Sometimes the best part of traveling is doing it with the ones you love. We’ve partnered with family traveler Erin Bender of Travel With Bender as she covers off on top Spring Break destinations for families.
Spring is coming. Flowers will start blooming, the sun will shine longer and the gloom of winter will lift and dissipate. Spring also brings with it itchy feet, wandering toes, and fortunately for families – Spring Break.
With a week at your disposal I’m sure your family is ready for a vacation. But what type of vacation is going to be the perfect fit for your clan? For your daily dose of travel inspiration, here are five of the best family destinations for Spring Break in 2016.
1. Banff, Alberta, Canada – For the Nature Loving Family
Stretch your dollar further and dash over the border to one of the most beautiful destinations in the world.
Stay: Hidden Ridge Resort
For a little piece of woodsy bliss with the creature comforts of home, head to this resort. You will feel miles away from anyone and there is plenty of room for the whole family.
Eat: Maple Leaf Grill and Lounge
Easily the best meal you will find in Banff. Sit above the busy main street and try one of their creative cocktails to match their mouth-watering Alberta-inspired delicacies.
Play: Cave & Basin
The Icefields Parkway is one the most scenic drives anywhere. Along it you will discover waterfalls, lakes and glaciers. But if you really want a Spring Break to remember, make your way to Cave & Basin. This unique sulphur cave and natural pool system, while no longer swimmable, makes a pretty cool visit as you head into a cave. There’s also an impressive museum. Oh, and you can see the world’s most endangered snails. They are the size of a pin-head!
2. Mall Of America, Minnesota – For the Theme Park Family
The crowds migrate to Florida with the promise of summer on the way. But you can find just as much fun indoors in Minnesota.
Stay: Radisson Blu Mall of America
The best way to really enjoy the mall is to stay at the mall. This hotel features swanky rooms with black sparkly floors, funky decor and a luxurious atmosphere. Best of all it’s an easy, fully enclosed walk to the mall so your kids can fall in and out of bed everyday.
Eat: American Girl Bistro
This delighted even the boys of our family. For only $15 we were each served a three-course meal. The dishes were presented with such cute detail and pizzazz. Plus it overlooks an indoor theme park!
Play: Water Park Of America & Nickelodeon Universe
To really get the summer-is-on-the-way vibe, nothing beats a water park and best of all, this one is indoors so you can enjoy it even if it’s still snowing.
Top that off with a day (or two) at an indoor theme park, and you are well on your way to a break full of happy family memories.
3. Chicago, Illinois – For the Foodie Family
Forget New York’s crowded streets and LA’s congestion. Chicago is the new “it” city. And with more than 7,300 restaurants, you are going to fall head over heels for this food-lover’s paradise.
Stay: Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown
With suites big enough for the whole family and a central location in the heart of the city, you will not be missing anything here. We especially adored the Manager’s Reception everyday between 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., which included free light snacks and drinks!
Eat: Pizano’s Pizza & Pasta
Renowned for Chicago’s iconic deep-dish pizza, the whole family will relish a meal here. But make sure you also order a tavern style tin crust pizza, which was invented also in Chicago and a local favorite. This spot is also Oprah’s favorite!
Play: Chicago Pizza Tour
Skip breakfast and get ready to eat your weight in pizza. Well, almost. While you are in this foodie hub you do not want to miss enjoying the best there is on offer – pizza. I guarantee you will not leave this tour hungry. Even kids can appreciate every tour stop. Plus you get to see some of the best Chicago sights on the way as well.
4. Jackson Hole, Wyoming – For the Ski Family
Jackson Hole is renowned as one of the USA’s best places to ski for families. Spend all day on the famous slopes and ski right into the Four Seasons for a warm fire and delicious Après. While you are relaxing with a drink, your mind will be at ease knowing your kids are in safe hands at the Kids Ranch.
Stay: Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa
Nothing says ski holiday like a lodge on a mountain, except when the family has room to spread out like in these 2-bedroom suites. Walk out the door and straight to the slopes for all the skiing action you can handle before ending the day soaking in a rooftop hot tub.
Eat: Handle Bar (in Four Seasons)
There are not many resorts you can ski straight into for an outstanding delicious snack. But you can here. Celebrity Chef Michael Mina has put together a mouth-watering Après menu. I highly recommend the pulled pork toast and homemade pretzel. Kids will love the sweet potato tots!
Play: National Museum of Wildlife Art
If you need a timeout from skiing, there are plenty of other family-friendly activities around Jackson Hole. One of them is this museum. Kids will be kept amused for hours in The Children’s Discovery Gallery – a small, decorated, segmented room filled with self-directed hands-on activities. While the adults can roam the museum checking out unusual and inspiring pieces of animal-centric art.
5. Cruise to Anywhere – For the Multi-Generational Family
If you are looking for something the whole family can be involved in, then a cruise is the perfect solution. Plus, you can visit multiple destinations and never unpack more than once.
Stay: On a ship
The cabins are small, but you will spend most of your time in other parts of the cruise ship.
Eat: 24 hours a day
On board a cruise you have access to food 24 hours a day. From buffets to room service to specialized restaurants. You have your pick. And for a change of scenery, disembark at each new city (or country) every day to sample the local cuisine.
Play: The choice is yours
From bingo to shuffleboard you will find something to do on-board. And then there are the activities off the ship. Choose the Caribbean to play every day at a new beach. Choose the Bahamas and water slide with sharks at Lost World of Atlantis. Or choose Alaska and take a helicopter ride over a glacier.
Wherever you choose for your Spring Break getaway, remember that the family bonds formed on vacation are some of the dearest memories we hold throughout our life. So have fun!
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