Swing from the trapeze at Circus School, learn to swim like a mermaid, and sleep in a LEGO wonderland
Whether you’re looking for daily penguin encounters, indoor glamping, or adrenaline-fueled watersports, we’ve found a ton of family-friendly resorts with something for everyone. Because there’s so much to do you’ll never have to leave the resort. So jet off to Mexico, the Caribbean, or Hawaii where the ultimate family fun awaits you on arrival.
Esperanza – Los Cabos, Mexico
From inspiring creativity through traditional Mexican crafts to learning teamwork in Capture the Flag, the Tortuguitas Kids Club offers tons of family fun. This season, guests can explore the stunning Baja coast on a private safari to a secret whale-watching destination or enjoy a fresh catch prepared by the chef. For guests of all ages, the resort offers a family cooking class focusing on hand-picked organic produce. It’s the perfect destination for families seeking adventure.
Lopesan Costa Bávaro Resort Spa & Casino – Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Boasting seven freshwater pools including a two-story 30,000 square-foot infinity pool, you can start daydreaming about Punta Cana’s most breathtaking swimming experiences, all housed in one resort. So, when you’re ready to cool off, head to Splash Island waterpark, which touts multiple waterslides for kids and adults alike, or the Kids Pool, dedicated to young guests looking to splash around with family. Luckily, you won’t have to choose between the ocean or the pool because the resort has direct beach access.
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa – Maui, Hawaii
The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort has something for everyone. Adventurous families can feed the resort’s resident African Black-Footed Penguins in the only habitat in the Hawaiian Islands of its kind. On a wildlife tour, older kids who want to explore Hawaii’s natural beauty can get a closer glimpse at the stunning creatures surrounding the resort. Then check out the Hawaii Mermaid Adventure, complete with Insta-ready GoPro photos.
LEGOLAND California Resort – Carlsbad, CA
Whether your child is going through a serious LEGO phase or is more of a casual fan, visiting the LEGOLAND California Resort is a must-do. First, visit the LEGO theme park and splash your way through the water park. Then, head to the LEGOLAND Hotel for even more fun with bricks. Every room features a LEGO theme and even the elevators are decked out from top to bottom.
Under Canvas – Various National Parks
Give kids the ultimate glamping experience by going Under Canvas. Sleep in a safari-inspired tent in one of several national parks. By day families can enjoy guided hikes, arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, and various outdoor games. By night, watch outdoor movies and enjoy live music and fireside chats.
The Phoenician – Scottsdale, Arizona
The Phoenician is the perfect family escape in the Southwest. With multiple pools and a huge, twisty waterslide, it’s a great way to get in quality time in the lap of luxury. Once kids are ready to get out of the pool, head to The Kids Zone with a treehouse complete with a swaying bridge and a splash pad with spray guns, falling buckets of water, and shooting water spouts.
Four Seasons Hualali – Hawaii
Hawaii’s Four Seasons Hualali resort has so much to offer that you may never set foot off the expansive grounds. Go snorkeling with a marine biologist, swim in a 1.8-million-gallon aquarium, or watch sea turtles on the beach. If you must see more of Hawaii, the resort can arrange a variety of experiences from tours of nearby farms to a helicopter ride with majestic views of the island’s volcanoes.
Cartoon Network Hotel– Lancaster, PA
Fulfill your child’s greatest dream and become immersed in the Cartoon Network universe. This resort has everything from Ben-10 and Adventure Time-themed rooms to Powder-Puff Girls water slides. Of course, lodgings include big-screen TVs with custom Cartoon Network showings, but there is so much to do that we know you will only spend a little time in your room.
Graduate Hotels – Various Locations
Graduate Hotels embrace local culture and capture the fun of being in college. These boutique hotels feature game rooms with billiards tables, video games, and board games. Family suites with bunk beds are a fun way to spend the night and have plenty of space for the entire family to spread out. For even more family fun, some locations have other amenities, like a rooftop pool and bicycle rentals.
The Great Wolf Lodge – Various Locations
Great Wolf Lodge resorts were designed with kids in mind. From an enormous waterpark to bowling alleys, laser tag, climbing walls, MagiQuest, and nightly dance parties, there is non-stop action all day long. Wander around the lodge, and you’ll run into a Great Wolf Lodge character meet-and-greet, storytime, yoga, or craft. In the summer, head outside to enjoy a large outdoor pool.
