9 Last Minute Spring Break Vacation Ideas Around the South

East Beach at St. Simon’s Island

Spring Break is around the corner. You need a getaway for the kids and adults, and something that won’t break the bank.  We’ve rounded up nine Southern spots for Spring Break! You may have procrastinated on your vacation planning, but these selections still hold the promise of family fun.

Atlanta, GA – Never underestimate the fun in a stay-cation; relax in a downtown hotel, free from the stresses of home, and take in what Atlanta has to offer.  Consider a CityPass as an affordable way to see the sights you haven’t previously had time to share with the family. This 9-day pass will save you 43% off regular admission and allow you to skip most ticket lines, always a plus during Spring Break. See the Georgia Aquarium; World of Coca-Cola; Inside CNN Studio Tour; Zoo Atlanta or Center for Civil and Human Rights; and Fernbank Museum of Natural History or College Football Hall of Fame.

Beech Mountain, NC – Only a gas tank’s drive from Atlanta, this family-friendly ski town offers something for kids of all ages.  In addition to skiing, families can try the sledding hill, hike, toy around at the recreation center, or play in the snow. Stay at Pinnacle Inn and enjoy a heated pool or movies by the fire. Beginning March 4, the Ski Resort provides weekend lift tickets at weekday rates. This town is within 30 minutes of Hawksnest, which has great tubing opportunities, and Sugar Mountain, another ski resort.

Escape from Atlanta: Beech Mountain, NC

Money Saving Ski Vacation Tips for Atlanta Families

Pine Mountain, GA – Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA is an oasis of fun for a family, and it is not too far from home.  You can stay in the newly refurbished rooms at Mountain Creek Inn, or enjoy a more “home” like feel at the Southern Pine Cottages, which include kitchens, fireplaces and screened porches. The family can take a bike ride, tour the butterfly center, take in an animal show, zip through the trees, go fishing, and the list goes on! Right down the road is the Wild Animal Safari that is fun for all ages.  If you’re making an extended stay then consider a day trip from Callaway to Macon, GA to visit the Air and Space Museum.

Chattanooga, TN – Chattanooga is rich with kid-friendly attractions and adventure.  Downtown Chattanooga is a beautiful city with the Creative Discovery Museum for kids, the Tennessee Aquarium, and the Chattanooga Zoo (which is very affordable).  The Chattanooga Nature Center boasts a tree house and live animal encounters. Visit the Chattanooga Choo Choo and take a trolley ride, or visit the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum and venture out on an hour-long train ride. Add Rock City, the Towing Museum, a Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Riverboat to fill a full week with exploring.

Itinerary: 3-Day family trip from Chattanooga to Atlanta

Weekend Escape from Atlanta: Chattanooga, TN

Golden Isles, GA –Activities for children young and old abound in this beachy southern town.  At St Simon’s Island you can watch the dolphins play at the pier, get ice cream in the village, take a Trolley Tour, climb the lighthouse or fly a kite on East Beach.  At Jekyll you can visit turtles at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center or the 4-H Tidelands Nature Center, take a history tour, ride bikes along the paths around the island, or play at the beautiful Driftwood Beach.  Brunswick offers kayaking and hiking, and the opportunity to taste the original Brunswick Stew.

Great Wolf Lodge (Texas, North Carolina, Virginia, and 8 other locations) -A waterpark draw for the entire family that is accessible all year. For toddlers, or “wolf pups” as they are dubbed here, there are interactive story-times, activities and crafts at Cub Club, and special water slides just for the “48 inch and under” crowd. The whole family can enjoy family-friendly bowling alleys, mini-golf, arcades, and even a kids’ spa. Wolf-ear adorned and howling, munchkins and their families delight in the lodges interactive game MagiQuest™. Families embark on journeys throughout the property, up and down stairs, as they seek the answer to riddles and find items along your quest. We were shocked at how quiet the halls were in the morning, and conjecture that MajiQuest™ was a possible reason!

Merrit Island, FL – 140,000 acres of National Wildlife Preserve await you to explore Florida in it’s natural state. Check out the visitor’s center and boardwalk; hop in the car for a tour around Black Point Wildlife Drive, a seven-mile loop road that you may catch a glimpse of some of the over 500 species of animals that call it home. Don’t miss the chance to view manatees, in the wild, at the Haulover Canal. From the Canaveral National Seashore, the longest stretch of undeveloped beach on Florida’s East Coast, you can spy something else that calls Merritt Island home – NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Check NASA’s website for schedule of rocket launches. There is an Atlas rocket launch scheduled for March 12, 2015 at 10:44pm EST. Night launches are a unique experience. If you can’t see a rocket launch, you can check out all the adventure through tours, IMAX, and other hands-on options at Kennedy Space Center. Stay in neighboring Titusville for a low-key launching pad to all the activities, or spice up the adventure with a stay ocean-side in Cocoa Beach at the Ron Jon Resort.

