5 Best Cheap Spring Break Trips For Families

by | Feb 1, 2023 | Destinations, Family Adventures, USA

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Whether you like to hike, tan on the beach, or go for thrilling rides on roller coasters – a family spring break trip doesn’t have to cost a fortune! With the United States having so many great destinations to choose from, it can be hard narrowing down the best places. We’ve compiled a list of the five best cheap spring break trip ideas for families! 

 

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Panama City Beach, Florida

Florida’s Panama City Beach is the perfect place for a wonderful and fun-filled family spring break. The warm weather makes spring break the perfect time to explore the area, hit up some theme parks or simply unwind on the beach.

 

Things To Do In Panama City, Florida

 

Cobra Adventure Park

One of Panama City Beach’s numerous little coastal amusement parks is Cobra Adventure Park. This park created a roller coaster specifically for little kids in addition to the Max Flight Simulator, sometimes known as “the roller coaster of the future.” 

 

Coconut Creek Family Fun Park

Coconut Creek Family Fun Park is another great place for children and adults. This tropical theme park contains waterfalls, 18-hole Mini–Golf courses, and the Gran Maze. The Gran Maze, about the size of a football field, offers unique and fun challenges for the entire family and is a great way to test your navigational skills. 

 

Emerald Coast Mirror Maze & Lazer Craze

Visit Emerald Coast Mirror Maze & Laser Craze when you’re in the mood for some mind games. Everyone will be entertained with this indoor facility’s activities! See if you can find your way out of the glow-in-the-dark maze of mirrors. At 2300 square feet, the maze is the 3rd largest in the country! 

Sea Screamer Cruise

Kids love to run around slow-moving boats and the cruises on Sea Screamer Cruise will give parents the chance to kick back while the kids enjoy watching the scenery float by. Families can ride for 10 miles around some of the most beautiful beaches and resorts in the world for about $17–$27.

 

How To Get To Panama City Beach From Los Angeles

Fly into Panama City. It can be about a six hour flight with one stop. Use Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights). Don’t worry; you can use the free membership to do this. You can also try Expedia to find cheap flights. The beach is a 20-minute drive from Panama City, but (thankfully) you can also use Expedia to rent a car for as low as $5 a day. Don’t want to rent a car? Take the bayway for $1.50! 

 

Best Budget Hotel In Panama City Beach

We think the Flamingo Hotel and Tower is the best cheap hotel in Panama City. Panama City beaches are only a 1 minute’s walk away, and you’ll also have easy access to shopping and dining as well (all within a 15-minute walk). 

 

 

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

It’s no shock that Myrtle Beach has been listed as one of the best spring break destinations. This seaside small town is the ideal environment for leisure and pleasure. Whether you want to enjoy the sun all day or go for a stroll on the beach at dusk, Myrtle Beach is the perfect spring break vacation.

 

Things To Do In Myrtle Beach

 

Myrtle Beach Skywheel

Visit the Southeast’s highest ferris wheel – the Myrtle Beach Skywheel. With a max height of 190 feet, you’ll be able to see views of the Grand Strand and the Atlantic Ocean. Riding the SkyWheel is one of the most exhilirating family activities in Myrtle Beach for those with young and older children.

 

The Ripley’s Aquarium

Every child is sure to have fun at The Ripley’s Aquarium. The aquarium offers an array of activities and exhibits, such as the Rio Amazon, where kids can meet freshwater stingrays, poison dart frogs, and piranhas. Tour the Marine Science Research Center and experience how workers rescue and take care of the animals! Also, be sure to add the Glass Bottom Boat Adventure to your list. This experience places only three inches of glass between you and the dangerous reef’s inhabitants – the first of its kind in North America. Enjoy it all for only $9.99 per person. What a steal! 

 

Family Kingdom

Family Kingdom is an amusement park for ages 6 and up, and showcases more than 38 thrilling rides for children and adults. All day unlimited wristbands for adults and children are $32.95 – making this park super affordable compared to any of the Disney theme parks. 

