By Jody RobbinsUpdated Nov 29, 2017
After a long winter, a family getaway is a nice way to celebrate the new season.
Spring is in the air so get your chicks in a row, and make a break for one of these spectacular destinations. Even if you’re headed to the ski hill, there’s still sun to soak up!Photo: iStockphoto
Experience one of the best resorts in St. Lucia. It might be hard to pull yourself from the crisp white sheets of your suite but, if you leave them you can enjoy a variety of activities including snorkeling, sailing and windsurfing. The Jacquot Fun Club brings a new fun-filled activity for your kids to enjoy. From puppet shows to tennis lessons to arts and crafts, Jacquot Fun Club will wow kids with their extensive offerings.
More: Windjammer-landing.comPhoto: windjammer-landing.com
On the hunt for a city-chic- oasis that also offers alfresco adventures? Look no further than the capital of la belle province. Spring is the optimum time of the year to tap into a sugar shack, where wee-ones can tuck into mountains of pancakes and explore the woods in a horse-drawn wagon. Head for Hôtel de Glace, North America’s only ice hotel. Guests can choose to enjoy a cocktail served in a glass made of ice or spend the night in one of the 44 theme rooms and suites and relax in the outdoor hot tubs and sauna.
This master-planned community has inspired countless suburb designs in the Great White North, and for good reason. The quaint, walkable town is flush with folksy attractions like splash parks, old fashioned ice cream parlors and pretty pastel shops. Plus, it’s only a short drive from DisneyWorld, so you can bring the kids to see their favourite Disney characters. Rent a home on VBRO for a bargain or take advantage of building your own theme park package at Melia Orlando Suite hotel.
More: Celebration.fl.usPhoto: melia.com
Affordable options for families looking to spend an outdoorsy break together can be found at the new backcountry cabins in Cypress Hills Provincial Park. Bring your own food and cozy up by the wood stove while you decide where in the Canadian Badlands you’ll explore first. There are so many options to choose from you won’t know where to start. Will it be the Fossil World Dinosaur Discoery Centre or Horseshoe Canyon? Either way there is something for everyone in the family to do here.
More: Cypresshills.comPhoto: canadianbadlands.com
Disney’s Aulani resort sits on 21 acres of oceanfront paradise- it’s the ultimate family getaway. Your family will be immersed in Hawaiian traditions in a breathtaking setting removed from the crowds of Waikiki. With so many all-inclusive vacation activities and amenities at your disposal, you and your family can enjoy days of fun without ever having to leave—all at no additional charge.
More: Gohawaii.comPhoto: iStockphoto
Why “Winterpeg” in spring, you may ask? Well, the provincial bird (the mosquito) isn’t yet active and the weather — while still snowy, is milder and perfect for active families (plus, the city boasts Canada’s largest IKEA play area). Start your stay by gliding along the world’s longest natural outdoor rink before heading to Assiniboine Park where tykes can burn off energy at the nature playground– and don’t forget about the Assiniboine Park Zoo.
More: Tourismwinnipeg.comPhoto: hikebiketravel.com
Picture this: the warm Arizona sun, desert canyons in bloom, you splashing about under thundering waterfalls.
Not many people know that nestled deep within the Grand Canyon lies an oasis of cascading falls, spring-fed streams and lush vegetation. Families thirsting for adventure (with children over the age of seven), can take a six-day guided tour of the Grand Canyon from the refreshing waters of the Salt River to the rim of one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. You can experience it all.
This quiet community, built around seaside activities is tops for active bikers and golfers. Here, you’ll find an uninterrupted paradise as the beach stretches for miles in either direction, making your only challenge figuring out where to plop down for the day. If it’s too laid back for you (or you want to laugh at the college crowd), Myrtle Beach with its abundant amusement parks and 30 mini-golf courses is only a short drive away.
More: Hammockcoastsc.comPhoto: iStock photo
If you’re looking for mild weather and want to stay in Canada, the West Coast is the way to go. Check out the Cherry Blossom Festival from April 5-29, 2018 or get your daily dose of green tromping through Stanley Park. Inquisitive 8 to 13-year-olds can learn how to solve a mystery under the CSI Vancouver program at the Vancouver Police Museum, and all ages can dive into the attractions at the Vancouver Aquarium.
The base town at the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park offers spectacular wildlife, crisp mountain air and plenty of options for active families. Estes Park Center is an affordable alternative to expensive ski resorts. Here, you’ll get a leg up on that summer camp feeling with rousing games of capture the flag, horseback rides and s’mores around the fire.
More: Visitestespark.comPhoto: iStock photo
Just imagine soaking up the delicious Caribbean sunshine as the tropical breeze carries the scent of smoky Bajan barbecue. If that doesn’t make your mouth water, how about shaking your thang calypso dancing or else enjoying a cuppa during afternoon tea? The Fairmont Royal Pavilion offers a swimming with the turtles activity and ocean swimming at your doorstep in the beautiful turquoise waters of the Caribbean’s west coast. This Barbados beach hotel is located on a 0.7 mile stretch of sandy beach.
Photo: iStock photo
March is a great time of year to visit the US capital — home to the Smithsonian and a surprising number of professional sport teams — especially since the cherry blossoms are soon to bloom (March 24). Make it a point to visit free sites such as the Lincoln Memorial and National Air and Space Museum. Just 30 minutes from downtown DC, Six Flags America offes rides for even the youngest adrenaline-seekers.
