By Eileen Ogintz
Ready for some good news?
It doesn’t matter if you haven’t planned a spring break yet. You’ve still got plenty of options whether you want to hit the beach at an all-inclusive, cheer on your favorite team at Spring Training, experience new theme park attractions or explore a new city.
According to new research from the vacation rental website Vacasa, 41 per cent of US consumers say they are planning a spring break, even prioritizing ahead of other trips.
The Texas Gulf Coast, Southwest Colorado and San Diego are among the most in demand family destinations. With our friends at Family Travel Forum we’ve put together Spring Break Ideas to Meet Every Family’s Wish List. Here are five ideas:
BATTER UP! Head to Arizona for Spring Training. Arizona Cactus League (15 teams across 10 stadiums), you are guaranteed a good time at the small stadiums. Your kids might even get some autographs.
Because the tickets at most ballparks are half what they would be at a regular season game (typically starting at less than $30), you won’t feel any guilt if you leave early. There’s plenty else to do-golf, spa, hike, and great eats. And there are plenty of hotel packages. For example, at Hotel Valley Ho, mere minutes away from Scottsdale Stadium, there’s a Play Ball package, providing 20 percent off the room rate, a food and drink credit, souvenir baseball, cabana discount, and a sweet treat.
Great Wolf Lodge provides fun for all ages and offers water park passes, free entertainment experiences and 40% off a three-night stay with its Trip Fun offer. It’s also right by Salt River Fields, which hosts spring training for the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies.
MUSEUMS, BEACH AND THEME PARKS – You will find them all in San Diego. There’s San Diego’s world-class zoo and safari park, SeaWorld and LEGOLAND California in nearby Carlsbad. Be among the first to tackle Arctic Rescue at SeaWorld, the longest and fastest straddle coaster on the West Coast. Hop on your snowmobile and ride to the rescue of Arctic animals.
There are 18 major museums and entertainment venues at Balboa Park, 1,200 acres that locals say is San Diego’s backyard with gardens, museums, hiking trails, restaurants, a miniature train and even a rare original menagerie carousel. Come on a Sunday afternoon for a free performance of the Spreckels Organ, the largest outdoor pipe organ in the world.
There is a Balboa Parkwide Pass that offers admission to the participating museums over seven consecutive days for $67 for adults; $43 for kids 3 to 12 – a good deal when you figure admission to just one museum can be $20 or more.
And The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch will be in bloom with over 70 million flowers.
CRUISE AWAY – There are plenty of options to Cruise with lots of deals. Holland America, for example, has kids-free deals that apply to cruises from San Diego over Spring Break and into 2024. If you can book today or tomorrow, Princess Cruises also has kids-free deals. sail free.Princess is among the cruise lines offering child care during shore days so parents can have an adult time out while Royal Caribbean offers My Family Time Dining: Kids can eat in 45 minutes and are then met by youth program counselors to be escorted back to the kids’ club for evening activities. Just make sure the cruise line you choose has programming for your aged kids. (Our Taking the Kids Family Cruise Guide can help.)
This is the time to work with a travel advisor who is a cruise expert to sort out all the deals that can include on board credits, upgrades, specialty dining and more.
HEAD TO THE BEACH- Frontier Airlines flies non-stop to both Cancun and Cabo.. The all-suite oceanfront Generations Riviera Maya south of Cancun is touting deals up to 45 per cent off and there are deals at other Karisma Hotel properties including the Nickelodeon Riviera Maya and if you are traveling with grown kids, the all-adult El Dorado Seaside Suites.
Cabo’s all-suite Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Resort is offering 10 per cent off their best internet deal with the code INSIDER. There’s plenty to do—even Spanish lessons and cooking classes as well as The Sunset Beach Kids Club. The deal is good at other Cabo Pueblo Bonito resorts.
A NO WORK ADVENTURE – The Adventure Company Backroads has family trips available including a multisport California trip and a four-day getaway to Arizona and a multi adventure tour of Hawaii’s Big Island, from Volcanoes National Park to the Kohala Coast.
SUNNY DAYS ON THE SLOPES — If you aren’t an EPIC or IKON pass holder, here’s your opportunity to try someplace-and something new.
Mt. Bachelor, the largest snow resort in the Pacific Northwest, makes for a great spring skiing destination with celebrations including ski & ride competitions, weekly live music, and multi-day van-life festivals.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming has plenty of wildlife viewing (visit the Elk Refuge or take a wildlife safari in Yellowstone! ) as well as discounted lodging deals
For experts, Guided skiing and snowboarding at Silverton Mountain is similar to heli-skiing, snow cat skiing, and resort skiing, but without the big crowds signature to other ski areas. There are no groomed runs and no cut trails, just loads of nature’s finest black diamond skiing in the U.S.A.
Bluebird Backcountry in Kremmling, CO is Colorado’s newest ski area, an inbounds backcountry ski area even those new to the backcountry can enjoy with ski-patrolled terrain, backcountry rentals and lessons and avalanche education. There aren’t any lifts!
Act fast (by Feb. 28) and get a Gems Card for deep discounts or BOGO adult lift tickets at nine ski areas including Cooper and Granby Ranch. You can get a $79 midweek adult ticket at A Basin.