 

How To Get To Myrtle Beach From Los Angeles

Fly into Myrtle Beach International Airport, just 3 miles from Myrtle Beach. It can be a six-hour connecting flight through Delta. Start your research for flights with exclusive discounts from Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights). Try out their free 7-day membership to save BIG money. There’s no need to buy a membership (you’ll still have access to great deals with their free trial).

Another excellent discount site for flights (and cars, hotels) is Expedia!  Rent a car at the airport or find a bus that can transport you to your destination. The cost for one person is $1.50, children under the age of six ride free, and seniors pay $0.75.

 

Best Budget Hotel in Myrtle Beach

Coral Beach Resort Hotel & Suites is a great hotel option if you’re looking for somewhere inexpensive but convenient to stay. It’s only a 1 minute walk from beaches, and a 9 minute walk from Family Kingdom Amusement Park. The hotel has an indoor pool and restaurants and entertainment on site (arcade/game room, bowling alley, 4 restaurants). 

 

 

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Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite National Park’s towering mountains, lush forests, and breathtaking views make it one of the most perfect spring break destinations for the whole family.

 

Things To Do In Yosemite National Park

 

Scenic Drives

Taking a scenic drive through Yosemite is an experience like no other, with winding roads, towering sequoia trees, and vistas stretching for miles. If you choose to drive from Los Angeles, you will encounter the almost 1 mile-long tunnel at the Yosemite Valley entrance. And boy, oh boy, what a wonderful sensation it is to cross over into the sunshine on the other side! 

 

Hikes

As amazing as the drives here are, don’t stay trapped in your car! Take a short day hike and explore the outdoors. With Yosemite’s wide range of trails and endless views, families will be sure to have an unforgettable time hiking in this national park.

 

Junior Ranger Program

Kids can participate in the junior ranger program in all national parks including Yosemite. To earn the official junior ranger badge, kids must complete educational exercises in a booklet and collect a bag of garbage to aid in maintaining the park’s cleanliness. The aspiring rangers must also participate in a program led by a ranger. This is intended for children between the ages of 7 and 13, but can be completed by anybody. 

 

Giant Sequoias

Visit the Giant Sequoias – the largest trees in the world! These trees grow to at least 200 feet. Visit the Mariposa Grove, Tuolumne Grove, or Merced Grove to marvel at these massive trees! 

 

Horseback Riding

Horse lovers can go horseback riding with the Yosemite Cowboys for a unique experience in a National Park. This is a perfect activity for adventurous older children and adults. However, kids as young as 7 can participate! 

 

Water Activities 

Enjoy the many water activities that Yosemite National Park has to offer such as fun water sports, such as swimming, kayaking, and rafting. Swimming is permitted in all bodies of water with the exception of a few, so go for a swim in the Merced River. Kayaking is available at Tenaya Lake and families can raft at Wawona. 

 

How To Get To Yosemite National Park from Los Angeles

Yosemite National Park is only a 4 ½ hour drive away from LA (and about 3 from San Francisco), which makes for the perfect road trip for the entire family. It’s a fairly short drive compared to other road trips, so if you don’t want to spend money on a hotel, wake up early and make it a day trip! 

 

Best Budget Hotel in Yosemite

Stay at Curry Village if you’re planning to stay in Yosemite. The hotel provides a seasonal outdoor pool and includes a cafe and a restaurant. It’s also only a five minute drive from Yosemite Visitor Center and a 10 minute walk away from five restaurants. 

 

 

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New Orleans, Louisiana

 

Things To Do in New Orleans

From a delectable food scene to unusual art in Jefferson Square, New Orleans is hard to forget. The city vibrates during most of the year but especially as the world wakes up during springtime!

