Spring break is quickly approaching, and that means you must work quickly if you want to find something to do with your kids when they are home from school. Thankfully, there are quite a few last-minute amazing budget spring break destinations you can drive to, so you can have some adventures while staying on top of your budget at the same time!
While all these spring break destinations offer thrilling things to do, you may be better off choosing some more unique features and attractions within each one. This will ensure you are not dealing with the massive crowds of people who had the same spring break ideas as you!
Northeast Region 1: New England
When you take the time to plan a few family spring break ideas in Connecticut, you will be pleased to discover that there are many different options to choose from. A few hours can be spent exploring the Submarine Museum and the USS Nautilus in Groton before driving into Mystic to do a little shopping in Olde Mystic Village and grabbing pizza at Mystic Pizza. Add in a stop at the Old Mystic Seaport or the Mystic Aquarium and it will be time to relax at the hotel pool before getting some sleep to prepare for the next day. Other things to do with kids on spring break in Connecticut include a walk through Gillette Castle, a stop at the Book Barn in East Lyme, and time at the PEZ Visitor Center.
Maine might be considered a summertime playground, but that doesn’t mean you can’t consider it when choosing places to take kids for spring break. You won’t be swimming in the Atlantic Ocean during your visit, but you can ski the slopes at Seacoast Adventure or hike the trails at Acadia National Park.
Willowbrook Village and the Seashore Trolley Museum are perfect for those budding history buffs, while the thrill-seekers in your family will prefer the ziplines at Monkey Trunks Zipline. Other last-minute family spring break ideas in Maine include the Wiggly Bridge, Wire Bridge, Artist’s Bridge, and the World’s Largest Telephone.
One of the items on everyone’s bucket list must be a walk along the Freedom Trail in Boston, so that can definitely make your list of things to do with kids on spring break in Massachusetts. However, if you are looking for other ideas that are off the beaten path, you may want to consider visiting Old Sturbridge Village to see how people lived back in the 19th century. Other spring break ideas might include the Witch House of Salem, the Dr. Seuss Museum, Pooh’s House on Harvard’s Campus, and Spectacle Island’s Sea Glass Beaches.
4) New Hampshire
New Hampshire is one of the best spring break locations if you love to hike and explore the outdoors. You can begin your spring break adventures by visiting the Sculptured Rocks and then continue to see both the Purgatory and Thompson Waterfalls.
A stop at the American Classic Arcade Museum will have your kids wondering how they would have survived back then, but a stop at the longest candy counter in the world, which can be found at Chutters Candy Store, will perk them up and bring them back to the 21st century.
5) Rhode Island
Sometimes, in order to get away from it all, you must take a ferry after your little drive to a spring break location. Block Island is the perfect getaway, because it is off the mainland and you will feel as if you have stepped back in time on this magical island. Of course, if you want to stay on dry land for your entire spring break vacation, you will find everything you want and more in the state of Rhode Island. Consider the Newport Cliff Walk if you want to see incredible sights or wander down the trail in Neutaconkanut Hill Park for a little more tranquility. If you want a unique type of accommodation during your spring break with kids, you might want to consider spending a night at the Rose Island Lighthouse.
A visit to the Cabot Cheese store is a must when you are traveling through Vermont, but then again, so is a stop at Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory. Once you have eaten all the ice cream and cheese you possibly can, it will be time to stop in East Corinth, which is where the movie, Beetlejuice, was filmed.
If your kids haven’t seen this movie yet, you can always let them watch it while you are driving to your spring break destination. The Danby Quarry, Robert Frost Interpretive Trail, and Texas Falls should also be on your list of things to do with kids on spring break.
Northeast Region 2: Mid-Atlantic
1) New Jersey
Animal lovers will want to stop to spend time with the animals at Rizzo’s Wildlife World, but once you are there, you will gain a whole new perspective on the wildlife in this state. Those who do not want to snuggle up to real animals may prefer the six-story high massive elephant named Lucy. It is possible to climb up the stairs inside this elephant to see extraordinary views of the entire city below. Other fascinating spring ideas for kids in New Jersey include the Gingerbread Castle, the South Mountain Fairy Trail, and Luna Parc. Add in a stop to see if you can discover the Sometimes Train Tracks of Sunset Beach and you may find more than you think in this spring break destination for kids.