Memphis, TN – Memphis is an adult Mecca of food and music, but did you know there is a great deal of fun for kids, too? Visit Graceland, the best city zoo, per Trip Advisor, and the Pink Palace Museum.  Enjoy the hands-on learning at the Children’s Museum of Memphis, drive a truck at the Memphis Fire Museum, riding the Trolley along the River, and tour the Gibson Guitar Factory. There is so much to do, but don’t leave without sampling the BBQ and visiting the ducks at the Peabody Hotel.

Outer Banks, NC – This laid-back beach city is perfect for basking in the sun and enjoying some seafood.  If you need a break from playing in the sand or watching the wild mustangs on the beach, you can climb the lighthouse, or go off-roading on the sand.  Visit the Wright Brothers Memorial or Roanoke Island where settlers landed 30 years prior to the Pilgrims. Schedule your arrival during daylight hours so your kiddos can enjoy crossing to the island in the ferry!

Article written in collaboration between Lori McMillen Brown and Lesli Peterson, and originally appeared on Expedition Mom on February 18, 2013. Updated March 10, 2014.

About Lesli Peterson
Lesli Peterson is owner of 365AtlantaFamily.com, believing every day is an adventure. You will rarely find her at home. She is always on the go with her husband and their four kids – down the road, across the country, or around the globe.

Spring Break in Atlanta: Free & Affordable Family Fun

Spring Break in Atlanta

For many families, Spring Break means a week full of activities to keep kids active and parents sane. Putting the kids in camp may not be an option for you due to budget or time. Never fear! We have come up with ways you can still enjoy fun things to do during Spring Break with kids in and around the Atlanta area.

Atlanta Spring Break Guide: Free & Affordable Family Fun


Outdoor Fun

Outdoor Adventures with Kids

Get out and enjoy the nice weather while you can, before the scorching temps hit. We are lucky to have a plethora of local parks around our city. Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it. Check out our 5 Family Favorite Outdoor Adventures in Atlanta for inspiration and more outdoor ideas.


Beach Time at Buford Dam Beach

Even though we don’t live on the coast, it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy water fun on the beach. Granted, it may not be Hilton Head. But a quick day trip to Buford Dam Park beach will provide a full day of fun in the water for the whole family.


Indoor Fun

Story Times & Special Events at Your Local Public Library 

Check out various story times at your local library. They have many ones listed to cover all age groups, from your tot to your tween.


Children’s Story Time at Local Bookstores

Fortunately, we have a handful of local bookstores (brand and independent) offering children’s story times. Check out our Story Time at Local Bookstores in Atlanta guide.


LEGO Mini Model Build @ LEGO Store Discover Mill Mall

On the 1st Tuesday of every month, kids ages 6 to 14 can participate in a Free LEGO Mini Model Build at local LEGO Store. Check out details here: LEGO Mini Model Build in Atlanta posts.


Home Depot Kids Workshop

Every first Saturday of the month, Home Depot hosts a Kids Workshop. Kids and parents work together on the project selected for that day. Check out details from our Home Depot Kids Workshop posts.


Michael’s Make-It Take-It

At Michael’s Art & Craft store, every weekend kids can enjoy making an arts & crafts project. Each weekend will be a different project. Check out details on schedule and upcoming projects from our Michaels’ Free Crafts for Kids posts.


Indoor Playground in Atlanta

If you would prefer to stay indoors, an indoor playground or soft play area in the mall is a good bet for younger kids. Most will have a height limit, but on a busy day it’s best to keep an eye out for overzealous kids. Check out our list of Indoor Playgrounds in Atlanta post for more detail on locations.


More Spring Break Guides in Atlanta

Spring Break Camps in Atlanta 2013: Atlanta Attractions Edition

Spring Break Camps in Atlanta

As we start packing our winter clothes and plan for our spring cleaning, I’m sure spring break is not far from your mind. And for many families that will stay put in town, it’s also time to start looking for fun things to do or spring break camps for kids. In this edition, we have rounded up Spring Break Camps in Atlanta from popular Atlanta attractions like the Georgia Aquarium, Zoo Atlanta, Atlanta Botanical Garden and many more. Kids will be able to choose from a fun spring break week at the Aquarium, in the Zoo, learning the art of acting or get back to nature.

