The joy of all-inclusive resorts or family-friendly hotels with a baby can’t be overstated.
Imagine walking out of your hotel room door every day to flower gardens, birds, beautifully manicured lawns, pools, theme parks, dozens of events aimed at kids (if you choose a family-friendly resort), fine dining or fun buffets, shows, lights, and even petting zoos. Oh yeah, and CONCIERGE. All inclusive resorts have staff members crawling the grounds looking for ways to make your vacation perfect.
But what about big-city adventures with your little one(s)? Here you want to explore the sights and sounds of a decidedly less “natural” environment. But how can you make it as low-drag as possible when you have little ones?
There are scores of reasons you should consider an all-inclusive or family-friendly hotels when you have a baby. You and yours deserve the respite… and these kid-friendly resorts are designed around caring for your little one so that you can get some of that time at the spa or with some well-deserved caviar and champagne.
And best of all, you may not even have to get on a plane to get to a great all-inclusive resort for kids. Here are the top of the heap U.S. resorts for kids.
1. Blackberry Farm, Tennessee
I had the distinct honor of attending a VIP Aspen Food & Wine festival event hosted by Blackberry Farm in 2016. It was one of the yummiest experiences of my life and the hostess, Mary Celeste Beall, was one of the most authentic, genuine, and categorically beautiful women I’ve had the privilege to meet. Throughout the dinner she had a virtual receiving line of families approach her to tell her that they’d been vacationing at Blackberry Farm for decades.
And the meal—wow! While your baby is a potted plant, snuggle up with your loved ones at a table adorned with fresh, wholesome foods from Blackberry Farm’s two-time James Beard Award Winning Restaurant. I have experienced what Bon Apetit names the #1 Hotel for Food Lovers and it’s divine. Andrew Harper’s named Blackberry Farm the #1 Food and Wine Resort from his 2014 Hideaway Report. Experience a collection of artisanal delights from the chef, the master gardener, the baker, the cheese maker, the forger, the butcher, the jam lady, the chocolatier, and the sommelier.
Children enjoy a craft room with painting and pottery or walk your little one through the farm’s learning garden. Camp Blackberry will cater to your older children with “Appreciation through Exploration” and there are festivities peppering the holidays, including Memorial Day, Labor Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Outdoorsmen have a plethora of Smoky Mountain activities to engage them in adventure while baby can bird watch or stargaze by the river after a satisfying hike on the property. Little ones will love carriage rides or car tours and you will love to pamper your postpartum body with tennis, swimming, golf, or the spa.
Just a few of the many activities here include:
- Art Classes
- Carriage Rides
- Clay Courses
- Cooking Classes
- Exploration Excursions
- Farm Field School
- Fly Fishing
- Horseback Riding
- Kids Camp
- Paddle Sports
- Sculpture Classes
Alongside our next resort, Tyler Place, there’s no question that if you have the time and the cash, Blackberry Farm will be an unforgettable experience for you and your family. I’ve seen the staff treat one another like family first-hand. And they’ll be delighted to bring you in as part of that family, too.
2. Tyler Place Resort, Vermont
The skinny: good for EVERY age.
This place is summer camp for kids… and adults!
Less than seven miles from the Canadian border lies Tyler Place Resort. It’s been hailed as an A+ Family Resort and anything you’ll need for a baby will be served on a silver platter. They’re committed to you and your spouse getting real time together and they’ve mastered taking care of babies for over 80 years. They even have programs specifically geared toward children up to 12 months… as opposed to most places where children under 12 months are lost in the void.
