Take one incredible resort, add daily activities for all, stir in well-planned and easily executed family time; top with rest, relaxation and plenty of giggles, and you’ve got yourself one memorable vacation. If you’re looking to cook up family fun without the stress of planning, look no further than these family resorts guaranteed to satisfy every appetite: from naturalists to gymnasts, water bugs and ski bunnies. The best part? All of these picks are totally all-inclusive travel, meaning all you need to do is get there and the rest is taken care of.
Photo: The Lodge on Little St. Simons Island
The Lodge on Little St. Simons Island, Georgia
Little St. Simons is an all-inclusive eco resort that gives families two daily opportunities to engage in the property’s complimentary naturalist program, which includes guided kayak tours, sea turtle walks, fish printing workshops, garden tours and more. A stay at The Lodge includes family-style meals that include local fare like fish, shrimp and oysters with herbs and sides from the on-island organic garden.
Things to Do
Beyond the daily naturalist programs, families can truly unplug from the rest of the world and reconnect with one another on this private, 1000-mile barrier island that is only accessible by boat. Activities come with instruction and assistance, and include fishing, paddling and birding.
Planning a trip to Little St. Simons Island with children under age 7? Go in early fall or late spring, because the Island does not allow children under the age of 7 from October-April to ensures that all guests are old enough to enjoy the seasonal nature activities.
Little St. Simons Island
1000 Hampton River Club Marina Drive
St. Simons Island, Georgia 31522
Photo: Club Med Punta Cana
Club Med Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
This all-inclusive beach resort for active families is literally raising the bar on fun with its new CREACTIVE acrobat training facility. In addition to sailing, surfing, SCUBA, paddle boarding, kayaking, the spa and the kids club, which is a resort-within-the-resort for the younger guests, CREACTIVE is a thrilling experience for guests of all ages. Staffed by Cirque du Soleil trained gymnasts, you can bounce, swing and soar your way to an unforgettable family vacation.
What to Do
In addition to the CREACTIVE experience and watersports, be sure to check out the incredible Club Med Spa by L’OCCITANE and world-class golf within reach of the property. For a sneak peek check out our story here.
If you’re planning a vacation with extended family members who don’t have kids, check out the new Zen Oasis section of the Club Med Punta Cana resort, which offers adults-only lodging and pool in a serene setting. The pool at Zen Oasis is accessible to all adult guests, so parents can drop off the littles at the kids club and head to a quieter, more serene side of the resort.
Club Med Punta Cana
APT Postal 106 Higuey Punta Cana
Photo: Rancho de los Caballeros
Rancho de los Caballeros, Arizona
Little wranglers will love this family resort that operates annually from October to May and offers family activities such as horseback riding, nature hikes, hot air balloon rides, and evening campfires. Established in 1948, Rancho de los Caballeros is a guest ranch resort offering just as many activities for adults as it does for kids.
What to Do
Adults will love hitting the links, taking jeep tours, practicing their aim with skeet shooting, and enjoying gourmet meals while the kids are having fun in a heated pool, horseback riding, playing soccer, and taking hayrides as part of a supervised Caballeros Kids camp for ages 5-12.
Rancho de los Caballeros offers an incredible array of activities as part of the kids club, but families seeking more time together absolutely must take part in a family trail ride, followed by a campfire cookout.
Rancho de los Caballeros
1551 S. Vulture Mine Rd.
Wickenburg, Arizona 85390
Photo: Coconut Bay St. Lucia Beach Resort & Spa
Coconut Bay St. Lucia Beach Resort & Spa
Nestled on the sandy white Caribbean beaches of St. Lucia is a world-class family resort, Splash, that will delight the young and the young at heart. Here, a room with a view includes not only the ocean, but also the largest water park on the island. With a water park, paint ball facility and fully supervised Kidz Klub, no one will get tired of the sand (or each other) on this beach vacation.
What to Do
When your crew has put the finishing touches on your sandcastle, head to CocoLand for a cruise down the lazy river and water slides. Traveling with teens? Don’t miss the 25,000 square foot paintball course! And when you’re ready to treat yourselves to a little adult time, the kids will be thrilled to head to the Kidz Klub, a fully supervised operation complete with a pirate ship, mini zip line, mini rock wall and splash playground.
Children ages 4 and under are free at Coconut Bay, so be sure to take the family before the little ones add another candle to the cake!
Coconut Bay Resort & Spa
PO Box 246, Vieux Fort, St. Lucia
Photo: Skytop Lodge via Facebook
This four season lodge in the Poconos offers activities for adults and children alike, and while sumer is the only season that a dedicated kids club is offered, there are plenty of activities during the rest of the year for families to enjoy together.
