The Thrifty New England Traveler is a blog of VisitingNewEngland, a web site that features real New England travel stories told by a lifelong local.

Avoid Spring Break in New England Becoming “Spring Broke”

Photo of Swan Boat Rides, Boston, MA

Swan Boats of Boston (photo by Eric)

April Spring Break means plenty of travel opportunities in New England for parents and

their school age kids. Here are some cheap trip ideas that help you avoid Spring Break becoming “spring broke”:

Fun New England Traditions The Swan Boats of Boston at the Boston Public Garden is scheduled to open for the 2012 season on April 14. This scenic, fun-filled, family-friendly 15-minute cruise around the 24-acre Boston Public Garden lagoon area in Boston, Mass., has been a wonderful tradition for the past 130-plus years. At this writing, admission is $2.75 for adults, $1.50 for children (two to 15) and seniors $2.00. We recommend checking out the Swan Boats Web Site for hours and updates.

Outdoor Recreation You’ll find some fantastic multi-use recreation trails in Maine, including free rail trails, river walks and bike paths.

Culture For the budget-minded, many Boston area museums offer free or low-cost admission.

Lodging If you’re not up for spending $300 a night for a bed, bathroom, TV and a few chairs, then check out our “Budget-Friendly Hotels in New England” Pinboard on Pinterest. We’ve stayed in Kennebunkport, Maine, off-season, for under $80 a night — indoor pool, hot tub, fitness center and free breakfast included. There are lots of deals out there like that!

Dining As budget-conscious people, we don’t dine on lobster much at all during these lousy economic times, but when we do, we take advantage of coupons offered by Warrens’ Lobster House in Kittery, Maine. It looks like they have a deal going on through April 30: $10 off $30 or more of appetizers, entrees, desserts or any combination of the three. Even better is that you can use a maximum of three coupons per group. Warren’s also features on the greatest salads bar of all-time with 50 selections, soups and fresh breads. Warren’s is a huge restaurant, but they have remained true to their humble lobster shack beginnings by serving up some amazing tasting lobster!

Tours For a sweet travel experience, take a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream tour at Ben and Jerry’s Waterbury Factory in Waterbury, Vt. Included in the tour is a company history “moo-vie,”  a tour of the production room to learn about the manufacturing process and a trip to the “Flavoroom” where guests can try out a “flavor of the day!” At this writing, the cost for a tour is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, kids 12 and under free. We recommend calling (802) 882-1240, X2300, for specific tour dates and times, or visit the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Tour Web Site.

Share your love of New England on

York, Maine Gift Corner

Nubble Lighthouse 8X10 unframed photo print

Long Sands Beach throw pillow

Nubble Lighthouse white sweatshirt

Long Sands Beach 8X10 unframed photo print

Nubble Lighthouse two-sided throw pillow

York Harbor throw pillow

Nubble Lighthouse wall clock

Twilight at Sohier Park unframed photo print

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