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25 Fun & Exciting Spring Break Ideas for Families

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December 26, 2021

Are you looking for a list of Spring Break ideas for families that you and the kids will love?

In this article, we’ll highlight 25 incredible spring break ideas, including road trip destinations, US national parks, beaches, all-inclusive resorts, and staycations.

Though it would be impossible to mention every possible family-friendly spring break destination, these are the places that generations of families return to year after year.

Get ready to renew your spirit and warm your heart after a long winter with these awesome spring break ideas for families!

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Our list of exciting spring break ideas for families that inludes destinations that you'll love.  From top US family travel blog, Travel With A Plan!
Spring Break Ideas for Families

Spring Break Ideas for Families

There are many unexpected benefits of traveling with kids along with the fun and enjoyment that comes with the hype of going on Spring Break!

The week-long break that typically falls sometime in March or April is the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind, and have fun while enjoying a much-needed vacation.

When brainstorming spring break ideas for you and your family, consider the following details about a potential destination:

  • A trip there will fit into week-long school breaks
  • There’s lots of kid-friendly activities
  • Anticipated activities match the projected weather forecast
  • The area isn’t overtaken with college-aged kids
  • Going there won’t break the bank

Here are 25 spring break ideas for families that tick all of these boxes and more!

Our list of exciting spring break ideas for families that inludes destinations that you'll love.  From top US family travel blog, Travel With A Plan!
Downtown Nashville at night

Popular Spring Break Road Trip Destinations

Spring break is the perfect time to take a classic American road trip.

Road trips allow you to be flexible and more spontaneous about which destinations and attractions you’ll visit.

In addition, the trees and flowers will be emerging from winter lending to stunning roadside beauty.

Successful road trips take a bit of budgeting and planning.

They also require both an effective packing strategy and an understanding of ways to make a family road trip enjoyable.

Here are a few popular spring break road trip destinations that will warm you up and provide you days of entertainment.

1. Nashville, Tennessee

It’s always a good time to take a road trip to Nashville, Tennessee, home to a plethora of live music, delicious food, art, history, and architecture.

Both adults and kids will find plenty of fun in Nashville among its many music halls, museums, botanical gardens, parks, art galleries, and a variety of fun restaurants.

In keeping with the road trip theme, be sure to hit up Nashville’s Honky Tonk Highway.

Located on Lower Broadway in downtown Nashville, Honky Tonk Highway is a row of live honky tonks that blast live music into the streets from 10 am to 3 am.

The honky tonks are free to enter and are entirely family-friendly when visiting them before 10 pm.

Recommended place to stay: Hampton Inn & Suites Nashville-Downtown (Amazing central location, free breakfast, affordable.)

2. New Orleans, Louisiana

A New Orleans spring break road trip combines creole, cajun, and jazz, with Southern hospitality and the great outdoors!

Road tripping through the area will introduce you to white sand beaches, alligator-strewn swamps, and the stately curve of the Mississippi River, as well as small towns on the bayou.

Spring break in New Orleans is also home to the world-famous Mardi Gras carnival, featuring live music, extravagant costumes, and epic floats.

Nicknamed the Big Easy, fun things to do in New Orleans for families include alligator swamp tours, ghost tours, horse carriage rides, Audubon Zoo, and the National WWII Museum.

In addition, the historic French Quarter is home to New Orleans culture like live jazz performances, art galleries, architecture, and unique shopping.

Recommended place to stay: Drury Plaza Hotel New Orleans (Spacious rooms, great location, breakfast, heated rooftop pool.)

Our list of exciting spring break ideas for families that inludes destinations that you'll love.  From top US family travel blog, Travel With A Plan!
Pacific Coast Highway

3. The Pacific Coast Highway

One of my favorite spring break ideas for families is taking a road trip down the coast of California via the Pacific Coast Highway.

A classic American road trip that is completely doable in one week to 10 days, there is something to see and love for family members of all ages.

Consider starting your spring break in San Francisco in order to visit Alcatraz, Lombard Street, and Fisherman’s Wharf.

After leaving San Francisco, stop at Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, Monterey Bay, and Carmel-by-the-sea.

Next, travel across Bixby Bridge and spend at least 2-days in Big Sur somewhere within the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. 