2) New York
New York is a very large state, so do not be surprised if you cannot see it all during your spring break. However, you can create a doable list of last-minute spring break ideas for families on a budget. In Western New York, you can visit the Strong Museum of Play and imbibe on a garbage plate or two. In Eastern New York, you can hike the high peaks in the Adirondacks or head up to
Lake Placid to see where the Olympics were held twice in years past. Down in New York City, it is all about Central Park and Times Square. But don’t forget to check out the High Line, the Lexington Candy Shop, and the Ghostbusters Firehouse. If none of these options sound appealing, you can always drive over the Canadian border into Niagara Falls, but don’t forget to take your passports with you.
When deciding what to do with kids on spring break, you may consider a quick trip to Gettysburg or Amish Country in Pennsylvania. However, this state offers so much more! A few things to do with kids on spring break in this state include the Robot Hall of Fame, Monongahela Incline, Longwood Gardens, and the grave of Mr. Rogers.
Midwest Region 1: East North Central
Illinois is one of the best places to take kids for spring break, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend your entire time there in the windy city of Chicago. Yes, seeing Millennium Park, the Lincoln Park Zoo, and the Chicago River will be fascinating, but there is so much more that will intrigue your family in this state.
A few spring break ideas include a stop at Oz Park, a million dollar view at the Money Museum, an exploration of Cave-in-Rock, and numerous hours at the Galloping Ghost Arcade.
One of the best spring break trip ideas for Indiana includes a stop at Butt Drugs. This old-fashioned soda fountain will have you traveling back in time, as you sit at the old-fashioned counter sipping on your shake or soda. Yes, your kids might balk at first, but once they have their first sip, they will calm down and simply sit back to enjoy! Once you have checked that item off your list, you can turn your spring break vacation for kids’ sights to the Rotary Jail Museum, Exotic Feline Rescue Center, Hall of Heroes, and the Crossroads of Kymaerica.
There are so many spring break ideas for kids in the state of Michigan, which is a good thing until you realize that you need to make a decision of what will make your list and what will need to wait until another time! Consider beginning your journey by wandering through either Newaygo State Park or Tawas Point State Park. Your kids will love driving the Model T at the
Henry Ford Museum, but you may prefer the history they will learn at Nelis’ Dutch Village. No matter what you choose to do in this spring break destination for kids, you must spend at least one day on Mackinac Island. No cars are allowed on this island, but you can easily get there via a thirty-minute ferry ride. Once you are on the island, walk around, take a horse-drawn carriage ride, and spend a little time in a rocking chair on the porch of the Grand Hotel.
It will be all about the planes when you choose Ohio as your spring break destination for kids this year! What you will think will be a quick trip to the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park will turn into an all-day adventure complete with a stop at the National Museum of the Air Force. If your family loves Christmas, you must spend at least a few minutes at the Christmas Story House and Museum before venturing on to the Ohio Caverns, Rookwood Ice Cream Parlor, and the Piatt Castles.
One of the best spring break ideas for families on a budget is a visit to Wisconsin Dells. This massive indoor waterpark will make every family member’s dream come true, so there will never be any eye rolling or groaning on this family vacation!
When you are tired of the water, you may want to consider a few other last-minute spring break ideas that include the Rudolph Grotto Gardens, Jurustic Park, and the Holler House. If you happen to visit Schoolhouse Beach, do not be tempted to take even the smallest rock you find, because doing so will mean you are breaking the law.
Midwest Region 2: West North Central
Your journey in Iowa should begin at the Effigy Mounds National Monument. This is a park that contains more than two thousand acres and you can hike the trails to see animal shaped mounds. A trip to LeMars is a must if you want to say you ate ice cream in the Ice Cream Capital of the World! Other incredible places to take kids for spring break in Iowa include Lover’s Leap Swinging Bridge, Field of Dreams Movie Site, the Hula Hoop Tree, and the World’s Largest Popcorn Ball. Don’t forget to stop to see Albert the Bull, because he is the largest bull in the world.
