Spring break is a popular time for families to take a break from the normal routine. Kids get a break from school and many parents take advantage of this time off to take a family vacation or spend some quality time together at home.
Many places in the United States deal with cold winter temperatures. With spring break usually scheduled in the month of March, many people are ready for a little getaway to somewhere warm. We have pulled together this ultimate list of spring break ideas for kids and families. There are things you do together at home, places you can enjoy some sunshine and warm weather, and unique spots that will be a fun adventure for the family.
Get planning your spring break soon to make sure you can snag a spot where you want. No matter which option you decide on, your family will appreciate having something to look forward to during these winter months.
Spring Break Ideas for a Kids’ Staycation
Whether you’re not feeling comfortable traveling with the pandemic still raging on or you don’t have a vacation in the budget this year, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a fantastic spring break with your family. Here are a few spring break ideas for kids to consider and plan for your staycation.
1. Pick Up an Adventure Book for the Family and Do One Each Day
Adventures From Scratch is filled with incredible activities for the family and it’s a fun surprise. Each item shows a few symbols so you know how to prepare and when you’re ready, you scratch off an adventure and then head out to complete it. The adventures are good for kids of any age and will help you all find some interesting things to do as a family. There are over 50 challenges to complete, plus a few bonuses.
2. See Local Attractions On a Scavenger Hunt
A great option to get out in your own city and learn something new while enjoying some fun activities is to sign up for a scavenger hunt like the options from Let’s Roam. You’ll spend the day running to popular attractions, hidden gems, and important landmarks around town while completing fun challenges. The whole family will have a blast, and you might even discover a new favorite spot to return to!
3. Play Some New Board Games
Spring break is the perfect time to pull out all the classic board games your family has and it’s a great time to introduce a brand new option. There are great games for kids of all ages. Even Candyland and Chutes and Ladders can be really fun for adults as well. With older kids, you can play Monopoly, Scrabble, or Trivial Pursuit. If you want some laughs, put together a game of charades or Telestrations.
If you’re looking for a newer game to try as a family, Pandemic is one where you all work together to end a Pandemic (which feels a bit too relevant today.) Ticket to Ride is another very popular game with different versions available to try.
Stock up on snacks and put phones and screens away and enjoy some good old-fashioned competition.
4. Head to the Neighborhood Library
Many families utilize their local neighborhood library to grab books but make sure to check their schedule to see if there are any fun programs that you can bring the kids to. Every library is unique, but some offer art classes, storytelling time, crafts, and more. Even if your library doesn’t have anything on the schedule, bring the kids and stock up on books to read for the week off.
Challenge the kids to read a certain amount of books during the week with prizes to encourage them to read for fun. If your kids are closer in age, you can all get the same book and have a family book club over spring break where you can chat about the book you’re all reading. If it’s a success, you can continue this fun new activity.
5. Plan a Day Trip to a Nearby City
Even if you aren’t planning a vacation for spring break, you can still get the family out to explore a new place for a day trip. Look at the map and find a destination within a two-hour drive and then google some of the best things to do there. If you are located on the east coast, many of the country’s largest cities are close to each other. Even if you aren’t closest to a super large city, you’ll be able to find at least one fun destination for a day trip.
If you don’t know what to do, check for children’s museums, science museums, the best playgrounds, top-rated restaurants, or other unique attractions in the destination. You can make it a fun history lesson if there are any famous historic sites to explore. Have a fun adventure.
6. Explore Playgrounds and Mini-Golf Courses
Plan out your spring break with some outdoor activities. If you are budgeting, you can still explore new spots. Map out the top-rated playgrounds in your city and make a goal of visiting the top five that you haven’t explored yet. Playgrounds are free and exciting for young kids. Many have unique features, so it’s fun to check out all the hot spots for kids around town.
Miniature golf is another fun outdoor activity for the family. You can add a little friendly competition into your spring break itinerary. You might be surprised at the number of mini-golf courses available near you, so check out one or have a whole tournament by visiting multiple courses and hanging on to your scorecards. It’s a great way to get outside and enjoy some fresh air without breaking the bank.
7. Set Up a Movie Theater in Your Living Room
Spring break is a great time to get a little rest and relaxation in. Movie nights are a perfect low-key activity. You can even do a movie marathon for a day or two, especially if the weather isn’t ideal. There are some great series and other available options, depending on how old your children are. Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, Star Wars, and Harry Potter all have multiple movies and can be enjoyed by diverse age groups.
