Top 10 Family Spring Break Vacations

School's out for the week, and spring break is a great time for family bonding. Whether you're looking for a blast of sunlight to recharge your soul until summer or outdoor winter fun, here are Travel Channel's picks for an unforgettable spring break.

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San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

A cuddly polar beach takes the plunge at the San Diego Zoo.  More than 3,700 animals call the famed zoo in San Diego's Balboa Park their home.  With 99 acres as their lair, they've got plenty of terrain in which to spread out ... and splash. 960 1280

San Diego Zoo Global  

Wildwood Discovery Park

Wildwood Discovery Park

The long tufts on this furry cat’s ears are a definite standout at Wildwood Discovery Park. Located in northeast Kent, England, the 40-acre park is home to over 200 species of animals, including this captivating Eurasian lynx, indigenous to the British Isles. 960 1280

Wildwood Discovery Park  

London Zoo

London Zoo

Reach out and touch a penguin. In 2011, the London Zoo, known as “the world’s oldest zoo,” unveiled a penguin beach exhibit, topped by this large underwater pool. Now the zoo boasts a new title : Home of England’s biggest penguin pool. 960 1280

ZSL  

Central Park Zoo

Central Park Zoo

These adorable snow leopards make their home at NYC’s Central Park Zoo. Only 6.5 acres, the zoo is small in size but big on star attractions: More than 150 species of wildlife from around the world can be found here, from mammals and birds, to reptiles and amphibians.    960 1280

Julie Larsen Maher (c) WCS  

Bronx Zoo

Bronx Zoo

While in New York, don’t forget the Bronx Zoo, either. Make sure to bring your walking shoes; the 265-acre zoo is the world’s largest metropolitan zoo, home to some 6,000 animals, representing 650 species.
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Julie Larsen Maher (c) WCS  

Melbourne Zoo

Melbourne Zoo

Head to the Land Down Under to catch a glimpse of this ring-tailed lemur. The Madagascar native, with a striking black-and-white tail, joins more than 5,120 animals who call the Melbourne Zoo home. Find the 55-acre wildlife wonderland in the center of Victoria’s capital city.  960 1280

Karen Rawady, Melbourne Zoo  

Zoo Berlin

Zoo Berlin

The Berlin Zoo is the oldest zoo in all of Germany. Opened in 1844, the grounds are home to an incredible collection of wildlife: 20,500 animals, representing 1,500 species, are housed here, making it the most comprehensive collection of wildlife in the world. Not surprisingly, the zoo is Europe’s most visited.  960 1280

Zoo Berlin  

Dallas Zoo

Dallas Zoo

What’s a penguin doing in Dallas? If he’s an African penguin, he won’t mind the weather. In all, the Dallas Zoo houses more than 2,000 animals, across 406 species. Find the zoo just 3 miles from downtown Dallas, and block of the day to explore its 106-acre grounds.  960 1280

  

Philadelphia Zoo

Philadelphia Zoo

City kids love the Philadelphia Zoo. The zoo -- the oldest in the United States -- boasts something sure to delight visitors old and young: a children’s zoo and family education center. Kids and adults alike can pet miniature horses, sheep and goats.   960 1280

Philadelphia Zoo  

Sao Paulo Zoo

Sao Paulo Zoo

When in Brazil, check out the country’s largest zoo. Located just south of Sao Paulo, the Sao Paulo Zoo spans 204 acres and is home to more than  3,200 animals. The zoo opened in June 1958; in the decades since, it’s focused on preserving Brazil’s endangered species, such as lion marmosets, Neotropical felines and miniature blue macaws.  960 1280

Deni Williams, flickr   

The Singapore Zoo

The Singapore Zoo

Join in the family fun and feed the elephants at the Singapore Zoo. Billed the “World’s Best Rainforest Zoo,” the grounds rest in a heavily forested nature reserve. Inside, visitors can see exhibits like "Elephants at Work and Play.” We’re betting snacks from visitors are part of the “play.” 960 1280

Wildlife Reserves Singapore  

Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo

Want to see the UK’s only giant pandas? Hop aboard for a tour at the Edinburgh Zoo. Opened in 1913, the zoo features many unique attractions. In addition to 2 pandas on loan from China, Scotland’s Edinburgh Zoo is the only zoo in Britain to house koalas. The zoo was also the first in the world to house and to breed penguins. Today, visitors can see Gentoo, rockhopper and king penguins. 960 1280

