When it comes to a family vacation, kids just wanna have fun. One of the easiest ways to make that happen is to book a property that features a kids club. So we did the research (and asked a lot of little experts) to find the best resorts with the coolest experiences. Our list includes hotels and resorts that offer epic encounters, opportunities to learn and grow, and the chance to make new friends from all over the world. From Beaches and Club Med to other all-inclusive resorts, here’s the buzz on hotels that cater to kids with unique décor, plus fun and extraordinary activities. What are you waiting for?
Note: While COVID restrictions are being lifted, check with your resort to see which activities are currently offered.
Fairmont Scottsdale - Scottsdale, AZ
This luxury property takes kids' fun to the extreme with four family-friendly pools and the Trailblazers Kids Club. Explore interactive group activities and themed adventures every day. From 9 am - 1 pm, children 5-12 will have a blast with supervised games, crafts, sports, and virtual reality fun on the I-Beam interactive floor. Kids can make solar oven s'mores, pan for gold, play dodgeball and take nature walks. After hours, visit the Trailblazers Recreation Center together and dig into the virtual reality sandbox, play a life-sized game of Pac-Man, borrow basketballs for the sports court or rent fishing poles for their catch-and-release fishing program. Meet desert animals like their resident tortoise, Cecil.
Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort - Hilton Head, SC
In these beautiful, lush surroundings, it’s all about the beach. Kids from 4-13 will dig into the sand and have a fun time exploring all things water. Planning to reopen in April 2022, Kids Camp will feature daily activities like Picasso art lessons, catching a wave on a boogie board, playing life-size chess/checkers or hanging with resort mascot Duney the Dolphin. Daily themes include Move and Groove Monday and Super Soaked Saturday. Full-day, half-day and evening programs available. Check out the two family pools, splash pad and playground. New Family Fun Package includes a $100 dining credit, s’mores kit, kites and 2-hour bike rental for up to four guests.
The Nantucket Hotel & Resort - Nantucket, MA
Located on a 50-square mile island, The Nantucket Hotel & Resort offers kids 3-12 lots of cool things to do. Their complimentary Kids Club morning program is a blast, featuring nature and ocean crafts, tie-dye, crabbing for shells, and a Lily Pond Walk. The highlight is getting to ride on an antique fire truck through town. On Saturday morning walking adventures, kids learn about the island and its former residents on a Pirates Day Adventure. Programs run from Jun. 27 through Sept. 3, 2022. Their Kids’ Club Evening program includes dinner, outdoor games and a movie, all while parents enjoy a date night, Jul. 1st through Sept. 3rd, 2022 on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday Evenings.
Island H20 Live at Margaritaville - Orlando, FL
Chill out at this awesome resort in Kissimmee where kids are king! Margaritaville features the thrilling Island H2O Live! Water Park with 20 experiences, and it's open from Mar. – Nov. There’s also a wave pool with ocean waves, a river raft ride and a splash pad. Innovative technology lets guests share their experiences on social media with their friends back home! Guests can also discover the island vibe at the resort’s Fins Up Beach Club—head to the Sunset Walk Promenade for live entertainment and street markets. Dine at the Estefan’s Kitchen. Yep, we're talking about Emilio and Gloria’s restaurant.
Dollywood's DreamMore Resort - Pigeon Forge, TN
Create memorable family vacations at DreamMore Resort. Accommodations include rooms with bunk beds, plus fun throughout the property like s’mores, apple cider tasting and bedtime stories in the lobby. Kids ages 4-10 years old will love Camp DW, featuring ranger talks, painting birdhouses and pool parties (in the summer). Share the fun in the family game room or fort-style playground. Jump into Dollywood Splash Country Waterpark (opens Memorial Day Weekend) and thrill to Dollywood with 40 rides, great entertainment, and award-winning dining.