Spring Break Camps in Atlanta 2013 – Atlanta Attractions Edition


Atlanta: Camp H2O @ Georgia Aquarium

Camp H2O is a day camp experience for children 5-11 years of age, offered during spring break. Each day of the week campers will discover, through hands-on activities, interviews and behind the scene experiences, what it’s like to work at the Aquarium.

Date:  Week of April 1-5 & April 8-12, 2013

Special Info: See website for more detail.


Atlanta: EnviroVentures Spring Break Camp @ Piedmont Park

EnviroVentures Camps at Piedmont Park offered to rising kindergartners (kindergarten class of fall 2013) through rising sixth graders. Due to Georgia Department of Early Learning regulations we cannot accept any campers who will not be 5 years old before program start date.

Each EnviroVentures Summer Camp session features outdoor sports and recreation, organic gardening, exploration of the park’s wetlands and wildlife areas, Wheels Fridays, arts and crafts, park stewardship, special programs and much much more!

Date: April 8-12, 2013

Special Info: See site for more info.


Atlanta: Spring Break Camps @ Alliance Theatre

Alliance Theatre offers various Spring Break camps for kids in different grades.

  • Grades K – 1: Creative Drama Camp
  • Grades 2 – 12: Musical Theatre Camp
  • Grades 6 – 8: Performing Arts Camp
  • High School and College Students: Teaching Assistant Program

Date: Week of April 1-5 & April 8-12, 2013

Special Info: See site for more info.


Atlanta: Spring Break Camps @ Atlanta Botanical Garden

Celebrate the splendid spring season and discover the spectacular flowers and animals emerging from winter slumber. As the weather warms, the natural world begins preparing for the warm summer season. Come and learn more about this fascinating process and enjoy two glorious Garden mornings of exploration, activities and artwork.

Date: April 11-12, 2013

Special Info: See site for more info.


Atlanta: Spring Safari Day Camps @ Zoo Atlanta

Spring Safari Day Camps provide a fun and exciting opportunity for hands-on learning, nature discovery and wildlife appreciation. Arts and crafts, educational activities, exclusive tours and up-close animal encounters serve to teach children about conservation and the environment.

Date: Week of April 1-5 & April 8-12, 2013

Special Info: See site for more info.


Roswell: Spring Break Camp @ Chattahoochee Nature Center

Head out to CNC for warm weather camp fun! Spring Break at Camp Kingfisher is full of exploring, discovering, ooh-ing and ah-ing, and fun. Come see the Chattahoochee River teaming wildlife and hike through our forest abloom with new flowers.

Date: Week of April 2-5 & April 8-11, 2013

Special Info: See site for more info.


See also other Spring Break Camps Guide:

Let us know if there is any Spring Break camp we missed!

Spring Break Camps in Atlanta 2013: Parks & Recreation Edition

Spring Break Camps in Atlanta Parks & Recreation

Parks & Recreation department from county or city always offers family-friendly activities for kids at the reasonable price. And this year there are also several Spring Break Camps available in various parks & recreation. Check out our list of Spring Break Camps in Atlanta with Parks & Recreation.

As we strive to create the most comprehensive list for families in Atlanta to enjoy spring break, please do not hesitate to let us know if we missed anything and we will add them to the list. Also make sure to call first to confirm the information listing.

Spring Break Camps in Atlanta 2013 – Parks & Recreation Edition


City of Alpharetta Parks & Recreation

Program: Spring Break Gymnastic Camp – Go to page 12 for more detail & Spring Break Teen Art Academy – Go to page 17 for more detail

Date: April 1-4, 2013

Cost: Gymnastic Camp Fee: $96 for resident and $144 for non-resident



Dawson County Parks & Recreation

Program: United Futbol Academy Spring Break Camp

Date: April 1-5, 2013

Cost: Camp Fee: $25 per day or $100 per week


DeKalb County Parks & Recreation

Program: Spring Break Day Camp – Go to page 2 on the Winter Guide for more information.