Edinburgh Blog, flickr  

St. Louis Zoo

St. Louis Zoo

Located in Forest Park, the St. Louis Zoo features animal attractions like Sea Lion Sound, the Insectarium, Big Cat Country and Bear Bluffs. See black rhinos and sun bears at River’s Edge; red pandas and gorillas in The Wild; meerkats and tree kangaroos at Discovery Corner; amphibians and reptiles at Historic Hill; or stingrays and sea lions at Lakeside Crossing. The Zooline Railroad, Children’s Zoo and “Ice Age: awn of the Dinosaurs” 4-D Motion Simulator are few other must-see attractions at this zoo located in St. Louis, MO. 960 1280

Saint Louis Zoo / Ray Meibaum  

Toronto Zoo

Toronto Zoo

Home to more than 5,000 animals representing over 450 species, the Toronto Zoo is the largest zoo in Canada. The 710-acre zoo is divided into 7 regions: Indo-Malaya, Africa, Americas, Tundra Trek, Australasia, Eurasia and the Canadian Domain. We recommend heading to the zoo’s Africa region to see hippopotamuses, hyenas, sable antelopes, olive baboons and the world’s largest indoor gorilla exhibit. 960 1280

Toronto Zoo  

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium

Ranked “World’s #1 Zoo” in 2014 by TripAdvisor, Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium features the largest cat complex in North America; “Kingdoms of the Night,” the world’s largest nocturnal exhibit and indoor swamp; Lied Jungle, the world’s largest indoor rainforests; and the Desert Dome, the world’s largest indoor desert and world’s largest glazed geodesic dome (larger than Montreal’s Biosphere or Epcot’s Spaceship Earth). 960 1280

Mr. Nixter  

Beijing Zoo

Beijing Zoo

Located in China’s Xicheng District, the Beijing Zoois one of oldest zoos in China and it has one of the largest animal collections in the country, which includes the Giant Panda, golden-nosed monkey, South China Tiger, white-lipped deer and Tibetan gazelle. Home to 14,500 animals, the 220-acre zoo is a center for zoological research that studies and breeds rare animals from various continents. Visitors should also check out the zoo’s classical Chinese gardens with flower beds, stretches of meadows, small streams, rivers, lotus pools and pavilions. 960 1280

Reuters / Carlos Gutierrez  

Photos

Germany's First Walrus Calf

Germany's First Walrus Calf

Walrus Dyna and her calf are unveiled to the public in Hamburg, Germany. The newborn calf was born in the Hagenbeck Zoo and it's the first and only walrus ever born in Germany. 960 1280

REUTERS / Morris Mac Matzen  

Leopard Cubs in France

Leopard Cubs in France

Two female Sri Lankan baby leopards are seen in a zoo in Maubeuge, France. 960 1280

REUTERS / Yves Herman  

White Lion Cub in Budapest

White Lion Cub in Budapest

A 7-week-old white lion cub plays at a private zoo in Abony, east of Budapest, Hungary. 960 1280

REUTERS / Laszio Balogh  

Baby Flamingo at San Diego Zoo

Baby Flamingo at San Diego Zoo

A 10-day-old pink flamingo, born in captivity, is seen at the San Diego Zoo. 960 1280

Reuters  

Cute Koala Joey in Sydney

Cute Koala Joey in Sydney

A koala joey named 'Boonda' clings to his mother 'Elle' as they sit in their enclosure at Wildlife World in Sydney. 960 1280

Reuters  

It’s Twins!

It’s Twins!

