Mom Knows Best: 14 Family Spring Break Ideas From Hawaii to Florida

We've connected with moms and family writers across the country to bring you their top 14 family spring break ideas to try this year.

Spring break is that glorious time of year where you can look outside and remember that the sun exists, and rest soundly knowing that the short, dark days of winter misery are behind you. All you have to do is pack the kids, hit the highway, and head to that beach (or pool) calling your name.

But where to go? Florida? Hawaii? Something different, like North Dakota? To help you plan your trip, we’re sharing the top 14 family spring break ideas as suggested by moms themselves.

Cayman Islands: Games, Service, and Beauty


The soft, white sand and clear, blue ocean of Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach are a gorgeous sight, and there’s no better place to experience that beauty than at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, a luxury beachfront resort that appeals to any age. We’ve been spending our spring break there for years. As adults, we love the resort’s utter beauty, the friendly, hands-on service, and the yummy dining (don’t skip the fish sandwich or piña colada at Bar Jack).

Our girls love all the resort activities on site, like Starfish Cay – a water playground with waterslides, water sprayers, and a zero-entry splash pad for the smallest guests. Parents with infants will love that each of the resort pools has a shallow water rim around it, where a baby can splash around while its parents relax nearby in the pool itself. Older kids will love the resort’s basketball and tennis courts, the water sports, like snorkeling and kayaking, and Wave Gave Room, which features Xbox, PlayStation 4, and other non-electronic games. There’s also nightly interactive fish feedings, nightly movies on the beach, a beautifully appointed kids club called Ambassadors of the Environment, and a gelato counter that stays open late. — Marissa Millman, Donuts at the Disco

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman

Top rated
Seven Mile Beach
9.6 Excellent (1398 reviews)

Rancho Mirage, California: Water Slides and Golf


As a mom of two busy toddlers, I’m always looking for a family-friendly vacation spot that will entertain as much as it’ll wear my kids out. Omni Rancho Las Palmas, a huge resort on a gorgeous golf course outside of Palm Springs, California, did just that. This resort is our favorite location to vacation with the kids because of the pool first and foremost. Suffice it to say, you will not find another like it around Palm Springs. The pool has huge water slides, a lazy river, a beach area, and splash pad for the younger children. With the kids busy, golfers can sneak away to the course.

The rooms were also recently renovated, and family pets can come with you too. Another little-known secret about this resort is the Kids “Crew” program, which includes a backpack filled with goodies to keep them busy, and they’ll receive cookies and milk in their room the first night. — Lauren Olson, Sleep and the City

Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa

Top rated
Rancho Mirage
8.6 Excellent (2536 reviews)

Leesburg, Virginia: Museums and Cherry Blossoms


Spring break is late for us in New England – sometimes in late April – so while it’s still cold here, we like to go places where spring is already springing. No doubt, the Washington, D.C. area is one of our favorite destinations. As a photographer, I go for the cherry blossoms, and as a mother, I go for the amazing museums.

Hands down, the Lansdowne Resort is our perfect resort and spa for spring break in D.C. – partly because of its proximity to the National Air and Space Museum. We also find that it’s such a unique place, with American Girl® Store Slumber Party Packages, and wild river excursions along the Potomac, which are adventures you can’t find anywhere else. Lansdowne is also pet-friendly, so if we can’t find pet care at home, our two dogs and cat can enjoy hotel perks almost as good as the ones we get. Dogs even get beds that are made up every day. — Tamara Bowman, Tamara Camera Blog

Lansdowne Resort and Spa

8.4 Very good (1794 reviews)

Amelia Island, Florida: Southeast Lowcountry Fun


Amelia Island is located in Northeast Florida, just 30 minutes from the Jacksonville Airport. While mentions of Florida may conjure up images of palm trees, Amelia Island feels a lot more like Southeast Lowcountry than South Beach glam.

There are nice wide, flat beaches, and rolling sand dunes whiskered with dune grasses. Yet, further inland, you’ll find oak trees dripping with Spanish moss over scenic bike trails. Nearby, families can kayak in the blackwater rivers or make their way over to Cumberland Island to see the wild horses. The historic downtown on the island offers trolley tours and plenty of restaurants and shops for those looking for a beach break.