Spend the rest of your spring break in either Los Angeles or San Diego, depending on the ages and interests of your kids.

We happen to absolutely love San Diego, California and have published an entire San Diego family vacation itinerary that features the best things to do there.

Highlights include dolphin, sea lion, and whale watching opportunities, stellar beaches, Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, and the USS Midway Museum.

Recommended place to stay: Hotel Del Coronado (Historic and iconic, oceanfront, beach, full service.)

4. South Padre Island, Texas

Known as the final stop on the Great Texas Road Trip, South Padre Island is a popular spring break destination for families.

The island is located on the coastal tip of Texas along the Gulf of Mexico – 531 miles from Dallas, 367 miles from Houston, and 297 miles from San Antonio. 

Along with its iconic white-sand beach, South Padre Island is a national seashore meaning that you can find exceptional access to wildlife like birds, dolphins, and sea turtles.

South Padre Island also offers fishing excursions, dolphin cruises, horseback riding on the beach, a zipline, and Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark.

Recommended place to stay: Isla Grand Beach Resort (Oceanfront, beach, pool, resort atmosphere.)

5. Panama City Beach, Florida

Another popular road trip destination along the Gulf coast is Panama City Beach, Florida.

Panama City Beach is renowned for its sparkling light blue warm water and soft white sand, as well as a multitude of attractions.

If you are an adventure seeker, Panama City runs daily fishing charters into the Gulf, as well as jet skiing, diving and snorkeling, paddleboarding, and parasailing.

In addition, consider visiting Shipwreck Island water park, Race City Amusement Park, and Coconut Creek Family Adventure Park.

Finally, dozens of oceanside hotels offer pools, restaurants, spas, and other activities, making Panama City Beach Florida an ideal spring break idea for families.

Recommended place to stay: Holiday Inn Resort Panama City Beach (Oceanfront, 2 huge pools, game room, kid-eat free promotion, water playground.)

The ultimate list of exciting spring break ideas for families that inludes destinations that you'll love.  From top US family travel blog, Travel With A Plan!
Times Square, New York City

6. New York City, New York

As a key component to our United States bucket list, a visit to New York City is a fantastic spring break idea for families.

If you’re not quite interested in tropical weather or beaches, New York City blooms in the spring, and there’s no better place to watch the show than from Central Park. 

Home to Broadway, small theatres, and countless eateries, New York City is a perfect place to visit for spring break.

New York City boasts dozens of museums offering snapshots of American, European, Asian, and African history, many of which provide free admission. 

Take in the New York Botanical Garden, Macy’s Flower Show, or the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Recommended place to stay: Margaritaville Resort Times Square (Inviting atmosphere, rooftop pool, kids activities, desirable location.)

7. East Coast Road Trip

If you have up to 7 days and want to explore some of the USA’s best and most historic cities, consider an East Coast road trip from Boston to Washington D.C.

Starting in Boston, make your way to New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and then Shenandoah National Park.

See things like the Boston Commons, Trinity Church, and the Empire State Building, as well as walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Visit the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall in Philadelphia, while then moving on to the historic sights and National Cherry Blossom Festival (mid-March to mid-April) in Washington D.C.

Finally, take a scenic drive in the beautiful Shenandoah National Park and camp in the woods.

Our list of exciting spring break ideas for families that inludes destinations that you'll love.  From top US family travel blog, Travel With A Plan!
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Spring Break Ideas at US National Parks

Spring is an ideal time to visit some of America’s most beautiful national parks.

Mild springtime weather makes it more pleasurable to experience the outdoors, and the parks are not yet overly crowded with summer traffic and tourism.

Here is a list of popular spring break ideas for families at beloved US National Parks.

1. Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park is an epic red rock adventure chock full of canyons, vistas, and ancient treasures.

Spring Break is a very popular time to visit Zion National Park due to ideal temperatures, return of the full-time park shuttle, and the powerful nature of its waterfalls (related to newly melting snow).

In the spring, you’ll also see beautiful glimpses of green that offer a striking contrast against the red-orange rock.

Beware that as the snow begins to melt and raises the water level of the river, the Narrows may be closed for an extended period of time.

2. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

There is nothing else on Earth like Grand Canyon National Park.

