Spring Break Adventures near Los Angeles for Families with Tweens and Teens

spring break los angeles
Spring Break Ideas for Families with Teens and Tweens near Los Angeles 2019

Spring Break 2019!!

Spring break is just around the corner (see 2019 dates below). If you live in the Los Angeles area, that means you will have a week, or two, or somewhere in-between, depending on your school district, to vacation with your family.

No matter how much time your kids have, it’s a good idea to start planning now, especially if you have tweens & teens.

This can be a tougher crowd to please – harder to keep entertained and off of their devices.

Spring break is a great opportunity to disconnect from technology and reconnect with each other.

One great way to create memories is to see new sights, try new things, or just relax as a family.

For those of us lucky enough to live in Southern California, we can have a pretty amazing spring break without having to travel too far or spend too much. The hard part, as those of us who’ve been here a while know, is dodging the crowds, so I’ve come up with a list that is a little off the beaten path.

Below are 5 great places, to make unique memories as a family for spring break within driving distance from the Los Angeles area.

To help you gauge crowds & plan ahead, it’s good to know the Spring Break Dates for 2019. Here’s the Spring Break dates for the 3 biggest school districts in the Los Angeles area and a few random others. I used the Saturday before as the “start” date and the Sunday after as the end date.

Los Angeles Area Spring Break Dates 2019,  including weekends​

LAUSD is out April 13 – 21
LBUSD is out April 19 – 27 
SAU is out March 30 – April 7
SMMUSD is out April 6 -21
​CCUSD is out March 23 – April 7

NSD is out March 28 – April 7

Go on Some Wild Rides

The top-rated amusement park for teens, according to family vacation critic is Six Flags Magic Mountain.

There are plenty of wild rides, including the Tatsu, “tallest, fastest, and longest flying coaster in the world!” There is also a variety, and the park map sorts the rides by how extreme they are, so everyone can find a ride that suits them, even the little ones too.  The best deals for Six Flags usually come around the end of August when their season passes are most steeply discounted during their flash sale, but discounts are offered throughout the year.

Frolic in the Snow

If you’ve lived in LA for any period of time, you know that snow is a novelty adventure. It’s something we drive to. But how often do you get to see feet of snow without paying an arm and a leg to go to the ski hills?

If you are in the mood for a snowy adventure, Waksuchi Lodge is a beautiful, remote getaway in the mountains of Sequoia National Park.

There’s no downhill skiing, but you can rent cross country skis or snowshoes at the lodge and get out in nature.

Cell phone service is spotty at best, so you’ll be sure to get a break from screen time (although there is WiFi at the lodge).

There’s snow play nearby at Wolverton Meadow, Grant Grove, and Big Stump.

Make sure to pack for the cold and bring chains for your vehicle, as chains are likely to be required on the way.

Spring Break Near Los Angeles with teens and tweens - off the beaten path

Camp in a Yurt by the Lake

Lake Cacuchuma is a Santa Barbara County campground with tents, camper hookups, and yurts! You can hang out at the campground, go on a nature cruise or drive out for day-trips to Solvang or Santa Barbara. Either is an easy drive from the campground. Visit the beautiful ocean-side Santa Barbara zoo or the motorcycle museum in Solvang. Whatever you do definitely venture out to the nearby Cold Spring Tavern. This old stage coach stop started operating in 1868. There’s a restaurant, bar, and live entertainment. Spring is a great time to go, as Lake Cachuma can get unbearably hot in the summer.

Here are a few more spring break ideas off the beaten path near Los Angeles.

5 Unique Family Vacation Ideas near Los Angeles with Teens

Play on a Farm

Morningsong Farm in Rainbow, CA (near Temecula) is a great escape from LA living. The bed and breakfast working organic farm and orchard has unique activities like jam-making, cheese-making, and playtime with miniature goats.

They also host alpacas & chickens – allowing you gather your own eggs! They have a variety of accommodations. Near the farm you can catch a balloon ride, visit a winery, or  hike at the Santa Margarita Preserve.

​Just a little further North is a Mulligan Family Fun Center, if you’re into go-karts and mini-golf. 

Explore a Ghost Town

Calico Ghost Town in Yermo, CA, originally settled in 1880, is just outside of Barstow and part of the San Bernadino County Regional parks system.

You can check out the silver mine, historic train ride, try gold panning, go on an off-road adventure tour, take ghost tours, and visit an optical illusion mystery shack.

Accommodations include cabins, tent-camping, or a stay in a bunkhouse. Head into nearby Barstow to visits museums or see a movie at the Drive-in!

What has been your most memorable spring break?
One purpose of this blog is to help parents of teens navigate the challenges of preparing their children to be successful independent adults. The mission of Finally Family Homes is to provide the same kind of support for those teens who don’t have a family or home to help them transition into adulthood.

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Comments

  1. Being able to go home and be with my family and friends. Just relaxing. That may sound boring to some, but I missed them.

    1. Sometimes that’s what’s needed most!

  2. Such great ideas. Some good plans to think about for Spring time.

    1. Thanks! It always seems to “sneak up” on me.

  3. My most memorable spring break was traveling to the mountains of NC with my parents. I am 58 years old now and still remember the fun we shared and how we enjoyed God’s creations.

    1. Wow- that is a memory that held on! Amazing how something so simple can really tug at the heart – and it was with family. 🙂

  4. Hi Christina. I don’t live in LA but I’ve done a few of these in your great list. I have to say, I don’t remember which of my vacations were during Spring Break, but all of them have been with family, so I liked them all.

    1. That’s awesome! I’ve done the first 3, but the last 2 are on my to do list Hoping to take the foster kids to all of these. 🙂

  5. My most memorable spring break was during my sophomore year of college, when I worked in an antique store and flea market.

    1. Oh wow.. sounds like an interesting experience.

  6. Last spring break (2018) was incredibly memorable. We are a blended family (my husband and I each have two kids), and the six of us typically do everything together as a family, but on this particular week, my husband was working and my stepkids were with their mom. I work full-time, but my (two biological) kids got the week off school, so I decided to take vacation and hang out with them for spring break. We went to the museum, toured a Revolutionary War site in our area, went roller skating, you name it. It was great to hit pause on my responsibilities and focus on reconnecting with my kids. It meant a lot to them and to me! We still talk about it quite a lot.

    1. Thank you for sharing! How cool to have some special time reconnecting with your kids.

  7. I think one my most memorable spring breaks was when we lived in northern Canada, and we just stayed home and enjoyed the outdoors. Our home backed onto the large river that went through the small town and the town was surround by expansive forests. So that spring our three young sons spent time exploring the woods, fishing and playing along the river’s edge, and building impressive forts with fallen trees and branches and any wood or planks they could scrape up from our and their friends’ garages!

    1. That does sound kind of magical! Northern Canada! I bet you were excited for Spring!!
      My friend’s sister got married in the Yukon – the pics were stunning.
      Even made the news!
      https://edmontonjournal.com/life/fashion-beauty/wedding-tale-couple-charters-historic-yukon-train-for-wedding-ceremony-beside-picturesque-northern-lake/

  8. Great tips! We spent last summer in LA for a week..this would have been helpful!

    1. Oh shoot! Maybe next time!

  9. My most memorable Spring back was this past one. My husband and I took a cruise ship to Cuba, where he was born but had to flee as a refugee back in the 1960s. He had not been back to the island since then! So, this was quite a memorable and emotional trip for him.

    1. That sounds incredible!
      I’d love to hear more!

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