Lists We Love: Beyond Disney World, Top 10 Great Spring Break Trips for Families!

1. National Cherry Blossom Festival
, Washington D.C., March 20th – April 27th 2012

Each year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates spring in Washington, DC, the gift of the cherry blossom trees, and the enduring friendship between the people of the United States and Japan. The Festival produces and coordinates daily events featuring diverse and creative programming promoting traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty, and community spirit.  Events are primarily free and open to the public.

2. The Hotel Hershey and Park, Hershey, Pennsylvania
Situated high atop the town of Hershey, The Hotel Hershey is a getaway in itself — Milton Hershey’s ultimate expression of grandeur. This is a place to awaken your senses, soothe your soul, and experience the finest in elegance and service. For the ultimate in luxury, reserve one of our new Woodside Cottages.

3. Sesame Place, Langhorne, Pennsylvania
Share in the spirit of imagination with your kids at Sesame Place – where you can experience Sesame Street together through whirling rides, water slides, colorful shows & furry friends. And where you’ll discover that sometimes, the best part of their childhood is rediscovering yours.

4. Chardonnay, Crayons & Cheetahs Adventure, Santa Rosa, CA (also various US locations)
A gourmet chef will prepare a family feast served al fresco, paired with top wines for the adults and delicious treats for the children. Enjoy private wine tastings and picnics at kid-welcoming wineries that offer farm animals, wildlife and catch-and-release fishing.Explore historic underground wine caves and take in sweeping views on a one-of-a-kind vintage truck ride through a renowned hilltop vineyard. Roast marshmallows while viewing the night sky with a noted astronomer, and dine at top rated Bistro Jeanty where the kids can play Foosball while you linger over desert.

5. Top Notch Resort & Spa, Stowe, Vermont
Great for teens! Our resort’s game rooms are open till 10pm, great places for kids/teens to socialize without their parents. Video and board games are also available, including Wii. Every morning, younger teens (up to age 14) can take tennis lessons at the Junior Tennis Academy. Ages 15+ can join the adult Academy. Teens over the age of 16 are also welcome at both the Topnotch Spa and the Fitness Center. Plus, all age activities including swimming, skiing and horseback riding.

6. Dinosaur Valley State ParkGlen Rose, Texas (1 hour from Dallas)
Dinosaur Valley State Park contains some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks in the world. The dinosaur tracks are located in the riverbed, so please call ahead to check on river conditions. There are two fiberglass models; a 70-foot Apatosaurus and a 45-foot Tyrannosaurus Rex. They were built, under commission of the Sinclair Oil Company, New York World’s Fair Dinosaur Exhibit of 1964 – 1965. Other activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, Equestrian use in a separate 100-acre area (no horses furnished), river swimming and fishing, and wildlife observation.

7. Crayola Factory, Easton, Pennsylvania
At The Crayola Experience™ , you’ll be immersed in color and creativity – a place where there’s no limitation to creativity and imagination. You can color, draw, paint and create with the latest Crayola products without the worry of cleanup afterwards. Each creative space invites you to play and explore while learning and having lots and lots of fun. See how Crayola Crayons and Markers are made. Learn about the history of the Crayola brand. Explore dozens of interactive projects and activities. A visitor center that allows the child inside each person to unleash its creative spirit.

8. The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida
Few resorts are as opulent as The Breakers, with its Italian Renaissance-style architecture and magnificent landscaping. Many parent-and-child activities such as Friday night bonfires at the beach and weekend family kickball contests on the croquet lawn. A kids’ camp, with groups for 3- to 5-year-olds and 6- to 12-year-olds, mixes indoor arts and crafts and outdoor fun like sandcastle building and scavenger hunts. At dinnertime, the most popular option with families is the Italian Restaurant, featuring brick-oven pizzas and fresh pastas. Servers deliver kids their entrees while adults enjoy appetizers. Then children can explore the attached 6,160-sq.-ft. Family Entertainment Center, which has blocks, train sets, tumbling mats, arts and crafts stations, a computer, and a small movie theater. All activities are supervised by the resort’s staff.

9. Lowes Coronado Resort & Spa, San Diego, California
Loews piloted parent-attended playgroups for children ages 6 to 18 months and 19 to 36 months at this resort before launching them chainwide. During the 45-minute sessions, toddlers spend “A Day at the Castle,” hearing fairy tales and trying on dress-up clothes. Infant sessions focus on movement and creative play with baby toys. For children ages 4 to 12, the resort offers 50-minute kickboxing and yoga classes at the on-site spa and a camp, with one counselor for every four kids, during the summer and on school holidays. Campers decorate and fly kites, swim, and learn origami. Family activities include a baking class with the resort’s pastry chef, poolside workshops on creating healthy kids’ drinks, and family bingo.

10. Magnificent Mile, Chicago, Illinois
The Magnificent Mile® is one of the top ten hospitality, fine dining and retail districts in the world, making it One of the Great Avenues of the World. Shop at American Girl, Lego, Sanrio, Apple and Niketown. With 56 hotels and 124 restaurants, you’ll never run out of something new to do! On a budget? Navy Pier, Millennium and Grant Park and the Lincoln Park Zoo are all free to peruse! One of the most walk-able cities, you’ll spend the whole week exploring the city’s top restaurants, art and attractions.

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