A quick stop at Union Station will have you exploring the KC Rail Experience, learning about science at Science City and the Planetarium, and even watching a movie. That’s not all that is available when it comes to places to take kids for spring break in Kansas though.
Other spring break ideas include a visit to the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site, a stop at the Louisburg Cider Mill, and the Oz Museum. You may also want to consider stopping at the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum and to see the World’s Largest Ball of Twine.
Yes, the Mall of America can be found in Minnesota, but do you know how many other people have chosen that as their spring break destination for kids? Yes, probably a million! I recommend choosing different things to do with kids on spring break in Minnesota. Consider walking across the Mississippi at Itasca State Park, while keeping an eye out for bald eagles, and exploring Voyageurs National Park, which is the only water-based park in the entire country. Half of the water at the Devil’s Kettle waterfall seems to disappear, so you may need to check out where it goes during your visit. Other options include Hidden Beach, Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum.
Missouri is an excellent option when considering where to take kids for spring break. One of the best spring break ideas for this part of the country is doing a little cave exploring. With more than five thousand caves, there should be one near where you are staying.
A couple of the best include Mark Twain Cave and Talking Rocks Cavern. Other thrilling spring break ideas include the Lewis and Clark Boat House, Katy Trail State Park, and Fort Osage. You may even want to stop and learn about the Wild West and Jesse James at the Patee House Museum.
Transport your family back in time during a visit to Nebraska for a spring break vacation with kids. Reserve some time on the Oregon Trail Wagon Train to see the Chimney Rock National Historic Site and encounter Pony Express riders. This is one of the few states that will have you tanking down a waterway in a state park. If you are unaware, tanking involves climbing into an eight-foot plastic tank and simply floating down the river. A few other spring break ideas for families on a budget include Second Wind Ranch, Happy Jack Peak and Chalk Mine, and Dobby’s Frontier Town.
6) North Dakota
One of the best spring break ideas in North Dakota is a cruise on the Lewis and Clark Riverboat, but your kids may prefer a ride on the Fort Lincoln Trolley in Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park.
Lots of fun can be had at the Grand Sky Drone Park, and you never know what you will see when you stumble upon the Enchanted Highway Sculptures.
7) South Dakota
The massive dinosaurs at Dinosaur Park are always a hit, but some kids may prefer the creatures over at Reptile Gardens. Another amazing spring break idea is a buffalo safari at Custer State Park. There will be a lot of people at Mount Rushmore, but you cannot spend time in South Dakota and not add this historical site to your list of things to do with kids on spring break. Afterwards, venture over to Four Mile Old West Town or the Prairie Homestead, before exploring the Black Hills Caverns or the Broken Boot Gold Mine.
South Region 1: South Atlantic
Wandering amongst the airplanes is a family favorite in Delaware and you can experience it yourself with a visit to the Air Mobility Command Museum. Trap Pond State Park is perfect for hiking or canoeing
through the Cypress trees and no one can resist wandering through the Enchanted Woods at Winterthur. Add in a stop at Fort Miles in Cape Henlopen State Park or at the Seaside Nature Center to include a little learning into your spring break vacation.
So many people choose Florida for spring break vacations with kids, but you can avoid the crowds at the theme parks by choosing other thrilling spring break ideas during your visit. Marco Island, or Amelia Island, are excellent options, but so is Clearwater if you want to hang out with the dolphins at Clearwater Aquarium. Add in a boat ride on Estero Bay, a visit to Ed Leedskalnin’s Coral Castle, and consider a stay in the Underwater Hotel in Key Largo to have a spring break vacation to remember. If you want to find the best seashells, you may want to consider driving out to Sanibel Island.
It is all about the mountains when you are vacationing in Georgia, so plan on being outside a lot when you take a spring vacation there with kids. Over in Helen, you can wander around a Bavarian town before tubing down the Chattahoochee River.
