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DJ Where Can I Take My Kids Over Spring Break?

· 02/04/2021 13:55
By Sara Clemence

AT THIS POINT in the pandemic, even the most committed homebodies are getting itchy feet -- and that goes double for people with kids at home.

Relief might be on the horizon. If the virus is brought under control over the next several weeks, spring break could be a chance for cooped-up families to escape for a spell. Of course, precautions are still essential, from wearing masks to following local rules to keeping a distance from other people.

We found five trips that take some of the stress out of the equation: domestic destinations, all but one driveable, with a focus on the outdoors and activities for everyone in the family. Be sure to read the fine print before booking, in case the world changes (again). If you're not ready to make the leap, that's OK -- there's always next year.

ISLAND

Mauna Lani, Hawaii

Hawaii's strict Covid precautions may make visiting the islands more challenging -- but also, arguably, safer. A destination worth the hassle: Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection, which reopened on serene Big Island last year after a $200-million renovation that brought a modern, organic feel to the property. Family-friendly features include a shallow, protected children's beach, a sandy-bottomed kids' pool and a kids' club. Cultural stewardship is important here -- the 32-acre property was an aquaculture site for ancient Hawaiians -- and Mauna Lani offers nature walks and workshops in lei-making, ukulele, weaving, among other activities sure to outshine the more pedestrian quarantine pastimes (see: breadmaking). As a bonus, the resort has partnered with an independent testing company to give guests the pre-departure Covid tests that Hawaii requires to avoid a lengthy quarantine. From $899 a night, aubergeresorts.com

MOUNTAINS

Yosemite National Park

While the weather in and around Yosemite can be especially variable in spring -- ranging from mild, sunny days to full-on snow -- there are payoffs to visiting in the shoulder season. Tourist traffic is light, snowmelt is pepping up the park's famous waterfalls, and wildflowers (including California poppies) are abloom. Children 10 and up can take daylong rock-climbing classes in the park (younger kids can do private lessons with an adult). In 2019, AutoCamp opened about 40 minutes away from the park's Arch Rock Entrance. It offers custom, 31-foot Airstreams that can sleep a family of four, fully furnished canvas tents, or a combination of the two -- including a mini suite with a trailer and a separate kids' tent. You can book an array of local activities, including kid-friendly fly-fishing excursions and guided Yosemite tours. From $199 a night, autocamp.com

BEACH

Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego

It's (almost) always sunny in San Diego. And the city's beachfront grand dame resort has upped its game in ways that help families take advantage of the weather. In a new, stand-alone section of the hotel. some of the refurbished guest rooms have patios that open toward the sand; others face the main pool, which has had a much-needed face-lift. With California's stay-at-home orders being lifted, the resort is bringing back signature amenities such as private family s'mores roasts and movies on the beach. The DelVenture Kids Center, under renovation now, is scheduled to reopen before spring break. If the kids are too restless to stay in the resort, you can take advantage of naturally distanced activities nearby, including hiking Torrey Pines State Park, taking in a film at the South Bay Drive-in Movie Theatre, or visiting the San Diego Zoo -- which requires reservations for now. From $489 a night, hoteldel.com

HISTORY

Maryland's Eastern Shore

For East Coast families who aren't ready to travel too far, the Eastern Shore is an easy escape -- a little over an hour's drive from Washington, D.C., including a dramatic ride across the 4.3-mile-long Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Make the trip a mix of charming towns, outdoor activities and historic sites. Abolitionist Frederick Douglass was born in Talbot County; you can take a self-guided driving tour related to his life. The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway begins in Cambridge, home to a visitor's center and museum that's open by reservation only. For dining, head to Easton, a little town that's gradually being revitalized with restaurants and shops including Weather Gage Coffee, refined European restaurant Bas Rouge, and the indie bookstore Flying Cloud Booksellers. For a waterfront stay with ample space to roam, book the 342-acre Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, from $169 a night, hyatt.com

RANCH

Vermejo, New Mexico

If it's open space you and your clan are craving, maybe 558,000 acres will do the trick. Vermejo, which spreads from northeastern New Mexico into southern Colorado, is the largest of media mogul Ted Turner's conservation-and-hospitality properties. It encompasses 10 miles of mountain-biking track, 12 miles of hiking trails, 19 fishable lakes and an extensive kids' program, Junior Trackers. Younger guests can embark on fishing tours, geocaching expeditions, craft workshops, wildlife-tracking trips and horsemanship lessons among other pursuits. (There's also a spa for grown-ups.) Accommodations range from stone cottages to the newly opened Turner House, whose 10 guest rooms will fit the largest of families. Vermejo's spring-break deal: Stay for three nights and get two days of free privately guided tours and activities. From $1,300 a night, tedturnerreserves.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 04, 2021 13:55 ET (18:55 GMT)

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