Parents’ Helpers can take care of children up to 12 months during the day or evenings with an itinerary of baby-friendly activities such as:
- Bubble Play
- Infant Play Facility
- Music & Movement
- Nature Outings
- Nursery Play Gym
- One childcare provider for every two babies
- Painting and Crafts
- Songs and Stories
- Textures and Paper Play
- Tumbling and Crawling Mats
- Water Babies
- Water Play
- Your Own Bike with Baby Seat
For children 12-30 months they add in:
- Children’s Organic Garden
- Junior Toddler Play Facility
- Painting and Crafts
- Rhyming Games
- Nature Activities
- Nursery Play Gym
- Watering Cans and Hoeing
- Sand and Water Play
For children 2.5-3 they’ll include:
- Bubbles and Measuring Tools
- Campfire, Cookies; Storytelling
- Dress Up and Theme Parties
- Fleet of Red Wagons
- Fishing for Perch
- Indoor/Outdoor Wading Pools
- Nature Walks
- One Counselor for 3 to 4 children
- Playhouse Recreational Facility
- Splash Pad and Water Play
- Tending the Organic Garden
- The Playhouse Playground
- Trampoline and Circle Games
- Tree House
- Toys and Books
- Tumbling and Gymnastics
For 4-5 Year-Olds they’ll enjoy:
- Arts & Crafts Center
- Bike helmets; training wheels
- Camp Fire and S’mores
- Children’s Clubhouse Facility
- Children’s Organic Garden
- Morning and Evening Programs
- Music and Storytelling
- One Counselor for every 4 to 5 Children
- Own Bike for Entire Stay
- Own Playground Facility
- Trampolines and Parachutes
- Pirate Party and Pirate Ship
- Movie Night and PJ Party
I’m literally booking my tickets now! (And hopefully bringing my nieces… this place is perfect for every age!)
My favorite feature of Tyler Place is 165 acres of biking paths, trails, forest, and even a mile of lakeshore. It’s like summer camp for you and your baby. Or like the biggest country club on the planet, but without the six-figure sign-up fee! If you have the time and money, this is where you go to play and relax.
3. The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida
You have a baby. You definitely deserve a week of feeling like you’re living the Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous. But how, you ask?
The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida, boasts an Italian Renaissance off the Atlantic Coast of Florida. The Breakers caters to babies right down to bottle warmers. But they also really cater to adults with several five-star restaurants or their 20,000 square foot spa.
You can, of course, arrange pre-screened babysitters for your infant and put children over three in their nightly “kids camp” right up until bedtime. They’ll even childproof your gorgeous room for babies who’ve started crawling.
- Bike Tours of Palm Beach
- Family Fitness Classes
- Kids Camps (Potty Training a must)
- Movie Nights
- Nature Walks
- Paddle Boarding
- Several Pools
- Science Labs
- Sports Courts
- Toddler Play Rooms
For fun in the sun with the kids (or after they’ve gone to sleep), Breakers is your luxury resort choice.
4. Loews, several U.S. locations
These resorts don’t exactly look like summer camps or island paradises, but they’ve dialed in family-friendly in otherwise unfriendly locales, such as within the middle of major cities like New York and Chicago!
The Loews resorts range from merely family-friendly hotels to full-blown family vacation venues; each property differs wildly. Find over a dozen different Loews properties in the United States and see why their slogan is “Loews Loves Kids”. They’ll childproof your room and make it suitable for infants as well as toddlers.
Loews hotel locations are situated conveniently in major cities such as: Annapolis, Maryland; Tucson, Arizona; Atlanta, Georgia; Boston, Massachusetts; Rosemont, Illinois; St. Pete Beach, Florida; Hollywood, California; Washington D.C.; Miami Beach, Florida; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; New York, New York; San Francisco, California; Santa Monica, California; Nashville, Tennessee; New Orleans, Louisiana; San Diego, California; Montreal, Quebec; Seattle, Washington; five locations in Orlando, Florida; or in the middle of the action at the House of Blues in Chicago.
All locations are pet-friendly and they’ll “laugh over your child’s spilled milk”. Rumor has it that the concierge at one location has even gone to a pharmacy for child’s cough medicine in the middle of the night. But not all locations have as many kid-friendly adventures as, say, the Island-Themed Loews Royal Pacific Resort in Orlando.
Because the Loews resorts are all in extremely different cities and climates, each location differs in terms of what they can offer kids. Loews offers the convenience of a big-city experience with the potential for a great family vacation or even “staycation”. Check out one of the locations above or go to Loews’ website to find a location in a city you want to explore.
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