Make a stop at the Romeo and Juliet Mound Site before driving over to Savannah to take a river cruise and watch the dolphins play off Tybee Island. Other family spring break ideas include the Tiny Doors of Atlanta, the Dwarf Castle, and Babyland General Hospital.
No one can resist dealing with the crowds to ride on the National Harbor’s Capital Wheel, so do not be surprised if that makes it to your list of things to do with kids on spring break. If you have a pirate lover in your family, then a pirate ship visit to Duckaneer, Urban Pirates, or Pirate Adventures is exactly what you need when coming up with spring break ideas. A few other spring break ideas with kids include a stop at The Book Thing, Graffiti Alley, and Pinball Parlor at MOMs Organic Market. If you are truly looking for a different spring break destination with kids, consider visiting the horses on Assateague Island.
5) North Carolina
There are so many different spring break ideas for kids in North Carolina, so do not be surprised if you have more options than time! Start with a three-mile train ride on the Tweetsie Railroad and then canoe the Dismal Swamp.
Whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River is a must, but so is sliding down a real waterfall at Sliding Rock and the Land of Waterfalls. One last spring break idea includes a visit to Grandfather Mountain, as well as the Linville Caverns and Linville Falls.
6) South Carolina
As long as the weather is cooperating, the two hundred miles of beaches in South Carolina are perfect for last-minute spring break ideas. However, this state offers so much more, even if you are planning your trip as you are driving there. Start with a safari at Hollywild Animal Park before seeing the dolphins with Barrier Island Ecotours and getting close to alligators at Alligator Adventure. Downtime can be spent on a carriage ride through the city, while the olden days can be experienced at the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon. You can also do a little island hopping if you really want a few new places to take kids for spring break while in South Carolina.
There are so many incredible things to do with kids on spring break in Virginia, and you will want to take advantage of them all during your visit. You can begin in Williamsburg but take time to hike through Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
It will be cooler down in Luray Caverns, but you won’t notice it as you are exploring this massive cave. After a quick stop at the old car museum next door, drive down to Virginia Safari Park to interact with animals as you drive through the park safari style.
8) District of Columbia
There are not too many unique things to do in the District of Columbia, because everything is so popular and considered a must-see attraction. However, in between all the monuments and museums, you may want to check out Hoff’s Harmonica Case Collection, the Civil War Nurses Memorial, and Barbie Pond on Avenue Q.
9) West Virginia
One of the best spring break ideas in West Virginia is driving along Scenic Route 60, but you might also want to hike up to Coopers Rock or Spruce Knob to see the gorgeous views. A steam train ride at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park will keep everyone happy
and thrill-seekers will love whitewater rafting on the New River. Another family-friendly spring break idea is exploring the many ghost towns within this state. The ones I recommend include Nuttallburg, Kaymoor, Winona, Thurmond, and Sewell.
South Region 2: East South Central
When it comes to spring break ideas in Alabama, you really do not need to look any further than Cathedral Caverns State Park. The US Space and Rocket Center will also intrigue many members of your family though, so make sure that gets on your list. Other favorite spring break ideas include hiking the trails at Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park, visiting the birthplace of Helen Keller at Ivy Green, and enjoying the thundering beauty of DeSoto Falls.
There are more than fifty state parks in Kentucky, so there is an excellent chance that at least one of them will make your list of things to do with kids on spring break. I love Land Between the Lakes, but the Green River Lake State Park is incredible too.
Horse lovers will want to spend days at the Kentucky Horsepark, where they will learn everything they need to about horses and the Kentucky Derby. Don’t forget to check out Mammoth Caves, since it is the longest cave system in the entire world.
History abounds in Mississippi, and while you can have many of those historical sites included in your spring break plans, you may want to insert a few other options to keep the kids happy. In between stops at the Delta Blues Museum and the Museum of the Mississippi Delta, you can cool off at Geyser Falls or do a space shuttle engine test at the NASA Infinity Science Center. Follow the rangers around at Gulf Islands National Seashore and spend a few minutes at the Biloxi Lighthouse.