More: Washington.orgPhoto: iStock photo
The Riverfront Capital is chock-a-block with activities to amuse even the most disconcerting offspring. Try visiting current and upcoming exhibitions at the renowned Beaverbrook Art Gallery, or settle mini Einsteins into Science East for a day of innovation.
More: Tourismfredericton.caPhoto: iStockphoto
America’s first winter resort, sheltered in the Adirondacks, offers exhilarating outdoor activities and old-world charms inside its many luxe lodges. With softer snow, spring skiing is ideal for families, and Whiteface Mountain has varied terrain for all ability levels. Limp back to the cozy warmth of Mirror Lake Inn, where the family can enjoy activites just steps away from your room.
More: Lakeplacid.comPhoto: Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa
The towns are only five km apart but world’s apart in character. Ixtapa boasts pristine beaches, water sports and golf. Club Med offers an exclusive all-inclusive package- and regular accomadtions as well. If you’re looking for a laid-back, manyana holiday, Zihuatanejo is the place to be. Retaining the charm of a traditional fishing village, this place is where Mexican families come for their vacation. Whoops, the secret’s out!
More: visitmexico.comPhoto: visitmexico.com
Sun Peaks, Silver Star,and Apex Resorts are all candidates for epic spring skiing and offer fantastic deals.
Not a powder hound? Take in terrific après-ski activities such as tubing, ice climbing and mini snowmobiles. And since you’re in the region, it would be almost criminal not to sample the luscious liquid grapes at these family-friendly vineyards.
More: Thompsonokanagan.comPhoto: sunpeaksresort.com
You’ll want to take the tots to the Big Apple when the air is fresh and the subway no longer resembles a smoldering furnace. Enjoy a walk in Central Park, feast in Little Italy or get cultured at one of the many borough museums. Catch a movie on broadway and grab a bit at the endless reaturants downtown (in the East and West village). Shopaholics will know to hit up Soho for great shopping.
More: Usedyorkcity.comPhoto: iStockphoto
Dotted throughout the Alps, these predominantly all-inclusive hotels cater to families. If you’re hankering to bring the kids to Europe, this is an affordable way to go. Most hotels offer organic fare, incredible play facilities (including free daycare!) and a spa. Channel your inner von Trapp, and waltz over to Austria’s Hotel Gina for skiing, sledding and schnitzel (AKA the world’s largest chicken nugget).
More: Kinderhotels.comPhoto: kinderhotels.com
If you’ve ever been inside a Bass Pro Shop, you’ll know what to expect at this wilderness resort. Rustic mountain decor oozes throughout the lodge, cottages and cabins. Think rich timber beams, antler chandeliers and floor to ceiling windows revealing the rambling countryside of the Ozark Mountains. Enroll the young ’ens in the Kid’s Adventure Club while you explore the wildlife and waterfalls of Dogwood Canyon Nature Park via ATV.
More: Bigcedar.comPhoto: iStock photo
Every family should visit our nation’s capital at least once. Check out Ottawa’s most unique site- Diefenbunker Museum– or the Canada Agriculture Museum. Just four km away from downtown, Gatineau Park offers natural wilderness laced with trails to hike, snowshoe or cross country ski on.
More: Ottawatourism.caPhoto: iStockphoto
Austin isn’t your traditional Texan town. A hub for live music, the city is perfect for kids who love grooving out because you’ll hear tunes everywhere from the grocery store to the airport. The city has one of the finest children’s museums in North America, and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center can’t be missed. Trendy families will want to spend much of their time in SoCo (South Congress Ave.), a hip hangout laced with funky shops, unique accommodations, and an epic outdoor fair the first Thursday of every month.
More: Austintexas.orgPhoto: austintexas.org
The sand is a fine powder, the water a brilliant turquoise, and the amenities are top notch at this secluded resort. Here you will find the #1 golf course in The Bahamas and extends 120 miles in length- it is the largest island in the Abaco chain. Also, Abaco National Park is 20,000+ acres of wilderness and home to more than 1000 of the brilliantly colored (and often boisterous) Abaco Parrots. Non-club members can book stays from the Marriott site.
More: myabacoclub.comPhoto: iStockphoto
Wanting to expand your horizons while on vacation? Did you know Albuqurque is the balloon capital of the world? It is also home of the 2013 American Girl “Doll of the Year,” and Saige Copeland, Albuquerque is ideal for inquisitive families. The city is brimming with over 30 museums. Snake your way towards the American International Rattlesnake Museum to view the world’s largest collection of rattlesnake species. ABQ BioPark is a unique environmental museum comprised of the Albuquerque Aquarium, Rio Grande Botanic Garden, Rio Grande Zoo and Tingley Beach.
More: itsatrip.orgPhoto: iStockphoto
Hankering for an East Coast escape?
From archives and museums to gardens, parks, lighthouses and more, Nova Scotia is home to over 300 attractions.
Tip:Save money by picking up provisions for meals at the farmer’s market.
More: NovaScotia.comPhoto: novascotia.com
To get first tracks in the Alberta Rockies, you either have to be up at the crack of dawn, or stay on the mountain. Sunshine Mountain Lodge is the only ski-in-and-ski-out accommodation in Banff National Park; allowing you to go from the hill to your room whenever the mood strikes. Sunshine Mountain Lodge sits in the heart of Sunshine Village Ski & Snowboard Resort, so you can be the first on the slopes each morning.
More: Skibanff.comPhoto: iStock photo
Read more: 10 great Canadian road trip 15 ways to make road trips less painful