There is something incredibly powerful and pure about the way children see the landscape around them. The energy and excitement in how they approach every day allows us, as adults, to explore things that we tend to forget as we grow up. It might be the overwhelming colours of breakfast for a five-year-old – the glistening pastries, the vibrant fresh fruit – or learning new skills as a teenager – cooking, history or conservation. Through curated activities, you can pass on important life lessons, such as the benefits of organic, fresh produce and preserving ancient traditions. At any age, this can help form a child’s values as well as the family’s as a whole.
Watch your children’s fantasies become a reality as they enter this colossal suspended den, shaped like a manta ray, hovering among the treetops at Soneva Kiri in Thailand. As impressive inside as out, it contains space for individual rooms dedicated to art, music and fashion as well as a library with a catamaran-style netting floor covered with comfy cushions.
Much to the delight of every child that visits, the final flourish is the entrance, which features a real drawbridge that leads up into the ray. Nature is at the heart of this eco-friendly construction: windows in the floor peek down to the forest below and children learn about social and environmental responsibilities, designing and creating from recycled magazine paper. To enhance their awareness of local culture and values (an important part of the den’s ethos), the music room is filled with traditional Thai instruments for them to play.
It’s time to don some chef whites at Borgo Egnazia in Puglia, Italy. The hotel’s expert chefs work with local fresh produce so your little ones can learn how to cook traditional Puglian dishes with an ‘earth to plate’ philosophy. Each lesson has a thoughtful, cultural connection to the Puglia region, such as making bread from an authentic recipe that is unique to the area
Parents wanting to support their child’s education on the wellbeing of the planet may have difficulty selling a ‘lesson’ as an activity, but eco-tours at Rosewood Mayakoba, Mexico take on a life of their own. Highlighting the importance of a balanced ecosystem, and caring for animals and their natural habitat, experts will guide children on a boat excursion through winding lagoons.
Little explorers are free to marvel at crocodiles, birds, turtles and iguanas as well as a host of other flora and fauna. Adults are welcome too, so get ready for the whole family to be surprised, delighted and spell-bound by Mexico’s native creatures.
Jumby Bay Island in Antigua is home to The Jumby Bay Hawksbill Project, the longest, continuous-running hawksbill research programme in the world. But monitoring and researching these graceful creatures isn’t just an activity for experienced conservationists.
The Hawksbill Turtle Programme encourages children of all ages to engage in the island’s conservation efforts by watching turtle nesting and hatchings and even ‘adopting’ an endangered turtle to track its progress.
This once-in-a-lifetime and immersive experience involves thoughtfully-curated activities, such as guided tours with experts, beach maintenance in the stunning scenery and a private family dinner on the beach to bond over these amazing insights.
There is nothing more empowering for a child than the breathtaking chance to see tiny turtles make their way to a new life in the sea.
On arrival at One&Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives every child is welcomed by a Kids Buddy, trained and qualified by Worldwide Kids, a global consultancy with a wealth of knowledge in childcare. Fluent in Russian, Ukrainian and English, the Kids Buddy actively encourages the power of imagination through a bespoke personalised schedule that embraces the surrounding lagoons and white sands.
A firm favourite is the weekly pirate adventure. Bringing to life the excitement of storybooks like Peter Pan, children can hop on a traditional Maldivian dhoni, meet Captain Hook and hunt for buried treasure – all while learning new creative skills and teamwork. One&Only are dedicated to creating personalised moments and, through the Kids Buddy programme, families are brought together by meaningful and entertaining exploration.
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort not only surprises children but reinvigorates parents with the purest glee, too. Set in Walt Disney World itself, you couldn’t be closer to the action, where the most special, magic-filled moments are personalised to you. It might be an action-packed adventure through the sprawling five-acre water park and slides, a dive-in movie and breakfast with Goofy. Or it could be a private meal on the rooftop restaurant surrounded by the bright lights of sparkling fireworks.
Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai holds prime position on the shores of the Arabian Gulf with a private beach and spectacular panoramas. Activities here are endless; a sea-themed kids club, yacht cruises, scuba diving and more than 10 restaurants to choose from. Plus, guests can enjoy unlimited direct access to Wild Wadi Waterpark™, which is themed around the tale of Juha, a well-known character from Arabian folklore.
Everyone in the family will be realising their inner child as they splash and slide around the exciting rides. For a welcome calm after a day of adventure, stay in one of the Beit Al Bahar Villas, with a private plunge pool and dedicated butler.