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Programs For Kids

We cannot vouch for all luxury resorts, but the ones recommended in this site have each been visited and scrutinized by us, and many offer fun and creative children's programs. For instance, Carlsbad's Four Season's Aviara, an absolutely plush and luxurious resort where parents' every wish and desire can be met, also offers its Kid's For All Season's Program where youngsters, guided by trained counselors, spend their days exploring the natural wonderland of the Batiquitos Lagoon on the resort, playing games in their play-room stocked with games, videos, arts and crafts, and listening to stories read and told by the well-trained staff. Children can feed "Avie" the frog and his friends in the frog aquarium, make postcards, play sports, and join in races on the lawn, depending on their ages and interests. While not all of the children's programs at these resort spas are complimentary, this one happens to be (as compared to the $115.85 Dee and Aaron paid simply for admission into Seaworld) and is designed to enable parents to fully enjoy the resort activities.

Another excellent family destination is the tranquil and elegant Ojai Valley Inn and Spa which offers its popular Camp Ojai exclusively for the children of resort guests. The program is run by trained, professional counselors who are CPR and first-aid certified as well as a California credentialed teacher/director. Without ever leaving the resort's lovely grounds, children can enjoy pony rides, a visit to the children's farm to see the small ranch animals, and a walk to an authentic Chumash Native American house where several organized activities await them. There, children learn about the ancient legends of the Native Americans, paint gourds and rocks, and learn instruments such as drums and flutes. On other days, the youngsters engage in face paintings, take walking tours where they learn about the indigenous plants, and practice archery (with bows and arrows with rubber blunt tips), while Mom and Dad get massages and play tennis. The camp maintains a 5/1 child to counselor ratio, all counselors have ECE credits, and some are especially trained to interact with children with special needs. The family reconvenes in the early evening and might then enjoy dinner at the resort's al fresco Oaks Café or at the Maravilla, for fine dining. On my first night at the resort, two minor yet easily recognizable celebrities shared nearby tables from me at the former restaurant. highligts many other resorts with unique children's programs or activities. Once we know where to find these places, we, as family travelers and responsible parents, no longer need to feel obligated to devote our entire vacation time traipsing around "kids' places" and entertaining our little ones. We can confidently allow these resort professionals to temporarily take over the job, knowing that our youngsters are safe and so well entertained that many of them do not want to leave by the end of the day. Recognizing this, we can begin to replenish ourselves, without feeling guilty that our little ones are not also having fun. This situation will also work well for grandparents desiring to vacation with their young grandchildren; grandparents too can enjoy guiltless relaxation at such destinations, while bonding with the youngsters in the mornings, late afternoons, and evenings.