The Westin in Puerto Vallarta staves off kids' boredom with a playground, arts and crafts.
By Nina Gass
If your attitude toward family vacations is like mine, taking a trip to another country is a win-win: You get to expose your kids to new cultures, tastes and traditions and diminish the possibility of hearing these words, “Mom, I’m bored.” To test this theory, I took my brood on a Mexico vacation to Puerto Vallarta, a city rich in nature-inspired activities and adrenaline-fueled opportunities. Suddenly, I’m a cool mom–as if there was any doubt.
And now, a few highlights from our trip:
- While the movie might not have been made for kids, El Eden, the restaurant that now stands on the site of the original Predator movie set, sure enthralled my children. “Cool” was the buzzword for the day. The open-air jungle restaurant looks like an oversized treehouse next to the Mismaloya River. After a delicious selection of grilled meat and seafood, we enjoyed a walk around some of the leftover movie props, including a helicopter, followed by a jump off the restaurant deck with the Tarzan swing for a refreshing swim and slide down the waterfalls.
- Having the kids learn more about wildlife was a special aspect of our trip, including visits to the El Quelele lagoon, swimming with the Pacific Bottlenose dolphins at Vallarta Adventures and a Humpback whale-watching excursion. They gained a new appreciation for what nature has to offer while making for some fun half-day trips.
- Although it’s fun to spend time with the kids, they also enjoyed participating in hotel kids’ club activities to meet and play with others their age. Many hotels offer half- and full-day camps. Our favorites include the Westin Resort & Spa for Mexican crafts and face painting; Velas Vallarta Suite Resort for ceramic painting and water pool volleyball; and the Marriott CasaMagna Resort & Spa for the sea turtle rescue program.
Insider tip: Save up to 40 percent on beach resorts — including InterContinental Presidente Resort in Puerto Vallarta — when you book on Orbitz by March 31.
Nina Gass is a freelance travel and business writer who lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two boys. An avid traveler and dreamer, Nina makes the most of her international family connections throughout the U.S., Australia, England and Mexico.