A sacred place to America’s indigenous people, it is impossible to understand the majesty of the canyon until you visit it for the first time.

Spring break brings an influx of visitors, but overall, the Grand Canyon is significantly less crowded in February and March than in the summertime.

Though the weather can be somewhat unpredictable in the spring, it’s still a great time to visit Grand Canyon Village, attend ranger-led programs, and enjoy the multiple scenic viewpoints.

3. Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas and White Sands National Park, New Mexico

Southwest Texas is probably not the first place that comes to mind when you think of spring break destinations and/or US national parks.

For a fun and unique spring break idea, however, it’s worth considering a visit to both Guadalupe Mountain National Park and the equally spectacular White Sands National Park in New Mexico.

These two parks are within 3 hours of each other and are not as highly trafficked as the other US National Parks during Spring Break.

Here, you’ll find camping, hiking, and breathtaking scenery that you’ll remember for ages.

Our list of exciting spring break ideas for families that inludes destinations that you'll love.  From top US family travel blog, Travel With A Plan!
Yosemite National Park

4. Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite National Park is beautiful year-round, but if you visit during Spring Break, you’ll have the opportunity to see its many waterfalls at their peak.

The spring thaw melts winter’s snow, resulting in their most powerful flow.

Also, in late April and early May, Yosemite’s dogwood blossoms erupt creating epic, colorful panoramas.

This large national park has breathtaking lakes, rivers, waterfalls, trails, a giant sequoia grove, hiking, biking, camping, and abundant wildlife.

5. Death Valley National Park, California

Death Valley National Park sits along the border of California and Nevada, where spring offers delightful surprises!

The absolute best time to visit Death Valley is from March to May when the weather is tolerable.

Also, thanks to the mountain snowmelt, the desert blooms to life in March and April and puts on a colorful show of wildflowers that you won’t find anywhere else.

If you’re looking for the perfect time to visit Death Valley’s dunes, blooms, natural bridges, and volcanic formations, consider going during your next spring break!

6. Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee & North Carolina

High in the Appalachian Mountain range is Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Once spring arrives here, along comes the return of green leaves on the trees and the blooming of beautiful spring wildflowers.

The Great Smoky Mountains are truly magnificent during the spring months, making it an ideal choice for your spring break destination.

Breathtaking vistas, waterfalls, dense woods, hiking, fishing, and bicycling are just a few of the things that visitors rave about.

While exploring, be sure to visit Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which has an abundance of hotels, eateries, and entertainment.

Also, stay and play in nearby Pigeon Forge in order to visit places such as Dollywood, go-kart tracks, alpine slides, Riverwalk Greenway, and The Island family fun center.

The ultimate list of exciting spring break ideas for families that inludes destinations that you'll love.  From top US family travel blog, Travel With A Plan!
Joshua Tree National Park

7. Joshua Tree National Park, California

Spring break is the best time to experience the natural splendors of Joshua Tree National Park.

Not only is the weather fantastic, with highs averaging 80 to 85 degrees, but this is also when the wildflowers create a blanket of color across the region.

Hiking, camping, photography, rock climbing, and enjoying the serene desert scenery are the most beloved activities here, along with the many other things to do in La Quinta, California.

Additional planning tip: Looking for an outdoor adventure to experience with your adult friends? Consider adding a visit to Joshua Tree National park in your Palm Springs girls’ weekend itinerary!

**Hands-down our favorite US National Park to visit during the summer months is Glacier National Park in Montana. Get our perfect family-friendly 3-day Glacier National Park itinerary here!**

Our list of exciting spring break ideas for families that inludes destinations that you'll love.  From top US family travel blog, Travel With A Plan!
Clearwater Beach, Florida

Florida Spring Break Ideas for Families

When considering spring break ideas for families, Florida is in a category of its own.

The US state of Florida is consistently rated as one of the most popular spring destinations for its sun, sea, sand, and year-round pleasant temperatures.

The coastal areas in Florida are home to some of the best beaches in the country, whereas the nation’s most epic theme parks and water parks are located in inland Florida.

Adding to its popularity, Florida is incredibly easy to get to as all major US carriers service Florida’s major airports.

Likewise, its extensive interstate network makes it convenient to road trip there as well.

No matter when it is that you visit, be sure to plan ahead on how to stay cool in Florida while on vacation, as the humidity can be unbearable.