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Oahu, HI
Kids’ imaginations will soar at this tropical paradise. Play with dress-up gear, see Disney films, navigate an outdoor play structure and meet Disney characters throughout the resort. Add in the rich culture of the Hawaii islands and it’s a winning combination. There are also plenty of activities for tweens and teens, including water play, games, boogie boarding, adventure trails, the Aloha House Party, the North Shore Beach Zone and more. Check their website to see when Aunty’s Beach Club and other kids’ programs plan to reopen.
Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach - Miami Beach, FL
This five-star resort treats kids like little scientists and turns the experience into a marine learning adventure. More than two-thirds of the Acqualina is dedicated to family residences with a relaxed, kid-focused atmosphere. The hotel's award-winning kids' program, AcquaMarine uses a marine biology-inspired program for children ages 5-12. There are themed days like Amazing Alligators, Feisty Fish, Ocean Mammals and Super Sea Storms. Kids will learn about all things oceanic, from the Coast Guard to science projects about waves through outdoor games, technology and creative activities. There's also an oceanfront soccer field, basketball net, foosball, chess, plus pool and beach games. The best part? The daily program is complimentary to hotel guests. Currently available Thurs.-Sun. by appointment only.
Suncadia Resort - Cle Elum, WA
In the beautiful Pacific Northwest, just east of Seattle, lies this sprawling, year-round resort. Enjoy condominium-type accommodations, ideal for families with lots of kids’ activities. Take in the great outdoors with hiking, biking, even ax-throwing or have fun at the Great Suncadia Scavenger Hunt. Try the Build-a-Bear, Painting Kits or Tie-Dye Down at the Farm. Come winter, families can experience the thrill of the hill on an inner tube, ice skating and sleigh rides.
Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort - Hilton Head, SC
You’ll spend plenty of quality time with your family at this Disney Resort. Enjoy singing, storytelling and roasting marshmallows around the campfire. Go crabbing on the resort pier, take a walk with a naturalist and zip down a wraparound Water Tower Slide at the Big Dipper. Play Goofy Bingo with trivia questions, sweet treats and plenty of fun. Bring the whole family to watch classic Disney movies at their outdoor movie theatre under the stars or just hang out at the beach. Trek on down to the Disney Beach House to swim at the pool and hang out at the game tables.
Beaches Resort - Turks & Caicos
A true island escape set on 12 miles of the world's best beach; Beaches Turks & Caicos is the ultimate all-inclusive vacation for families. Discover endless land and water sports, and global gourmet dining at 21 restaurants with luxurious rooms and suites. Fun, family-friendly activities include Sesame Street® stage shows, The Pirates Island Waterpark and swim-up soda bars. There are even two new food trucks by the waterpark that offers Mac & Cheese and ice cream creations. That’s why Beaches Turks & Caicos has been voted Top 25 Hotels for Families in the World by TripAdvisor® year after year. Kids Camp is available for kids of all ages, from tots to teens, with certified nannies and Kids Camp staffers. For children with special needs, Beaches is the first resort in the world to offer Autism Certification with specialized service, engaging activities and custom dining options.
Martinhal Family Hotels & Resorts - Portugal
You may have experienced properties that promote themselves "family friendly," but the Martinhal Resorts take this to a whole new level. With four properties in Portugal, Martinhal Resorts truly are luxury resorts designed with parents in mind. Their incredible kid's program covers ages six months and up. When staying at Martinhal Chiado, the world's first luxury family hotel in a city center, kids can visit the kids club from 9:30-6. It's all included in the room charge. A special "pajama club" offers childcare services (for an additional fee) until 10 p.m. each evening, allowing parents to enjoy a night out in Lisbon.
Similar offerings are available at Martinhal's three other properties in Cascais, Sagres and Quinta. At Martinhal Cascais the Kids Clubhouse is unlike any you've ever seen, with over 7,700 square feet of play space and spacious outdoor playgrounds for children. Free supervised sessions are available for kids ages 19 mo - 9, allowing parents to enjoy meals on their own or take day trips to nearby towns. Check out their website for special packages.
