You might be starting to feel a little bit of cabin fever. That spring break trip is a long way off and you can only spend so many hours on your couch watching movies with your kids before you start to feel stir crazy.
Whether you’re saving for a bigger spring break or summer trip or only have a few long weekends to explore, it’s nice to have some affordable winter getaway ideas for families to turn to when you can’t stay home a minute longer!
Most of these are Midwest-focused but can be applied to any part of the country that’s covered in a frozen blanket of snow (if you live somewhere warm enough to escape this then I’m not sure we can be friends right now). These trip ideas are easy, budget-friendly, and offer quick ways to escape with your kids while you patiently wait for spring to come!
5 Winter Getaway Ideas for Families
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Explore a New City
Even when it’s cold, you can still visit a new city. Prices are often lower and there’s plenty of warm museums, restaurants, and shopping to keep you out of the cold. Plus, you can pack in a lot of adventures in just a few short days making city exploring a great long weekend getaway. Chicago and Columbus, Ohio are two of my favorite picks. They offer a ton to do and are easy driving distance for much of the Midwest. Many hotels have special offers on the weekends when they’re not full of business travelers.
Related post: A Weekend with Kids in Columbus, Ohio
Visit a Children’s Museum
Need a place to let your kids run free? Check out a new children’s museum. There are fantastic options in lots of cities that offer kids plenty of hands-on exploring and free play while moms and dads stay nice and warm. Check your local memberships to see if you have any reciprocity with other museums. It can save you quite a bit on admission fees. Visit local for a one-day adventure or travel to a new city and spend a few days.
Related Post: Midwest Children’s Museums Your Kids Will Love
Head out for an Outdoor Adventure
Don’t let the freezing temps keep you from getting out and about. Bundle up for an outdoor adventure like tubing, skiing, or tobogganing. Most places have some kind of outdoor fun nearby, even if it’s just the local skating rink or a winter hike. My picks are the refrigerated toboggan run at Pokagon State Park, skiing in northern Michigan, or ice skating at Millennium Park in Chicago. The local sledding hill also offers a totally FREE option if you want to stretch your budget.
Splash at an Indoor Waterpark
Nothing beats being able to wear your swimsuit when it’s cold enough to snow. An indoor water park is quite possibly one of my boys favorite activities and they are becoming quite popular so there’s a good chance there’s one close to you. Look for Groupon deals for chains like Great Wolf Lodge to save some money, but be prepared for crowds on busy weekends. We’ve visited Great Wolf Lodge in Cincinnati and the smaller and less expensive Big Splash Adventure in French Lick, Indiana and my boys loved both. The new Soundwaves at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville is also high on our list!
Curl up in a Cabin or Lodge
If staying warm and cozy is more your idea of a good winter vacation, then why not check out a cabin with a big fireplace and plenty of warm blankets for cuddling up with a book or family game. Many state parks have fully equipped cabins you can rent year-round, plus you’re able to use all the amenities of the main lodge. We’ve also had great luck with renting cabins through VRBO or Airbnb (my affiliate link which saves you $40 off your first stay!). Both options give you access to a kitchen which saves money on meals.
Related Post: Airbnb with Kids: Tips for Your First Stay
Best Winter Getaway Ideas With Kids
Yes! Don’t lose your mind this winter by being stuck at home. Winter is a great time to get out and explore close to home and the freezing temps don’t have to keep you homebound. Check out a list of all my destination guides for even winter getaway ideas for families.
Hopefully one of these ideas inspires a little adventure for you and your kids while still leaving you plenty of money in your travel budget to dream of warmer escapes!
Do you have a favorite winter getaway idea for families ? What are you doing to fight the cabin fever this time of year? Leave your advice in the comments below!