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Spring Family Travel Deals: Universal, Disney, Hershey, DC and More

The travel industry calls May and June the shoulder season. Kids are still in school and many resorts are operating at a low capacity. If you can plan to get away, crowds are thin, prices low.  Choose a Disney or Universal getaway to Orlando. East Coast families can find deals in Delaware, Washington, D.C., New Hampshire and Hershey, PA.  If Mother Nature is on the program, Estes Park, Colorado is a beautiful spot with fabulous deals.  If you crave sun, the Waikiki Parc Hotel and the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach are just the ticket for a glorious family vacation.

Universal Orlando Resort
This might be the right time to book a Universal Orlando Vacation and visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  A new on-site hotel, Cabana Bay Beach Resort., has just opened.  It’s a moderately priced retro-themed resort complete with a 10-lane bowling alley, lazy river and two large pools. Perks such as early park entrance can reduce the stress that often comes with visiting a crowded theme park.  Special rates are available during the preview period, now until June 14.  Book a standard room and get a spacious family suite, complete with a kitchenette, for no extra charge. Rates vary, but I have seen them for as low as $134 per night when you book a three night stay.

Downtown Disney
B Resort is a new property in Downtown Disney.  It is offering introductory rates starting at $159 per room, per night.  You need to book this by May 31 for stays from June 1- September 30, 2014.  The 394 guest rooms are loaded with modern amenities, like free Wi-Fi and LCD televisions.  The zero-entry heated pool is a winner, and there are many dining options on premise.  Catch the complimentary shuttle to all Disney Parks and avoid the hassle of parking.  Take a taxi from the Orlando airport and you can enjoy a Disney vacation without renting a car.

Downton Abbey in Delaware
Is your family hooked on the PBS series Downton Abbey?  Perhaps a visit to Wilmington, Delaware is in order.  Head to Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library for The Costumes of Downton Abbey exhibit, running until January.  You can see 40 original costumes worn in the series and lots of artifacts from the show.  Winterthur is pure eye-candy, with its 1,000 acres of rolling hills and meadows.  Its extensive gardens are a poetic vision.  Stay at The Hotel Du Pont and you will feel like the elegant aristocrats of Downton Abbey.  This Grand Dame hotel is offering Winterthur’s Downton Abbey Exhibit Package for $259 nightly.  It includes a palatial room, tickets to the exhibit, a fancy breakfast and more.

New Hampshire
The Mountain View Grand Resort is a beautiful family hotel nestled high in the White Mountains.  Families will find loads of activities to choose from.  There is an in-house movie theater and a small working farm that lets you perform chores such as collecting eggs.  Hike, bike, golf or swim.  Guest rooms are all thoughtfully appointed and don’t skimp on luxuries.  If you can travel midweek, the Midweek Special offers a 25% discount off the room rate, plus a free bountiful breakfast, valid until May 15.

Hershey, PA.
A visit to Hershey is a chocolate lovers dream come true and a classic family vacation.  Deal-seekers should plan their visit for May 9-June 12. Stay at the casual Hershey Lodge or the elegant Hotel Hershey and kids 17 and under receive a free breakfast and free admission to Hersheypark. Ask for the Kids Stay, Play and Eat Free Package when booking.

Washington, D.C.
The Marriott Marquis Washington, DC is offering the Summer Weekends Deal, starting at a low $90 per room, per night.  Guest must stay for three nights, Thursday-Sunday, June-September.  Use promo code NEW when booking.  The property has over 1,000 rooms, adjacent to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.  With so many free activities, low fares on Megabus and children’s discounts on Amtrak, a bargain getaway is easy.

Estes Park, Colorado
Spring is a terrific time to visit a National Park.  The crowds are light and weather is usually fine.  Estes Park, Colorado is an excellent base camp if you want to visit Rocky Mountain National Park.  Estes Park caters to vacationing families who want to enjoy time together amidst splendid natural scenery.  Hike, horseback ride and glimpse the abundance of wildlife.  The Winter Special runs through May 21. When you stay two nights at any Rocky Mountain Resorts properties, you get the third night free.  Estes Park is a short drive from Denver. The Denver airport is well served by price-savvy airlines such as Frontier and Jet Blue.

Miami Beach
Soak up the Florida sunshine at the Fontainbleau Hotel, an old-school classic with modern flair.  The Spring Forward offer has rates starting at $209 per night for standard guestrooms. Guests will receive the fourth night free when they stay for three nights. The travel window for this offer is May 1 through June 30, excluding June 27-28.

Waikiki Parc Hotel, Waikiki, Hawaii
The Waikiki Parc Hotel offers top-notch service in a fabulous location.  The beach and rooftop pool are unbeatable, the overall vibe contemporary and tropical.  Guest rooms are airy and chic.  This boutique hotel has just launched a complimentary daily exercise program.  Older kids and teens can join their parents in a poolside yoga or qui gong class as part of the Parc Active program.  It is a great way to introduce the family to a healthy activity.  The Parc Sunrise Package gives you a room, parking, buffet breakfast and complimentary admission to Honolulu’s most important museums and cultural attractions, staring at $251 per night.  Kids under 17 stay free in-room with their parents.