Many of us equate Spring Break with a trip to the beach (sans kids!), but there are so many fun, family-friendly vacation options that are far more spectacular, memorable and likely less crowded than the popular beach resorts. Give some thought to taking the family on one of these super cool trips. They are incredible ways to spend those precious days free from work and school.
10 Unique Family Spring Break Trips
- Make like the pilgrims and sleep in a log cabin (with all the comforts of home) at Fort Lewis Plantation & Lodge in Virginia. The 200-year-old cattle farm in the Allegheny Mountains offers fishing, inner-tubing and horseback riding by day, and a large viewing platform for marveling at the night sky.
- Does the thought of camping make you cringe? Not at El Capitan Canyon in Los Padres National Forest, near Santa Barbara, California. We’re talking luxury camping – queen-size beds in a roomy, wood-floored safari tent with a local store and plenty to do.
- Visit Big Cat Rescue to get eye to eye with tigers, lions, leopards and other often endangered big cats at this 55-acre up-close sanctuary in Tampa on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
- Why not visit Moab, Utah where even little kids can manage the short Copper Ridge Sauropod Tracksite trail where they can see real dinosaur footprints? The spectacular area is known for its connection to Arches and Canyonlands national parks, and popular for ballooning and biking.
- Hit the road! Road trips can be family-friendly if there are plenty of stops along the way. Take a family road trip on Highway 1 between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Check out the the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum, piddle around the tidal pools at Montaña de Oro State Park, and watch the gray whales migrate north from lookouts along the steep cliffs of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. Visit the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium (which partners with several hotels, including the Portola Hotel and Spa at Monterey Bay) and enjoy a few days in SF before heading home.
- Bundle up the crew for Spring skiing in Big Sky Montana where kids 10 and under ski free and the bungee jumping trampoline, zip lines, and tube park make it about so much more than skiing. Yes, technically it’s a resort, though the more than 150 runs and vast property under the enormous Montana sky make it feel like so much more.
- Midwest bound? Wisconsin Dells is the water park capital of the world and a super budget-friendly destination. It has more than two dozen indoor water parks and hotel rates that stay well below $100 per night.
- Break the mold and let loose with some zip-lining and dogsledding in Northern New Hampshire for an adventure-packed trip that’s ideal for older kids (10+). The family can zip-line through the tree canopy with Bretton Woods Canopy Tours and at Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel you can drive a 10-dog dogsled with your kids!
- Blow them away by taking a three-day parent-kids trip to U.S. Space and Rocket Center Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. Space Camp is for parents and children ages seven and up. Launch into a mission to space or aerial combat in authentic training simulators and experience what it is to be weightless. Your kids will look and feel like kid-versions of real astronauts.
- Avoid resort fees and stretch your travel budget by renting a house from a local property owner using a service like Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO). A house is often not only more cost effective, but much more convenient for families with young children. You’ll have room to spread out (no going to sleep when the baby does because you are all sharing a tiny hotel room!), and the property often comes with equipment, such as cribs, high chairs, bikes and even surf boards.