Canopy – Washington, D.C
Just because you are visiting the big city doesn’t mean you can’t have fun glamping in your room. Book the Urban Camping package at Canopy just outside the nation’s capital for a bug-free glamping experience. Kids will catch some shut-eye in sleeping bags in their very own tents. Set up the star machine and make your treats with an electric s’mores maker.
Kimpton – Multiple Locations
Kimptons are stunning, quirky hotels that go the extra mile to welcome families. Each location has its twist. For example, you will find a fun Little Explorers package at the Kimpton Palomar in Philadelphia, complete with “kid currency” that can be used to buy warm chocolate chip cookies and milk, an instant-print camera to capture a kids’-eye view of the city, a scavenger hunt and coloring book. They even throw in a bottle of wine for the parents.
Beaches – Turks & Caicos
Beaches Turks & Caicos truly has something for everyone. Kids who are part fish will love the watersports, including snorkeling, windsurfing, and kayaking. Another kid favorite is Pirates Island, the resort’s expansive waterpark, that features gigantic waterslides, a long lazy river, kid-friendly pools, and swim-up soda bars.
Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa – Ko Olina, Hawai‘i
A favorite water activity at Disney’s Aulani is to swim the man-made reef filled with fish built solely for snorkeling. Kids under 11 must be accompanied by an adult but feel free to swim for however long you want to snorkel. We also love the Painted Sky Studio, where your kids will be transformed into luau magic. If they want to channel a more Disney-like character, they have Ariel from The Little Mermaid, Moana, and the more traditional Minnie Mouse buns.
Universal Orlando Resort – Orlando, Florida
Whether your kids love Minions or the dinosaurs from Jurassic World, they will be thrilled with their unique vacation digs at Universal Orlando Resort. After a hard day at the parks, enjoy the resort’s beach pool, complete with a Roman aqueduct-themed water slide and sandy beach. Look for regular poolside activities, including a water balloon toss, hula-hoop contests, and arts and crafts.
Atlantis Paradise Island – Bahamas
With 141 acres of high-speed water slides, a mile-long river ride, and 11 swimming pools, everyone will find something they love. But the water activities don’t end there. Younger children can participate in Atlantis’ Sea Squirts program, where they can hand-feed baby stingrays. Children eight and up can “Snuba”-dive and participate in a safe, modified form of scuba-diving. Families can head to Dolphin Cay to swim with dolphins and learn about dolphin conservation, including the dolphins rescued from Hurricane Katrina. Read our full review here.
The Plaza Hotel – New York City, New York
In the Eloise Suite, named for The Plaza’s famous resident in Kay Thompson’s Eloise books, your capricious kiddo will love the outrageous and fun décor by Betsey Johnson. The suite is decorated with an Eloise-approved palette of pink and black with her name in big neon lights. Fans will be delighted to find the room stocked with themed books, dolls, clothing, a letter from Eloise, treats, and pink lemonade.
Club Med Punta Cana – Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
A unique offering is Club Med Circus School, an acrobatic playground for adults and children alike. Trained performers safely challenge, support, and entertain guests as they test the limits of their comfort zones through acrobatic trapeze, suspended bungee, and trampoline. More comfortable with your feet on the ground? Club Med Circus School also engages participants in the circus arts of face painting, choreography, and music.
Iberostar Paraíso Complex—Playa Paraíso, Mexico
Iberostar has completely re-invented what it means to go to a kids’ club. Star Camp is cheerfully designed, with many sustainable features, including the outdoor playground made of recycled plastic. In addition, there’s an indoor climbing/play structure, puzzles, crafts, Imagination Playground blocks for little kids and a mini trampoline park, a climbing wall, lounge chairs, and video games for the older crew.
Limelight Hotel – Snowmass, CO
Hotel perks have reached new heights at the Limelight Hotel in the Snowmass Base Village Plaza. The plaza is home to an open-air community space where families ice skate (in the winter only) and enjoy fire pits, pop-up activities, and casual dining. Kids of all ages can also try their skills on the rock climbing wall that adorns the front of the hotel all year long. Six stories up, it’s a great way to hang around when not on the slopes or hiking.
Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino – Palm Beach, Aruba
When you visit the Hilton Aruba in Palm Beach, Aruba, you’ll have access to a list of kid-friendly amenities, including the daily bird interaction, where guests encounter the resort’s 11 macaws and the snorkeling instruction that’s perfect even for beginners. In addition, there’s a waterproof library for pool lounging opportunities, a family movie night on the South Pool deck, s’mores and campfire night, and even stargazing.