As a firm believer that travel is the best education, I’m all about seeing the world with my kids. That being said, nothing rings more like music to my ears than these three words: free kids club. I used to think that an all-inclusive resort some place like the Caribbean was the only way to enjoy the benefit of a few free hours of supervised child care. But it turns out, there are actually hotels right here in the U.S. with this amazing parent-friendly perk and one of them is bookable with traditional hotel points.
Free kids clubs are a win-win situation for everyone, because the kids get to hang out with other kids in a fun, kid-friendly atmosphere, and I get a spa treatment or maybe just a few uninterrupted hours to lounge poolside.
Here are a few properties in the U.S. where free child care is included in your stay.
Club Med Sandpiper Bay — Port St. Lucie, Florida
The only Club Med property in North America (for now, anyway — Club Med Quebec Charlevoix will open in 2020 in Canada), Club Med Sandpiper Bay (from $112 per person, per night) offers a true all-inclusive experience along the St. Lucie River.
It may not be on the ocean, but the all-inclusive rates include meals, activities, and Mini Club Med for children between the ages of 4 and 17. For an additional fee, the hotel offers Baby Club Med and Petit Club Med for younger kids. (Yes, please!) While the minis are trying things like trapeze and archery lessons, adults can enjoy the L’Occitane spa or try activities like water skiing and sailing lessons on the river.
This is not a traditional points hotel, but you could charge your stay to a card like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard that allows you to “erase” travel purchases with the points you’ve earned.
Whiteface Lodge — Lake Placid, New York
Whiteface Lodge, an Adirondack Mountains resort in Lake Placid, offers a good balance of relaxation and excitement for families (from $318 per night, double occupancy). To maximize the free kids club, plan your visit in the summer when the complimentary Kamp Kanu is included in the rates and offered every day between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
The camp includes exciting activities like scavenger hunts, orienteering, hiking, and kayaking. This break from the kids allows adults to enjoy a trip to the spa or the beautiful outdoor hot tubs. (Maybe even a cocktail or two!) If you have the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, use it to charge your stay through the Hotels.com/Venture partnership and you’ll earn 10x miles.
Lakeway Resort & Spa — Lakeway, Texas
Close to Austin, Lakeway Resort & Spa (from $199 per night) on the banks of Lake Travis makes for a fun family vacation in Texas Hill Country. Spend your days kayaking, fishing, and water skiing. And when it’s time for some adults-only fun, kids over 5 can hang out at the resort’s Kids Zone for up to 4.5 hours a day (for no more than 2 hours in a row, however, and no more than 12 hours a week).
Your kids won’t want to leave this amazing on-site amusement park, complete with bounce houses, putt-putt golf, a basketball arcade, and arts and crafts stations — the perfect place for a little family fun! Charge the stay to your Chase Sapphire Reserve and earn 3x points per dollar on travel.
Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort — Maui, Hawaii
Bamboo pole fishing, flying kites, and sand sculpting lessons are all part of the fun at Hub 808, the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort’s complimentary kids club. Open to kids between the ages of 5 and 12, it’s a great perk for parents keen for a little adult time to enjoy the hotel’s gorgeous grounds and oceanfront locale.
Playing at Andaz Maui
Though a beautiful oasis, staying here can be pricey (often more than $400 per night), so it’s a great place to use your World of Hyatt points or transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio from cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. A room with two queen beds is available from 25,000 World of Hyatt points. The World of Hyatt Credit Card is currently offering 25,000 bonus points when you sign up for the card and spend $3,000 in the first three months of card ownership, and a second 25,000 points when you spend $6,000 total within the first six months.
Nantucket Hotel & Resort — Nantucket, Massachusetts
The complimentary kids club at this favorite Cape Cod hotel is offered year-round for children between the ages of 3 and 12, and is on tap a full six days a week during the summer months (it falls back to weekends-only for most of the rest of the year). The supervised sessions are only offered in the mornings, but it’s just enough time for mom and dad to enjoy brunch together, squeeze in a workout, or kick back at the spa.
Claremont Club & Spa, a Fairmont Hotel — Berkeley, California
Just outside San Francisco, the Fairmont property in the Oakland Hills is perfect for a family getaway. In addition to the gorgeous views of San Francisco Bay — and an amazing spa — the hotel offers a complimentary on-site kids club where you can send little ones between the ages of 3 and 10 for up to three hours of supervised child care daily.
There’s even free child care for kids between the ages of 6 months and 2 years, for up to 2 hours a day. Parents are required to stay on-property when the kids are in the kids club, but it makes for a welcomed break nonetheless. The club offers arts and crafts, music, gardening projects, and hikes around the 22-acre property, so the kids will love it. Rooms here can be on the pricey side (around $400 per night), so if you book use one of the best travel rewards credit cards for your stay.
Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club — Surfside, Florida
The only thing more soothing than enjoying the crashing Atlantic from your balcony at this fabulous Four Seasons property in South Florida is the resort’s included kids club. Kids between the ages of 4 and 12 have all day, supervised access to the Kids for All Seasons program. With its fun lineup of outdoor activities, arts and crafts, and gaming, kids are sure to enjoy every moment. Plus, parents will be able to snag some serenity in the hotel’s adults-only pool or pedal out for a beachy cruise on one of the complimentary bicycles. This spot is a splurge at prices that go to around $1,000 per night. You could book through Chase Ultimate Rewards travel center and use points from your Chase Sapphire Reserve at a rate of 1.5 cents each to book a stay.
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa — Oahu, Hawaii
Aunty’s Beach House, the complimentary kids club offered for kids between the ages of 3 and 12 at this Oahu resort is top-notch entertainment for your little ones. Hawaiian arts and crafts, music, and culture are tied into many of the activities, with Aunty herself.
The club is offered every day from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., with daily themed activities ranging from Disney Mania to more culturally leaning topics. Adults can use this time to enjoy the spa, cocktails, or watersports. Rates are often in the $500 per night range. Consider paying the tab with discounted Disney gift cards. Or better yet, book your stay via rented Disney Vacation Club points and save close to 50% on some nights. And here are 10 more things kids will love about Disney Aulani Resort and the best way to fly to Hawaii with kids.
If you look hard enough, you can find plenty of properties that offer complimentary kids clubs to their youngest guests. If you’re looking for more points hotels offering this perk, you’ll find them at points-friendly hotels in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and even in the Maldives and Bali.
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