By now you are likely tired of cold winter weather and ready to turn your attention to Spring Break. For great deals on Spring Break destinations for your family–now is the time!
Here are my top 8 spring break destinations for families for their diversity and deals.
1. Naples, Florida
Nature abounds in Naples which makes it a fun place for families to get away AND sneak in a little learning too. From the historic Naples Fishing Pier to the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, catch a glimpse of wildlife from dolphins to spider monkeys to alligators. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida is a must-see. Wildlife sightseeing cruises run throughout March and April. The Naples Nature Center at the Conservancy has a butterfly garden, plenty of nature trails, a boardwalk and lots of opportunities to arrange canoe and kayak adventures.
2. San Diego, California
There’s no better way to escape the drudge of winter than to head to sunny California. You can’t beat San Diego anytime of the year, but it is just what the doctor ordered to rid the winter blues and usher in Spring. Why not enroll the family in surfing lessons from the San Diego Surf Academy which offers year-round lessons for all ages. If you are bike enthusiasts, hop aboard a ferry to Coronado and hit the pristine bike paths. If you have younger kids, you can check out the Old Town Trolley Tours for low-key sightseeing.
3. Paradise Island, Bahamas
You are probably aware of the Nassau Atlantis Resort which is the ultimate adult playground, but the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island is just for families and an experience your kids will remember forever. Where to start? Kids can chose their own adventures at the Atlantis Kids Adventure program or hit the performance gallery filled with costumes and equipment to make movies. They can make the pizza of their dreams in a culinary class or explore the life-sized Victorian dollhouse. Oh yes, they have the gamer covered too with state of the art gaming systems. Outdoor adventures include swimming with dolphins, lots of water slides, rock climbing and a top rate marine habitat.
**Special Deal if you book before Jan 28 – room rates from $65 per person per night at Beach tower (based on family of four), kids under 12 eat free AND $300 instant airfare credit on 6 night stay. also free dolphin swim with every booking.***
4. Steamboat Springs, Colorado
A 50th Anniversary celebration in Steamboat Springs means BIG deals for families looking to hit the slopes for Spring Break. Airfare deals and special rates on overnight stays and ski packages can mean hundreds of dollars in savings. With five kids-only slopes on the grounds and dozens of lessons for kids of all ages, this is a perfect getaway that everyone in the family can embrace. There is a Kid’s Vacation Center that is like one-stop shopping for check-in, getting settled and prepping the kids for their fun in the cold weather. When you’re not hitting the slopes, try a horse-drawn sleigh ride followed by a cup of warm coco.
5. Galveston, Texas
Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas is a vacation all in one place. With an aquarium, discovery museum and a new Rain forest Pyramid with free-roaming monkeys and macaws and a Colonial Paddle-wheel Boat cruise, you won’t have to worry about how to fill the time. Enjoy a large swimming pool or hit the water park next door. Don’t worry mom and dad, the resort offers a spa and golf course for you. A hotel on-site makes planning a several day excursion easy. Through March and April, one-day kids’ camps are offered with various themes. with various themes.
*For extra savings, kids with good grades can get free admission to one Moody Gardens attraction. You must be an honor student (pre-K through 12th grade) and bring your report card to the ticket window within 30 days of issuance.
6. Wickenburg, Arizona
Get a taste of the wild, wild west at Rancho de los Caballeros in Wickenburg, Arizona. Your getaway will give you an inside look at life as a cowboy (or cowgirl) at this authentic dude ranch. The kids get busy in the kid’s club with a ride on the trails or the corral after a hearty breakfast. Kids also get to enjoy hiking, crafts and swimming while mom and dad get their own down-time to unwind. The ranch offers a combination of family time with horseback riding and gathering around the campfire.
I can’t say that I ever had a Barbados vacation growing up, but with great rates available, this is becoming an increasingly popular vacation spot for families who seek outdoor adventure. The water-seekers in your family will enjoy the Folkestone Marine Park and Harrison’s Cave with its impressive waterfalls. The land-dwellers in the family will love the plush tropical blooms and animal life like monkeys and birds at Flower Forest. If you have ever wanted to swim with sea turtles and snorkel in crystal blue waters –Barbados is your destination!
8. Smugglers Notch, Vermont
Smugglers Notch bills itself as America’s Family Resort for a reason. Impressive ski slopes cater to all levels of skiers, snowboarders and snow shoe enthusiasts. Outdoor adventures include snowmobile tours, zip-line canopy tours, dog-sledding, ice skating and winter walking. Warm up indoors in the family FunZone, pool and spa. The resort offers lots of vacation deals throughout the year. Check their website for the latest.
Spring break has some advantages over summer travel: not everyone is out of school and traveling at the same time, there are end of season rates for snowy destinations and off season rates for warmer destinations that offer versatile planning and more options because you are between seasons.