For legions of kids in the United States, spring break is a week-long hiatus that falls anytime between mid-March and mid-April. It's a great opportunity for families to put away their winter gear and think of warmer times ahead. We've compiled some awesome ideas for family-friendly getaways from coast to coast in March and April.
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Orlando, the world's number one family destination, is wildly popular during spring break. Disney World is one of the main attractions.
Tips for surviving a trip to Disney World during spring break include where best to stay. Although many resorts in Orlando offer free shuttle service to the Disney parks, the closest and easiest to navigate is from the Disney resorts. Bus, monorail, and boat transportation is free, so you won't have to worry about fighting for a place to park, or trekking to the theme park entrance in the heat.
Orlando has other fun things to do during spring break including attending the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival or relaxing at one of the Orlando Hotels with awesome lazy rivers. The Universal Orlando Resort is a popular draw too.
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Every spring, our nation's capital explodes with blooming cherry blossom trees. It's a spectacular time to visit. The National Cherry Blossom Festival takes place from mid-March to mid-April—smack in the middle of spring break for many families. The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC is scheduled ahead of time but you can never be sure that the cherry trees will cooperate.
The cherry blossom trees grow in three National Park Service locations: Around the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park, in East Potomac Park (Hains Point), and on the Washington Monument grounds.
Signature Festival events include the Opening Ceremony, the Blossom Kite Festival, and the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade.
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For many families, a cruise offers the best of all worlds. The most family-friendly cruise lines offer a slew of activities to keep everyone happy with many itinerary options.
In determining which cruise line is the best fit for your family, you'll want to think about the different cruise lines. They all have distinctive personalities just like families—some are boisterous and loud, some active and sporty, others more elegant and reserved. The ideal cruise for a family with young children might not be the best pick for a multi-generational family reunion.
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2017 marked the 100th anniversary of the acquisition of the US Virgin Islands (St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas) from Denmark for $25 million. Just two hours from Miami, the US Virgin Islands offer a Caribbean experience that's still part of the US.
Three distinct islands-- sleepy St. Croix, bustling St. Thomas, and eco-treat St. John-- serve up white-sand beaches, super snorkeling, a major National Park, colonial towns and forts, duty-free shops, and more.
There are lots to do for families in the Virgin Islands. Buck Island, one of only three Underwater National Monuments in the US, is a terrific place to snorkel or scuba. Swimming behind a giant sea turtle is sure to thrill kids and grown-ups too.Continue to 5 of 19 below.
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The transition from winter to spring is a delicious time to be in New England. March and early April make up maple sugaring season when buckets appear on maple trees and sugar shacks transform maple sap into delectable maple syrup.
Vermont's Smugglers' Notch Resort, a top kid-friendly ski resort and fabulous vacation for babies and toddlers, holds an annual Maple Fest Celebration during the spring-break period. The event immerses families in the traditions of the sugaring season in Vermont. Complimentary transportation is provided to a local sugarhouse, and families receive a maple welcome gift, daily maple product samplings, a children's maple-themed activity book, and can enjoy a weekly winter carnival with sugar on snow. For an additional fee, families can embark on maple-themed snowshoe treks or take an artist's class.
During Maple Fest Celebration, Smugglers' Notch vacation packages are priced at the season's lowest rates and usually include lodging, lift tickets for skiing or snowboarding, and use of the indoor pool, hot tubs, and FunZone with games and bouncy houses, and family and adult entertainment.
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The strong US dollar means that a vacation in Canada costs a lot less than it did a few years ago. In Vancouver, BC, you can walk across the Capilano Suspension Bridge and spend the day in the park which is packed with adventure, history, and culture—and only 20 minutes outside of downtown Vancouver.
Families can visit the historic walled Quebec City and go all the way up to the top of the CN Tower in Toronto to the EdgeWalk, where they can walk on and around the roof of the main pod of the tower at 1,168 ft.
Canada has outdoor recreation activities from skiing to hiking and sailing.
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Country music fans will enjoy a visit to Music City. Go to concerts at the iconic Ryman Auditorium, tour the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum and visit the Bluebird Café.
When you're not catching a concert, kids will love the Nashville Zoo and Adventure Science Center for hands-on exploration of all types of science.
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Since 2015, when the U.S. and Cuba resumed diplomatic ties for the first time in more than 50 years, travel to Cuba has been opening up for Americans. While the kind of allowable trips is still limited to specific categories of travel, you no longer have to apply for a visa. Travel with older children might be a learning opportunity.
