School’s out! No matter how old you are, those two little words can still make you feel deliriously happy. With spring break just around the corner, now is the perfect time to think about recharging and reconnecting as a family. Whether you’re looking to thaw out on a beach, hit the slopes for some spring skiing, or jet off for a city culture break, we have you covered. These destinations truly offer something for everyone in the family—and no hall pass required.
Canada’s largest city offers a fab mix of food, design, and culture, all served up with a side of that famous Canadian politeness. We promise the whole family will love the Bata Shoe Museum. It has everything from astronaut moon boots to kicks worn by Justin Bieber. Egyptian mummies and dinosaurs are guaranteed kid pleasers, and you’ll find them at the Royal Ontario Museum. Head to the stylish Distillery District to browse boutiques before breaking for lunch. Take your pick from Vietnamese, Mexican, or Greek, and be sure to sample that Canadian favorite poutine, an addictive mix of cheesy fries topped with gravy.
Ahhhh, Palm Springs. Parents will love the midcentury architecture and its glam Hollywood past; this desert oasis was a favorite of Frank Sinatra and Cary Grant. Kids will prefer a ride up the Palm Springs aerial tramway to see the snow and do a little sledding. Refuel with Palm Springs’ famous date shakes before heading out to Joshua Tree National Park. Plan to spend a day seeing giraffes and cheetahs at the open-air Living Desert Zoo, and raise a glass to Mr. Sinatra at the end of the day.
Skiers and snowboarders, rejoice! If you love the idea of hitting the slopes in a T-shirt, head to Park City, where the slopes stay open well into April. If you need a break from shushing down the trails, Park City offers plenty of options. Sneak in some history at the Park City Museum, which is also home to the city’s original jail. Or for some family-friendly competitiveness, see who has the fastest time on the bobsled track at the US Olympic Park. If your muscles need a break, take a trip—and a dip—in the thermal waters of the nearby Homestead Crater.
This Caribbean island is said to have 365 beaches, so if your #travelgoals this year include seeing as many beaches as you can, this is your island. But when you need a break from the beach, head inland for family adventures. See who screams the loudest while ziplining through the forest at the Antigua Rainforest Company. Or pretend to be Indiana Jones while hiking through the jungle at the Victorian-era Wallings Dam Reservoir. And for an experience that beats any aquarium, go to Stingray City to swim alongside giant stingrays in the open water.
From Paddington fans to Harry Potter wanna-be wizards, London is one of our favorite family-friendly European cities. Who wouldn’t get a kick zooming around the city in a red double decker bus? London is also more wallet friendly than you’d think. Most of the museums are free so plan to get well acquainted with the dinosaurs and creepy-crawly inhabitants of the Natural History Museum. Older kids will love the goriness of the London Dungeon or the Tower of London, which is home to the Crown Jewels and ravens.
If there is a paradise on earth, there’s a good chance it can be found on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Families could spend their entire vacation time exploring Maui’s beaches, surfing, or trying standup paddleboarding. Head inland to explore Maui’s lush valleys and volcanoes, with frequent breaks for shaved-ice treats. Driving the Hana Highway is a must, with stops to watch surfers navigate 60-foot waves at Jaws beach and to gaze in wonder at the Seven Sacred Pools.
Mexico’s Caribbean coast offers the perfect ingredients for a spring break. Beautiful beaches are a given here but there’s more to do than build sandcastles. Snorkel, swim, or just marvel at the beauty of a cenote (an underground cave). Hit the highway to explore the coastline, making stops to see Mayan ruins such as Chichen Itza or Coba. Stop for lunch at tiny seaside restaurants serving up freshly grilled fish and fruit-based margaritas. You may never want to leave.