February 15th is a state-observed holiday (President’s Day) and many of our school districts have added extra days on before or after that day. If you’re dreaming of a vacation but can’t afford jet fuel, gas up the minivan and start driving! The Midwest is full of great destinations that are within 3 hours from us that are perfect for a long weekend of fun.
Wisconsin Weekend Destinations for Families
A day, or weekend, trip to Milwaukee is not only doable with kids but a perfect way to get a “vacation” in without a lot of time or travel expenses!
Our friends at Lake Country Family Fun put together this great list of how to Visit Milwaukee with Kids. Be sure to check out The Domes, a favorite of Heather’s family. Milwaukee has so much to do for families, our Wisconsin native, Loralie, also offered up a guide of what to do with kids.
Madison is another quick drive and has so much more than the capitol building! Go Valley Kids has a great list of what to do in Madison that is perfect for families passing through or spending a weekend. If you worried about heading north during the winter, don’t worry there is still tons to do! Check out their list of 75 things to do this winter in Northeast Wisconsin. Don’t forget the Henry Vilas Zoo, Jessica gave us the lowdown on this adventure in September.
You don’t even have to go as far as Milwaukee to have fun in Wisconsin. There are plenty of places to explore with little kids that are perfect for a day trip:
- Racine Zoo – A perfect zoo for toddlers and preschoolers!
- Kenosha has several FREE public museum, Dinosaur Discovery is a favorite quick trip of ours. Learn more about family activities in Kenosha from Road Trips for Families.
- Of course you can’t forget the Dells… we love Kalahari and The Wilderness Resort
Michigan Weekend Destinations for Families
Michigan may look far on the map but there are parts of the mitten state are only 3-4 hours drive away and offer tons of great family activities. If you are passing through Indiana, be sure to stop in Covington. It is home to the only indoor beach in the United States. How much fun is that?
Grand Rapids Kids has a great visitor guide to Grand Rapids with Kids. Grand Rapids is on our family bucket list as it seems like a great trip with so much to do for families!
Michigan’s Capital, Lansing, is also a quick trip from Lake County and is perfect if your family is into history. In addition to the capitol, you can also see the R. E. Olds Transportation Museum to see the first Oldsmobile made and other automobile history. KZOO Kids has all the details on a road-trip to Lansing as a family.
Still not sure about Michigan? Check-out these 10 places to take your kids too… you may be convinced, I’m already planing routes!
Things to do in Illinois
If an overnight isn’t in the cards, a day trip can feel like a vacation especially if it’s something you don’t normally do! KidList has put together a list of the Skiing and Snowboard in the Chicagoland Area. And there is no need for fresh snow as many of them make their own snow!
Last spring we gave you an entire spring break’s worth of fun in Chicago, which is perfect if you are in one of the school districts with the extended weekend:
- Kid-Friendly Chicago Activities
- Lincoln Park Zoo
- Spend the Day in Chicago for 20 Bucks or Less
- Chicago 360, John Hancock Center
- On Top of the World at the Skydeck
If you have the time
If you have time to throw together a longer trip (about 6 hours), St. Louis is a popular destination with tons of stuff (beyond the arch) for families to do.
Finally, Jessica gives you great tips on how to survive a road trip with your kids in Traveling with Kids without Losing Your Mind.
Are you heading out for President’s day weekend? Tell us in the comments where you are headed!