Fall is a beautiful time to be living on the East Coast. When the weather turns cooler, the leaves begin to change color and history seems to come alive. There are a few times during the fall when most schools have their fall break, and they are all a great time to go exploring. Whether you’re looking for a long weekend getaway or a week-long adventure, there are plenty of family-friendly fall break ideas on the East Coast.
5 Family-Friendly Fall Break Ideas on the East Coast
Fall Break in Boston
Take a drive up north to Boston, Massachusetts, and we bet your kids will suddenly be very interested in history. Boston is a great place to explore, on foot, and seems to have been designed for families. Things are easily navigable and clustered together, so you don’t waste time going from place to place.
Some of our top recommendations for military families include visiting the U.S.S. Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship still afloat. Kids can explore the ship and hang out in an interactive museum within it. Another great place for kids to learn and play is the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. A hands-on and interactive place, kids can even help throw tea in the harbor before enjoying their own “tea” with snacks.
Of course, Boston has some great parks, like Boston Common and the Franklin Park Zoo, as well as a children’s museum, aquarium, and even a LEGOLAND Discovery.
Get your kids in the mood for your trip to Boston with a family favorite read, Make Way for Ducklings.
Fall Break in Williamsburg
Williamsburg, Virginia may be one of our favorite fall break ideas on the East Coast and a great place for a family vacation. For those stationed in Virginia, you can easily make this a weekend trip. And for those driving in from farther away, there’s plenty to do to justify a longer vacation. When planning your adventures, don’t forget about your free tickets to Busch Gardens that can be used once a year. You’ll want to devote a day to just that.
For historical stops, you’ll have plenty to see between Yorktown, the Jamestown Settlement, and Colonial Williamsburg. Yorktown has an outdoor living area that features a Revolution-era farm and an army encampment that will interest your entire family. Kids can play the same games the Powhatan children would play while learning about their way of life when the first settlers arrived in America. A trip through Colonial Williamsburg will leave your kids yearning for more history trips, promise!
Set the stage and show your kids how much fun history can be by reading If You Lived In Williamsburg in Colonial Days on the way.
Fall Break in Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina may not have been on your short list for a family friendly east coast vacation, but it should be. It’s chock-full of history, charming, and absolutely family friendly. It has beaches, gorgeous buildings, and lots to do. There’s a children’s museum as well as a toddler-friendly exhibit at the Charleston Museum – which is close to the King Street location of Republic Ice Cream, which is a must for an afternoon snack. Several parks, waterways, and beaches give the kids lots of room to run and explore as well.
The Dock Street Theater on Church Street is the oldest running theater in the country and frequently has kid-friendly shows and matinees like The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley. Instead of trying the Charleston Market, go to the Saturday farmer’s market in Marion Square, it’ll be a much more enjoyable experience with kids. We think your kids will especially love visiting the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon where pirates and prisoners were kept during the Revolutionary War.
If you have kids in elementary school, let them help plan some of the activities and get them excited about your visit with the Charleston, SC: Cool Stuff Every Kid Should Know book.
Fall Break in New York City
While we’re sure Central Park is on your list, don’t let that be the only place you take your kids in New York City his fall. One of the east coast’s most popular destinations, there are over 65 million tourists who choose NYC as their destination each year. Some people may even question why you’re bringing your kids there, but we know you can have an enjoyable time.
From the Staten Island Ferry to a tour of the Statue of Liberty, the guided tours are a great way to see the big sights, while keeping the walking to a minimum. You’ll also appreciate the confined spaces where your kids can explore and still be kept close by. If you have a kid interested in boats and sailing, check out the newly renovated South Street Seaport Museum and the Intrepid Sea & Space Museum. You may also want to visit the New York Fire Museum in SoHo – and maybe get some shopping in, too.
NYC can be overwhelming for kids and adults alike but reading about what to expect can be fun. Try reading Pop Up: New York before heading off on your adventure.
Fall Break in Washington, DC
Besides the Smithsonian – which can be fun for kids, but not for days on end – there’s a lot of fun things to see in Washington, D.C. We recommend some picnic lunches near the reflecting pool or on the Lincoln Memorial steps, too! But the real kid-friendly treats are the amazing parks. From Rock Creek Park to Anacostia Park (which also has a skating pavilion) to Canal Park, which features three acres of seasonal markets.
For older kids, around 7 or 8 and older, places like the International Spy Museum or the Holocaust Museum may be appropriate. Of course, you’ll need to be prepared to talk about some of these topics later on, because they’ll have lots of questions. On a beautiful day, the Botanic Garden is a great spot to view all the flowers and plants you can imagine. You may also enjoy a walk down Embassy Row but stop for coffee and a treat.
Learning about Washington, D.C. is fun for all ages and Capital!: Washington D.C. from A to Z is a great read to get the whole family involved.
Fall Break ideas on the East Coast are plentiful, and its the perfect time to break out the sweaters and sweatshirts and enjoy history. When you can walk the streets where history much of American history was made, it adds another layer of excitement. Start planning your next family trip and you’ll be so glad for the memories.
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Photo Credit: Pixabay and Eastern Sky Photography NC