Family-Friendly Spring Break & Summer Vacation Ideas
Go to a Ranch – In New York
Ride horses or ponies. Wade into an indoor water park. Or join in a spirited tug-of-war contest. Rocking Horse Ranch Resort, about 80 miles north of Manhattan, in Highland NY., offer diversions for every family member, including nightly entertainment and a spa for soothing massages. And meals are included in the rate.
Taste the Big Apple
New York City never sleeps when it comes to entertaining visitors. The latest Midtown draw: Spyscape, where you play secret agent. Gawk at Gulliver’s Gate, a collection of iconic world sites populated by teeny lifelike characters. Be a “model citizen” by having a 3-D scan and becoming a miniature on display. Football fans cheer the NFL Experience Times Square, and the adventurous take virtual underwater tours at National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey.
See the Nation’s Capital in Bloom
Stroll under canopies of pink petals at the National Cherry Blossom Festival March 20 to April 15, and visit all the free Smithsonian Institution museums. Free passes for the wildly popular National Museum of African American History & Culture need to be booked months in advance, or try for a same-day ticket online starting at 6:30 a.m. The new Museum of the Bible explores biblical content and impact, with 430,000 square feet of artifacts and educational displays.
Virginia Safari Park
At the Virginia Safari Park, outside the historic city of Lexington, Va. (and near beautiful Shenandoah National Park), you can drive your car on three miles of gravel road and past a host of animals roaming on its 180 acres. Roll down the windows and feed llamas, deer and elk that beg for a treat of specialty grain you can purchase. Walk through Safari Village to see tigers, monkeys and pet piglets, and to feed giraffes.
Give Back in Florida
In addition to (or instead of) a busy theme-park getaway, take time to volunteer at the nonprofit Give Kids the World Village near Orlando in Kissimmee — an 84-acre storybook-themed resort that gives children with life-threatening illnesses and their families a free one-week vacation. You and your family members 12 and older can spend a few hours or days serving children ice cream, operating a carousel, assisting with pony rides and more.