Dates for spring break vary based upon locale and school district. Nonetheless, most families enjoy spring break somewhere between the last two weeks of March, and the first two weeks in April.
Planning spring vacation is always a challenge. For families with tweens (children between the ages of 9 and 12), finding someplace to go can be even more difficult. Additionally, trying to vacation closer to home can be what seems an impossible feat. If looking to remain in the Midwest or Northeast this spring break, consider some of the following destinations and activities that are sure to please even the pickiest of tweens.
Spring Break in Illinois
This spring break vacation idea begins in Champaign, the home of the fighting Illini. On the first night of the vacation, take the tweens to see High School Musical on Ice at the Assembly Hall on the University of Illinois campus. Stay the night in Champaign and travel the next morning about 2 hours north to the greater Chicago area.
Some places to visit while in Chicago include the John G. Shedd Aquarium and Navy Pier. Even in the colder months the Navy Pier is packed with activities. The tweens can enjoy Pier Park and the giant ferris wheel, the Chicago Children’s Museum and various musical acts during spring break. For lodging, if looking to splurge consider the Hotel 71 (a really jazzy and unique hotel on the Chicago river) or the fabulous Hilton Suites on Magnificent Mile. Another option is to stay on the outskirts of Chicago. One suggestion is the Eaglewood Resort and Spa in Itasca. The Eaglewood provides many activities for tweens including an indoor pool, game room and bowling alley.
Spring Break in Michigan
This spring break itinerary begins on Saturday, in the city of Grand Rapids. Day 1 of the vacation begins with arena racing (indoor car racing) at the Delta Plex. The tweens will be thrilled with the excitement and intensity of each arena race. For the next couple of days explore the West Michigan area with a visit to Frederick Meijer Gardens (a botanic garden and sculpture park with various activities for youth) and the Grand Rapids Public Museum (featuring a dinosaur exhibit and activities).
For nighttime fun head to Craig’s Cruisers, a family fun center with go-karts, miniature golf, laser tag and arcade. Add to the fun by staying at the Ramada on 28th street (offering an indoor waterpark with giant waterslide) or a hotel near the RiverTown Crossings Mall (a great shopping and entertainment center in the Grand Rapids area).
Spring Break in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. offers an array of activities throughout the year, but this is especially true during early spring. Plans for spring break in D.C. begin with the National Cherry Blossom Festival. During the first week of April, the festival will feature a Family Day at the National Building Museum. At Family Day tweens can enjoy arts/crafts activities, musical acts as well as martial arts demonstrations.
If celebrating spring break the following week, kickoff spring break with the National Cherry Blossom Festival parade. The festival lasts for two weeks and will offer various other activities as well including a kite festival and fireworks show. While in town other places to visit include Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, the National Aquarium, the International Spy Museum and of course, the White House.
Spring Break in Missouri
Last but surely not least, explore a visit to Missouri during spring break. Begin the vacation in Branson, a popular vacation and resort town in Southern Missouri. While in Branson the family can experience the Titanic Museum, Silver Dollar City Theme Park and the Osmond Family Theater. Choose one day to drive an hour or so north to the city of Springfield where the family can tour Springfield’s Fantastic Caverns (a ride through cave). Although the area offers a variety of lodging options, families with tweens may most enjoy the Chateau on the Lake, or the Horizons by Marriott in Branson.
Have you taken your tween to any of these, can you add any more to the list ?