You don’t have to do much to make it feel a little special. Just make sure you’re stocked up on all the appropriate snacks, like popcorn, candy, and easy finger foods. Add extra pillows and blankets if you want to increase the comfort score. It’s also a good idea to ban phones and other devices during movie time so everyone is watching together and not distracted.
8. Try a New Outdoor Activity like Horseback Riding
One of the best parts about staying in your own town over spring break is that you have time to try out something new for your family and can make that the highlight of the week. Is there a horseback riding spot nearby? Sign the family up to take a riding lesson. Maybe you live near a beach, but no one knows how to surf yet. Find an instructor that will do a group lesson for the family.
Other options include kayaking, paddle boarding, tennis, pickleball, or any new sport that you can all learn together and enjoy outside. You might even start a new tradition.
9. Smell the Flowers at a Local Botanic Garden
After a cold, dark winter, we could all use a bit of color. Plan a visit to a botanical garden in your area to smell the flowers and see what’s blooming. The best part about these beautiful places is that even if you live somewhere where the outdoor plants aren’t quite blooming yet, there is likely a greenhouse on the property where you and the family can escape to a more tropical location.
10. Hit the Hiking Trails in Your Area
Use your spring break staycation to explore a new hiking trail in your area. If you aren’t sure how to find them, download the AllTrails app on your phone and you will be able to search by length, difficulty, and distance from you. There are reviews from other hikers so you can read about recent trail conditions.
You might be surprised how many options you have even if you live far away from the mountains or any national parks. Every state has a state park system filled with natural beauty and fun places to explore without having to travel far.
11. Explore a New Neighborhood On Bike
Riding bikes is another super-easy way to get the family outside. Set out to explore a new part of town on your bikes this year. Maybe you can plot out a new restaurant, new ice cream shop, and some fun local attractions to explore. Look at a map with the kids and plan a route. You could also try visiting one of your favorite spots in town on bikes instead of driving. It’s easy to spend an entire day exploring on bikes as long as you plan in snack breaks, give your legs a rest, and plan for fun stops along the way.
12. Plan Your Next Vacation
Order some delivery for dinner and set up around the dining room table with a computer, some maps, and maybe even travel books. Involve the entire family in planning or daydreaming about future vacations. Maybe you aren’t comfortable traveling yet, but want to come with some spring break ideas for kids next year that involve getting out of town. There are few people more qualified to brainstorm ideas than your own children. Planning vacations and making bucket lists of places to travel can be fun for the whole family.
Spring Break Destinations for Sunshine and Warm Weather
If you’re looking to escape the cold weather, we’ve got a whole collection of warm-weather destinations that make great spring break ideas for kids and the whole family.
13. Ride the Rides at Disney World
Disney World is a classic family vacation. As a company, Disney knows how to cater to families with kids of all ages. Located just outside of Orlando, Florida, Disney World is home to four theme parks, a few water parks, and many themed resorts. There’s enough to keep everyone busy for months in Disney World.
You can choose between theme park passes depending on how many days you want to hang out in the parks and whether or not you want to jump between the parks throughout the day. Each theme park has tons of attractions and rides, so no matter what your family enjoys doing, you’ll find your favorites. There are shows to watch, parades, character meet and greets, and some of the most amazing restaurants.
If you want to add even more options to your itinerary, there are so many incredible things to do in Orlando and the surrounding area. You can visit one of the other theme parks in the area or even head to the beach for the day. There is no shortage of things to do on a spring break trip to Disney World.
14. Stay at One of the Rentals on the Gulf of Mexico
The Floribama shore is known for its white-sand beaches and laid-back southern hospitality. The Gulf Shores spread from the Florida panhandle all the way to New Orleans. There are many beach towns to choose from depending on what you’re looking for and how far you’re willing to travel from an airport.
In the spring, there is a large Mardi Gras celebration in Mobile, Alabama. New Orleans may be famous for its parades and parties, but Mobile has a huge festival as well and it’s a great event for the family to check out.
With so many resorts and beach rentals along this section of the country, you’ll easily be able to find a perfect spot for your group. Many of the options come complete with all the items you need for the perfect beach vacation. You won’t even need to leave your spot if you don’t want to.
