EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been changed to reflect the correct name of Kent Island, Maryland.
Deciding to save a little dough by not spending big on a spring break trip this year? There are plenty of fun-packed day trips for you and the kids near the D.C. region.
“We have access to Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, and with that comes so many different opportunities,” Daniella Byck, lifestyle editor with Washingtonian magazine, told WTOP.
To make the most out of the trip with the kids, try to find a destination that can combine activities with other elements like outdoor access or historical significance.
Byck said a top destination that should be on your radar is Front Royal, Virginia, and its access to Shenandoah Valley.
“You can tour the Skyline Caverns. You can rent kayaks, even at this time of year, and paddle down the Shenandoah River,” said Byck about Front Royal, located around an hour-and-a-half drive from the District.
Visitors to Front Royal also have access to plenty of Shendoah National Forest trails, such as the Fox Hollow Trail and the Dickey Ridge Trail.
If you want more outdoor adventures, maybe head to Western Maryland’s Deep Creek Lake.
“Wisp just finished their ski season, but they have a lot of other activities you can do in the spring. You can do their aerial adventures, the rope courses,” said Byck. “They also have archery (and) the mountain coaster … If it’s a rainy day, you can take kids to fun land and go bumper cars.”
Or, if you want an even more leisurely adventure, head to Kent Island in Maryland’s Queen Anne County which offers wetland biking trails that are a little less intense than other outdoor adventure options.
Hershey, Pennsylvania, is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from D.C. and offers Hershey Park and the more serene Hershey Gardens.
“That’s great for kids who are really curious really want to interact with those butterflies,” Byck said.
West Virginia’s Harpers Ferry is also a solid option which gives you beautiful scenery and plenty of Civil War history, such as John Brown’s fort, where he tried to incite a slave rebellion.
Wherever you go, make sure you have a backup plan if it rains.
“April showers bring May flowers,” said Byck. “I always scope out if I’m going on a particularly outdoorsy adventure … the closest movie theater, because there’s something about sometimes just catching a matinee when the weather’s a little dreary.”