Spring Break Ideas for the Family

Schools place spring break on the calendar anytime between late February and early April, but March is by far the most popular month for this mid-semester break. And for the most part, people aren’t flying to places like Alaska either — in 2015, a survey of students found that more than half planned to visit warm weather spots like Mexico, Las Vegas, and especially Florida.

But while spring break is often associated with debauchery, it’s also a great time for families to get away from the daily grind and hang out in a relaxing, sunny environment. Here are some ways you and your family can take full advantage of spring break this year with a trip to Florida.

Florida water sports

Florida is the Sunshine State, so of course spring breakers will flock there in March and April. In fact, spring break is actually a bad time to visit theme parks like Disney World, because everyone else has the same idea and the lines are extra long. But you can still find a lot of family-friendly activities when you head to a place like Florida.

Consider paddle boarding Florida on your spring break getaway. If that doesn’t sound like an activity that kids can do, don’t worry: it’s perfectly safe as long as you child wears a life jacket and knows how to swim. They’ll also be attached to a leash, and we don’t mean the kind you use to walk your dog. This is a leash that attaches to their feet and makes sure the paddleboard stays with them. Depending on their age and swimming strength, you should also probably stay with them as much as possible.

You can’t go to a beach without seeing people standing up on paddle boards to explore the water. It’s a fun activity that provides a good workout, but it’s not nearly as stressful as something like surfing. You’re not trying to catch a monster wave on a paddleboard, for instance.

If you’d prefer to paddle from a seated position inside a boat, no problem. You can rent a kayak and take it out in the water just as easily. For a real adventure, consider something like snorkeling. It’s not something you can jump in the water and do right away — you’ll need to get trained a little first. But it’s a worthwhile activity that allows you to gain a new perspective on water and marine life.

Rainy day activities

The weather in Florida is famously great, but it still gets plenty of thunderstorms. In fact, Florida had the second-most cloud-to-ground lightning strikes in America. It’s not safe to be in the water during lightning, so you’ll want to plan for a few rainy day activities just in case you run into a storm during your spring break visit.

If you’re in the Brevard County area on the Atlantic Coast, you should check out the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The first space shuttle launched from Florida’s Cape Canaveral in 1981, and the program continued for 30 years until the final flight of Atlantis in July 2011. The program had plenty of triumphant moments, but it also had its fair share of tragedies, among them the Challenger explosion in 1986 and the disintegration of Columbia in 2003.

Speaking of Atlantis, the space shuttle is on display at the visitor complex. Needless to say, there aren’t a lot of space shuttle displays you can visit. In fact, there are only four, and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has one of them. Florida is known for its beaches and sunshine, but checking out this complex will remind you that this part of the state is also known as the Space Coast.