15. Check Out the Spring Break Activities in South Carolina
While the Outer Banks in North Carolina get tons of attention and tourists in the Summer months, South Carolina has some great spots for a spring break trip. Hilton Head is one great option where you’ll feel like you stepped back in time. Enjoy a Lowcountry boil with the family and rent bicycles to cruise around the area. There are even pirate tours, where you can learn about famous pirate ships and adventures in history. It’s the perfect place to get a mix of relaxation and fun.
Myrtle Beach is another family favorite for spring break. There are great options for arcades and attractions. You can take a dolphin cruise or try out TopGolf. With tons of beachfront resorts and restaurants, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to hang out on the sand as well listening to the waves.
16. Try New Water Sports in the Caribbean
The sparkling turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea are the perfect antidote to the long winter blues. With so many island nations to explore, you can find the perfect fit for your family. There are also cruise ships that will take you to more than one destination.
Each nation has a unique culture with its own food, languages, and traditions. There are great spots to try parasailing, hiking, ziplining, or just relaxing on the beach with breathtaking scenery. There aren’t many places where you can enjoy the bright colors of the Caribbean beaches and you’re guaranteed to have warm weather while visiting this part of the world.
17. Surf the Waves in Costa Rica
The Pacific Coast of Costa Rica is a great place to learn how to surf, even for beginners. The surf town, Tamarindo, makes for a perfect spring break destination. Its location in Central America means that it’s not too long of a flight and not a crazy time difference, but your family will still get to experience a foreign country and culture.
The country is also home to multiple volcanoes and a rainforest that you can explore. Ziplines run through the trees, and river adventures provide exhilarating experiences! Your kids can see monkeys and sloths up close as well as all kinds of tropical birds. It’s a great budget-friendly destination where you can all enjoy some warm air and fun outdoor adventures.
18. Explore the Warmth of Arizona
The Phoenix area is a popular spring break destination, especially for golf-loving families. With tons of hotels tucked into the beautiful red rocks with fun amenities. There are lots of hiking trails to explore, museums to explore, and definitely some nice cold pools to float around in.
Sedona and Flagstaff are both beautiful areas to visit and explore as well, but you may not experience the same warm weather during the spring break time period. Head to anywhere in Southern Arizona though and you can enjoy that warm desert air and bright sunshine.
19. Take a Ghost Tour in Savannah, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia is home to many historical homes and buildings and each one has its own story. With its southern location, the weather is warmer than in the cities of the north. You can enjoy some incredible restaurants, sneak in day trips to the beach, and definitely learn about the spooky characters that have called Savannah home.
If your kids like ghost stories, you’ll be able to take a collection of tours that will tell these stories and take you around to actually see the sites. Cruise around on a trolley or take a simple walking tour. Just make sure to check with the guides on whether or not it’s age-appropriate for your children.
20. Have a Beach Vacation in California
The Pacific Ocean is a totally different experience from the Atlantic coast, and activities vary just as widely. Los Angeles is near some incredible beach spots and you can also visit many of the famous Hollywood sites and see where the movies and television shows are made. Visit the many art museums and do some window shopping along the famous Rodeo Drive.
San Diego is another great spring break idea for kids. The San Diego Zoo is right downtown in Balboa Park with at least a day of activities to keep the whole busy. Legoland California and Sea World are in town as well. You can split your time between the beautiful beaches in Coronado and Enchinatas and enjoy the rest of the fun that America’s Finest City has to offer.
21. Go Kayaking in the Everglades of Southern Florida
At the southern end of the state of Florida, the beaches turn into the Everglades which are swampy areas that have so much to explore. Everglades National Park is home to unique animals like Florida panthers, crocodiles, alligators, and tons of beautiful birds. You can cruise around on airboats exploring the wetlands. Kayaking and paddleboarding are other options in certain parts of the park.
Add on a few days in Miami or the Florida Keys to get a little traditional beach time and more fun in the sun adventures. Both options are near the park and you’ll probably fly in and out of Miami unless you’re driving in. Have a warm-weather adventure exploring the mangroves and keep your eyes open for Manatees.
22. Zipline and See the Waterfalls in Hawaii
The Hawaiian Islands are part of the United States but separated by an ocean and a few time zones. Upon landing, you’ll be surrounded by palm trees and the smell of saltwater. There are many activities for the family to choose from!
