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8 Family-Friendly Spring Break Ideas

  • Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

    Cruise Around Hawaii

    Unpack just once and see Hawaii’s exotic islands on a weeklong sailing excursion. Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America leaves from Honolulu and stops at Maui, Kauai and the Big Island of Hawaii. You can see black sand beaches and experience a traditional luau, with fares starting at about $1,400 a person. (Kids in a stateroom with two adults are just $499 each.) Drop off children ages 3 to 12 at a complimentary Splash Academy day camp.

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  • Courtesy Rocking Horse Ranch

    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, N.Y., offers diversions for every family member, including nightly entertainment and a spa for soothing massages. Rates include meals. 

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  • Getty Images

    Enjoy Colorado’s Sunny Slopes

    Skiing vacations can mean a mountain of costs. Colorado's Crested Butte Mountain Resort, located in an 1880s mining town, gives families a break, with free lift tickets for kids 12 and under from April 1 to 8. You can get $100 off each person's airfare, plus get a free fourth night at the hotel, for travel between March 6 and April 16 if you book via Crested Butte Vacations. Skate, snowshoe, take a ride in a dogsled or bounce on the resort's bungee trampoline.

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  • National Geographic

    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.

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  • David Coleman/Alamy

    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.

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  • Club Med

    Go All-Inclusive With Club Med

    All-inclusive vacations in the United States are hard to find, but they can be a great value for families and can include copious food and drink and almost nonstop activities. At Club Med Sandpiper Bay, about two hours north of Miami, children and teens can learn to sail at a supervised day camp while adults golf, play tennis or lounge on the beach with a complimentary piña colada.

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  • JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

    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.

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  • Shannon Hibberd/Getty Images

    Immerse Yourself in Nature

    From hiking narrow canyons and stargazing under pitch-black skies to walking on salt flats that resemble a lunar landscape, adventures await at Death Valley National Park. Straddling California and Nevada, the park can be beautiful in spring, when wildflowers bloom and the high temperature averages around 90 degrees. (Hey, that's better than 116 in July!) If you want a stylish place to sleep, check out the inn at the Oasis at Death Valley in California.

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