Spring break is right around the corner, so it's time to answer the age-old question: where are we going on our family vacation this year? The following seven destinations offer plenty to do for kids of all ages, as well as the adults traveling with them.
Charm City, located only 40 miles north of the nation's capital, is a destination that should be on your list. If you're staying downtown in the Inner Harbor, there are several kid-friendly attractions including the Maryland Science Center, Port Discovery Children's Museum and the National Aquarium. Or catch a baseball game at the Baltimore Orioles'retro-modern stadium, where kids 14 and under can run the bases after Sunday games. The city also boasts two world-class museums — the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Museum — that offer hands-on activities and special tours for children.
Beaver Creek, Colorado
Instead of going to the more popular Colorado ski resort cities, consider Beaver Creek's ski resort, located just two hours west of Denver, where the whole family can enjoy skiing at the National Park Service's White River National Forest. In addition to kid-friendly slopes, the park also offers ice skating, a ski tour with a volunteer Forest Service Ranger, a family carnival every Saturday during the season and free snowshoe tours. And if that wasn't enough, the resort serves free homemade chocolate cookies every day at 3:00 p.m.
Palm Springs, California
If you're trying to get away from cold weather, consider a trip to Palm Springs, located just 100 miles east of Los Angeles. Start your trip with a ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tram, with amazing views as you make your way up to Mount San Jacinto. Next check out the Palm Springs Air Museum, which boasts a collection of vintage military aircraft, along with flight simulators and real planes that children are encouraged to explore. If you need to cool off from the desert heat, take the kids to Wet 'n Wild Palm Springs or the Palm Desert Aquatic Center, which not only has pools, but also two 20-foot water slides and a water playground.
San Antonio, Texas
When visiting Texas, many people think of Dallas or Houston, but San Antonio — aka Alamo City — is a great alternative destination. Take the kids for a stroll down the city's famous Riverwalk, get a history lesson by visiting the Alamo or check out the San Antonio Aquarium. The DoSeum, a museum for kids, has become a must-visit spot because of its interactive exhibits, a spy academy filled with math challenges, an interactive puppet parade, a musical staircase, outdoor water play areas and more. San Antonio also has a wide selection of amusement parks including SeaWorld, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, the Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort and Splashtown San Antonio.
Charleston, South Carolina
The historic southern city of Charleston offers more to tourists than just beaches and beautiful weather. The Children's Museum of the Lowcountry offers hands-on exhibitions, a two-story medieval castle, an art room, a pirate ship and a dress-up area. There's also the Fire Museum of North Charleston, the South Carolina Aquarium and the Charleston Fun Park, which features two 18-hole miniature golf courses, a go-cart track, arcade games, a climbing wall and a jumping park. Not to mention the city is packed with top restaurants that will surely appeal to the adults in the family.
New Orleans, Louisiana
The Big Easy is mainly known as a fun place for adults to visit, but there are great activities that kids will enjoy, too. Go back in time to learn what it was like to live in New Orleans in the 1830s via French Quartour Kids. There's also the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, the Audubon Butterfly and Insectarium, the Steamboat Natchez and the Louisiana Children's Museum, which has more than 30,000 square feet of hands-on interactive exhibits. Finally, satisfy your sweet tooth by taking a tour of Aunt Sally's Pralines, which shows how New Orleans' favorite candy is made, along with a history lesson of the city and free samples of this delicious pecan treat.
Caribbean cruise out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida
If you've ever considered taking the family on a cruise for spring break, the Princess Cruise Line's Caribbean Princess is a great option out of Fort Lauderdale. Regardless of age, there is something to do for everyone in the family. The ship has an outdoor area that features three-wheeled vehicles and supervised basketball court. For kids ages three to seven, there are a ton of activities including a treehouse, pajama movie nights, crafts and a Lego boat-building contest. The lodge, for kids ages eight through 12, offers games, dancing, rocket building, stargazing, talent shows, theme nights and treasure hunts. Teens also have access to The Lounge, which offers late-night movie viewing, hip hop dance classes, video game tournaments, sports competitions and the Rock the Boat teens-only party. There are also babysitting facilities when parents want to indulge in the ship's nightlife.