It’s that time of year again — spring break. Winter is over, and the weather is teasing us with the first hints of summer. Your family is suffering from a severe case of wanderlust, but finding a destination everyone will love seems impossible.
Before you give up, take a look at these four great options. Whether your family loves the great outdoors, music and art, theme parks or history, this list has you covered.
Carlsbad’s biggest claim to fame is hosting LEGOLAND California. So, if you have any wanna-be builders in your family, this is a must-see in Carlsbad. You can even get park hopper tickets that are good for LEGOLAND Theme Park and Water Park and SEA LIFE Aquarium.
If you encounter a rainy day during your stay, head indoors and visit the Museum of Making Music for the history of musical instruments and an interactive room where you can play them on your own.
Once the sun comes back, hit the seven miles of beautiful beaches Carlsbad has to offer, visit the lagoon for paddleboard lessons, or pick strawberries at the 80-acre Carlsbad Strawberry Company.
Round out your trip with a stop at The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch. Over 50 acres of flowers bloom between early March and early May. Go on tractor rides through the fields, watch birds at the aviary, find your way through a sweet pea maze, take a yoga class, mine for gemstones and much more in this jewel of a getaway.
For music lovers, nowhere could be better than the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll. While you’re here, take a tour through Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley. Music is the focus of many Memphis attractions, including the Memphis Music Hall of Fame and the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum.
Rock ‘n’ roll not your thing? Spend a day at the Fire Museum, an interactive experience that teaches about fire history and safety. The Children’s Museum offers more hands-on fun. Your kids will enter a world of pretend play that should satisfy for hours and hours.
If you’re looking for a little more history, Memphis is home to the National Civil Rights Museum. The infamous Lorraine Motel is now a tribute to the men and women who fought peacefully for equality and justice. Adults and school-age children will get the opportunity to sit at a lunch counter while listening to recordings of hecklers, sit on a bus while listening to a speech from MLK and view the room where he spent his final hours.
Need to let off a bit of steam after that experience? Climb aboard an American Queen Steamboat for a Mississippi River cruise. If you’d rather stay away from the water, head to Shelby Farms Park. Here you can hike and bike the trails and watch the local heard of buffalo. Parents can sit back and rest while the kids enjoy the giant playground and sprayground water park. The park is designed with people of all abilities in mind, it has ADA-accessible trails with ramp access, and the playground has swings and slides designed for children who need assistance.
Wisconsin Dells, WI
Does that hint of warmth in the air have your kids begging for time at the pool? Wisconsin Dells is home to the most water parks per capita than anywhere else in the world! Want to know the best part? Since Wisconsin’s weather is cold most of the year, many parks are indoors.
Wilderness Resort is simply massive. It boasts not one indoor water park but a complex of four. The two largest are each over 70,000 square feet and include wave pools, playgrounds, slides and tons of other fun. Out of the water, it has arcades, mini-golf, ropes course, laser tag and a laser maze.
You could spend days inside and never need a thing, but if the weather is warmer and you want to get outside, Noah’s Ark outdoor waterpark can’t be beat. Here you’ll find plenty of fun for adults and kids of all ages. Some of the rides are more intense, but there are still many activities for young ones.
To let yourself dry out for a bit, visit Deer Park, where you actually get to feed the wild deer. If you have any train enthusiasts in your family, they will love a 3-mile ride on the Great Northern Railway. Lovers of fantasy or puzzles will enjoy Wizard Quest, a 30,000 square foot maze where your group’s task is to complete as many quests as possible within two hours.
Possibly the most popular place to travel in spring, Washington, DC boasts the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. They are a sight to see and well worth it if you’re willing to deal with a more crowded vacation. Time your arrival with the weeks of peak bloom to get the best experience.
While in the city, take a tour of our nation’s many historical locations like the White House and Capitol building. View the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial, or watch a changing of the guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Another must-see if your kids are teenagers is the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This is a very sobering experience and would be too graphic or unattainable for a young child’s understanding. Make sure you leave plenty of time to work through this museum and decompress afterward.
So many of the activities in this bustling city are free, including most of the ones already listed. Depending on where your family’s interests lie, you could also visit one of the Smithsonian museums. There’s truly something for everyone, with 17 museums, galleries and a zoo, and each one of them is free of charge.
Something for Everyone
No matter what your family likes to do or if you even share common interests, one of these four unique locations will offer you the perfect vacation. With so much to offer, plan your trip ahead to maximize your time.