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Remember the days when family resorts were akin to the Kellerman’s Resort in Dirty Dancing, including afternoons full of family activities on the lawn, from croquet and bingo to log rolling and horseback riding? While an evolution has taken place, families looking for a classic resort experience with activities they can do together in a slow-paced relaxing environment will find there are still plenty of great options.

Also check out these five kid-friendly music festivals.


Photo: South Seas Island Resort

1. South Seas Island Resort: Captiva Island, FL

If you’re looking for a family beach escape in a truly natural setting with an abundance of classic family activities, this Florida resort is the place. Set on beautiful Captiva Island, you can kayak or stand-up paddle board through a mangrove forest in search of sea turtles, ospreys, manatees and hawks among other diversions.

Families enjoy fun activities throughout the day, from lawn games, poolside bingo and kite making to crab racing, log rolling and even a catch-and-release fishing program taught by resident experts. Teen programming includes Wii Tournaments, Scavengoogle and game nights. The entire family can sign up for swimming lessons, and just for the kids check out mermaid and pirate photo shoots, complete with mermaid tail!

Related: 7 dude ranch vacations to take this summer

Explore the exotic creatures and delightful discoveries throughout the resort village’s 330-acre wildlife preserve and take part in the ScoutAbout discovery kids program. Also, don’t miss out on the Sanibel Sea School in Captiva, an experiential sea-based educational program for kids to explore the vibrant ecosystems of this amazing island.

Charter a boat for some breathtaking back bay fishing or travel on the trolley that traverses the resort village nature-scape. Lastly, savor all the memories with a family portrait session on the beach before you head home.

Sagamore Resort, New York

The Sagamore Resort, New York

2.The Sagamore Resort: Lake George, NY

Nestled on a 70-acre island, this historic resort is the perfect place to reconnect with nature and family. From croquet and horseshoes on the lawn to guided nature trail hikes in Adirondack State Park, the activities here are endless. Enjoy evening bonfires with s’mores, kayaking and fishing charters, learn how to water ski or parasail, or simply grab a pole and fish from the dock.

Sign yourself up for AquaAerobics and yoga classes at the spa, and while you’re there send the kids (ages 4-12) to the Sagamore Kids Club where they’ll enjoy a day full of crafts, sports, nature hikes and scavenger hunts, and can even learn dining etiquette and put on a variety show.

At The Rec, the resort’s 10,000-square-foot indoor fun center, activities ranging from ping pong and video games towiffle ball and classic home-run derby await, and you are sure to find your favorite games or discover some new ones. Challenge family members on the indoor basketball court or perfect your short game on the mini golf course.

Golf at Grand Geneva Resort

Golf at Grand Geneva Resort, Lake Geneva, WI

3. Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, Lake Geneva, WI

For a classic Midwest family vacation, the town of Lake Geneva and its iconic resort, the Grand Geneva, is a fantastic choice. You can fill your summer days with horseback riding, golf lessons, indoor climbing, and basketball on its full-size court.

Rent bikes and take to the beautiful country trails or enjoy a leisurely horse drawn carriage ride around the expansive grounds. Kids enjoy the “Kids are Grand” day programming while parents can slip away for a round of golf or treatment in the award-winning spa.

Related: Discover the Third Coast with these Midwest beach towns.

Families can travel within the resort via its old fashioned trolley, stop by the main lodge for ice cream and even take in story time by the fire at its Timber Ridge family lodge. In addition to the outdoor pools, there’s a 50,000-square-foot indoor water park and arcade.

Be sure to save some time to head off to the resort and into the town of Lake Geneva. It’s a family destination in itself with water activities, a kid-friendly beach and a downtown perfect for strolling its many quaint shops and eateries. You can even walk full circle around the lake via a trail to take in the amazing historic mansions that surround this stunning destination.

Loews Coronado Bay Hotel

Loews Coronado Bay Hotel, San Diego

4. Loews Coronado Bay Beach Resort, San Diego

This family oasis is nestled on a private, 15-acre peninsula bordered by the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay. In addition to a dedicated kids pool, the staff keeps things lively with music from up-and-coming local DJs and a host of fun activities for the whole family, including raft races, limbo contests and drive-in movies.

Families enjoy an over-sized game of Connect Four, chess or a competitive game of ping-pong and in the evenings roast s’mores over the fire pit. At the on-site marina, rent everything from jet skis, sailboats, kayaks, beach cruiser bikes, baby trailers and even tandem surreys for the entire family.

The “Loews Loves Kids” program features a Kids Kloset that lends out everything a family could need including toys, books, strollers, nightlights, DVD players and movies, and even potty-training seats. Meanwhile, the Kids Club (ages 4 to 12) features magic tricks, sandcastle building and GPS-led scavenger hunts.

Sign up for free fitness classes including yoga, water aerobics, spinning and pilates; afterward gather the family together for a cooking class with the in-house chef.

Take a golf cart ride or use the pedestrian underpass for a quick walk to the Silver Strand State Beach, and even take surf lessons with the Coronado Surf Academy.

Suncadia Resort_Cascades Mountains Washington.

Suncadia Resort & Spa, Cascade Mountains, Washington

5. Suncadia Resort & Spa, Cascade Mountains, WA

Pacific Northwest residents have one of the most beautiful resorts right outside their back door. With unbelievable views of the Cascade mountains and more than 6,000 acres of forested landscape, Suncadia’s location is near perfect.

Take guided bike tours or head out on your own on the 10 miles of paved paths and countless miles of scenic trails to explore, or try a motorized scooter tour of the historic towns in the area.

Rent kayaks, canoes or paddle boards, or sign the family up for a river rafting trip or fly fishing lesson. Take guided, on-property hiking or bird watching trips and enjoy outdoor concert and cinema series, nature programs, photo scavenger hunts and storytelling and s’mores by the fire at night.

Campcadia for Kids hosts craft making, wildlife treks and fun field trips, and when you throw in group fitness classes ranging from yoga to Zumba and every kind of pool and water slideimaginable, Suncadia easily entertains the entire family.

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Tagged: California, Destinations, Family time, Florida, New York

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Jeanenne Tornatore

Jeanenne Tornatore

Jeanenne specializes in savvy budget travel tips, destination experiences, industry trends and the latest products to make any trip go smoothly. A mother of three, she's seasoned in all things family-travel, from the most kid-friendly beach resorts to navigating Disney Parks. Jeanenne is an avid outdoor adventure seeker, as well as a regular TV and radio content contributor. You'll find her @JMTornatore on Twitter and Instagram.

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