Spring Break may still be nearly two months away (at least for me), but the warmth and sunshine of the school break are definitely on my mind, particularly after spending a long weekend in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (more on that later this week).
While sand castles and collecting seashells may be top-of-mind for many, there are so many other activities for families to enjoy in warm-weather destinations over Spring Break. If you’ve yet to make your plans, here are eight can’t-miss family break activities:
1. Go on a Photo Scavenger Hunt: Head to Chattanooga, TN where families can explore the town while taking part in a photo scavenger hunt across 13 city sites as part of their Spring Break Safari between March 15 and April 20. Or, head to the Shore Hotel in Santa Monica, CA to take advantage of the Snap and Savor package, which includes a photo scavenger hunt and prizes, like a family beach picnic.
2. Have Lunch with an Astronaut: Going to Walt Disney World for Spring Break? Then hop in the car and drive an hour to Titusville, FL to spend the day (or even a half-day) at Kennedy Space Center. Go on a space shuttle simulation ride, explore the Rocket Garden and eat lunch with an astronaut. Also, check the schedule on the website to see if a rocket launch is planned during your time in Central Florida.
3. Go to Surf School: Why lay on the beach when you can learn to ride the waves at a surf school, like the Boca Raton Surf School at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton, FL. Three-hour lessons take place three mornings a week. One-hour clinics take place every day at 10 am. Another to check out is Pacific Surf School, which offers surf lessons in a variety of locations, like Los Angeles and San Diego.
4. Be a Spectator at Spring Training: Like baseball? Then take in one or more baseball games during Spring Training that takes place throughout Arizona and Florida up until the end of March. In both states, many ballparks are within driving distance of each other, so you could easily take in a variety of games in the Grapefruit League or Cactus League.
5. Visit a Turtle Hospital: If you’re planning a beach vacation, build in some time to visit some of the beach’s residents at a local turtle hospital. Last year, I took a road trip down the Florida Keys with two of my daughters and they loved visiting with patients at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon. It was a great educational experience and the girls enjoyed seeing the turtles swim in the pool of a former motel.
6. Ride Horses on a Dude Ranch: Last year, Trekaroo compiled a list of the best family dude ranch vacations, including dude ranches in California and Colorado. But no need to head west since you can even find dude ranches less than 90 minutes from Orlando. Westgate River Ranch in River Ranch, FL offers horseback riding, a dinner hayride, a mechanical bull and even a Saturday Night Rodeo.
7. Collect Shark Teeth on the Beach: Sure, you can collect seashells on the beach, but how about shark teeth. After a day spent sunning on the beach in Venice, FL, hunt around for shark teeth to take home as souvenirs. In mid-April, the town hosts the annual Venice Shark’s Tooth Festival complete with bands, a shark’s tooth scramble for kids and plenty of hands-on children’s exhibits.
8. Get Your Passport Stamped at National Parks: No need to leave the country to get your passport stamped. Just head to any national park to pick up a blue Passport to Your National Parks book (you can also buy them online) and get your book stamped to record your visit and date of visit to the park. You can also buy several companion guides to help you find stamping locations, park hours, etc.
What are you planning to do for Spring Break? Let me know in the comments section below.