Most people head to Nashville when they go to Tennessee for spring break, but you will find so many other options throughout the state. When perusing spring break ideas for kids, you may want to consider hiking to Rock City to see seven different states from the lookout.
Afterwards, you can wander around the twenty plus acres of the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum before riding on the Chattanooga Choo Choo. There are many adventures waiting for you within the Great Smoky Mountains and you may not be able to resist spending at least one day at Dollywood.
South Region 3: West South Central
As you are deciding what to do with kids on spring break, you may be thrilled to know that you can all discover multiple natural and geological wonders together at the Crater of Diamonds Park. If your kids love playing make-believe, then take them to Mountain Village 1890, so they can pretend to be a pioneer and see how people lived back in those days. The Arkansas Railroad Museum is a lot of fun, but your idea of spring break fun might be the Hot Springs Baseball Trail instead.
There is plenty of spring break fun available in the state of Louisiana, but an all-time favorite is a swamp tour. After a few hours exploring Jean Lafitte National Park, you are going to be ready for something to eat. Make it Cajun cuisine, especially if you make it to New Orleans because no one makes it better.
Other amazing spring break ideas with kids include the Voodoo Museum, the Audubon Zoo, and Plantation Country. Oh, and if you happen to find yourself with some spare time in New Orleans, grab some beignets from Café du Monde. They never disappoint!
There are so many things to do with kids on spring break in Oklahoma and many of the spring break ideas are perfect for families on a budget. Begin your time at the Myriad Botanical Gardens or the Oklahoma State Firefighters Museum before getting some action at the Selman Bat Caves or Frontier City. The GW Exotic Animal Park and Tiger Safari will give you all some thrills, while you can really capture the country vibe as you drive along Route 66.
The state of Texas is huge, so you will never find yourself lacking when it comes to spring break ideas. However, this also means that you may need to limit yourself to one area of the state instead of seeing it all. A few places to take kids for spring break include
Natural Bridge Caverns, Mayan Dude Ranch, and Silver Spur Guest Ranch. The Franklin Drive Through Safari will hold you over until you reach the Heritage Farmstead Museum or Gator Country.
West Region 1: Mountain
Everyone chooses Grand Canyon National Park when they visit Arizona, so you may feel as if you should leave this popular destination off your list of things to do with kids on spring break. However, I say go for it and see it for a day before finding slightly less crowded things to do on your trip. A few amazing spring break ideas in Arizona include Out of Africa Wildlife Park, Lake Havasu State Park, and the Pioneer Living History Museum. The Red Rocks in Sedona and the Desert Botanical Garden are two other spring break ideas with kids.
When considering what to do with kids on spring break in Colorado, you may want to add Buffalo Bill Grave and Museum, Ghost Town Museum, and the Dinosaur National Monument to your list. A hot air balloon ride over the mountains will make a perfect unique
spring break idea, but so will whitewater rafting. A little time on a ranch will open your kids’ eyes to what is out there in the world, besides video games and television shows.
Whitewater rafting is best in the state of Idaho, so that will need to be at the top of your list of things to do with kids on spring break when visiting. Add in a Crystal Gold Mine Tour at the Craters of the Moon Caves or some time in the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge and your week off will be off to a great start. If you are looking for more spring break ideas, consider the Idaho Potato Museum, the Boise Depot, and the massive Thousand Springs State Park. Fun can also be had while climbing the sand dunes at Bruneau Dunes State Park.
Glacier National Park will have you outside for days when you choose Montana for your destination for spring break with kids. Little Bighorn Battlefield will entice even the most resistant of travelers, while grant-Kohrs Ranch is best for learning how to do everything a westerner does.
Other springs break ideas in Montana include one of the many Lewis and Clark Visitor Centers along the 3,700-mile trail, sailing on Flathead Lake, and horseback riding through the plains.
