10 Best Resort Kids' Programs


Named after Jamaica's fabled children's character "Anancy the Spider," the space includes shaded play areas, activity rooms, a wading pool and a sand box. There are puppet shows in Tacoomah Hut, cold refreshments in Patoo's Lookout, an arts and crafts area and daily story times.

Teens can participate in tennis clinics, volleyball, nature walks, golf, squash, horseback riding and water sports. The Hype Zone is open to teens 13 to 17 and has a game room with air hockey, table tennis and pool, a cyber lounge with Internet access and a mini spa.

Half Moon's Equestrian Centre has horses and rides to fit every skill level. Guided tours will take you on a ride through paths in the hills or valleys, or down to the beach. The resort's Dolphin Lagoon is a great opportunity for kids ages 4 and older to get a hands-on experience with the dolphins. They are allowed enter the water to touch, swim and play with them.

No. 7 -- Jamaica: Franklyn D. Resort

Franklyn D. Resort's children's program scores major points from parents with babies because of its unique nanny service.

When you check in to the resort, you are assigned our own personal nanny for the duration of your stay. She is available every day from 9 a.m. until 4:40 p.m. and will do it all, including bathing and dressing the kids, and feeding them breakfast and lunch.

FDR's supervised kids' club for ages birth to 16 offers tons of organized activities, including picnics, cooking classes, playground and computer time, beach games, movies and games.

Nannies can --but do not need to -- supervise all of these activities.

Teens have their own program and can take part in discos, group trips, dance classes, scuba diving (through an outside company, for a fee), board games and organized sessions to get to know one another.

Activities run from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., so mom and dad can have dinner alone, if they choose.

No. 8 -- Florida: The Ritz-Carlton Naples

The Ritz-Carlton Naples, overlooking Florida's Gulf Coast, is home to the impressive Nature's Wonders Center, where kids and parents will be wowed by the sanctuary they have created there.

There are 11 aquariums housing fish, sharks, crabs, jellyfish, eel and even alligators, and touch talks allow kids to get hands on.

Older children can make use of a small lab with microscopes, slides and Petri dishes to learn about tiny marine life.

Programs available through the Nature's Wonders program include nature walks through the butterfly garden, boat rides to the estuary, learning about alligators, participating in feeding, and beach combing, among other field trips.

The Nature's Wonder camp is open to kids ages 5 to 12 daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kids can attend for a full-day, half-day or for an hour at a time.

Other cool spaces for kids are the Nature Vision Theater, which plays National Geographic and Discovery Channel specials and Disney movies, and the vue (virtual user experience) lounge, which is open to kids ages 8 and older.

The vue houses interactive virtual reality games played on 40-inch LCDs, as well as XBox 360, Playstation 3 and Wii.

No. 9 -- Vermont: Smuggler's Notch

Smuggler's Notch, or "Smuggs," as it is affectionately known, is arguably the best ski out there for families. Its ski lessons for kids (which begin at age 2.5) are second to none, and led by friendly and knowledgeable instructors.

Group classes and private lessons are available for every skill and comfort level imaginable.

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