Fun Spring Break Outings in the Northern Virginia Area

Updated on March 21, 2024 by Julie McCool

These fun spring break outings in Northern Virginia don't require a lot of pre-planning, so they're perfect for spring break or a no-school day. When the weather warms and spring flowers bloom, it's time to get outside and explore beautiful parks and interesting historic sites in Northern Virginia.

Fortunately, there is a huge selection of kid-friendly museums, historic sites, and outdoor adventures in Northern Virginia. Below you'll find some of the best spring break outings in Northern VA and the Washington DC area, plus tips on what to do when you visit.

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Spring Break Outings to Hunt for Blossoms

Lakeside Cherry Blossoms at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Northern Virginia
Cherry Blossoms at Meadowlark Gardens

Cherry blossoms usually peak at the Tidal Basin around spring break time in late March and early April. But the famous DC cherry trees are not the only option for enjoying beautiful blossoms. Our big guide to places to see cherry blossoms in Virginia, DC and Maryland lets you play among the petals even if you don't want to face Tidal Basin crowds.

In addition, our guide to 5 Places Near DC for Beautiful Late-Blooming Cherry Trees highlights gorgeous Kwanzan trees. Magnolias, redbuds, forsythia, and other flowering trees are also in full bloom in spring.

If it's too late for cherry blossoms, look for other spring wildflowers at area parks and nature trails. In mid-April, the sandy banks of the Potomac River are covered in Virginia bluebells. You'll find one of our favorite bluebell hikes at Riverbend Regional Park.

At Bull Run Park, the Bluebell Loop Trail and the first mile of the Northern Bull Run Occoquan Trail are both excellent places to see bluebells.

Bluebells on the Potomac Heritage Trail at Riverbend Park, one of the Best Spring Hikes in Northern Virginia
Spring Bluebell Trail

Kids can also get close to nature and learn at several beautiful Virginia and DC gardens, most of which include a dedicated children's garden or play area.

Walk in George Washington's Footsteps

George Washington Birthplace National Monument, Virginia
George Washington Birthplace National Monument, Virginia

George Washington was born and lived much of his life in Northern Virginia. Fortunately, there are many ways to walk in the great one's footsteps and add some history to your spring break outings.

If you've never visited George Washington's Mount Vernon, spring is a beautiful time to stroll the grounds. Older kids will enjoy the engaging Be Washington interactive experience and the 4D Theater.

View from desk Be Washington Mount Vernon
View from desk Be Washington Mount Vernon

You can also take a road trip to Washington's birthplace on Virginia's Northern Neck. Or take a day trip to Fredericksburg Virginia to visit Ferry Farm and tour Washington's recreated boyhood home. At Great Falls Park, families can hike along the canal that Washington envisioned as a way to encourage trade in the new nation.

Read 5 historic sites for a Washington-inspired outing for details on these and more Washington sites in Virginia.

Explore a Virginia State Park

View from the Great Marsh Trail Platform in Mason Neck VA
Great Marsh Trail Platform

There are wonderful state parks throughout Virginia, and we have some beauties in Northern Virginia. Mason Neck State Park offers excellent hiking and other family fun. You can easily extend your visit to hike and explore more interesting stops on the Mason Neck Peninsula, including one wheelchair and stroller-friendly trail.

Families can hike, explore history, and picnic by pretty Turner Pond at Sky Meadows State Park. Our favorite Sky Meadows loop hike climbs the Shenandoah foothills to gorgeous views across the Virginia Piedmont. Combine your visit with a scenic drive in Virginia Hunt Country, stopping at small towns and parks along the way.

Confederate gun emplacement Leesylvania State Park
Confederate Gun Emplacement Leesylvania State Park

At Leesylvania State Park, enjoy an interesting hike with history at the edge of the Potomac River. Other trails follow the shoreline and there is a fun fishing pier to check out.

Another fun spot to hike is Sweet Run State Park in Loudoun County. There are wooded trails for all ages and a fun outdoor nature play area for young kids. Virginia State Parks usually host special spring break outings and kids programs, so check the park websites for details.

