Easter is first and foremost a religious holiday. People gather in churches (sometimes for the first time all year) to celebrate The Resurrection. Of course for us moms, there’s another side to this beautiful holiday – the Easter Bunny. Where the idea to have a man-sized rabbit hop around depositing eggs came from, we may never truly know, but every kid loves a good egg hunt! Couple all of this with the fact that it’s often a three day weekend for most employees, and you’ve got the makings of a great vacation. Here are a few great getaway ideas for this Easter, all on the East Coast, complete with Sunrise Services, chocolate bunnies, and the most comfy beds we could find!
The most well-known Easter celebration would have to be the Easter Egg Roll at the White House. If your child is age 13 or under, they could qualify to participate in a timeless tradition that began in 1878 with President Rutherford B. Hayes. Bring the whole family to meet our newest President, his family, and White House staff while enjoying live music, children’s activities, and after working up an appetite during the egg roll, enjoy a delicious lunch. The 139th White House Easter Egg Roll will be held this year on Monday, April 17, 2017 on the South Lawn of the White House. Should your little gift from above be one of the 35,000 lottery entrance winners, here is what you can do that’s bunny-free for the rest of the weekend.
The W. Hotel, Washington D.C.
Your family’s budget will determine where you stay while visiting our nation’s capital, but if you can splurge, there’s just one place you want to book: The W. Built in 1917, The W Washington D.C. is located on the street adjacent to the eastern grounds of the White House. With just 317 rooms that start at $392 per night, this trip will take some serious planning and budgeting but it is so very worth it. Besides being architecturally stunning, opulently decorated, and furnished with the most heavenly overstuffed mattresses this Daily Mom (Stephanie) has ever had the pleasure of sleeping through an alarm on, you can also visit their onsite spa, fitness center, terrace bar and lounge, and a Mediterranean restaurant.
Now that you’ve booked your hotel and lucked out on the lottery of the Easter Egg Roll, let’s take a look at what else you and your family can enjoy in Washington D.C. that weekend.
Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.
If you can get your family up and out the door on time (no judging here – we haven’t been on time for anything in years!), it is well worth it to hear the Sunrise Service at the Lincoln Memorial at 6:30 am. Between the 19 foot statue of our late President and the perfectly smooth Reflecting Pool, you can hear a moving sermon that’s been delivered by the Capital Church for the last 38 years.
Other great family outings in Washington D.C. to check out are the other monuments which can be enjoyed during a walking tour or a cruise on the Potomac. You can also tour the White House and the Capitol Building by submitting a request in advance to your congressman, senator, or representative. To really impress the youngest in your group there’s the National Zoo, several beautiful parks, and of course, all of the museums! Two great museums for kids are the Museum of Natural History (watch “Night at the Museum” with the kiddos before you go and make up a scavenger hunt for extra fun!) and the National Air and Space Museum.
Palm Island, Florida
If, like most entrants, you’re not able to get on that exclusive list for the White House Egg Roll, why not head for warmer weather? Nothing says vacation like a bridge-less, barrier island which is just what you’ll get at Palm Island, Florida. Off the coast of a little-known town called Englewood sits a tiny island that is only accessible by boat or car ferry. Here the trees are palms, the roads are sand, and the locals are readily waving from golf carts.
Palm Island Resort
There’s just one place to stay at this tropical paradise: Palm Island Resort. Booking here is simple through their online service and includes your rented Villa (prices vary based on size and view), access to the car ferry to get onto the island, and all resort amenities. This includes yoga on the beach, nature walks, tennis, two miles of private beaches, two restaurants to choose from (one is accessible by water-taxi), and access to the resort’s very own Red Beard the Pirate who puts on a rousing show every weekend for the youngest adventurers.
Sunrise Service on Palm Island
Palm Island’s sunrise service typically starts at 7:00 am and is located directly on the beach. Bring a blanket and sit in front of a small stage with nothing else but sand, fellow islanders, and the sounds of the Gulf waves crashing just a few feet away. A guest speaker will tell the story of the resurrection, punctuated only by the sounds of the waves and an acoustic guitar. Enjoy singing along with classic hymns and an island-style ending with Spirit in the Sky. After the service head back to Palm Island Resort for a delicious Easter Brunch at Rum Bay Restaurant followed by a bonafide Easter Bunny led egg hunt!
New York City
If you have an energizer bunny kid, why not visit the city that never sleeps? New York City has a reputation for going all-out for any occasion so it’s no surprise their Easter celebrations make headlines all over the country. Start your Easter celebration with Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral where you can choose from multiple service times (some require tickets) for your sleepiest family members. Open to the public since 1879, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is worth the trip to NYC in itself. Beyond its stunning architectural features and rich history, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is also where the Archbishop of New York delivers a moving sermon on the Resurrection that is sure to hold the attention of all who hear it.
Easter Bonnet Parade on 5th Avenue, NYC
After visiting St. Patrick’s Cathedral be sure to find a good place to view the Easter Bonnet Parade. This 5th avenue pageant dates back almost as far as St. Patrick himself, and while it doesn’t contain the elaborate floats and marching bands of the Thanksgiving Day Parade it does provide a memorable family experience. Not only can you watch this spectacle of humanity dressed in everything from Sunday best to full-body elaborate costumes of all kinds, but you can jump right in and march with them! Nothing is off limits so put on your heels, get your kids into their ninja turtle costumes, and let your hubby live out his dream of being a pro-wrestler (what, doesn’t everyone’s husband have that dream?). No matter what you choose to do in the Big Apple, you will have wonderful family memories to relive for years to come – pictures optional!
The Waldorf Astoria, NYC
There is no shortage of hotel options in NYC for all budgets, but our top pick is the Waldorf Astoria. Sitting just 0.2 miles from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, it too is a bucket list destination in itself. Built in 1893 and deemed an official New York City Landmark in 1993, the Waldorf Astoria is oozing charm and sophistication that is sorely lacking in modern times. While it will cost a pretty penny to stay here, there are many affordable nearby options to help you make the most of your NYC vacation.
No matter how you choose to celebrate this Easter, we hope that you enjoy it with friends, family, and the sunrise.