Nevada is full of deserts, state parks, and lakes, so there are plenty of options when it comes to things to do with kids on spring break. Check out Bonnie Springs Ranch Old Town to go back in time to the Gold Rush or relax on the shores of Lake Tahoe while your kids are doing one water sport after another in the water. While many people focus on the adults in Las Vegas, it is completely possible to do this magnificent city with kids. Simply choose the kid-friendly activities that include the roller coaster at New York New York, the zipline on Fremont Street, and the dolphins and lions at the Siegfried and Roy Magical Gardens and Dolphin Habitat.
6) New Mexico
When you choose New Mexico as your spring break destination for kids, you will be thrilled to know you can snowboard down the white sand at the White Sands National Monument. Add a tour of the Old Town and a meet and greet with the reptiles at the American International Rattlesnake
Museum and you will be more than ready for some downtime on the Sandia Peak Tramway. Other spring break ideas for kids includes the UFO Museum, the petroglyphs at El Morro National Monument, and a chance to go underground at the Carlsbad Caverns National Park. You can also stand in four different states at once at the Four Corners attraction.
Nature is everywhere in Utah and the weather is usually gorgeous there during spring break. Over at Eccles Dinosaur Park, your kids will see fossils of all kinds, but it is history of a different type that you will all discover at the Benson Grist Mill and the Wheeler Historic Farm. If you need more spring break ideas, you might want to consider water sports at Lake Powell or off roading in Moab.
The Wyoming Frontier Prison will share how people lived when they were in jail many years ago, but the Buffalo Bill Historical Center may intrigue your kids even more. The Cody Stampede Rodeo offers insight into the life of a cowboy and the real Wild West.
Your kids can run around while your soaking in a hot spring in Hot Springs State Park and afterwards you can all walk through Old Trail Town. Staying at a dude ranch will only add to the appeal of this spring break destination, so plan your accommodations wisely.
West Region 2: Pacific
The days of the Gold Rush are everywhere at Bodie Ghost Town, so make sure it is at the top of your list of things to do on spring break with kids. When you are not roaming the streets of Hollywood, looking for a movie star, you might want to wander along the beaches in San Diego or explore Six Rivers National Forest. Other fun spring break ideas include riding a cable car in San Francisco, take a selfie with a Redwood tree at Redwood National Park, and drive along the Big Sur coastline.
A boat tour through the canyons is a unique experience for spring break, as is coming face to face with the large cats at the Great Cats World Park. Add in a stop at the Yaquina Head Lighthouse or a little whale watching tour and your spring break vacation will start out in the best way possible.
Other spring break ideas with kids include visiting all ten waterfalls within Silver Falls State Park, standing at the rim of the crater at Crater Lake National Park, and hiking through the Columbia River Gorge.
Nature is everywhere in Washington, but plan on rainy adventures since it rains there quite often. Don’t let the wet weather ruin your time though, because there are plenty of things to do with kids on spring break. Start at the 1880s Pioneer Farm Museum before taking one of the Queen of Seattle Paddle Wheel Cruises.
Where best to be but in Alaska for Spring Break? We suggest staring in Anchorage if you’ve never been to Alaska and renting a car as you’ll need it to move around. But if you’re already in Alaska, there are tons of things you can drive to depending on the weather. Start by enjoying Chugach Range which is accessible from the city. Go fishing at Fish Ship Creek. And if you’re here in the winter, you’ll most likely see the Northern Lights and perhaps go dog sledding. If you’re looking for something else for your family to do during the summer and warmer months, plan to enjoy the midnight sun. Regardless of when you come, if the weather is good, visit a few national parks. And if you need more things to do in Anchorage, we’ve talked about 11 free and fun things to do in Anchorage!
West Region 3: Hawaii
It is impossible to go to multiple islands as spring break destinations for kids with only a week in Hawaii, but there are many things you can do on the one island you choose to visit. Whether you choose to learn how to surf on Waikiki Beach,
learn how to luau, discover lava at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, or horseback along the shoreline, you will have an amazing time on your spring break vacation.
These are the best things to do at last-minute amazing budget spring break destinations all over the country, so you will not have an excuse to stay home and do nothing when your kids are home from school. Simply choose an area that is close to where you live and drive there for an impromptu spring break vacation you will love.