Hello, fellow LA families! I don’t know about you, but I’m already over our SoCal’s so-called “winter” and daydreaming about all the fun to be had when the temperatures warm up this 2023 Spring Break! I’m so excited about Spring Break that I’m sharing these 5 kid-friendly Spring Break ideas live on CBS-LA (KCAL; Channel 9) on Saturday, Jan. 28 during the Weekend Morning Show! If you miss it live, check back here after it airs to see the recorded version of the segment!
I know it’s only January, but as a classic Type A personality, I’ve already been planning our family’s activities and road trips for this year’s Spring Break for weeks. I’ve been researching across the internet and chatting with local event and travel experts to find the very best Spring Break ideas in March and April for Los Angeles area families. When planning my family’s Spring Break, I’m always on the lookout for the four E’s — Engaging, Entertaining, Enriching and Educational — and I’ve pulled together a list of five fabulous ideas that meet all of these! From local camps and theme parks to memorable nearby hotel stays, be sure to book one of these adventures for an unforgettable Spring Break!
5 Spring Break Ideas for Los Angeles Families:
1. Super Nintendo World Opening at Universal Studios Hollywood
The newest attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood is Super Nintendo World, opening February 17, just in time for families to explore during their Spring Break! What makes this SUPER (pun intended) exciting is that this is Super Nintendo World’s United States debut! The original is located at Universal Studios Japan, so it’s pretty rad that the first U.S. location is here in our backyard at Universal Studios Hollywood!
According to Universal Studios’ press release, this all-new, dynamic land will be a visual spectacle of vibrant colors and architectural ingenuity located within a newly expanded area of Universal Studios Hollywood. Super Nintendo World will feature the groundbreaking “Mario Kart™: Bowser’s Challenge” ride complete with augmented reality (AR) goggles, as well as many thrilling and interactive activities designed to engage the entire family within the captivating Mushroom Kingdom. Along with themed dining at the Toadstool Cafe™ and shopping at the 1-UP Factory™ retail store, Super Nintendo World will be an inspiring, game-changing addition to the world-famous theme park.
When I read about the new Super Nintendo World, I got instantly excited while reminiscing on the old days of playing Super Mario Bros. and Mario Kart with my brothers and friends! The whole family will love exploring this new land within Universal Studios Hollywood!
Super Nintendo World is included with regular admission to Universal Studios. Visit universalstudioshollywood.com to purchase tickets.
2. Spring Break Camps: Kidspace Children’s Museum and YMCA of the Foothills
Camps are perfect for families whose children’s caregivers can’t take off work while their children are out of school or who want their children staying physically and socially active during Spring Break, and I have two outstanding options that will keep your children engaged and learning with their community!
First, Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena is hosting a garden themed Spring Break Camp, April 3-7 from 8:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. daily, for ages 5-8. Children will explore the world of soil, plants, and the worms, bugs, and other creatures who love them. Price is $575/week for general audiences, $550/week for members (members receive $25 discount plus 2 weeks of priority registration – camps tend to sell out!). Visit kidspacemuseum.org to register and follow @KidspaceMuseum on social media to keep up to date with registration openings.
March and April are also Kidspace’s annual Butterfly Season where families enjoy exploring the lifecycle of butterflies. You can adopt a caterpillar, help nurture the museum’s community garden, go on a bug safari, and costume play with beautiful butterfly wings. There’s so much to explore at Kidspace in the springtime! My kids love Kidspace’s current Muddy Boots Farm exhibit where they pretend to garden with mini hoes and wheelbarrows, then weigh and sell their bounty at the farm stand. We’ve also made lots of great memories in the museum’s Arroyo stream where the kids splash, play and get messy! Don’t forget to bring a spare pair of clothes!
Another wonderful camp option is the YMCA of the Foothills, which is hosting two Spring Break Camps: the first for Glendale Unified School District, March 13-17, plus a one-day camp on Monday, March 20, and the second camp for LAUSD, April 3-7. Camp is from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. You do not have to be a YMCA member to participate! Campers will be swimming, playing organized games, creating arts and crafts projects, participating in STEM activities and sports such as soccer, dodgeball, basketball and so forth on daily basis. New to camp this year is on-site adventures, like a reptile party, magic show and canvas painting. Camp is held at the Verdugo Hills campus in Tujunga, located at 6840 Foothill Blvd., for grades K-8. Price for Family Memberships is $270 and non-member program participants pay $300. Go to YMCAFoothills.org to register. What I love about the YMCA is that they will never turn away a family because of their circumstances. Financial assistance available, please contact Aazizian@ymcafoothills.org to apply.
3. The Seabird Resort in Oceanside
For me, there’s nothing more relaxing than a beach escape, and I love a destination that caters to families like The Seabird Resort in Oceanside. Newly opened in North County San Diego, The Seabird Resort was designed with families in mind, with grand coastal architecture, breezy living spaces, private balconies and stunning Pacific views that give off the vibe of a family beach house. The resort boasts an expansive pool deck, multiple dining options to watch the sunset, Sunny’s Spa for parents to relax and rejuvenate, and the famous Top Gun House right across the street (which my husband is stoked about!).