The best place to stay on the island is The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. The Ritz welcomes its littlest guests from the time of arrival with a special check-in service. The Ritz Kids club will teach children about local pirate lore and the natural habitat. Special programming includes stargazing with an astronomer and pirate tuck-ins.

Parents can escape to the relaxing spa for some signature treatments or a dip in the adult-only pool. A tasty dinner at Salt, a farm-to-table restaurant where salts of many flavors are the signature ingredient, is a must for any foodies visiting. — Tamara Gruber, We 3 Travel

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (1016 reviews)

Hualalai, Hawaii: A Family Paradise


If you’re looking for the ultimate spring break holiday not just for your kids but for yourself too, look no further. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is one of our favorites for an adventurous or relaxing retreat while having fun in the sun. It’s a place where you’ll want to keep coming back to make those lasting family memories.

You can start your day by snorkeling at King’s Pond, which is a spectacular aquarium pool that is carved out of lava rocks. Swimming freely, you’ll be able to see over 4,000 tropical fish, including an eagle ray.

With seven different pools from an adults-only pool with music and cocktails to a dedicated kids pool, you’ll be able to find your favorite spot. For parents wanting some “me” time, there’s a daily camp that your kids can attend if Dad wants to hit the 18-hole Jack Nicklaus golf course and mom wants to visit the luxurious spa. Another fun thing to do with the family is visiting the cultural center to interact with Hawaiian history and culture by learning how to make a lei or even some music.

With many on-site restaurants here, you don’t even need to leave the beachfront property. Enjoy nightly entertainment at Beach tree while watching the most spectacular sunset, sipping on your favorite cocktail just steps away from digging your toes in the sand. — Kathy Croman, Island Fever Sisters

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

Top rated
9.9 Excellent (44 reviews)

Hershey, Pennsylvania: A Family Spring Break Escape


Enjoy an escape this spring break by staying at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, Pennsylvania. This family-friendly hotel features an indoor water park with Twizzlers Twists water slides, a Reese’s water walk, and sandcastle splash pad. If you prefer to stay dry, there are character meet-and-greets, chocolate bingo, kids’ crafts, and s’mores roasts to keep kids of all ages active and engaged.

Resort benefits also include admission to Hershey Gardens and The Hershey Story Museum. The Gardens boast a wide variety of flowers in themed sections and also feature the Butterfly Atrium, a walk-through attraction with hundreds of butterflies. Additional hotel packages can be purchased and include visits to ZooAmerica and Hersheypark.

Visiting during Hershey’s Springtime In The Park? Take the Lodge’s complimentary shuttle to the park and enjoy its thrilling roller coasters or keep it tame with kiddie and family rides. Finish your day with a trip to Chocolate World, located adjacent to Hersheypark, and enjoy a chocolate-tasting experience, a 4D movie, or create your own chocolate bar. Chocolate World is also home to the free Chocolate Tour, which travels through the chocolate-making process and ends in a sweet surprise. — Karen Bumbaugh, Been There Done That With Kids

Hershey Lodge

8.2 Very good (271 reviews)

Orlando, Florida: Saddle Up


Are you looking for a spring break under the Floridian sun but not in the tourist zone? Well, look no further because Westgate River Ranch Resort is definitely your go-to. It’s located in River Ranch, Florida, about an hour and a half away from the famous Orlando attractions and packed with tons of activities for adults and children. You can pet mini horses and goats at the petting zoo, ride ponies and horses, take an airboat ride, attempt archery, and go swimming to name a few. Plus, the adventure park located on the property has ziplining, putt-putt golf, bounce houses, rock climbing and more. You definitely don’t want to miss the Saturday night rodeo and saloon dance party either.