 

Live Music

Music is an integral part of the brilliant culture of New Orleans. The city has a long history of musical influence, from early jazz and blues to modern hip-hop and R&B. Explore the sounds of New Orleans and experience its rich musical heritage by attending a live music show. Even if a live show is out of the family budget, there are plenty of free street performers to see during a visit. 

 

Mardi Gras

One of the best things to do on a spring visit to New Orleans is to watch a Mardi Gras parade. The costumes, floats, and beads make for an entertaining experience! Mardi Gras is also a great time to try New Orleans iconic food. Don’t miss local dishes like beignets, gumbo, and po’boys. And of course – follow the spices to Louisiana’s famous Cajun and Creole cuisine. 

 

The New Orleans Botanical Garden

New Orleans is home to beautiful botanical gardens. The New Orleans Botanical Garden at City Park is a great place to escape the commotion of city life and unwind by peaceful scenery. Spring is the best time to visit a garden! People love strolling past the 2,000 different plants and trees – from mesmerizing exotic ones, such as the white bat flower from India and the dinner-plate fig from New Guinea, to simple ones like the yaupon holly. There are also educational programs for children and adults, as well as special events throughout the year. Aspiring horticulturalists looking for unique garden accessories, and to learn a bit more about plants, could check out the Spring Garden Show. The show features music, arts & crafts, cooking demos, on April 1 and 2 from 9 AM to 4 PM. 

 

How To Get To New Orleans from Los Angeles

Fly into Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport; it’s a 3 1/2 hour direct flight. Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) is a great place to find cheap flights. Try out their free 7-day membership to save BIG money on flights. From there, rent a car or utilize public transit. Nine car rental companies operate within the airport. Use Expedia to find the best deal on all rental cars. As for public transportation, the Jefferson Parish Transit (JP) and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) will take you into the city for $1.50 and $1.25 respectively. 

Best Budget Hotel in New Orleans

La Quinta Inn by Wyndham New Orleans Slidell is the best, cheap hotel to stay at in New Orleans. At just $74 a night, you get free continental breakfast, free wifi, a gym, and an outdoor pool. Rooms also come with free cribs/infant beds! 

 

 

 

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Wisconsin Dells is a small city in south-central Wisconsin and is mostly known for being the waterpark capital of the world. It is no surprise that it is one of the most well-liked family tourist destinations in the midwest. 

 

Things To Do In Wisconsin Dells

 

Noah’s Ark Water Park 

Noah’s Ark Water Park, the largest water park in America, is one of Wisconsin Dells biggest attractions. The park is full of water slides, wave pools, a water coaster, and plenty of attractions to keep your kids wet! Be sure to come back this summer to see their new light and sound experience that will shock your senses! Other water parks include Mt. Olympus, and Kalahari

 

The Tommy Bartlett Exploratory

Bring the kids to explore the wonders of science at The Tommy Bartlett Exploratory! Enjoy 175 interactive activities, such as the Giant Lever, where you can pull on a rope to lift a 5,0000 – pound vehicle off the ground, and the High Wire Skycycle, where guests can pedal across a tightrope!  Also, fun fact – this is the only place on earth where you can feel and experience a real Russian Space Station MIR core module.

 

Bigfoot Rope Course

Kids who want to flex their muscles could head over to the Bigfoot Rope Course. This ropes course has 4 different levels of challenges with over 80 components. Some components include a helicopter that sits on top of the entire course, a pyramid, and a moving bridge. The only requirement for participants is that climbers must be over 48 inches tall. 

 

How To Get To Wisconsin Dells from Los Angeles 

Fly into Dane County Regional Airport, which ranges from 6-9 hours with 1 stop, and then drive 1 hour to Wisconsin Dells. Try Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) to find inexpensive flights. From there, rent a car or take a bus. Bus fares are $2 for adults, and $1.25 for youth. 

 

Best Budget Hotel in Wisconsin Dells

At Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park Resort, families will have access to an arcade, children’s pool, playground, waterslides, and a free waterpark! The train station is also a 3 minute drive away. 

 

 

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