Kit and Kitty are twin red pandas born at Tierpark Zoo in Berlin. The red panda is a rare mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. 960 1280

Reuters  

Baby Squirrel Monkey

Baby Squirrel Monkey

A three-week-old baby squirrel monkey clings to its mother's back at Edogawa Natural Zoo in Tokyo. 960 1280

Reuters  

Berlin Zoo’s Hippopotamus Calf

Berlin Zoo’s Hippopotamus Calf

Hippopotamus calf and mother Nicole are pictured at the Berlin Zoo. 960 1280

Reuters  

Baby Meerkats at London Zoo

Baby Meerkats at London Zoo

Zoo keeper Suzi Hyde poses with a pair of hand-reared baby meerkats named Lia and Roo at the London Zoo. Suzi has been hand-rearing the meerkats since their mother abandoned them. 960 1280

Reuters  

Baby Armadillo in Managua

Baby Armadillo in Managua

A zookeeper bottle-feeds a 4-day-old armadillo in Managua, Nicaragua. 960 1280

Reuters  

Lion Cub in Jordan

Lion Cub in Jordan

A newborn African lion cub plays with its mother inside their cage at Jordan's zoo in the town of Yaduda, near the capital of Amman. 960 1280

Reuters  

Prague Zoo's Baby Giraffe

Prague Zoo's Baby Giraffe

The Rothschild's giraffe is seen with her newborn foal at Prague Zoo, Czech Republic. 960 1280

Reuters  

Elephant Calf in Vienna

Elephant Calf in Vienna

An African elephant calf walks next to its mother, Numbi, in their enclosure in Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna. 960 1280

Reuters  

Baby Sea Lion at Berlin Zoo

Baby Sea Lion at Berlin Zoo

California sea lion Doro (R) nuzzles her 2-month-old baby Gina in their enclosure at the Berlin Zoo. 960 1280

Reuters  

Baby Parrot at Chester Zoo

Baby Parrot at Chester Zoo

A week-old Mount Apo Lorikeet is fed by a zookeeper at the Chester Zoo in northern England. 960 1280

Reuters  

Tiger Cub in China

Tiger Cub in China

A Siberian tiger cub is seen with its mother at a zoo in Harbin, China. 960 1280

Reuters  

Leopard Cub in Germany

Leopard Cub in Germany

A black Amur leopard cub receives its first taste of meat at the Serengeti Safari Park in Hodenhagen, Germany. 960 1280

Reuters  

Aw … Chimpanzee Twins

Aw … Chimpanzee Twins

Eleven-day-old male chimpanzee twins at the Walter private zoo in Gossau, Switzerland. 960 1280

Reuters  

Bush Dog Pup

Bush Dog Pup

A zookeeper holds a 6-week-old bush dog pup during a check-up at Chester Zoo in northern England. 960 1280

Reuters  

Marriott's Aruba Surf Club

Marriott's Aruba Surf Club

There are few hotels this nice on Aruba, with immaculate rooms, a large beach with water sports and a modern fitness center. And the Surf Club has family-style figured out: ping pong tables by the pool, a Nintendo Wii lounge for teens and a Lazy River -- a long, slow-flowing pool that carries rafters from one side of the property to the other.

See Hotel Review.
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Marriott International, Inc.  

Majestic Elegance Punta Cana

Majestic Elegance Punta Cana

Opened in late 2008, the 600-room Majestic is newer, cleaner, and more modern than most all-inclusives on the island. Its giant pool, soft-sand beach, great beds, nightly entertainment, and fun kids’ club make it a popular choice among families on spring break.

See Hotel Review.

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Oyster  

Argonaut Hotel

Argonaut Hotel

This nautical-themed hotel is whimsical yet elegant, with well-kept guest rooms, a restaurant that serves delicious fare and a free nightly wine reception. The hotel sits along Fisherman's Wharf, the city's family-friendly stretch of waterfront with a trolley-car terminus, the ferry to Alcatraz and plenty of shops and restaurants.

See Hotel Review.  
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Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group  

Atlantis Paradise Island Resort

Atlantis Paradise Island Resort

Brimming with activities for kids and teens, Atlantis is a true Caribbean playground. The resort has 11 spectacular pools (including several kids' pools), a 141-acre water park, a speedway for racing remote-control cars, a rock-climbing wall and a marine habitat with sharks, stingrays and dolphins -- and that's just the beginning.

See Hotel Review.
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Atlantis, Kerzner  

Dreams Punta Cana Resort

Dreams Punta Cana Resort

A megaresort with uniquely attentive service, Dreams Punta Cana will appeal to kids and adults alike: The Explorers' club offers a full schedule of activities for young children (like nature tours), and teens will love organized sporting events and the teen disco at night. A huge pool and a name-brand liquor for adults' is a really great deal.