The accommodations are just as diverse. You’ve got your typical hotel-style rooms or you can try glamping in teepees. Want something a bit more simple? Try pitching your own tent. — Victoria Snooks, Victoria Kristine

Hotel Westgate River Ranch

8.4 Very good (82 reviews)

Grand Forks, North Dakota: A Low-Key Family Vacation


When spring break weather stays stubbornly stuck in winter mode, I escape the snow at Canad Inns Destination Center. It’s a low-key family vacation with enough on-site entertainment to keep my five-year-old and his tween and teen cousins busy. The complex’s indoor waterpark is the largest in North Dakota, so get your waterslide fix early before the birthday parties arrive. There’s also a water playground for little ones, a lazy river, and a sanity-saving adults-only hot tub.

Order from the concession stand to eat poolside or send the kids to the arcade while you pick up a pizza. With two more restaurants, a sports pub, and a casino on the premises alongside kids-themed rooms (think princesses, pirates, and penguins) that feature a separate bunkroom for the kiddos and a PlayStation 4, it’s tempting to stay in. The hotel is also connected to the Alerus Center, so if you’re in town for a concert or event, you won’t even need to go outside.

If you decide to venture out, I recommend a late-season University of North Dakota hockey game — the atmosphere is electric. Or head downtown for free chocolate samples at Widman’s Candy Shop, local beer from two family-friendly taprooms (Half Brothers Brewing Company and Rhombus Guys Brewing Company), and miles of riverside parks and trails. — Alicia Underlee Nelson, Prairie Style File

Canad Inns Destination Center Grand Forks

Grand Forks
7.8 Good (2105 reviews)

Winthrop, Washington: Huddle Up Around The Campfire


For a rustic yet luxurious spring break vacation in Washington’s Methow Valley, Sun Mountain Lodge is unsurpassed. Guests can stay in the lodge or one of their lakeside cabins, both of which are kid-friendly. There’s also an on-site spa and a few restaurants.

Springtime here means wildflowers and babbling brooks with lots of outdoor activities and adventures. Sun Mountain Lodge is a great spot for families looking to unplug and explore. The most popular thing to do in Winthrop for families is to explore the heart of the town. Made famous by the acclaimed novel The Virginian by Owen Wister, Winthrop is a Wild West Town done right. The streets are lined with quaint boutiques, a bookstore with a large children’s play area, cafes, and restaurants. And you can’t leave town without a stop at Sheri’s Sweet Shoppe. Kids can sit on real saddles to enjoy their ice-cream cones and retro candy.

The activity your whole family will enjoy most? Sun Mountain Lodge’s authentic Cowboy Dinner that runs mid-May through mid-October. Guests can either ride a horse down to the campsite or hitch a ride in a real covered wagon. Once you arrive, there are pony rides, lawn games, and a cowboy playing guitar by the campfire. The food is plentiful and tasty. (Insider tip: You can bring your own wine.) And children will get a kick out of roasting marshmallows over the fire. — Marcie Cheung, Marcie In Mommyland

Sun Mountain Lodge

Top rated
9.0 Excellent (2396 reviews)

Washington D.C.: Take the Bike For a Spin


Washington, D.C. is a great budget-friendly family spring break getaway thanks to the many free museums throughout the city. The National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of Natural History, and the Zoo are all great for families. (Plan ahead for free timed passes to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.)

Stay at the new Canopy by Hilton in the redeveloped District Wharf area. The waterfront hotel has an excellent free breakfast buffet or free breakfast bags delivered to your room. The area has restaurants with large outdoor seating areas, boat rentals, and a free water jitney to East Potomac Park. The hotel also has a rooftop bar with an outdoor patio where kids can get a pre-dinner snack. If your kids are tall enough, take one of the hotel’s free bikes for a spin. Younger kids can cool off in a splash pad in front of the hotel or use one of the giant swings or hammocks. If the Nationals are in town, walk over to the stadium for a baseball game. — Judy Antell, Wheels and Eats

Canopy By Hilton Washington DC The Wharf

Top rated
Washington D.C.
8.8 Excellent (2030 reviews)

Sedona, Arizona: Have A Southwestern Adventure


The quaint town of Sedona, nestled in the majestic red cliffs in Northern Arizona is an ideal destination for a family spring break getaway. With beautiful scenery, great shops and restaurants, rugged hiking trails, and peaceful picnic sites, Sedona is a wonderful destination for a southwestern adventure.

