Last-Minute Spring Break Escapes Ideas

Hooray for almost-Spring Break! If you have the kids and are off work, you likely fall into one of two camps:

“Let’s check out some of the cool stuff that’s going on for SXSW!”…and hang out the rest of the time. If this sounds like you, we invite you to peruse our Spring Break Planner and  Top Kid-Friendly Events During SXSW 2015 articles.

 …or…

“I’m getting OUT OF HERE! I don’t want to be ANYWHERE near downtown. It’s just easier to skip town than deal with the headaches if we stay in town.”

If you fall into the second camp, we totally get it. Traffic and parking downtown can be a nightmare under normal circumstances, so attempting it when an extra 300,000 people are in town does not sound like much of a vacation.

Here are some ideas for those of you inspired to flee, but not sure yet where to go:

DALLAS

We took a short road trip to Dallas to visit a friend and recounted our adventures here. Here are a few recommendations of places to go over Spring Break in the Dallas area:

Dallas Arboretum

I’ve been hoping to make a trip up to the Big D to explore the Children’s Adventure Garden, which opened in 2013. Check out what is going on at the Garden over Spring Break.

Perot Museum

The Perot Museum has some great exhibits, including the Then and Now Hall for your dino lovers, the Sports Hall for kinetic learners and a great area for kids 5 and younger on the bottom floor. See the Museum’s expanded Spring Break offerings here and read about our experience visiting here.

LEGOLAND discovery center

If you have a LEGO enthusiast like me, you can easily burn half a day at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Grapevine. You can read about our experience here. There is nothing different planned for Spring Break that I could tell, but heavier crowds than normal are expected, so the website encourages you to reserve tickets online in advance.

WACO

We have also spent part of our Spring Break in Waco. The nice thing is that it’s such a short trip you could easily do all of these attractions as day trips.

Mayborn MuseumThe Mayborn was a really cool science museum that I was surprised I had never heard about. You can read about our trip here. Right now, the Museum’s traveling exhibit is The Magic School Bus Kicks Up a Storm, which focuses on weather.
AdvertisementCameron ZooCameron Park Zoo is nice and manageable — not too huge — with a nice playground in the middle. You can read about our experience here. You can feed the fish over Spring Break and The Zoo will have shuttles over Spring Break to accommodate larger-than-usual crowds.

Waco Mammoth SiteIf your littles can hang out through a guided tour, you’ll have a chance to learn a lot about mammoths in Central Texas at the Waco Mammoth Site. You can read more about our experience here. The Site will have expanded Spring Break hours as well as a special Mammoths on the March event.

SAN ANTONIO

San Antonio is also a very doable day trip from Austin. Here are some places you might want to check out:

The Alamo

You certainly won’t be the only people to have this idea (notice the line when we visited one Spring Break), a trip to The Alamo is a no-brainer when you visit San Antonio. A visit to the gift shop might take you as long as the time you spend inside the main building. Don’t forget to get a coonskin cap!

Witte Museum

We’ve really enjoyed visiting the Witte Museum when we are in San Antonio. There is always something interesting for my kid to explore, whether it’s the exhibits inside or the interactive H-E-B Body Adventure in the “treehouse”.

Natural Bridge Ranc and CavernsOn the way home from San Antonio, there are two fun places to go: Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch and Natural Bridge Caverns. We wrote about our experience at the Wildlife Ranch here. The Caverns are practically next door to the Ranch, and although you could do both in one day, you can easily spend a half day at either.

HOUSTON

Last year, we spent four days of our Spring Break in Houston. Here’s where we explored:

Children's Museum of HoustonHouston has an amazing Children’s Museum – one of the best we have ever visited. You can read about our trip here. Just like last year, there is a ton of extra programming planned, just for Spring Break.

HMNS Spring Break

The Houston Museum of Natural Science was a great place to visit in Houston. You can read about our experience here. I was a little intimidated because of all the warnings about crowds over Spring Break, but we got arrived right as the Museum was opening and had no problems. The Morian Hall of Paleontology was a highlight. Right now, there are special exhibits on wildlife photography, Samurai, Faberge eggs and sharks.

Space Center Houston

Older kids really enjoy Space Center Houston, where there are many exhibits to explore the outer reaches of the galaxy. You can read about our experience here. The Space Center has all kinds of cool stuffed planned for Spring Break. See the schedule here.

This Spring Break, we are heading to the Hill Country for a few days and then coming back to experience the middle and end of SXSW. We have explored Enchanted Rock in the past, and this year we are planning to stay at the Mayan Dude Ranch and explore Fredericksburg. Any places you’d suggest we go?

About Nicole Basham 793 Articles
A native Austinite and soccer-playing mom, Nicole uses her 10-year-old son as an excuse to rediscover her hometown through his eyes. In Thoreau's words, her mission is to "suck out all the marrow of life", or in her son's words, to cultivate in him a love of "advenchers".

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