Most school districts are holding spring break the first week of April. That means it's time to start planning and making your reservations! Here are 10 ideas if you're struggling:

  • 1

    Mount St. Helens

    If it's a clear day and the kids can see the crater, this is a really exciting trip only a short drive away. If you can camp warmly, you'll save a ton on lodging.

  • 2

    Lava Tubes near Mt. Adams

    If your kids are old enough to crawl in and out of lava tubes, Cheese Cave, Deadhorse Cave and The Rathole are incredible adventures.

  • 3

    Rent a house on the Coast with 2 other families

    Yes, renting a house is REALLY expensive, but if you do it with a couple other families whose company you really enjoy, and whose kids get along well with your kids, it becomes much more affordable.

  • 4

    Great Wolf Lodge Grand Mound

    My friend took his kids to the water park inside this lodge while he was on a trip from Portland to Seattle. Beautiful Centralia has excellent antique stores for the adults (some of the best I've ever seen), lots of ice cream and fudge shops, beautiful outdoors and this Great Wolf Lodge indoor water park is incredible.

  • 5


    OMSI has been a favorite stop since I was a kid. The zoo is fantastic. My kids like to ride the "trains" around town. There are tons of great trails for rollerblading and bike riding. The tram above the university district is exciting. The kids section of Powell's Books is awesome. Make a stop at Voodoo Doughnuts. There are many affordable lodging options.

  • 6

    Pacific Science Center in Seattle

    When I was a kid we'd spend two full days down at the old "World's Fair" center in Seattle with the Space Needle, and plazas and the excellent science center. There's so much to do in Seattle including Mariners games, fantastic parks (Carkeek Park is our favorite).

  • 7


    If your kids get bored of the shops, bring along bikes for them to ride on nearby trails. It's such a beautiful area there's really something for the entire family. My buddies go bowling in Cashmere when the weather gets inclement. Wenatchee is also a cool town.

  • 8

    Take a tour of northeast Oregon

    Go golf at Wildhorse Resort & Casino while your kids see a movie and then tour the museum together before lunch or dinner. If you aren't staying the night continue on to La Grande where you can hang out in downtown and visit the campus. Stay the night in Baker City and visit Betty's Books downtown. Take the family to the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center and do some hiking or mountain biking in the nearby wilderness areas. Loop back north to visit Joseph, Oregon, (another great book store is the Bookloft in nearby Enterprise) and Wallowa Lake.

  • 9

    Take a tour of far eastern Washington

    Spend a day in Walla Walla. The kids will love Fort Walla Walla, Pioneer Park and I think it's called Franklin Park (near the Iceberg Drive-In). Definitely eat at the drive in. Go shop for some wine and chocolate downtown and take the kids to the two toy stores. Shed a tear for the purple octopus mural. Then spend the night in Dayton and enjoy some breakfast downtown. Then hike Palouse Falls and end up in Pullman. Get some ice cream at Ferdinand's, buy Cougar Gold Cheese, visit the Fine Arts Museum and see if there's a live student performance or sporting event you can drop in on. Then head up to Spokane.

  • 10

    Bike trails around Spokane and Coeur d'Alene

    Spokane's riverside park and gondola are amazing. It's a really fun city -- as is Coeur d'Alene. But I can't recommend enough the Coeur d'Alene Trail and Hiawatha Trail (and I think there's a third) for cycling. Small towns that dot the trails sell ice cream and sandwiches. Cheap camping spots abound (both private and public).