See Hotel Review.
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AM Resorts  

Hilton Hawaiian Village

Hilton Hawaiian Village

The largest resort in Hawaii, the amenity-packed Hilton Hawaiian Village has more to offer families than any other property in Hawaii: 5 pools; tons of animals on the grounds, including parrots and penguins; and calm, coral-reef-protected waters at the beach. Thanks to the Penguin Club, which plans field trips and activities for kids, you can relax sans kiddies.

See Hotel Review.
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Hilton Worldwide  

Hotel Casa Del Mar

Hotel Casa Del Mar

One of Los Angeles' only hotels directly on the sand, the beautiful Casa del Mar is home to spacious, luxurious guest rooms, a classy pool overlooking the ocean and an excellent spa, gym, and seafood restaurant. If that isn't enough, the amusement-filled Santa Monica pier is just a 15-minute walk away, and a 22-mile bike path passes by the hotel.

See Hotel Review.
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The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd.  

Loews Miami Beach Hotel

Loews Miami Beach Hotel

In a central part of South Beach and directly on the beach, the extravagant Loews boasts one of the area's biggest, best pools and a popular sushi spot as well as six other restaurants and lounges. Families will love it here: Enthusiastic counselors host beach tours and Nintendo Wii competitions at the Kids Camp, the Toy Library loans out beach shovels, and the hotel can even send DVDs and PlayStation games up to your room.

See Hotel Review.
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Lowes Hotels Resorts  

Rose Hall Resort and Spa

Rose Hall Resort and Spa

One of Jamaica's best hotels, Rose Hall's modern features, professional service and huge on-site water park make this relaxed, beachside golf resort popular with families. The waterslides, waterfalls and swinging bridges of the Sugar Mill Falls water park are bound to be a hit with the kids, but a high-tech gym, a quality spa and 6 tennis courts make Rose Hall popular with parents, too.

See Hotel Review.
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Hilton Worldwide  

Trump International Beach Resort

Trump International Beach Resort

The centerpiece of this beachside hotel may be its grotto-style pool, but the accommodating, genuine service truly adds to a stay here. And families will feel right at home: The large, family-size rooms all have kitchenettes, and many suites also include washer/dryers. Plus, unlike at other Miami hotels, the Kids Club at the Trump is free. Fees apply for meals and some art projects.

See Hotel Review.
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Trump International Beach Resort  

Goliath (Six Flags Great America - Gurnee, IL)

Goliath (Six Flags Great America - Gurnee, IL)

Following up Silver Dollar City's opening of Outlaw Run in 2013, Rocky Mountain Construction is building yet another world record-breaking, wooden roller coaster for Six Flags Great America. Goliath will be the world’s fastest, tallest and steepest wooden roller coaster, plunging 180 feet at 85 degrees and traveling at 72 mph. 960 1280

Six Flags Great America  

Banshee (Kings Island - Mason, OH)

Banshee (Kings Island - Mason, OH)

At just over 4,124 feet long, Banshee will be the world’s longest inverted roller coaster. Riders will hit 7 inversions, where the track will turn adrenaline junkies upside-down and then right-side up. This ride will reach top speeds of 68 mph. 960 1280

Kings Island  

Helix (Gothenburg, Sweden)

Helix (Gothenburg, Sweden)

Right in the heart of Gothenburg, Sweden, Liseberg amusement park will open the multi-launched roller coaster Helix in 2014. Riders will travel more than 4,530 feet of track and 7 different inversions. Mack Rides developed this coaster and built Blue Fire, featured on Insane Coaster Wars Season 2. 960 1280

Liseberg  

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Magic Kingdom - Orlando, FL)

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Magic Kingdom - Orlando, FL)

A new breed of family thrills opens at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in 2014. The masterminds behind this homage to the 1937 flick Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will offer a new element never before seen at any Disney park. The mine cars on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will swing and rock back and forth as the cars navigate the track to simulate being in a real mine shaft. 960 1280

Disney  

Kentucky Kingdom Reopening (Louisville, KY)

Kentucky Kingdom Reopening (Louisville, KY)