The Seabird Resort is ideal for kids with its Little Seabirds programming, offering year-round activities for your smallest travelers to enjoy during their stay, from building stuffed animals to craft hour and an art scavenger hunt, as well as surf lessons. The resort also offers a Little Seabirds Eat Free package that’s ideal for families, including a meal at Piper and a Seabird stuffed animal (for children 12 and under, limit two meals per child). Call the resort 855-413-7573 and mention that you saw this CBS LA segment and they’ll also throw in free parking!
The Seabird Resort is perfect for my beach-loving family, as its set directly on Oceanside Beach – close enough to see the surfers paddling out in the morning and hear the crash of the waves as you sip cocktails with the setting sun. The Seabird also has a vintage Beach Rambler set up right on the Oceanside strand, offering complimentary beach chairs, towels and umbrellas for a relaxing day soaking up the sun.
Oceanside is easily accessible from Los Angeles by both car and train, with rail service from Los Angeles available on Amtrak and Metrolink. The Seabird Resort is conveniently located near the Oceanside Transit Center. From The Seabird, Spring Breakers can also enjoy accessible attractions across the region, including Disneyland, SeaWorld, San Diego Zoo, LEGOLAND, Knott’s Berry Farm and more.
Nightly rates start at $299. Visit theseabirdresort.com for more information.
4. Mar Monte Hotel in Santa Barbara
Our family adores the quaint city of Santa Barbara, just a short drive north of LA. My husband and I were actually married there, so it’s a wonderful nearby escape to reminisce on our wedding and create new family memories with our children! I love the beautifully reimagined Mar Monte Hotel because of it’s Spanish-Colonial inspired decor blended with forward design and cutting-edge amenities. But, I think the hotel’s top selling point is it’s location, location, location!! Mar Monte Hotel is a short walk from the award-winning Santa Barbara Zoo, where families can enjoy hundreds of exotic animals, play areas for children, exciting exhibits and more. The hotel also is just steps from East Beach, which offers a beach playground for your little ones to let out their wiggles! If you’re looking for more to explore from Mar Monte, take a short drive or bike ride to the famed Stearns Wharf and Downtown Santa Barbara, where you’ll find the interactive MOXI Museum, dozens of restaurants, diverse shopping options and more.
The hotel’s ocean view rooms with balconies are perfect for families, and you’ll enjoy dining at the two on-site restaurants – costa Kitchen & Bar and Café Lido – and spending time in the heated outdoor pool. Families can enjoy the complimentary beach cruiser bikes and resort games, such as backgammon, checkers, chess, tic-tac-toe, bocce ball courts and a giant Jenga. You can also rent beach equipment and toys for an awesome day at the beach.
For Spring Break, I recommend booking Mar Monte’s Day at the Zoo Package on their website – MarMonteHotel.com – under their special offers page. Book by March 31 to get (4) free zoo admission, train rides, and giraffe feeding which equals a $150.00 value! The hotel’s average nightly rates start at around $350. For booking and more information on Mar Monte Hotel, visit MarMonteHotel.com.
5. Ojai Valley Inn
It’s amazing to think that Angelenos have been escaping to the iconic Ojai Valley Inn, located 70 miles north of LA in the secluded and scenic Ojai Valley, for 100 years! That’s right, the world-class luxury resort is celebrating its centennial in 2023, commemorating all the multi-generations who have enjoyed the idyllic retreat!
I love that Ojai Valley Inn has something for all ages to enjoy. The resort recently reopened Camp Oak, its fabulous kids’ camp that invites young guests (ages 4-12) to participate in outdoor adventure, arts & crafts, and learn about the region’s rich history through storytelling and science projects. Available for full days (9am-4pm), half days (9am-12pm), and night camp (5pm-10pm) Camp Oak kiddos enjoy immersive themed programming curated to the Ojai experience, such as science experiments, scavenger hunts throughout the resort grounds, and daily themed lessons such as Space Camp, Color Wars, Critter Connection, Around the World, and themes surrounding the Chumash Native American traditions and culture that define the region. Lunch, snacks, and dinner are included based on the camp package selected, so parents can sneak away to the spa or enjoy a romantic dinner while the kids are having fun! That’s my kind of vacation!!
The resort has additional family-friendly programming for a memorable Spring Break: Family craft hour at the Artist Cottage, moderate group hikes that are fit for most ages, in-room game night baskets for the whole family to enjoy, including popcorn, a picnic pack, Jacks, a classic card game, charades, Connect 4, Sorry, an in-room movie, and more. There’s also golf and tennis for a day of family sports, or for when mom and dad want to improve their game while the kids have a blast at Camp Oak!
For Spring Break, Ojai Valley Inn is offering a Spring Family Fun package that includes breakfast at The Oak, a picnic lunch from Libbey’s Market, and DIY s’mores roasting around a communal fire table. This package is available during select dates in March, April and May, and book soon before they sell out!
Average nightly rates start at $689. For booking and more information visit ojaivalleyinn.com.
Which of these Spring Break activities and/or trips would you like to do with your family? Any guesses what our family will be doing? I’d love to hear what your plans are for Spring Break in the comments below. Follow me on Instagram and TikTok for more family and lifestyle ideas!