My favorite place to stay in Sedona is the Best Western Arroyo Roble Hotel. Conveniently located in the middle of town, you can easily walk to shops and restaurants. Amenities include a delicious free breakfast, game room, free WiFi, and dog-friendly room options. Plus, after a long day of exploration, your family can enjoy a relaxing evening in the hotel’s heated pool and hot tub. The best part: kids under the age of 12 stay for free.

While visiting Sedona, enjoy the beautiful scenery at Red Rock State Park’s Crescent Moon picnic site. It’s located on the Oak Creek and has tremendous views of the towering Cathedral Rock. Be sure to also have ice cream on Main Street and enjoy the gorgeous 360-degree views of Sedona. If you’re an avid hiker, bring your hiking shoes and hike up the backside of Cathedral Rock for unforgettable views. — Heidi, Never Ending Journeys

Best Western Plus Arroyo Roble Hotel & Creekside Villas

Top rated
9.0 Excellent (2265 reviews)

Virginia Beach, Virginia: Down at the Boardwalk


Virginia Beach is a classic spring break destination with its miles of sandy beaches, shoreside boardwalk, and surf-town vibe. Our family has been visiting Virginia Beach for many years now, and while we’ve stayed at many hotels and resorts, our favorite is definitely the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Not only is it steps away from the ocean and Neptune Park, but it also maintains a rooftop infinity pool, a separate indoor pool, and playground on the beach.

The Hilton’s Catch 31 Restaurant is one of the freshest seafood restaurants on the ocean with both indoor and outdoor dining with access to incredible views. We could easily spend the whole week meandering the boardwalk, playing on the beach, and shopping the boutiques and surf shops, but Virginia Beach has so much more to offer. Our kids’ favorite destination is the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center where we can visit with lots of marine creatures, including sea turtles, sharks, seals, otters, gators, and even a Komodo dragon. The science center also offers whale watching tours in season. Other favorite Virginia Beach adventures include cruising on a pirate ship with Captain Jack’s Pirate Ship Adventures, taking surf lessons at Surf and Adventure, and hiking at First Landing State Park. — Tara Schatz, Back Road Ramblers

Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront

Virginia Beach
7.6 Good (2246 reviews)

Kapolai, Hawaii: Relax on the Beach or Hit the Zero-Entry Pool


For those wanting a spring break that’s both relaxing and fun, say “Aloha” to Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa. From relaxing on the private beach to basking at the zero-entry pool overlooking the ocean while eating your Dole Whip, the resort is excellent for families.

Guests can choose from a variety of daily activities (many of which are complimentary) ranging from animation and ukulele classes to a dance party at the pool with Mickey. For parents who need a little break, you can check your children into Aunty’s beach house. Children three and up can play under the supervision of the staff. Many of the Disney characters stop by Aunty’s beach house, too.

For those who want to adventure off the resort, there are plenty of great options a short car ride away. We ventured to the North Shore and hiked Waimea Falls one day and went snorkeling at Hanauma Bay another day. — Mei Ling Nazar, Family Entourage

Aulani, A Disney Resort And Spa

Top rated
9.7 Excellent (844 reviews)

Lake Buena Vista, Florida: Embrace the Magic of the Mouse


A perfect spring break getaway includes the splash of a pool, the magic of the Mouse, and the giggles of your children making memories. All this starts with a stay at the Holiday Inn Orlando-Disney Springs® Area. This hotel is an incredible home base for families to explore the allure of Walt Disney World at the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot.

With free shuttles to all four of the parks, access to the theme park “Extra Magic Hours” benefit, and the opportunity to make FastPass selections up to 60 days in advance, this hotel is a no-brainer for busy parents who want to make the most of their time at Disney World. Kids also stay and eat breakfast and lunch for free at the delicious Palm Breeze Restaurant.

A visit here opens the door to the magical glimmering in your child’s eyes as they meet Mickey for the first time, or the wonder of popping fireworks lighting up the night sky as your children marvel at the beauty of the brilliant colors. — Kelsie Kleinmeyer, Currently Kelsie

Holiday Inn Orlando – Disney Springs™ Area, an IHG Hotel

Top rated
Lake Buena Vista
9.0 Excellent (3564 reviews)