After several attempts to revive Louisville's Kentucky Kingdom, Ed Hart, the former operator of the amusement park, and a group of investors will reopen Kentucky Kingdom in 2014. A $7 million steel roller coaster and expanded Hurricane Bay waterpark will be added to the remodeled tourist attraction. 960 1280

Kentucky Kingdom  

Falcon's Fury (Busch Gardens - Tampa Bay, FL)

Falcon's Fury (Busch Gardens - Tampa Bay, FL)

It might just be the most terrifying drop tower ever created! Falcon’s Fury will lift riders 300 feet into the air, tilt them 90 degrees, and give them a clear view of the ground before dropping them at 60 mph. This ride is going to be absolutely insane! 960 1280

Busch Gardens  

FireChaser Express (Dollywood - Pigeon Forge, TN)

FireChaser Express (Dollywood - Pigeon Forge, TN)

Dollywood’s tagline for this family-friendly coaster is "Heroes come in all sizes!” FireChaser Express climbs nearly 80 feet and launches riders back and forth. With a height restriction of 39 inches, this thrill ride is where the entire family can scream together. 960 1280

Dollywood  

Medusa Steel Coaster (Six Flags - Mexico City)

Medusa Steel Coaster (Six Flags - Mexico City)

With the success of Iron Rattler at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in 2013, Rocky Mountain Construction will work its magic again, transforming the wooden coaster Medusa at Six Flags Mexico. The remodeled coaster, Medusa Steel Coaster, will be one of the tallest, fastest hybrid roller coasters in the world, showcasing elements like an inverted first drop -- a feature never seen on any hybrid coaster. 960 1280

Six Flags  

Ratatouille (Disneyland Paris)

Ratatouille (Disneyland Paris)

Like Pooh's Hunny Hunt at Tokyo Disneyland and Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland, Ratatouille is a newer breed of ride, using modern trackless vehicle technology. You won't see any track on the ground, and the maneuvers this ride is capable of doing are unbelievable! If this attraction turns out anything like “Pooh” or “Manor,” Disneyland Paris Resort will have its own popular ride for Disney fans! 960 1280

Disneyland Paris  

Flug der Dämonen (Heide Park - Soltau, Germany)

Flug der Dämonen (Heide Park - Soltau, Germany)

This new coaster is sure to become one of Europe's best steel coasters in 2014. Built in the Transsilvanien-themed section of Heide Park, Flug der Dämonen is expected to be one of the most impressive wing coasters built to date. Similar to X-Flight featured on Insane Coaster Wars Season 2, the ride has passengers sit on the outside of the track, while the train barrels through some impressive twists and turns. 960 1280

Heide Park  

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Universal Studios - Osaka, Japan)

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Universal Studios - Osaka, Japan)

Universal is keeping the details about this amusement park attraction quiet, but rumors are that a new theme park will open in Japan similar to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure in Orlando, including Hogwarts Castle and the Forbidden Journey. 960 1280

Universal Studios  

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley (Universal Studios - Orlando)

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley (Universal Studios - Orlando)

In what could be the most expansive theme park attraction ever, the new Harry Potter expansion will link Hogwarts at Islands of Adventure to Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida via the Hogwarts Express. The new development will feature an attraction with a Gringotts Bank theme, accompanied by new shops, restaurants and nearly everything any Harry Potter fan would want in a multi-destination theme park experience. 960 1280

Universal Studios  

Zumanjaro - Drop of Doom (Six Flags Great Adventure - Jackson, NJ)

Zumanjaro - Drop of Doom (Six Flags Great Adventure - Jackson, NJ)

Don’t hop on this ride if you have a weak stomach. When Zumanjaro opens this year, it will be the world's tallest drop tower at a record-breaking 415 feet. Built on the side of the world's tallest roller coaster, Kingda Ka, this new ride has riders pause at the top for a few seconds before plummeting to the ground at 90 mph. 960 1280

Six Flags Great Adventure  

Cinecitta World (Rome)

Cinecitta World (Rome)

A fascinating new $700 million theme park is rising just outside of Rome. Cinecitta World will be a beautifully detailed park featuring roller coasters, thrill rides, family rides and movie sets based on the 3,000 movies and television shows that have been produced by Italy's Cinecitta Studios to date. 960 1280

Cinecitta  

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