Banyon Tree Mayakoba - Riviera Maya, Mexico
Kids have a blast when they learn to interact with nature and be part of preserving the resort's ecosystem. At the luxury resort Banyan Tree Mayakoba, kids can monitor the release of baby turtles as they swim back to the sea to freedom between May and November. Kids can also learn to kayak, snorkel, boogie board and Latin dance. Explore the wildlife of the mangroves on an eco-tour, or even swim with the dolphins in their natural habitats.
Coconut Bay Beach Resort, St. Lucia
Escape to Splash at Coconut Bay Resort with your fam and explore 50,000 square feet of active play areas including a zip line, rock-climbing wall, water park and a petting zoo that doubles as a sanctuary for rescued animals. Share the memories with the weekly hayride/beach party. Watch turtles being released from the beach to the water in the nesting season. Join the CocoLand Kidz Klub and get an awesome Coco Backpack, a water bottle, a t-shirt and a hat. Learn about pirates, ecology and wildlife with their SCOUT program, which stands for Seeing, Crafting, Observing, Understanding, Tasting, Saint Lucia.
Club Med, Punta Cana
Dare you try the flying trapeze, bungee jumping and aerial acrobatics? Or would you be happier bouncing on the trampolines? Everyone gets to be a kid at this all-inclusive Club Med, including those four and up. Pairing with Cirque du Soleil, the resort’s program showcases a circus-inspired interactive arts program called CREACTIVE, which provides recreational acrobatic and artistic activities inspired by the circus.
Club Med is also known for its outstanding children’s programming starting at four months with Baby Club Med (0-2) and Petit Club Med (2-3). Age-appropriate activities include creative workshops, archery, water sports, DJ instruction for tweens, digital treasure hunts and lots more.
Velas Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Check out the all-inclusive Velas Vallarta designed for families, starting with a range of accommodations including up to three-bedroom suites. Every day brings new adventure at their Kids Club, which offers a full calendar of board and video games, tennis lessons, sandcastle competitions, stone painting, arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, movie nights and more. Open to children ages 4-12 years old, the little ones participate in ceramic painting, while the adults get to relax with yoga, cultural tours, nightly entertainment, eco-friendly activities, water sports and more. Everyone gets to celebrate at the weekly Mexican Fiesta. New is their Bonfire on the Beach, which includes cocktails, gourmet dinner and a decadent dessert, all overlooking Banderas Bay.
Star Camp at Iberostar - Playa Paraíso, Mexico
Inspired by the Scout movement and incorporating the theory of multiple intelligences, Iberostar's Star Camp strives to combine fun with values and includes a range of 140 activities, based on age. Kids enjoy 12 different categories including team sports, group challenges, science and cooking activities, board games, arts, crafts, dance and even technology. Most important, they learn how to protect underwater life.
Check out the Monkeys (ages 4-7), Dolphins (ages 8-12) and Eagles (ages 13-17). You might see members of Star Camp at headquarters and then, an hour later, they’ll be on the beach participating in a scavenger hunt. They cruise the lazy river, play capture the flag, do escape room challenges, have mini-chef baking challenges. Every night from 8 p.m. - 9 p.m., they perform on the main stage, complete with costumes and great memories!
Moon Palace – Cancun Mexico
Prepare your kiddos for playtime to the max! At the Moon Palace, the two resorts’ state-of-the-art Kids & Teens areas are amazing inside and out. Let’s start with water – enjoy the Double Wave Simulator Flowrider, giant waterslide and a kiddie pool for hours of fun in the sun. The colorful Kids Playroom at Sunrise gets two thumbs up with a dollhouse, Skate n Play, an X-Box room, theatre and more. The Nizuc Playroom adds a PlayStation Video Game area, computers, tablets and toy area. Spend time riding bikes, paddleboarding, kayaking and more as a family.
Featured image: iStock
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