Easter is early this year, as you may know, and it's coming up quickly! If you're planning on being away from home this Easter, make it an interesting vacation. Wonderful for families, students, and groups of all types, these top picked Easter destinations may be just the ticket this holiday!
Our biggest city does holidays bigger than any other, which is why New York is at the top of this list. Start off your Easter holiday with Mass at gorgeous St. Patrick's (if you're Catholic) as they'll be scheduled all throughout the day. After that, station yourself around the cathedral to watch the Easter Bonnet Parade go by along Fifth Avenue. The parade and pageantry goes all the way back to the 1870s, sticking to the tradition of dressing up with a fancy hat and celebrating the holiday with some flair. Once you've seen all you can, head over to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden or enjoy the unseasonably warm weather in Central Park.
It's no surprise that the city that made Mardi Gras famous in America has a parade or two on Easter. Not all of the parades/floats may be kid-friendly but you can sure visit the Historic French Quarter Parade and the Chris Owens Easter Parade, lead by the Grand Duchess. The floats will be giant, the performers costumed, and the bands loud and you might get a trinket or two out of it! For younger kids, take them by the City Park where you can visit Storyland and Carousel Gardens, have a giant Easter egg hunt, and meet the Easter Bunny. When you've had your fill, tour the Audubon Nature Institute and see the animals!
We love the Bay City and you will too on your Easter vacation, especially when you jump into the Union Street Easter Parade and Spring Celebration. Now in its 25th year, San Francisco's fabulous festival is happening, rain or shine, along scenic Union Street from Gough to Fillmore. There will be Easter bonnet contests, live entertainment, plenty of food, and activities for young kids like inflatable bouncy castles, meeting the Easter bunny, as well as rides and games. The celebration is as wild and wacky as the city of San Francisco so you're not going to want to miss it! Plus it's a free way to experience the vibrancy of the city, meet new people, and have some fun. When you're done, hit the wharf for some sightseeing and good food.
By all comparisons, Hershey is a pretty small city. However, no other city has quite as much chocolate as Hershey, PA. Built around the chocolate magnate's industry, here's where you can find a chocolate factory, museum and exhibits, a giant candy store complete with a "create your own bar" chocolate station, and of course, Hershey Park! The city and its attractions are open year round and there are plenty of events and special attractions for Easter and the spring season that you won't find anywhere else. Nearby, also, are tour-friendly Pennsylvania Dutch communities as well as Historic Gettysburg.
Of course, the first choice of D.C. Easter celebrations has to be the White House Easter Egg Roll, famous since Lincoln's presidency. Running from 8 am to 5 pm, thousands of people turn out to enjoy the good weather and the fun on the White House lawn. That's not where the fun ends, though. Visit the National Zoo for fun activities and events, have an Easter brunch at many of the finest restaurants, and check out the several Easter egg hunts that will be ongoing around town. The end of March will bring beautiful weather and blooming cherry blossom trees, making it a stunning destination with plenty of things to do (and a lot of free attractions as well!).
During the spring season, many of the area's ski lodges turn into an Easter wonderland with egg hunts and activities galore. The slopes and villages at Copper Mountain and Winter Park are decked out for the occasion with candy and eggs. Start with a beautiful Easter Sunrise Service at Red Rocks and then stop by the Capital Hill United Neighborhoods Easter egg hunt where you can win prizes or go have breakfast with the Easter bunny at the Downtown Aquarium. You can even stop by the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for a tour, free samples, and your very own chocolate bunny.
Portland is known for being weird, but that makes for a pretty fun holiday celebration. This year, families and groups can enjoy an Easter raffle, egg hunt, meets and photos with the Easter bunny, and even dance festivals. All weekend long, you can sample the various Easter brunches available at Portland restaurants and visit the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, walking tours of the city's historical lore, take a river cruise complete with an Easter brunch, and see loads of live entertainment.