Each island has its own benefits and vibes. It’s best to talk to the family and see what kinds of activities everyone wants to do before deciding where your final destination is. Some islands are better for hiking, finding waterfalls, and ziplines, while others have good family-friendly beaches and more opportunities to get out on the water. Go whale watching, try sailing, or even just try out surfing for the first time. Hawaii is a beautiful destination for a spring break getaway.
23. Cruise on a Disney Cruiseline
While there are family cruise lines to choose from, if you are traveling with children, the Disney brand knows how to cater to families. With all kinds of routes available on Disney Cruise Lines, you can explore a new part of the world while enjoying all the fun of Disney onboard. There are cruises up the Pacific Coast including stops like Baja Mexico, San Diego, and Vancouver. On the east side of the country, you can take Bahamian cruises or sail around the Caribbean.
Check out the musicals, youth clubs, a variety of pools, and large staterooms. Enjoy excursions at the ports and, on some cruises, you’ll even be able to stop at the private island that Disney owns in the Caribbean Sea. Sit back and let someone else do the driving and the cooking and you just relax with your family.
Extraordinary Spring Break Destinations
If your family likes a little more adventure or maybe you live somewhere warm already and want a total change of scenery, we’ve got a great collection of spring break ideas for kids that are a little different than the usual beach vacation. You’ll probably get a little less of a crowd at these spots and can take advantage of shoulder season deals.
24. Watch for Northern Lights in Iceland
Iceland is a small European country in the northern Atlantic Ocean and it’s a pretty easy flight from much of the United States. It’s becoming more and more popular for travelers because of the unique landscapes that will make you and your family feel like they’ve stepped onto a new planet.
Reykjavik is the one large city in the country and you will fly into the airport near there. Spend a week exploring the geothermal hot springs, hiking to some waterfalls that are out of this world, and driving along the Ring Road. You and your kids will get a taste of the Scandinavian culture and crazy landscapes and you’ll definitely want to schedule your return trip before you even get back through customs.
25. See the Turquoise Lakes in Banff, Canada
If you’re looking for a mountain getaway, look no further than our neighbor to the north in Canada. Just outside of Calgary, you can visit the turquoise lakes in Banff. There are some ski resorts nearby if you want to hit the slopes, otherwise, you can stay in the mountains, do some snowshoeing and hiking, and spend lots of time just staring at the breathtaking views.
Pack your warm clothes and enjoy a Canadian spring that looks very similar to the winter months. There are several family-friendly restaurants in town and tons of snow activities that kids of all ages will enjoy. Get a good mix of both cozy indoor mountain spots and crisp, fresh and cool mountain air.
26. Hit the Slopes in Colorado
Colorado has some of the best ski towns in the United States for families to visit. If you want to sneak in one final ski trip for the season, take advantage of that spring break time to hit the slopes. Many locations in the Rocky Mountains have good snow well into the spring months thanks to a long winter.
Depending on what you’re looking for in your ski town, you can find top-of-the-line lodging spots in Aspen or more of a wild west spot in Telluride. Rent skis and sign up for lessons if anyone in your family needs to spruce up their talents. Each resort is stocked with everything you could want on a family vacation, so enjoy the majestic mountains this year during spring break.
27. Visit the Museums (and more!) in NYC
New York City is home to over 80 museums, so it’s a great place to spend spring break with the kids. You can do all the fun attractions like Central Park and the top of the Empire State Building and then also do some learning at one of those museums. See everything from artwork to historical displays to entire museums just dedicated to selfies.
The weather tends to be a bit temperamental in the spring, but it’s less busy at many of the attractions. Plus, much of the fun is indoors, so the temperature doesn’t matter. Explore the Big Apple’s iconic buildings, see a Broadway show, taste famous New York City pizza, and definitely make the walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
28. Tour the Sites of London, England
England is another great option for a family getaway this spring break. It’s easy to get around with the double-decker buses and the tube. Even with a week in the city, it’s impossible to see half of the attractions. Ask your children what would be interesting for them. The changing of the guard is one of the most popular things to see.
Don’t forget about the other highlights in the surrounding countryside like Stonehenge or Windsor Castle. London is filled with history, traditions, and a huge variety of neighborhoods and areas to explore.
