5 Things To Do This Spring Break
Finally, the weather is getting warmer, the sun is out longer, and the flowers are beginning to peek their heads up from the ground. For students, it also means a nice break from school, and a great opportunity not only for them to relax, but for the whole family, too.
An entire week may not sound like much time, however, day trips, tours, and even one night away could be a fantastic opportunity to learn. The classroom is great, but there is also much to absorb and experience outside of books and boards. This spring break, make the outdoors your child’s classroom.
Here are a few suggestions from us to you on how to maximize the upcoming spring break.
Before strapping-in to the week-long adventure, a general rule to keep in mind: Relax, but stick to a general schedule.
Spring break is there for a reason: so steam doesn’t begin rising from the student’s head after months and months of hard learning, note-taking, and testing. Kids (and their teachers) need a break from the routine. However, it shouldn’t be up-all-night, sleep-all-day break; it should be a not so dramatic break that doesn’t require endless taps of the snooze button on the first Monday after break is over. Stay up later, sure, but try to stay as close as possible to the school schedule.
Ready? Let’s go!
If traveling too far isn’t in your schedule this spring break, not to worry. There is plenty to do right here in New Jersey.
The Princeton University Art Museum is a great place for family. Filled with ancient art, contemporary art, prints, drawings, and photography, this museum is a great place to share some culture with your child. The best part? Admission is always free. After the museum, you can always check out the beautiful Princeton University campus, or the town of Princeton as a great day trip.
One of the loveliest places in New Jersey to visit is the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton. As guests make their way through landscaped gardens, they discover enormous, bright, and textured sculptures. One of the most famous exhibits is Seward Johnson’s life-sized re-creation of Renoir’s painting “Were You Invited?” Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $10 for students.
Take a trip to NYC
Now is the time to explore. Although you may not have a week off from work, it’s still possible to take a small trip into Manhattan. After all, the city doesn’t sleep, so there is plenty to do, even after typical work hours.
If you are free during the day, travel back in time to the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side. From dinosaurs to space travel, the 45 halls plus IMAX 3D theater has enough exhibits to fill the brain from sun-up to sun-down.
The museum suggests a certain donation ($22 for adults, $12.50 for children, $17 for seniors and students), but it is not necessary to pay full price.
Another great place to see beauty and history at the same time is The Metropolitan Museum of Art (also suggested donation similar to Natural History) on Fifth Avenue. Boasting over 5,000 years of art from all over the world, The Met is currently featuring Women Artists in Revolutionary France, Artistic Furniture of the Gilded Age, and Collecting the Arts of Mexico, among many others.
Last, but not least on our list is The Guggenheim Museum. Also located on the Upper East Side, the Guggenheim displays contemporary work from photographers, architects, painters, new online exhibitions, and much more. Admission for adults is $25, students and seniors are $18, and children under 12 are free. On Saturdays between 5:45 and 7:45 is a Pay What You Wish option when the museum takes donations instead of full ticket prices.
Don’t forget there is also a limitless amount of tours in Manhattan, including ones that actually go inside the museums and iconic places in the city. Fun family adventures can be found with Watson Adventures Scavenger Hunts.
Keep in mind some free and simple activities as well, like visiting Central Park, Grand Central Station (don’t forget to look up!), or Times Square.
Take a Hike
We don’t mean to be rude, but get out…side. If you’re not the city type, perhaps a walk in a national park would be more your speed? Check out these great day trip ideas only a hop over into the next state.
Known as the Niagara of Pennsylvania, Bushkill Falls in Bushkill, PA has magnificent views. The Falls itself is 300 acres, including 8 waterfalls, hiking trails, bridges and walkways. And although the climb is steep (about a 100 ft drop off the main waterfall), it’s designed with stairs throughout to avoid danger. Admission is $14.50 for adults, $13.50 for seniors, $8 for children (any child younger than 3 is free). Tours, mini-golf, and a resort are also on-site, so if you’re looking for more than a day trip, this could be the outside classroom you’re looking for.
If the stairs approach isn’t quite calling to you, take your hiking boots to some of the local trails only minutes away from the Pennsylvania bridge in
Delaware Water Gap. Rated from easy and moderate to difficult, there is a trail for everyone’s level. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, take the family on the famous Appalachian Trail (28 miles from Delaware Water Gap), which extends from Georgia to Maine and is over 2,000 miles. Trails are free.
Get colorful at The Crayola Factory
One of the friendliest places in the area to visit is the Crayola Factory in Easton, PA. Bright, colorful, and super fun, this place takes guests through the process of creating their famous crayons and markers. After seeing the tour, there are 26 hands-on activity stations throughout the factory. Melt and Mold, Doodle in the Dark, and Rainbow Rain are just a few of them. General admission for adults and children (2-15 years old) is $19.99 at the factory, or $16.99 online, and seniors (65+) are $16.99. If you happen to be a teacher, admission is free. Just let them know in advance for your ticket.
Take a week or weekend trip to Colonial Williamsburg, VA
If you have the privilege of time to take the family entirely out of the tristate area, check out Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.
A nice break from flat history textbooks at schools, Williamsburg is a fully functioning colonial town equipped with re-enactors, stores, food, and guided or self-guided tours. Forever stuck in time leading up to the Revolutionary War, this 17th century, refurbished town will get your family excited to be a part of history and their own country.
Day passes, packages, hotel stays, and spas are available through their website.