While Americans can now legally travel to Cuba, there are restrictions. You need to book a tour through a company that has won special approval from the U.S. State Department to run "people to people" cultural-exchange trips to Cuba.
Several cruise lines now sail to Cuba, or you can fly. Alaska Airlines recently became the eighth U.S. carrier (along with American, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, and United) to offer flights to Havana.Continue to 9 of 19 below.
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Caribbean and Mexico
An all-inclusive getaway in the sun and surf might be a way to have an affordable spring break getaway. The Caribbean and Mexico are awash with all-inclusive resorts, but only some have an atmosphere that will be appropriate for all ages.
There are kid-friendly chains that are known for their G-rated focus, family-friendly accommodations, and fantastic children's programming.
Beaches and Club Med have children's programming and facilities that make an all-inclusive getaway appealing to parents.
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Arizona and Florida for Spring Baseball
If your family loves baseball, there may be no better spring getaway than a trip to watch your favorite Major League Baseball team play and practice during spring training season in Arizona's Cactus League and Florida's Grapefruit League.
Spring training is a time where you can get up close and personal with your favorite players. The venues are small and the players want to interact with fans. Prices are lower than regular games and the autograph-hunting is the best.
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If you've been contemplating a family vacation to Europe, you'll find that the U.S. dollar looks strong against the euro and pound sterling. By watching for specials, you may be able to snag a deal on airline tickets. Once you get there, you'll find that there are some budget hotel chains for families in Europe.
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Gulf Coast and California Beaches
As soon as the weather starts to warm, many families will be drawn to the sun and surf of great beach towns in southern states. The Gulf Coast is one popular place with families. Enjoy the nature preserves, white sand beaches, and casual seafood restaurants.
In California, get your thrills at the country's few remaining oceanside amusement parks or visit an iconic California beach town. You can even go camping on the beach.Continue to 13 of 19 below.
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The Atlantis Resort might be on your family's spring break must-do list. From snorkeling through underwater ruins to zooming through a shark tank in a transparent tube, the roster of exciting experiences at the iconic mega-resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas is staggering. There are activities for all age groups.
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Called "America's best idea" by the historian Wallace Stegner, our national park system offers families a wonderfully affordable way to visit our most cherished and beautiful landscapes, view wildlife in their natural habitat, learn about geological and cultural history, and appreciate the great outdoors. Spring is shoulder season in most parks, so you'll find fewer crowds.
One place you can go to tour five national parks on one vacation is Utah. Utah's Mighty 5 include Bryce, Zion and Arches National Parks.
In Arizona, the Grand Canyon offers a train trip in, expansive views, hiking, mule trips, and helicopter touring.
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San Diego is ideal for families. Enjoy the beach, Balboa Park, with the famed San Diego Zoo, or go whale watching. San Diego’s famous gray whale-watching season stretches from December through April.
You can visit the USS Midway, an aircraft-carrier-turned-museum, open to the public.
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At many top resorts in the West, ski season runs into April and prices drop on late-season lodging and lift tickets. Family-friendly ski resorts offer lessons and special spring package deals. March, for example, can be warm yet there is still enough snow for skiing and boarding. Sometimes t-shirts and shorts are in order for spring skiing.Continue to 17 of 19 below.
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Amelia Island, Florida
If you are looking for an upscale yet kid-friendly beach resort in northeastern Florida, the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort is a terrific choice. Sprawling across 1,350 vast acres on the tip of a beautiful barrier island just off the coast, the resort offers 3.5 miles of pristine beach and so many ways for families to have fun, it would be impossible to do them all in just one visit.
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Colonial Williamsburg belongs right at the top of every family's to-do list. No living-history attraction delivers a more immersive experience into 18th-century Colonial times, offering the chance for you and your kids to rub shoulders with America's "founding fathers" and eat, work, and play like revolutionaries.
At Kingsmill Resort, family packages may include accommodations, Fun Card tickets to Busch Gardens and one-day tickets to Colonial Williamsburg, and breakfast daily. There's a free shuttle service to and from both attractions.
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Spring is a particularly wonderful time to stay at The Broadmoor, a sprawling, grand resort in the Colorado Rockies where families can take advantage of lower rates, a kids’ club, horseback riding, pee-wee tennis, an on-site bowling alley, and more.
The Spring Break Getaway Package offers a discount off suite prices. Kids 10 and under eat free from the children's menu when accompanied by a paying adult, and you can score a 20-percent discount on golf greens fees and a discounted adult ticket at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.