Family Travel

Cheap Spring Break Travel Ideas for Families on a Budget

Is there a way to travel for cheap with kids during spring break? The short answer is... yes!

While some might automatically head to Orlando or even the Caribbean for spring break, airfare for a family of four can quickly add up to waaaay over budget. Families-in-the-know deploy a few tricks to plan a fun spring break vacation for the kids without blowing their mortgage payment, from scoring a secret deal to compromising a bit on the location.

There are plenty of family-friendly cities and destinations that cost a bit less but don’t scrimp on the family attractions, including top museums, eateries, beaches, and even amusement parks.

Read on for some of our editors’ favorite hacks in planning a cheap spring break and where they like to vacation as a family!

Cartoon Network Hotel to Open in Pennsylvania Dutch Country

Fans of Cartoon Network's Adventure Time, We Bare Bears, Ben 10, The Powerpuff Girls, and other programs are getting a treat this summer. The TV network and Palace Entertainment are working together to open the Cartoon Network Hotel, a kid-friendly resort steeped in the channel's animated world, for summer 2019.

The nine-acre, 165-room property will be located in central Pennsylvania's Lancaster County along Route 30. It will neighbor Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park, which is also owned by Palace Entertainment, so a family could easily enjoy both attractions in one trip. It is the Cartoon Network's first themed hotel.

Seems like there's one more reason to plan a Pennsylvania weekend getaway with the kids.

Mall of America's Most Amazing Attractions for Kids of All Ages

Mall of America, located in the heart of the American Midwest in Bloomington, Minnesota, is nothing short of an indoor entertainment epicenter for kids. Sure, it has over 500 stores, but there’s way more to do than just go shopping at the country's largest mall (so big that it requires its own zip code: 55425).

From Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower to the Harley Davidson museum in Milwaukee, the Midwest is full of fun, interesting, and educational things that kids and their parents will love. Mall of America might possess a more commercial feel than some of the area's other travel destinations, but it also likely offers the most entertainment per square foot (5.4 million square feet to be exact) with some of the most popular kids' characters and brands on hand, including Lego, Nickelodeon, American Girl, and Paw Patrol. There's an indoor amusement park, aquarium, arcade, mini golf, and so much more, all within just a few minutes of the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.

Read on to check out our list of the top 25 amazing things that kids of all ages can do at Mall of America.

Stay on a Houseboat in Amsterdam for a Total Family Vacation Win

Amsterdam is a wonderful city to visit on a European family vacation. The city is kid friendly with lots of fun things to do for families, including wonderful parks, engaging museums, and many delicious restaurants to try. It's also relatively easy to navigate with children in tow.

The city is full of canals, which is another plus for kids as they often love to watch the boats or even take a ride. One of the most special (and affordable) ways to visit Amsterdam is to stay on an actual houseboat instead of in a hotel. 

When you visit Amsterdam, you can’t help but notice these charming houseboats lining the canals and Amstel River. They look so cozy, and many even have gardens growing around them. Our family stayed on a houseboat in Amsterdam for a long weekend and found it to be a comfortable and fun way to visit the city with children.

100 Things To Do in Chicago with Kids Before They Grow Up

Chicago is home to so many incredible parks, playgrounds, museums, and things to do with kids that one childhood doesn't seem like enough time to fit them all in—though who could blame you for trying? That's why we rounded up this list of great things to do with kids in Chi-town. Whether it's racing with your toddler through the sprinklers at Mary Bartelme Park, wowing your preschooler at the Field Museum, gliding with your grade-schooler on the skating ribbon at Maggie Daley Park, or taking in engineering marvels with your tween at the Chicago Architecture Center, take advantage of everything this beautiful city has to offer kids of all ages. We're also big fans of FREE fun, so we included as much of that as possible.

Whether you're a local or a visitor to the Windy City, we hope you can use this list to make some great new memories with your kids. Now I'm off to scarf some Chicago-style hot dogs at Portillo's.

Preschoolers Get a Year of SeaWorld San Diego for $20, and Teachers Go Free in 2019

Need an excuse to have fun in San Diego this year? How about a deeply discounted, unlimited admission pass for your little kiddos to get into SeaWorld—all year? If you're a teacher, you get an even better deal, because you can have an unlimited admission pass completely free (and we know how much some teachers could use some good news this week). The Preschool Fun Card for preschoolers ages 3 to 5 is just $20 and good to visit through the end of 2019. If you're wondering, a regular, single-entry ticket for kids is $86.99, so to call this a good deal is almost an understatement.

25 Fun Things to Do with Kids in the Phoenix Area

At first glance, Phoenix might seem like just cactus and desert as far as the eye can see. Yet, there is so much more to this western city than scorching heat and golf. Families will find fantastic museums, unique attractions, such as a stunning desert botanical garden and a Butterfly Wonderland, as well as a fascinating history that makes this capital city come to life.

A trip to the Valley of the Sun makes a perfect winter getaway or spring break for sun seekers. There are water parks, pools, hiking, spas for the grown-ups and plenty of resorts from which to choose. We've already explored neighboring Scottsdale, Arizona, and now we want to take you on a tour of the 25 top things to do in Phoenix for families with kids. Whether you stay at a five-star resort or spend your vacation with family and friends, this gem of the Grand Canyon State has a little something for everyone.

Visiting Dallas, TX With Kids: Top 20 Things to Do

Visiting one of Texas' largest cities is just as daunting as visiting the state itself - it's so huge! We've narrowed down our favorite things to do and places to go in Dallas with our kids. Our biggest takeaway each time we visit friends in the area is how there is always something new to discover. The museums and gardens are top-notch, and because it's Texas you'll find delicious barbecue and Tex-Mex at virtually every corner. There's no shortage of reasons to love this city.

For more Texas-sized fun, check out our kid-friendly guide to San Antonio, Austin, and a plethora of things to do in Houston.

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