Date: April 8-12, 2013

Cost: Camp Fee: $6 per day or $25 per week


Douglas County Parks & Recreation

Program: Spring Break Arts Camp – Go to page 20 on the Winter Guide for more detail

Date: April 8-12, 2013

Cost: Camp Fee: $90 per week ($75 for CAC member)


Forsyth County Parks & Recreation

Program: Spring Break Camp – Fun & Games camp. Campers will participate in games, art and other fun activities. Bring a lunch and two snacks and a change of clothes each day. This is for children in kindergarten through fifth grades.

Date: April 1-5, 2013

Cost: Camp Fee: $115


Gwinnett County Parks & Recreation

Program: Spring Break Camps – Offers various camps from Adventure camps to Sport camps.

Date: April 1-5, 2013

Cost: From $45 – $135


Henry County Parks & Recreation

Program: Spring Break Camps – Activities include: arts and crafts, games, swimming, field trips and other creative means of expression and recreation.

Date: April 1-5, 2013

Cost: Camp fee: $100 per child


Johns Creek Parks & Recreation

Program: Spring Break Baseball Clinic – Young athletes can hone their pitching, hitting and fielding skills at the Johns Creek spring baseball clinic, conducted by professional baseball staff from Sports A Rama.

Date: April 2-4, 2013

Cost: Camp fee: $115 per child


Sandy Springs Parks & Recreation

Program: Spring Break Camp – KidzArt & Create It Theater “Act 2”

Date: April 1-5, 2013

Cost: Camp fee: $125 per child (for Art Camp) & $85 (for Theater Camp)


See also other Spring Break Camps Guide:


Spring Break in Atlanta with Kids: 5 Family Favorite Attractions

Wow! Spring break is almost here in Atlanta. I know a few of my friends who live in Florida is enjoying their Spring break right now. Well, if you don’t already have travel plan to go out of town, check out these family favorite attractions in Atlanta for Spring Break that are always a good bet when it comes to entertain kids on a break. You can visit one for each day of the break and you are all set!

Imagine It! Children Museum

One of family favorite museum in Atlanta, the Imagine It! Children Museum is a fun place for kids to learn, explore and just be kids. Check out their calendar of events as there are always fun things going on in the museum.

What I also love about Imagine It! is the seasonal exhibit that change every quarter. It gives kids new thing to learn about.

Address: 275 Centennial Olympic Park Drive NW, Atlanta, GA 30313-1827
Fee: Age 2 and over – $12.50
Website: www.childrenmuseumatlanta.org

Zoo Atlanta

I think Spring is a perfect season to visit Zoo Atlanta! The weather is still warm enough to enjoy outdoor activities and yet cool enough that you won’t get heat stroke walking in the Zoo.

It’s a shame that we haven’t been back to the Zoo since we first visited when we just moved here 3 years ago! I know.. Maybe this year we will make it back there.

The Zoo Atlanta knows how to handle kids during Spring break because they already have many fun plans for kids to do if you visit during the break.

Address: 800 Cherokee Avenue SE, Atlanta, GA
Fee: Adults-$19.99, Kids-$14.99
Website: www.zooatlanta.org

World of Coca-Cola

Whose kids don’t like to drink soda? Ok.. Don’t answer me that because it will make me feel like such a bad mom for letting them to even set foot to the Taste It! room in the World of Coca-Cola. But seriously! I think the Taste It! room is a great cultural learning experience for kids and adults. It gives us the opportunity to taste what people in the other parts of the world enjoy.

Address: 121 Baker Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30313-1807
Fee: Adults – $15, Children (3-12) – $10, Childrent (2 and under) – Free
Website: www.worldofcoca-cola.com

Georgia Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium is probably one of the top attractions in Atlanta. So keep in mind that you might plan to go there at the same time as other thousands families who also have a break.. Just a thought! I have been to the Georgia Aquarium a few times already and every time I feel like I don’t have enough time! It’s HUGE.

There are several favorites moment in the Georgia Aquarium that I would love to go back and visit there again in a heart beat. You know what will be even cooler? If I can have a sleepover in the Aquarium. Wait! I can.. Check out site for more detail information.

Address: 225 Baker St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30313
Fee: Adults – $26, Children (3-12) – $19.50
Website: www.georgiaaquarium.org

Atlanta Botanical Garden

Spring has sprung! And it’s time to visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden. I have to admit that I didn’t really think the Botanical Garden will be fun for kids. But after check out their website and I see so many classes provided for kids and family. I’m convinced that this will one of a must-see destination for my kids.

Address: 1345 Piedmont Ave. NE Atlanta, GA 30309
Fee: Adults – $15, Children (3-12) – $12
Website: www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org

Atlanta Things To Do