It's a hard thing to admit, but Spring Break may be that rare thing - an American tradition we all should adopt. Traditionally it's when college kids shake the academic dust from their feet and kick up their heels for a few days of no-holds-barred hedonism - but who doesn't need a few fun days away after the long trudge of winter? April and May are ideal months for a weekend break, and most cities and regions have a packed calendar with festivals, food fairs and concerts. Whatever your passion - food or flowers, music or art - there's an event with your name on it.
Usually considered a summer destination, Cornwall is quieter in the spring months, but still hums with all sorts of festival and events. Keen gardeners should head to the Cornwall Spring Flower Show in Lostwithiel (March 31-April 1), to see the glorious displays of camelias, rhododendrons and azaleas, while those in search of a party should aim for Helston, where the Barefoot Sound Wave micro-festival brings together jazz and acoustic music, and will be opened by Michael Eavis (April 7-8). For a really diverse array of performances to choose from, the Newquay Arts & Cultural Festival (April 27-May 1) brings together spoken word, dance, photography and music.
Music for All
For classical music lovers, there's nowhere better for a spring break than Prague. The Spring International Music Festival (May 12-June 6) offers around 45 concerts of chamber and orchestral music, including the Vienna Philharmonic, conducted by Daniel Barenboim. For something a little more raucous, the Czech Beer Festival (May 11-27) is the largest gastronomic event in the country, with 150 varieties of Czech beer to taste, traditional foods and live music.
Visit Budapest and you get two cities for the price of one; lively Pest and quieter Buda on the other side of the river. Both come alive in Spring, however, with the Budapest Spring Festival (March 31-April 21), which hosts over 120 events - including plays, recitals and concerts - in forty venues. A highlight for 2017 is John Malkovich in Just Call me God. Families will love the Spring Fair at Vorosmarty Square (March 31-April 30), when the historic plaza turns into a spring garden, with concerts, arts and crafts workshops and a special programme of events for kids.
Fira or Fruhlingsfestival?
Always a party city, Barcelona dusts off winter with a diverse range of events, encompassing everything from an eco-festival - Fira de la Terra at the Parc de la Ciutadella (April 29/30) - with live performances, talks, handicraft and food stalls - to the Feril de Abril de Catalunya (April 22-May 1), a sprawl of decorated marquees in the Forum area of the city, that host live music and dance performances. Fuel up on calamari and candyfloss from the food stalls, and keep the sherry coming.
Germany also likes to do its fair share of partying in the spring months; the Fruhlingsfestival in Munich (April 20 - May 8) is also known as Little Oktoberfest, due to the amount of beer on tap and pretzels to munch - and the Spring Fesival in the medieval city of Nuremberg, is ideal for families, with a spectacular funfair near the Dutzendteich Lake.
New York, New York
If you can stretch to a spring break across the Atlantic, New York offers a huge amount of events to choose from. Take the camera for a stroll through Brooklyn Botanic Garden's glorious blossom-filled cherry orchards; on April 29-30, the garden celebrates Sakura Matsuri, a Japanese-themed event, to celebrate the end of blossom season. Tie in the garden visit with a gig at the Brooklyn Folk Festival (April 28-30) when some of New York's hippest bars play host to the biggest names on the US folk scene. Film-lovers should book tickets for the Tribeca Film Festival (April 19-30), which premieres big name movies as well as indie flicks and under-the-radar documentaries.
Annabelle Thorpe is Short-Breaks Editor of 101 Holidays