Hike or Bike a New Trail

Huntley Meadows Park is perfect for Spring Break outings
Huntley Meadows Park

Northeastern Virginia is a busy, urban area but there are a surprising number of wonderful trails where you can escape the pavement without a long drive. There are easy, level walks by the water and more challenging woodland trails where you can get a workout and enjoy a view.

Huntley Meadows Park, pictured above, has one of the best stroller and wheelchair-accessible trails, perfect for wildlife watching. Neabsco Creek in Prince William County is another accessible and kid-friendly boardwalk trail that opened in 2019.

Neabsco Creek Boardwalk, a beautiful boardwalk trail in Northern Virginia
Neabsco Creek Boardwalk Trail
Find more Beautiful Boardwalk Hikes in Northern Virginia.

In western Loudoun County, a short but steep hike to Bear's Den Overlook pays off with a fantastic view. After your hike, reward the adults in your group with a visit to Dirt Farm Brewing, where kids can play on the lawn while you soak in the view.

Kids climb at Bears Den Overlook in Bluemont VA
Kids on Bears Den Overlook, Bluemont VA

Head north to Maryland for a kid-friendly and rewarding hike to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain. This has been a favorite family hike and picnic destination since our twins were young, and they still enjoy a visit.

Find more Perfect Picnic Spots in Northern Virginia.
Sugarloaf Mountain view in Maryland
Fun in Fairfax VA Twins on Sugarloaf Mountain

If you prefer biking, our guide to 15 Northern Virginia Bike Trails for Paved / Mountain Biking Near DC includes trails for every level of biking ability.

Our guides to Northern Virginia spring hikes and family-friendly parks are another great source for family outings. Hiking is one of the best ways to enjoy family time while getting some exercise. Our complete hike and bike trail list includes even more local trails.

Indoor Fun in Northern VA

Many fun indoor activities in Northern Virginia are ideal for a Spring Break visit. For example, the huge Smithsonian Air and Space Udvar-Hazy Center always impresses and admission is free (parking is $15).

View from the catwalk at the Smithsonian Air and Space Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Northern Virginia.
Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Creative kids will love a visit to the LEGO Discovery Center in Springfield. It's packed with hands-on activities geared to different age groups. Note that you'll pay peak pricing during Spring Break Week.

If the kids are ready for a movie, check out the Spring Break movie line-up at LOOK Dine-in Cinemas in Reston. There are kid-friendly noon matinees for just $1.00 per ticket (plus processing fee) all week long.

Visit a State Capital

The state capitals of Virginia and Maryland make nice Spring Break day trips or short getaways.

Maryland State House

A warm spring day is ideal for a day trip to Annapolis, Maryland. Here, you can stroll the historic streets, explore interesting exhibits at the state capitol, and play by the water. Grab a water taxi for a short trip on the downtown rivers, or enjoy a longer tour on one of the tour boats or the trolley.

You'll also find plenty of indoor and outdoor fun on a day trip or getaway to Richmond Virginia. Start your visit by crossing the cool footbridge for a hike on Belle Isle. Then, follow the Canal Walk for more scenery, history, and nice places to enjoy lunch.

Walking on the Belle Isle Suspension Bridge is one of the cool things to do in Richmond Virginia
Belle Isle Suspension Bridge

Bonus: Extend Spring Break Outings with an Overnight Getaway

The Northern Virginia area is rich with fun and interesting towns to explore. Here are 5 more spring break outings that you can visit as a day trip or extend with an overnight stay. Click the links for details on what to do, where to eat, and where to stay at each destination.

A change of scene is fun but you can't always travel. Create a getaway close to home and reserve a few nights at these 17 Amazing Northern Virginia Airbnb and Vacation Rentals. And if a country setting sounds best, many of these 17 Fantastic Northern VA Wine Country Vacation Rentals and Airbnbs welcome families.

These destinations offer fun all year long and some offer extra family activities and events during spring break. Whatever your plans, we wish you a safe, happy, and fun-filled spring break.

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Fun things to do during Spring Break in Northern Virginia area that don't need a lot of planning, perfect for a no school day.
Spring Break in Northern Virginia