Meadowlark Botanical Garden cherry blossoms Vienna Virginia

5 Fun Spring Break Outings in the Northern Virginia Area

Here are five ideas for fun spring break outings that don’t require reservations, tickets, or a lot of pre-planning, perfect for spring break or a no school day in Northern Virginia. When the weather warms and the blossoms appear, it’s time to get outside and explore the beautiful and interesting parks and historic sites in Northern Virginia.

1. Hunt for Blossoms

Meadowlark Botanical Garden cherry blossoms Vienna Virginia

Meadowlark Botanical Garden cherry blossoms Vienna Virginia

Cherry blossoms usually peak at the Tidal Basin around Spring Break time. But the famous DC cherry trees are not the option for enjoying beautiful blossoms. Magnolias, redbuds, forsythia and other flowering trees are also in full bloom. We’ve rounded up some great places in Virginia and Maryland to play among the petals even if you don’t want to face the crowds at the basin.

If it’s too late for cherry blossoms, look for other spring wildflowers at area parks and 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.

Bluebells on Potomac Heritage Trail at Riverbend Park

2. 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, and 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 Mount Vernon, spring is a beautiful time to stroll the grounds. Older kids will enjoy the engaging Be Washington interactive experience launched in 2018.

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. In Frederick, Ferry Farm has recreated Washington’s boyhood home. At Great Falls Park, families can hike along the canal that Washington envisioned as a way to encourage trade to would pull the new nation together. Read 5 historic sites for a Washington-inspired outing for details on these and more Washington sites in Virginia.

3. Explore a Virginia State Park

Bay View Trail boardwalk Mason Neck SP

Bay View Trail at Mason Neck State Park

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. Make it a day trip to hike and explore other interesting stops on the Mason Neck Peninsula, including some that are stroller friendly.

Trails at Sky Meadows State Park climb the Shenandoah foothills to gorgeous views across the Piedmont. At Leesylvania State Park, families can enjoy an interesting hike with history at the edge of the Potomac. All Virginia State Parks host special spring break outings and kids programs, so check the web site for details.

Confederate gun emplacement Leesylvania State Park

Confederate gun emplacement Leesylvania State Park

4. Hike a New Trail

Huntley Meadows Park is perfect for Spring Break outings

Huntley Meadows Park is perfect for Spring Break outings

Northeastern Virginia is a busy, urban area but it offers a surprising number of wonderful hiking trails where you can escape the pavement without a long drive. From easy, level walks along the water, to more challenging woodland trails where you can get a workout and enjoy a view, we’ve got options for you. Huntley Meadows Park, pictured above has a long stroller and wheelchair accessible boardwalk that is perfect for wildlife watching.

Read these articles for more Northern Virginia hikes and parks that are perfect for family outings:

Sugarloaf Mountain view

Sugarloaf Mountain view

Hiking is one of the best ways to enjoy family time while getting some great exercise. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, you can take an indoor hike of sorts at the sprawling Smithsonian Air and Space Udvar-Hazy Center.

5. Visit a New Capital

A warm spring day is ideal for a day trip to Annapolis, Maryland, where you can stroll the historic streets, explore the 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 foot bridge for a hike on Belle Isle. Then, follow the Canal Walk for more scenery, history, and nice places to enjoy lunch.

Footbridge to Belle Isle Richmond Virginia

Footbridge to Belle Isle Richmond Virginia

If your Washington DC trips usually focus on the Smithsonian Museums, take a trip to the US Capitol area instead. Tour the Capitol building, take the underground tunnel to check out the beautiful Library of Congress, and visit kid friendly stops like the Postal Museum.

Library of Congress Washington DC

Library of Congress Washington DC

Bonus: Extend Spring Break Outings to 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.

These destinations offer fun all year long, but they often include extra family activities and events during Spring Break. Whatever your plans, we wish you safe, happy, and fun-filled Spring Break outings.

You’ll find more spring events and outings, suggested by local experts, in our roundup of Fabulous Ways to Celebrate Spring in Northern Virginia.

Follow @FuninFairfax on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram for more great things to do and places to visit in Northern Virginia and surrounding areas.

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  1. Fabulous Ways to Celebrate Spring in Northern Virginia - March 27, 2018

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  2. Friday Favorites- 3/30 - Virginia Bloggers - March 30, 2018

    […] Looking for something to do over spring break? Here are 5 fun outings in Northern Virginia. […]

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