Today you might feel like winter will never end, but guess what? Spring Break is right around the corner. Whether you want to soak in the sun, root for the home team, or get cozy in the mountains, there are plenty of well-deserved vacay spots to explore with your brood this spring. Click through for the scoop!

Go on Safari – Santa Rosa, Ca

If going on a safari is on your bucket list but you don’t want to haul the kiddos to the Serengeti, how about taking in the wildlife somewhere a bit... closer? At Safari West, there are more than 900 exotic animals roaming 400+ acres of African Savannah setting. You'll see herds of zebras, wildebeests, and gazelles, as well as hyenas, rhinos, cheetahs, lemurs, monkeys, flamingos, and more.

Sleep: No safari is complete without falling asleep to the whirs, clicks, and whistles of wildlife. Snuggle up inside Safari West's luxury wood-floored safari tents, which are imported from Africa and equipped with plush beds, hot showers, and one-of-a kind hand hewn furniture. Tip: Got a large family? Be sure to book the family tents, which have bunk beds.

Play: Your stay includes a three-hour riding and walking tour of the preserve. Tour guides are engaging, and kids will love gliding past (and sometimes face-to-face, in the case of the giraffes) the "Sonoma Serengeti's" resident animals. The walking portion of the tour takes you to the open-air aviary, where you'll see flocks of exotic birds including cranes, egrets, hornbills, and storks; you'll also get an up-close-and-personal encounter with the cheetahs and walk through "Lemur Island" to visit the park's primates.

Note: Children under four are not allowed in the driving portion of the tour, but are welcome in the walking portion. Also, the safari drive includes up to 2½ hours over rugged terrain and may not be advisable for pregnant women (it also may be too long for some children).

Eat: Safari West's Savannah Café cooks up ranch-style BBQ lunches and dinners. You and your brood can choose to dine indoors surrounded by African murals and artifacts, or on the veranda overlooking the Sonoma Savannah. And, let's not forget: This is wine country. All meals can be paired with Sonoma and Napa County wines as well as selected South African wines and fine port.


photo: courtesy of Safari West

Do you have a favorite spring break destination? Share it with us in the comments below!

— Melissa Heckscher