1. Orlando

Not only is Orlando, Florida the entertainment capital of Florida, but it is also the Theme Park Capital of the World.

Orlando is home to four Walt Disney World parks, three Universal Orlando Resort parks, as well as Gatorland, Legoland, and SeaWorld Orlando.

In addition, there are several Orlando attractions, water parks, and shopping centers with universal appeal that draw generations of visitors to them year after year.

There is literally something to do for everyone, and there’s enough entertainment in Orlando to keep you busy for days.

As one of our favorite spring break destinations, take a look at our ultimate 6-day Orlando itinerary for families that includes all of the best things to see and do in Orlando.

Recommended place to stay: Loews Royal Pacific (Onsite at Universal Orlando, price includes theme park Express Passes, has an amazing outdoor pool area.)

2. Siesta Key

Our most recommended spring break idea for families if you’re looking to be on the beach is Siesta, Key Florida.

In fact, Siesta Key Beach is commonly rated the # 1 beach in the entire United States!

With its soft, powdery white sand, huge 8-mile stretch of beach, and constant activity in and around Siesta Key itself, there are many reasons to fall in love with Siesta Key.

Along with its panoramic ocean views, fun-filled things to do in Siesta Key include Siesta Key parasailing, watersport rentals, snorkeling, and exploring Siesta Key Village.

We’ve compiled a complete Siesta Key itinerary if you have 1-6 days to spend there during spring break.

Our itinerary also includes the most popular things to do in Sarasota, which is a nearby oceanfront city that you won’t want to miss!

Recommended place to stay: Any oceanfront resort, condo, or vacation home rental!

3. Tampa

Another great inland spring break idea for families is Tampa, Florida!

Spring Break in Tampa offers warm weather, dozens of attractions, fresh seafood, and plenty of opportunities to experience the great outdoors.

There is a high density of things to do for kids in Tampa Bay including Busch Gardens theme park, Adventure Island water park, The Florida Aquarium, and ZooTampa.

Recommended places to stay:  Embassy Suites Tampa Downtown Convention Center (Convenient location, huge outdoor pool, free breakfast, all suites.)

4. Clearwater/St. Petersburg

On the Gulf side of Tampa are the beautiful beachside cities of Clearwater and St. Petersburg.

Both are excellent spring break destinations for families.

Clearwater lives up to its name with its crystal-clear waters and picture-perfect tropical beach, Clearwater Beach.

St. Petersburg, on the other hand, is home to St. Pete’s beach as well as several specialty museums and gardens (most notably, The Dali Museum, Sunken Gardens, and Chihuly Collection).

Recommended places to stay: Clearwater’s Sandpearl Resort and St. Petersburg’s RumFish Beach Resort.

5. Fort Lauderdale

Another traditional spring break favorite Fort Lauderdale, offers pristine beaches, tropical bars, all-inclusive resorts, and multiple opportunities for fun on the water.

Though spring break in Fort Lauderdale can be quite crowded, it is mostly filled with other families enjoying Spring Break, versus that of college-aged party-goers.

Fort Lauderdale is also a popular cruise port and is a great place to relax before embarking on a cruise.

Recommended place to stay: Lago Mar Beach Resort & Club

6. Key West

At the end of the Florida Keys at mile marker zero is the tiny island of Key West.

Key West is home to unique sites like Hemmingway’s house, the Butterfly Conservatory, the southernmost point in the continental US, and quirky restaurants and bars.

Key West has an offbeat personality unlike anywhere else in Florida. 

While you are here, hop on the ferry and take a day trip to Dry Tortugas National Park.

This island is home to abundant marine and avian life, protected coral reefs, and Fort Jefferson, a 19th-century Civil War fort.

7. Anna Maria Island

If you’re looking for a more secluded island getaway, consider spending spring break on Anna Maria Island.

Located a short distance from both Sarasota and Siesta Key, Anna Maria Island is bustling during Spring Break as it offers plenty of opportunities for both relaxation and fun.

As one of our favorite beach-filled destinations, things to do on Anna Maria Island include swimming, kayaking, dolphin watching, parasailing, and ‘living the laid-back island’ life.

