s hard to believe that Spring Break is just a few weeks away, especially given how cold it’s been lately (hello, polar vortex). However, if you’ll be ready to escape the moment the school bell rings on the last day before the break, here are six fun and fabulous Spring Break family vacations.
Spring Break Family Vacations
A few years ago, two of my girls and I road tripped across the Florida Keys. It was so much fun. Start in Miami and make stops at the Miami Seaquarium and Jungle Island. It’s also a must to go on an airboat ride through the Everglades. It’s usually pretty easy to find discounted tickets on Groupon.
Next, make a stop at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the nation’s first underwater state park, for snorkeling at Cannon Beach. Stay the night at Hawks Cay Resort in nearby Duck Key. Look for a Pirate Ship Pool, a Saltwater Lagoon, and an on-property Dolphin Connection program. Keep going west and take a tour of the Turtle Hospital in Marathon before making your way to Key West for frozen key lime pie on a stick, sunset at Mallory Square and a visit to the Harry S. Truman Little White House.
Head to New Orleans to ride on a streetcar for a look at antebellum mansions and historic monuments before learning to cook with insects at the Insectarium and riding on an antique carousel at Carousel Gardens Amusement Park. There’s a lot to do with kids in New Orleans and spring is a great time to visit before it gets too warm. We were there in late-June (hello, humidity).
Go to the French Quarter for powdered-sugar-covered beignets and café au lait at Café du Monde. Sure, it’s popular with tourists, but it’s still such a must. Explore the history of Mardi Gras at Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World. As a bonus, you’ll get a free slice of King Cake. Yum. Book a stay at the nearby Sheraton New Orleans Hotel on Canal Street. It’s super convenient for exploring New Orleans.
Coastal South Carolina
If you’re looking to keep the kids busy and active the entire day, head to coastal South Carolina towns, like Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach. It will likely be in the mid-60s over Spring Break, so probably not warm enough for riding the waves, but perfect for riding bikes, going on a fishing trip, kayaking or mini-golf. One resort, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort in Hilton Head, even offers pickleball.
Meanwhile, Myrtle Beach has a lot of fun options for families, especially if you’re a fan of waterparks. Book a stay at Crown Reef Resort, which boasts two water slides, as well as an eight-foot kiddie slide. There’s also a brand new arcade and lots of casual dining options. Kids will also love visiting Ripley’s Aquarium and taking a spin on the SkyWheel.
Headed to Charleston? Here are some great things to do in Charleston with Kids.
There’s a lot to do in Austin and the weather should be quite pleasant over Spring Break (upper-60s to low-70s), which is perfect for outdoor adventures in Texas. Wander the Cathedral of Junk, take a pedicab tour of the murals around town or take a dip at Barton Springs, which is always a delightful 68 degrees. It’s also a must to climb Mt. Bonnell at sunset for 360-degree views of downtown, as well as Lake Austin.
In the evening, eat dinner at one of the many food trucks in Austin. Look for picnic tables, live music and twinkle lights to add to the atmosphere. Stop in the Big Top Candy Shop for more than 300 different types of bulk candy or head to Zipline Lake Travis to fly down the longest zipline in Texas. For more fun things to do in Austin over Spring Break, check out Austin Moms Blog.
You’re practically guaranteed warm weather in Southern California, even with the wacky weather that El Nino has brought the last few months. Orange County is a great pick for families. In Irvine, rent bikes at Irvine Regional Park or spend the day at Knott’s Berry Farm in nearby Buena Park. Or, head to Long Beach where you can spend the night onboard the historic Queen Mary or take a boat cruise to Catalina Island.
Go further south to San Diego and you’ll find even more attractions and fun activities to do with kids. Spend the day at LEGOLAND in nearby Carlsbad or go downtown to see the animals at the San Diego Zoo. Even better, there are loads of free things to do in San Diego, like strolling the Gaslamp Quarter and watching the sunset from Sunset Cliffs Natural Park.
Las Vegas may seem like a strange choice, but with temperatures expected to be in the mid-60s, Spring Break is a great time for outdoor adventures in and around Las Vegas. Go hiking in Red Rock Canyon or Valley of Fire State Park. You’ll also want to check out the Botanical Cactus Garden to see more than 300 species of cactus. School-age children may like exploring the grounds of the Neon Museum.
Indoors, you’ll find a lot to do in Las Vegas too, like the Discovery Children’s Museum and the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, which offers hands-on Weekend Science programs. Inside Mandalay Bay, kids will love seeing the sharks, piranhas and sea turtles at the Shark Reef Aquarium. Book a stay at the family-friendly Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort in nearby Henderson.
What are your favorite Spring Break family vacations?