Spring break ideas outside the US for families with kids
By Josephine Levin
Lisbon, Portugal (Flickr: Rustam Aliyev)
The spring break in March/April is a great opportunity for a perfect family vacation. With 10 days off, there is ample time for a family-friendly holiday outside the US, whether you are flying to Mexico or the Caribbean, headed overseas to Europe, or crossing the northern boarder to Canada.
Here are some choice picks for you and the kids to see a bit of the world and have great fun and bonding time together.
South of the Border down Mexico Way
XelHa in the Riviera Maya (Courtesy XelHa)
The Riviera Maya in Mexico offers you and the kids a fantastic tropical location with all kinds of kid-friendly attractions and activities. The area is full of ancient Mayan ruins and caves, theme parks like Xcaret and Xel-Ha, beautiful beaches and the chance to go snorkeling and diving at the largest coral reef in the northern hemisphere. The Barceló Maya Beach Hotel offers unique activities for kids such a kids day in the U-spa and the chance to go diving with the dolphins at the Dolphinarium. The Children’s Club will keep the kids happy and allow you time for pampering in the U-Spa.
Paradise in the Caribbean
Family in Atlantis Paradise Island (Courtesy Atlantis)
The Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the beautiful Bahamas offers a great family-friendly vacation with its amazing waterpark and unique activities for kids of all ages. Kids and toddlers can feed fish and sea turtles and wade in pools together with live fish and sea animals. The Dolphin Cay gives you and the kids the chance to swim with the dolphins and interact with sea lions. Stay at the Atlantis Royal Towers Suites Paradise Island and take advantage of the babysitting services and the Paradise Island Kid’s Club to give you the chance to enjoy some time for yourselves in the Mandara Spa, on the golf course or at one of the gourmet restaurants.
North of the Border
Victoria, British Columbia (Flickr: Laszlo Ilyes)
Victoria, the beautiful capital of British Columbia, Canada is the perfect choice for a holiday if you and the kids are looking for some old-world English charm close to home. Ferries bring tourists over to Victoria on Vancouver Island from nearby Vancouver and Seattle. Due to having the mildest climate in Canada, Victoria, the city of gardens, is green all year round and is full of family-friendly attractions. During the spring break, the Butchart Gardens are a breathtaking sight to behold. Your kids will love the Rose Carousel with its hand carved animals in the Children’s Pavilion. There is also a special stroller-friendly Family Walk with baby changing areas along the way. Saturday nights have special fireworks displays. Fisherman’s Wharf is not only a chance to eat fish and chips, but you can also go kayaking or join an exciting whale watching cruise to see Humpback, Gray and Minke whales, plus the world’s largest concentration of Orca killer whales. This will be an experience the kids will never forget! The kid-friendly Beacon Hill Children’s Park with its Watering Garden water play park and Children’s Farm is not to be missed. The family-friendly Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Hotel Resort & Spa has kid-friendly amenities and babysitting services, so you can also have some time for yourselves.
On the Border
Niagara Falls in Canada (Flickr: Joe deSousa)
If you are looking for a great family-fun vacation outside of the US, but don’t want to go too far away, you can cross over from Niagara Falls, NY to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, Ontario. Niagara Falls, Canada has a fantastic view of the Falls, and is full of really great kid-friendly attractions such as indoor waterparks and Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours. The Journey behind the Falls takes you and the kids down an elevator shaft that allows you to literally stand behind the cascading falls. The DoubleTree Fallsview Resort and Spa by Hilton is a great family-friendly place within walking distance to Niagara Falls and the Clifton Hill Street of fun. You can save money by buying a Clifton Hill fun pass. Babysitting services can give you some time for yourselves in the spa, fitness room or for a meal alone.
(MORE: Find more spring break travel ideas and have the perfect spring getaway with the family.)
Lisbon, the capital of Portugal is one of the world’s most beautiful and oldest hill-top cities on the Atlantic coast and Tagus River. Lisbon’s warm Mediterranean climate lends itself to all kinds of family-friendly attractions. The Oceanarium of Lisbon is one of the best aquariums in Europe. The Lisbon Zoo also hosts the Animax Amusement Park. Probably the most kid-fun attraction of all is the Badoca Safari Park near Lisbon with free roaming wild animals. Lisbon also has kid-friendly historical sites to visit like the Castle of St. George. The family-friendly Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon has many kid-friendly amenities and also arranges kids’ tours. Their babysitting services offer you the chance to pamper yourselves in the spa or have an evening out.
Josephine Levin contributed this to MiniTime.