Many of the images that come to mind when someone mentions spring break are far from family-friendly. But secondary-level kids often get this holiday as well as college students, and there are plenty of destinations where both adults and children can relax, explore, and have some fun. Whether your family’s idea of fun is hanging out on a beach all day or delving into a new cultural experience, wholesome getaway options abound. Some spring break locations even include special activities for the kiddos, so their parents can enjoy a special evening or outing on their own.
Hilton Head provides a wide array of fun activities for both parents and children. With 12 miles of family-friendly beaches, 60 miles of walking and biking trails, historical and ecological adventures, pirate cruises, dolphin-watching excursions, and 33 golf courses, there are endless options to suit everyone’s definition of fun-in-the-sun. Plus, you’ll find many pet-friendly restaurants, accommodations, and attractions, so your furbaby can take a holiday, too.
Oahu is the third-largest island in the Aloha State and often cited as a top destination for families. From wind-surfing on Kailua Bay to exploring the 475-acre Diamond Head crater and park to underwater experiences aboard a submarine, this island paradise is the perfect spring break vacation spot. Slide your feet into the soft, white sands and calm waters of Lanikai Beach, which many locals say is the best-kept secret on the island. If you’re seeking deep explorations into authentic local culture, visit the Polynesian Cultural Center and take part in village tours, hands-on artisan activities, musical performances, and authentic luau feasts.
There’s no better way to shake off the winter doldrums than traveling to a place where you can take in panoramic views of nature at its best. The White River National Forest surrounds the resort city of Glenwood Springs. People call this area the “Land of Water” because of the abundance of outdoor hot springs and vapor caves you can explore. The local town has a character all its own, filled with an abundance of artists’ shops and delightful dining experiences.
If you missed out on a family skiing trip this year, it’s not too late to make plans for one over spring break. Whistler is on the west coast of Canada, about 75 miles north of Vancouver, and ski season extends until the end of April. Snowcat tours, helicopter sight-seeing, and a phenomenal après ski scene ensure there’s always something fun to do away from the slopes if half the family wants to skip the skiis. The pedestrian-only village, filled with shops, restaurants, and bars, is a safe and fun place to explore.
If you’re seeking a fun spring break destination for your crew that’s also easy on the wallet, plan a trip to the U.S. capital. There are tons of family-friendly, free activities here. In late March and early April, D.C.’s 3770 cherry trees blanket the city with pink blooms. Plan a picnic at Gravelly Point, where you can take in some sunshine and watch planes take off and land at Ronald Reagan International Airport. Make plans to see Rock Creek Park, a beautiful nature area and the site of a public horseback riding facility.
Although it may sound like more of a honeymoon destination, Costa Rica’s kid-friendly reputation is growing. There is no shortage of exciting resort choices here, all of which provide a long list of fun-and-frolic options for families without ever leaving the hotel’s grounds. A few provide beachfront accommodations. Others create unique learning experiences and exciting family nature getaways, with lodging accommodations in the intriguing rainforests.
When it comes to a spring break vacation that family members will remember for the rest of their lives, Japan can't be left off the list. People throughout the world revere its fascinating technology, pop culture, and cuisine. Tokyo is brimming with neon lights, souvenir shops, and eateries. Browse electronics stores in Shibuya that give off a distinctive theme park vibe. Make a point to visit the Odaiba District, an ultramodern shopping and entertainment area on Tokyo Bay where you’ll find a premier amusement park and other spectacular sites.
Imagine a family safari, where you camp in tents, explore the vast Tanzanian savanna, and watch wildebeest, elephants, and rhinos in the wild. Many Tanzanian tours cater to families, providing much more than a day at one of their stunning beaches. Young travelers can visit schools and interact with local Tanzanian children, master the art of building a fire, learn to shoot a bow and arrow, and create crafts alongside local artisans.
No matter where you choose to go in Iceland, it will likely be kid-friendly and magnificent. To get the most out of your spring break itinerary, consider taking a tour bus or renting a car and traveling the Golden Circle, a route that connects Reykjavik with the southern uplands and Thingvellir National Park. You’ll experience spouting geysers, waterfalls, and breathtaking cliff faces at some of the country’s most popular landmarks and destinations. And you can even stop and make friends with Icelandic ponies grazing in the fields along the way.
As one of the more affordable cities in Europe, Edinburgh is a great destination for family spring break excursions. It’s not a sprawling city, so you’ll spend more time exploring and less time traveling to its amazing landmarks. Plus, the area has some of the most beautiful vistas in the world. Edinburgh Castle is a must-see. And, if your family loves a bit of spooky fun in their holiday, head to The Real Mary King’s Close, a guided tour of the mysterious passages beneath the city’s streets.