Spring break is coming, and while everyone could use a warm-weather vacation, many families need to keep thier getaways a little closer to home. Luckily, New England is packed with fun family trip destinations that are easy to get to (and easy on the wallet). From farm animal encounters to indoor water park adventures, these overnight or weekend itineraries in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Maine can be planned at the last minute and still provide lasting memories for kids.
Can't get away for more than a day? Check out our very favorite Boston day trips and Connecticut day trips for families with young kids.
April is a special time to visit farm animal babies and mothers in Vermont. Photo courtesy of Billings Farm
1. Spring Break Trip to Woodstock, Vermont
Beyond just strolling around this quintessential town, the area has a lot to offer families in the way of fun—especially on the farm! Billings Farm celebrates its newborn baby farm animals throughout April. Or, bring kids to the lesser-known, but just as special Sugarbush Farm, where you'll able to sample cheese produced at the farm, learn how maple syrup is made and interact with animals. Animal lovers should also visit the Vermont Institute of Natural Science to take in live raptor shows and to catch feedings of small frogs, eagles, and more. Hiking trails of varying ability levels abound near Woodstock; stop by Quechee Gorge for a stunning peek at one of Vermont’s most beautiful sights. Offering everything from s'more making kits to an indoor pool to a retro game room, The Woodstock Inn is the perfect place for your fam to rest their heads after all your adventures.
2. Spring Break Trip to Jay, Vermont
While Jay Peak Resort is a solid four-hour drive from Boston, it is definitely worth it when you get there. The resort also has its own water park, Pump House, which has water slides, surfing, a lazy river, and poolside rock climbing. Down the road, there's an indoor climbing facility with an adjacent movie theater, Clips and Reels. But what really makes this destination stand out for spring break is the fact that the ski mountain stays open until the end of April. That means you can hit the slopes and ski, and then relax at the pool after!
Kids will get a kick out of seeing beluga whales, shark feeding, and sea lion shows at the Mystic Aquarium. Photo courtesy of the aquarium
Beyond being a classically charming New England seaside town, Mystic has a lot going for it that makes it a great destination for a getaway with kids. Don’t miss the beluga whales, shark feeding and sea lion shows at the Mystic Aquarium. Book your stay at the Hilton Mystic and you can walk right out to the aquarium, along with Olde Mistick Village, an area filled with restaurants and shops. The hotel also has an indoor pool, always a win on vacay! The nearby Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center has 10 miles of trails to explore plus a hawk and owl sanctuary and butterfly house. At Mystic Seaport, kids can tour the last wooden whale ship, build their own toy boats, play on kid-size boats and visit the children’s museum. The Seaport also offers several ways for the whole family to get out on the water. And while your kids may not get the reference, a stop at the famous Mystic Pizza is a must!
Less than a two hours drive will bring you to this waterfront city in Maine known for its amazing restaurants and food. And while your picky kiddos may not have the palates to appreciate what Portland is serving up in the restaurant department, they will easily fall in love with this city. Little conductors will love hopping aboard the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad, and if the weather is agreeing with your trip, a ferry ride to Peaks Island is a great adventure. Portland's Children's Museum, meanwhile, is an awesome indoor option. Book your stay at Residence Inn Portland Downtown/Waterfront, which offers family-friendly suites, and you can walk to pretty much everything, enjoy free breakfast, and make a splash in the indoor pool.
There are lots of interactive exhibits at the Providence Children's Museum. Photo courtesy of the museum
A trip to Providence calls for a visit to the Roger Williams Zoo which is home to elephants, zebras, giraffes and more. If you want to make the visit extra special, splurge and book an animal encounter package like feeding the giraffes! After you've gone wild at the zoo hit the river for a gondola ride through the city and a visit to the super interactive Providence Children's Museum. The Omni Providence Hotel is a great hotel option, located right downtown, that gives your little travelers a backpack filled with games, crayons, and snacks when you check-in.
6. Spring Break Trip to Plymouth, Massachusetts
Just before you head over the bridge to Cape Cod will land you in historic Plymouth. Book your family at the John Carver Inn which boasts an indoor water park complete with a waterslide and life-sized replica of the Mayflower. While your kids may not even want to leave the hotel, there is plenty more to do in the area. Travel back in history and visit Plimoth Plantation. During school vacation week there will be daily activities. Twenty minutes away will land you at Edaville Family Theme Park, home to the one and only Thomas Land.
Seuss's hometown has The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum. Photo courtesy of Springfield Museums
Dr. Seuss books have been beloved for generations, so there’s a chance you once loved them as much as your kids do now. The man behind the whimsical stories was born in Springfield and his work is commemorated there at the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum and Sculpture Garden. After interactive Seussical adventures with book favorites like the Lorax and a visit to Whoville, visit the other Springfield Museums for ever-changing exhibits in science, history and art. Hop in the car for a quick 30-minute drive north to Deerfield for a visit to the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory. The 8,000 square foot facility houses nearly 4,000 butterflies from New England and around the world. Pop into the on-site Monarchs Restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Wrap up your trip with a visit to Six Flags in nearby Agawam! Book your stay at the MGM Springfield, located right downtown, which features even more fun— including a movie theater, bowling, an arcade, restaurants and more.
8. Spring Break Trip to North Conway, New Hampshire
A trip to the Red Jacket Inn is a vacation in itself. Not only does the hotel have a gigantic indoor water park, Kahuna Laguna, it also features an arcade and daily kids activities like cookie decorating and craft projects. But North Conway has so much more fun to offer in springtime, too. Train lovers will love hopping aboard the Conway Scenic Railroad for an old fashion train ride. A visit to New Hampshire's first aquarium is also a must! Living Shores has multiple touch tanks filled with everything from hermit crabs to sharks along with tons of ocean-themed interactive exhibit. If you are delaying travel until May or later—or plan to return to the fun-packed White Mountains area after a successful springtime visit—Story Land will be open then, too.