29. Spend the Week at a Dude Ranch
Does your family love being outside and animals? Consider booking a week at a Dude Ranch. You can find them throughout Wyoming, Montana, Texas, and the Southwest. A dude ranch is an old cattle ranch that has been transformed into a tourist destination. Visitors get to stay on the ranch and even participate in some of the common animal activities.
Horseback riding is a common activity, but you can also try your hand at the basics of rodeo and cattle ranching. If you’ve ever thought about being a cowboy or cowgirl, this is the best way to test your skills. Kids will love all the new and unique experiences and being in a totally different environment. Grab your cowboy hat and take the family to a dude ranch this year.
30. Learn About Our Nation’s History in Washington DC
Washington DC is a great place to mix a little fun and a little learning during your spring break vacation. As the nation’s capital, Washington DC is home to all kinds of memorials, monuments, and the buildings where all the federal government work takes place. If you plan in advance and communicate with your elected officials, you can organize a tour of the White House or Capitol.
When you need a break from history and government, you can visit the National Zoo or take some fun pictures at the wax museum. There are even some museums that spice things up a little and add in lots of fun and interactive exhibits. For example, check out the International Spy Museum where you can see how you’d do as a spy.
31. Take a National Park Road Trip
With 63 national parks in the United States, it’s always a great option for a spring break trip. You just need to decide how far you want to drive and what kind of experience you want to have. There are some with a desert climate and others that are in the mountains or near the water.
You’ll have the choice of camping or staying in a nearby hotel or lodge while visiting. There is even an option to rent a recreational vehicle to stop at spots along the way. The national park system offers visitors centers that have many exhibits and programs. This is a great option if you are traveling on a budget. The cost of getting into the parks is less than any theme park entrance and there is so much more area to cover.
32. Ski the Powder of Utah
We mentioned Colorado above, but Utah is famous for its champagne powder. The air is a bit drier, so the snow stays light and fluffy. This combination makes for some of the best skiing conditions. Head to Park City and stay in the wonderful downtown area that connects directly to the ski area via lifts and runs.
In addition to the ski slopes, you can also visit the sites of Salt Lake City which is nearby. You can explore the site of the Winter Olympics and learn more about the lake that gave the city its name. Thanks to the location, you’ll see snow, but also get some sunshine and beautiful days.
33. Explore the Cities of the Pacific Northwest
When you think of Seattle, you probably think about the constant rain that it’s famous for, but you’ll be surprised at how many days in the spring are filled with sunshine and maybe just a light sprinkle. You can take advantage of the warming weather to head out on a whale watching tour in the Puget Sound, take a day trip to Mount Rainier National Park, or head out to Olympic National Park for some hiking.
While in the city, you can hit the top sites like the fish stand at Pike Place Market where they toss giant fish back and forth throughout the day, the Space Needle, or explore the vast Amazon headquarters along the south side of Lake Union.
An easy add-on to a trip to Seattle is to head south and visit Portland, Oregon just three hours away. This city sits on the river with views of Mt. Hood looming in the distance. It’s famous for its weirdness and would be a great place to explore with the family.
The PNW offers a huge selection of outdoor activities that would keep everyone occupied and entertained during spring break. These cities are situated perfectly between the Cascade Mountains and the Pacific Ocean so you get the best of both worlds.
34. Find Out Why Everyone Loves Spring in Paris
Paris, France is another European city that would be a great spring break destination with the family. You can spend your days strolling through the beautiful neighborhoods sampling pastries and exploring the sites. Head to the top of the famous Eiffel Tower or the steps of the Sacred Coeur in the Montmartre neighborhood for incredible views of the city. There are river cruises and tours of all kinds in the city that will teach you and your children about the stories of this gorgeous city.
In the springtime, you’ll be able to see the flowers start blooming in the gardens and you’ll beat the rush of the summer crowds. You can add on a day trip to Disneyland Paris if you have younger children or explore the Palace of Versailles. Ride the Carousels and sit at the cafes like the locals do and see if you could all imagine your lives if you were a Parisian as well.
Start Planning With Our List of Spring Break Ideas for Kids
There’s no wrong answer when it comes to planning out quality family time for spring break. Whether you decide to stay home or you head out to explore something new, the important thing is that you are together as a family enjoying some quality time. Let us know what you decide for this year.
Frequently Asked Questions
If Spring break is synonymous with sunshine for your family, beachy spring break ideas for kids include the Caribbean, the Gulf Shores, and even South Carolina.