1. Philadelphia, PA
Travel time: 2.5 hours by car from NYC
When warmer weather comes to the East Coast, strolling through the streets of this historically significant city is a no-brainer day trip for families. Important landmarks from America’s past are everywhere, and age-old architecture makes it easy to picture the likes of Benjamin Franklin riding through the narrow streets in horse-drawn carriages. If the kids aren’t so inclined to learn about the Constitution or Liberty Bell, the Philadelphia Zoo is reason enough to make the trip. America’s first zoo (founded in 1859!) houses an impressive variety of animals for families to get acquainted with—plus there are plenty of interactive activities each day. Don't forget to explore Time Out Philly's roundup of things to do with kids, including the Philadelphia Magic Gardens and the unusual Mutter Museum of medical mysteries. You can't leave the city without a Philly Cheesesteak, and there are plenty of suggestions about where to find one.