6 weekend family getaways for people on a budget

In today’s post, I will share our favorite weekend family getaways for those on a budget. Make the most of your three-day weekend (or less!) Full disclosure, these cheap getaways are from Cleveland Hopkins airport or driving from the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio.

I’m sure you’ll agree that trying to decide where in the U.S. to visit is overwhelming. If you’ve started planning your escape and given up instead, you know it’s because choosing the perfect vacation spot is too complicated when you’re on a budget.

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1. Family Fun Weekend Getaway to Niagara Falls, New York

Finding the perfect 48-hour itinerary for families visiting Niagara Falls, New York, can be overwhelming. Luckily, this blog post will maximize your time with recommendations for restaurants, attractions, and vantage points to see Niagara falls when you are on the USA side. We review the top 21 must-do activities and help you plan the perfect three-day itinerary. If you’re into trying the local fare, check out the beef on weck. Make the most of your weekend family getaways but snag your complete itinerary in one place. You also have options for traveling to Niagara Falls during the winter months!

Check out the best things to do in Niagara Falls with your family!

2. Squire’s Castle in Cleveland, Ohio

While this may not be the perfect tourist getaway, heading to Cleveland in the non-winter months is a treat. There are farmer’s markets, breweries, and an incredible literary scene (I swear!)

However, our must-do is Squire’s Castle, the historic shell of a building in the Cleveland Metroparks. The gatekeeper’s house has a green expanse perfect for hiking and picnicking in the North Chagrin Reservation. Explore this structure, hike the reservation, and stay the night in a Beachwood hotel on the east side of Cleveland.

Check out Squire’s historical gatehouse in Cleveland, OH!

3. A Birthday in the Walt Disney World Resort

One of our favorite weekend family getaways, this trip will take you to the most magical place on Earth! Much of Disney’s birthday magic comes from the dusting of pixie dust by cast members in Walt Disney World. Don’t have money for a park ticket? That’s okay- we have lots of ideas on how to get stuff at Disney for free! However, these birthday freebies give you free treat coupons on those expensive Disney trips. (Also, look gratuitously at our daughter’s Minnie-themed first birthday party with polka dot smash cake!)

Check out the best Disney birthday freebies!

4. Great Wolf Lodge Day Pass (or Stay in the Off-Season)

Great Wolf Lodge resorts span the U.S., a must-do for anyone craving waterparks and warmth during the cold winter. If you cannot afford to spend the night, get a day pass and stay in a cheaper resort. We visited the Sandusky, Ohio, resort on the shores of Lake Erie because this waterpark packs every square foot with fun. There are gluten-friendly restaurants on the resort grounds, but if you’d like to save money- we go to the local grocery store across the parking lot or use coupons in fast food apps for a cheap meal.

Check out our review of the Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky, Ohio!

5. A Weekend in Cherry Creek outside of Denver, Colorado

What’s not to love about Denver, CO? The mountains are majestic, the people are pleasant, and the ghosts are world-famous. However, we usually avoid the super expensive Denver downtown because the crowds make us nervous. Keep in mind that marijuana tourism is gigantic here. Let that guide you whether you are a fan or not.

Cherry Creek is a Denver suburb with beautiful lush green space during the summer and snowy expanses during the winter. The best part about staying in Cherry Creek is the location. This quaint city is less than 20 minutes from downtown Denver and features the Cherry Creek trail. This post will give you all the tips and tricks about where to stay and where to go.

Check out why staying in Cherry Creek works for most families!

6. A Dreamy Georgia Beach Getaway Itinerary

We are saving the absolute best for last because Jekyll Island is heaven! Our family loves the hometown feel of Jekyll Island, a nature preserve in Georgia. Jekyll Island was a vacation home (and hunting club) to the Rockefellers and Pulitzers.

We prefer to stay in a cheaper oceanfront Jekyll Island hotel with the option for family suites. There are so many family-friendly activities that are affordable- or free! Activities range from seeing the famous Driftwood Beach to exploring the ruins of Horton House to a trolley tour. I’ve even created a free downloadable PDF for readers, featuring everything families need to know to make the most of their trip to Jekyll Island.

Check out our favorite things to do in Jekyll Island, GA!


What’s not to love about exploring this incredible country on your long weekend? We take every long weekend to visit amazing places. These are my best posts on budget weekend trips for your family. I hope these articles act as launchpads for your memorable future travels.

Let me know which one was your favorite and why in the comments! Don’t forget to sign up for our email list.

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  1. Great Wolf Lodge! We’ve been meaning to go… hopefully this month! Thank you for the ideas! 🙂

  2. I love that this is focused on 3 day weekends – so many people blog about vacations or longer adventures and this is perfect – I am always trying to find something to do for a weekend or three day weekend adventure!

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