In theory, the family vacation is enjoyable.
In practice, well, a man can only stand in so many waterslide lines without the help of the margarita machine.
The problem: Kids become irritable if there aren’t enough activities. Adults become irritable if there are too many. And that’s not taking into account the crowds. Or the expense.
Thankfully, resorts do exist that cater to the entire family. Places where the little ones can splash in pools or zipline through a copse of trees while mom and dad savor a cocktail beachside or enjoy a massage at the spa.
Book one of these five resorts on your children’s next three-day break. And leave the spouse at home. They deserve a break, too.
Atlantis Paradise Island
Paradise Island, Bahamas
The Bahamas have long been a popular family vacation spot and no resort gets more accolades from parents and children alike than Atlantis Paradise Island. The expansive 3,400-room resort recreates the lost continent with lagoons crawling with sea creatures and miles of soft white sand. Kids can choose from 11 pools and 18 waterslides — make sure to take the Mayan Temple’s Leap of Faith slide into a shark-infested lagoon. Adults will enjoy 21 restaurants and Salon Privé, a high-stakes private room at the casino with table games and slot machines.
Out ‘N’ About Treehouse Resort
Cave Junction, Oregon
Ever wanted to stay in the trees? Here’s your chance. Out ‘N’ About Treehouse Resort features 15 different treehouses. Head up ladders or stairs to get some shut eye or slide down rope swings and fire poles when you’re ready to tackle the day. Take lessons in treehouse building or rope climbing or just enjoy the Oregon countryside via horseback or whitewater raft.
Since 1928, this German-style resort in the Poconos has been welcoming families from to the Northeast. You can zipline, kayak, fish, hike and even geo-cache (for the unanointed: a worldwide network of orienteering-style scavenger hunts originally conceived in 2000). During the colder months, snowshoeing and sledding take center stage. Adults aren’t out of the action, either: a daily round of golf is included in your stay.
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
California dreaming on such a winter’s day. Ojai Valley Inn & Spa has you covered. This 236-room Spanish colonial resort boasts 220 scenic acres. While you’re easing your muscles in the world-renowned, 31,000-square-foot spa, your kids can enjoy a hike or ride horses. The posh resort offers kids camps through the year, an outdoor heated pool, a baby pool, golf and tennis lessons for the family, and private babysitting services. The apothecary lab allows parents and children to create their own signature scents and lotions.
Everything’s better in Hawaii. Including but not limited to family-friendly getaways. The luxe Travaasa Hana features rolling green lawns that give way to a lovely pool in the Waikaloa Family Suites. Children can learn hula, play ukulele, make leis or take glider airplane lessons. Adults will especially enjoy the yoga and juice-making classes or the spa after a long day of adventure. Take the shuttle to lovely Hamoa Beach, one of the quieter and more pristine spots on all of Maui. And don’t forget to grab your complimentary boogie boards and snorkel gear.