What to Do
Families that play together, stay together! And family adventures abound at Skytop, including hayrides during the fall, a toboggan slide onto a frozen lake and ice fishing in the winter, crafts all day long, and dining rooms that range from family-friendly to adult and formal.
Arrange babysitting services through the concierge upon arrival to take advantage of an adult dinner or excursion during your vacation.
Skytop, Pennsylvania 18357
Photo: Franklyn D. Resort and Spa
Franklyn D. Resort & Spa, Jamaica
What sets this all-inclusive family beach resort apart from the rest is that each family is assigned a vacation nanny to accompany them (as requested) throughout their stay. So whether you opt to spend family time together on the beach and you’d like an extra hand to keep the sunscreen re-applied, or you plan to send the little ones to the kids club and want a direct liaison (they are reachable throughout the day by cell phones), you have as much help as you want.
What to Do
When you’re ready for grown-up time, the kids will have a blast in the Yellow Bird Kids’ Club, where they can play games, swim, go fishing, take snorkeling lessons and choose from a myriad of additional activities from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. While the kids are away, the adults can enjoy water sports, the spa or fitness classes, among other options.
Be sure to take advantage of the family-friendly and adults-only dining options while you’re at the resort. No need to book a sitter when you’ve got a vacation nanny on hand!
Franklyn D. Resort
P.O. Box 201, Runaway Bay
St. Ann, Jamaica
Photo: Stefanie Michejda
Aspen Snowmass, Colorado
In an area teeming with options on the slopes, Snowmass is the largest of the four Aspen ski mountains, and if the powdery slopes don’t convince you then the family-friendly amenities will. All kids ski free up to age seven, and for the little ones ages 8 weeks to four years, the Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center offers both childcare as well as introductory ski schools. While lodging is selected a la carte for access to the slopes, we love the Kids Club offering at The Westin Snowmass for its activities, slope side setting, dining options and flexibility.
Things to Do
With over 3,300 acres of terrain and nearly 100 trails, your first point of business is to hit the slopes. Snowbunnies ages two and up can enroll in Snowmass’ Cubs on Skis program, where they’ll learn how to ski as well as a little about nature.
Nearby Buttermilk Mountain opened The Hideout, a giant 7,500 square foot facility in December 2014 just for kids, who will love the custom-designed play features like a lookout tower and interactive play room.
Snowmass Village, CO 81615
Photo: Atlantis Paradise Island Resort
Atlantis Paradise Island Resort, Bahamas
This grandaddy of island resorts has literally everything a family would need to stay busy and entertained. From natural habitats for up-close marine life viewing to river rides, water slides and even an underground aquarium, Atlantis has something for everyone.
What to Do
Kids at Atlantis are invited to experience incredible sea turtle and other marine life interactions as part of their Kids Club experiences, and for the littles who aren’t so into checking out the critters, there is also a pottery studio, movie theatre and teddy bear building factory. For the adults, Atlantis offers gourmet dining, kayaking, a casino, a spa and in-room babysitting for evenings out.
If you experience only one thing at Atlantis together as a family, make sure it’s Dolphin Kay. Families can say hello to the dolphins, swim with them, and learn about their care and feeding on this 14-acre animal rescue-rehab facility.
Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas
One Casino Drive
Paradise Island, Bahamas
Photo: Erin Feher
Azul Hotels by Karisma, Mexico
Families looking for an all-inclusive resort brand in the Riviera Maya have three incredible offerings by Azul Hotels to choose from. These luxurious yet family-friendly resorts aim to please with fine dining, spacious rooms, miles of powdery beaches bordered by sparkling blue pools, and plenty of entertainment options for the youngest travelers.
What to Do
Thanks to a partnership with Nick Jr., guests at Azul Hotels are treated to plenty of character interactions with the stars of their favorite shows, including Dora, Boots, Sponge Bob, Patrick, and all four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And with movie nights, splash parks and activity gyms for the little ones, adults can enjoy time together at the spa, on the beach, or at dinner without worrying that their kiddos aren’t having as much fun as they are. Get an insider’s peek at this all-inclusive resort by clicking here.
Don’t miss the weekly Slime Time party where, in addition to dancing and other fun performances, guests are invited to sit in the slime seat and get doused with the famous green goo ($175 for up to 4 people).
Azul Sensatori, Azul Fives and Azul Beach
Maya Riviera, Mexico
What is your favorite place to take an all-inclusive vacation? Tell us in the comments section below!