School's Out - Now What? Top Summer Family Vacation Getaways
Robust kid-friendly programming, spacious accommodations and destinations bursting with attractions and culture will make for an unforgettable family getaway with lasting memories to boot:
- Whiteface Lodge (Lake Placid, New York): This Forbes Four Star all-suite resort is a playground for families in and of itself. In addition to the wealth of on-property activities for kids, including a 56-seat movie theater, game room complete with billiard, shuffleboard, foosball and two-lane bowling alley, fishing in a catch-and-release pond with all equipment provided, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor and nightly s'mores, the Lodge is home to Kamp Kanu and Sunset Club. Kamp Kanu is a complimentary children's program offered seven days a week during the summer months for children ages three to 14. Kids are engaged the entire day with activities including relay races, obstacle courses, treasure hunts, arts & crafts, storytelling, science experiments and more. Children ages 11-14 can participate in a full day program from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and can explore Lake Placid via hiking, canoeing and kayaking. Sunset Club is an evening program for children designed to allow parents some time to enjoy a fine dining experience in KANU while their children simultaneously enjoy a pizza dinner and an evening of games and activities. Sunset Club is offered from 6-9p.m. for children ages five to 10. The cost is $30 for the first child, $20 for the second and $10 for each additional sibling per family. The Sunset Club runs daily during the summer beginning the last weekend in June until Labor Day.
- Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa: This AAA Four Diamond-rated retreat is an oasis for family travel located on its own private beach. The resort's spacious condo-style suites make family travel a (sea) breeze and are fully equipped with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, private balconies, and an in-suite washer and dryer. Catering to youngsters ages 4-12, the resort's renowned Kids Club offers daily activities customized to ages and interests. On the “menu” are crafts, sports, and seasonal adventures from sand art and hair braiding to water balloon games, treasure digs and sea shell expeditions. Sessions are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, with Parent's Night Out on Fridays and Saturdays, 6 to 10 p.m., including dinner ($45). Plus, on Friday nights at 8 p.m. a Dive-In Movie is shown at the Lagoon Pool on the resort's big screen. A slew of on-site activities, including non-motorized water sports and a Lagoon Pool with a two-story waterfall, award-winning resort spa and casual to fine dining options make this a fun-filled family escape. Packages like the Little Loggerhead and Explore Our Reef encourage families to explore Palm Beach and its natural beauty.
- Sea Crest Beach Hotel (Cape Cod, Mass.): A favorite of family vacationers for over 50 years, this quintessential Cape escape provides fun for all ages. Located on its private Old Silver Beach each day from 10-11 a.m., the Kangaroo Klub (for children ages four and up) gets kids moving with high energy games, including jump rope, hula hoops, juggling, parachute games and an obstacle course. Outdoor movies on the hotel's 16-foot screen, windsurfing lessons, watersports rentals, beach volleyball and bike rentals are also available. The hotel is also home to a video arcade and a Tween Room sporting brightly colored furniture, “graffiti” wall coverings, TV and arcade games. Sea Crest's prime beachfront location on Cape Cod's Buzzard's Bay is just minutes away from attractions both kids and adults will love, including Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Marine Biological Laboratory, Nobska Lighthouse, and ferries to and from Martha's Vineyard. Best of all, guests can step directly onto a private stretch of Old Silver Beach for a stroll or a game of football, then go for a swim in the hotel's newly renovated indoor heated pool.
- Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa: This boutique-style resort located in Pompano Beach (touted a “destination on the rise” by Trip Advisor) provides families with the simple pleasures of Florida beach living. As one of Florida's finest diving destinations, families seeking an adventure-filled escape can book the resort's Discover Scuba Package that includes beachfront accommodations and all of the scuba diving basics in the resort pool, before they head out to sea to experience two ocean dives (rental equipment provided). The resort also offers two outdoor heated swimming pools and watersport rentals including jet skis and paddleboards. For its younger guests, a Kids Club is available with a wide range of fun-filled activities ranging from beach games to arts and crafts for children ages five and up. Half-day sessions are $35 and full-day sessions are $70 including lunch. Advanced reservations are required.