8. Miami, Florida

Miami is the quintessential spring break spot on the Atlantic Coast, particularly due to its iconic art deco and eclectic South Beach. 

Experience the city from the water on a speedboat tour, get a taste of Cuban cuisine with a food tour, see local wildlife at the Zoo Miami, or take a day trip to the Everglades National Park. 

Depending on when you visit during the spring, Miami weather will be in the upper 80s or low 90s.

Miami is perhaps best suited for families traveling with older children and teens.

Spring Break at An All-Inclusive Resort

If you prefer to be pampered and not worry about the day-to-day cost of your vacation’s details, an all-inclusive resort might be exactly what you need.

Typically, all-inclusive resorts charge one price for a complete package that includes your accommodations, dining, room service, snacks, alcohol, activities, and wifi access.

Though the upfront cost can cause some initial sticker shock, we’ve compiled a complete guide to planning a kid-friendly all-inclusive vacation to help you prepare.

Consider these US all-inclusive resorts for your next spring break trip:

If you’re willing to undertake traveling internationally with kids, we’ve spent spring break at the following all-inclusive resorts in Mexico.

Our full reviews (+tips for what to pack for Mexico) can be found here:

The ultimate list of exciting spring break ideas for families that inludes destinations that you'll love.  From top US family travel blog, Travel With A Plan!
Disney Dream cruise ship

Cruising

When planning your spring break, don’t forget about cruises.

Cruising is an excellent choice for people who like to visit a new destination each day, as well as pay a flat fee for overnight accommodations, dining, and on-ship amenities.

When choosing a cruise line you’ll want to explore different prices, amenities, and kids’ activities, as well as how much time you have to spend out at sea.

You can find four and five-day spring break cruises from South Florida to the Caribbean and Mexico.

Longer cruises lasting seven to ten days visit islands like Aruba, St. Martin, and Puerto Rico.

On the west coast, you can find spring break cruises to the Mexican Riviera that depart from Los Angeles and San Diego.

Additional planning tip: In relation to the ongoing pandemic, be sure to review current cruising travel requirements and consult with a travel agent prior to booking a cruise.

Staycation Spring Break Ideas

A well-planned staycation can be just as refreshing as traveling for spring break.

Disconnecting from life’s responsibilities and simply living in the moment is the key to a relaxing staycation.

Here are a few ways you can practice self-care and give you and the kids some downtime via a staycation:

  • Plan a day trip. Check out a local attraction, event, or state park and spend the day enjoying your local area. 
  • Go on a culinary journey. Try a new restaurant or type of food outside of your comfort zone.
  • Camp in the yard. Borrow a tent and set it up in the yard. Make s’mores and have a controlled campfire (if allowed), while watching the night sky.
  • Work on a hobby. If you have wanted to cook or bake, try carpentry, or learn about something new. This is a great time to inspire your creativity.
  • Read. In our busy digital world, reading seems to be a luxury now. So, set down your phones and grab a book that delights your soul.
  • Have a spa day at home. Pamper yourself and the kids. Put on a fluffy robe, make some cucumber water, turn on the spa music, take a soak, or do a facial at home.
  • Treat yourself to something luxurious. Buy or do something that makes you feel spoiled, whether it’s new bed sheets or getting your hair done. 

If you liked reading our spring break ideas for families, click here to check out our Related Posts:

*Before leaving, be sure to check our Travel Resources Page to find our exclusive travel discounts and to book hotels, rental cars, and guided tours.*

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The ultimate list of exciting spring break ideas for families that inludes destinations that you'll love.  From top US family travel blog, Travel With A Plan!
The ultimate list of exciting spring break ideas for families that inludes destinations that you'll love.  From top US family travel blog, Travel With A Plan!
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2 Comments
  1. Reply

    Brooke Brookman

    January 5, 2022

    Great ideas Jen! Thanks for all your knowledge!

    • Reply

      Jen

      January 9, 2022

      You’re welcome, Brooke! Does your family have any Spring Break plans this year?

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Welcome Friends!

We are the Brommer family from Minnesota, and I'm Jen - the travel planner for our family of 5! We are passionate about traveling together for it's what keeps us happy and healthy at home. The free family vacation itineraries and tips you'll find here are crafted with love to be shared with you. We hope our experiences inspire you to start planning your next family adventure!

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