As we head full steam into the peak family travel season, wellness-minded parents will be happy to know that resorts are enhancing existing programs and introducing new options to help keep the younger set entertained while promoting activities that encourage mindfulness, self expression and “digital detox.”
Here are three resorts with new offerings this summer:
Experiential themed weeks at Harbor Resort
The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina in Charleston, SC, is offering a robust summer program with guided activities both on site and off. For instance, a variety of themed weeks, including Arts in Nature, Outdoor Detectives, Weather Watches and Dinosaur Days incorporate unique field trips such as one to a local weather station, another to a nearby police station. General manager Nick Saltmarsh says these experiential types of programs are “becoming more important to parents as the younger generations become more connected to and dependent on their digital devices.
The Mini-Mariners Kids’ Camp, open Monday to Friday mornings for children ages 5-12, encourages young participants to step away from technology and engage in the environment around them with hands on activities such as the making of weather instruments, interacting with ocean life, hunting for shark teeth and digging for fossils.
At a daily Sunset Celebration, the activity of roasting marshmallows at a beachfront fire pit is followed by the making of a wish upon a shell and tossing it into the ocean. “Studies show that rituals such as this one are calming to children, provide a focal point from distraction and teach them to live in the moment,” Saltmarsh said.
Teenagers visiting the Beach Club will find opportunities for exploration via cycling, hiking a nature trail and testing their balance skills with stand-up paddle boarding.
Nature & meditation at Mohonk
Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY, also is recognizing that the stresses of everyday life can affect teens and children. With the recent introduction of the Me Too Meditation program for guests as young as six years old, director of mindfulness Nina Smiley leads guided sessions that include simple techniques to bring the benefits of mindfulness into their lives.
Children ages 4 to 12 can also learn about nature with the Junior Naturalist program. Led by Mohonk’s naturalist, this program allows kids to get hands-on experience with nature through activities such as animal tracking, plant and animal identification walks and art projects that showcase their discoveries. The resort also recently launched a new Hiking Menu featuring a guided interactive hike for families.
Wellness-focused programs and team leading skills at Turnberry
At Turnberry Isle Miami the wellness-based recreation program utilize a curriculum that includes games and activities Children will learn the importance of good nutrition and fitness components including things such as muscular strength, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance.
Tammy Pahel, Turnberry’s spa director says, “We worked with Pear Programs to design our Kids Club and ensure that activities and games were wellness based but still fun, so being healthy is appealing and can eventually become a lifestyle of choice.”
Other offerings allow children to play games that challenge them as leaders, enhance communication skills and teach them how to be part of a team’s success. Shelley Erasmus, founder of the program that is the foundation of the resort’s Kid’s Club, says these teambuilding activities “help children develop self-awareness as well as awareness for the people and the world around them.” Younger guests are also given the opportunity to explore and develop their creativity and self-expression through dance, improvisation and the world of art.