Right now, putting down the sanitizing wipes and booking the fam at a kid-friendly all-inclusive resort probably sounds like a total fantasy. After so many months of quarantining, your cabin fever’s raging and you’re ready to get the heck out of Dodge. But what about travel restrictions? Safety measures? Costs? Well, Mama, we’ve got news for you. It turns out there are plenty of resorts open and welcoming guests, they’ve implemented stricter sanitary and safety measures, and they’re chock-full of kid activities. There are even all-inclusive resorts for cheap (well, cheaper) family vacations that are big on fun but not on price. Maybe you’re even bold enough to cross country borders for resorts in Mexico and Jamaica (Hello, Cancun and Montego Bay!). But if not, you can still have fun in the US; and in particular, you can swim, sightsee, and see attractions while staying in resorts in sunny Florida and Texas.
Since COVID-19 makes trip planning more complicated, we enlisted travel experts to share their top kid-friendly and all-inclusive resorts that you can book right now. Check out their picks below, plus links detailing COVID-19 safety initiatives. While travel may be different for the foreseeable future — for instance, you may have to stash the kids’ face masks in your carry-on — it doesn’t mean your family can’t have a memorable vacation. So grab your travel gear, and get ready for a much-needed getaway!
Note: While we worked to provide you the most updated information at the time of writing, we highly recommend visiting the resort’s website and/or contacting them about available amenities before booking.
Florida: Best Kid-Friendly Resorts
Westgate Town Center Resort | Kissimmee, Florida
The Westgate Town Center Resort in Kissimmee puts you in close proximity to Disney at a super affordable price. That said, there are tons of action-packed activities right on the property. Spend the whole day (or two, or three) at the Shipwreck Island Water Park, which is filled with slides, bridges, fountains, and things to climb. There’s also the Jurassic Park Mini-Golf Course for a pre-historic adventure, the Disney Movie Theater for kid-friendly entertainment, sports fields, bike rentals, playgrounds, and more. And when the crew gets hungry, there are eight on-site drink and dining options to choose from, including an Italian chophouse, sports bar, and ice cream shop.
Sirata Beach Resort | St. Pete Beach, Florida
If you’re looking for a relaxing seaside escape or you have an infant that’s too little for most kiddie attractions, consider the Sirata Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach your idyllic getaway. Is your family content staying seaside? The 13-acre property’s stretch of private beach, plus three onsite restaurants, two pools, and two beach bars, ensure you won’t even need to rent a car if you don’t want to.
Feel like venturing out? Downtown St. Pete is just a short (Uber or cab) ride away, and you’ll find museums, craft breweries, restaurants, and more. Suncoast Water Sports, which offers activities like parasailing, paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkeling, and sunset cruises, is also nearby, and Sirata guests get 10 percent off. View COVID-19 initiatives HERE.
The Grove Resort & Water Park | Orlando, Florida
For some fun in the sun right here in the US, The Grove Resort & Water Park is guaranteed to bring thrills to action-loving families. Namely, there’s the Surfari water park, which guests are welcome to use without an admission charge. There, you can experience the FlowRider surf simulator, float along the lazy river, zoom down twisting water slides, splash in the kids’ activity pool, or hang in your own private cabana. If you need some reprieve from the sunny rays, there’s also plenty to do indoors at the Kid’s Activity Center (with scheduled activities Friday-Sunday) and Flip Flop’s Family Fun Center for some friendly competition and arcade games.
If you’ve got Disney magic on the brain, this resort is conveniently close to the parks. But when it’s time to take a break from the hustle and bustle, you’ll love coming back to The Grove to unwind at the spa or lounge by the pool. View COVID-19 initiatives HERE.
Opal Key Resort & Marina | Key West, Florida
Enjoy all the perks of a tropical island getaway without leaving the US! This trip is especially suited for families with tweens and teens, and together, you can explore all that Key West has to offer (with minimal eye rolls, no less!). The oceanfront hotel is gorgeous and features a pool, spa, and three eateries, including casual restaurant Bistro 245, and Castaways, a poolside bar.
But what you’ll really love about Opal Key Resort (formally Margaritaville) is its location, location, location: You’ll be able to experience all the city has to offer, being in close proximity to water sports, shopping, dining, and attractions like the Key West Aquarium and the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. View COVID-19 initiatives HERE.
Mexico: Best Kid-Friendly + All-Inclusive Resorts
Planet Hollywood Beach Resort (All-Inclusive) | Cancun, Mexico
First, keep in mind that the Planet Hollywood Beach Resort doesn’t open until December 15, 2020. But if you’re looking for a getaway that’s posh for you but full of play for the kiddos, the soon-to-be brand-new resort promises the best of both worlds. Here, you and the fam will get the star treatment with fun and relaxing options for everyone: There’s a fitness center, swimming pools, and lazy river; and you can’t miss the Labyrinth mini golf course, Jurassic Splash Park, or the Planet Play Adventure Park. There’s even a Stars Kids Club™ or PH Teens Club where the kids can hang when Mom and Dad need some alone time (perhaps a trip to the PH Spa & Beauty Bar is in order). Bonus: When you book certain suites, you’ll get a $500 resort credit.
“The resort rolls out the red carpet of fun with monthly special events and daily activities for guests of all ages,” says Jurgen Stutz, SVP of Sales, Marketing and Distribution for Blue Diamond Resorts. “From screenings of your favorite comedy flicks and classic films in the theater to beach parties and movies under the stars, there’s something for everyone to enjoy!” View COVID-19 initiatives HERE.
Royalton Riviera Cancun (All-Inclusive) | Cancun, Mexico
This all-inclusive resort offers a host of activities for kids of all ages. At the Clubhouse Kids Club, vacationers ages 4-12 can enjoy supervised activities, and for teens ages 13-17, the Hangout Teen Club will be their gaming paradise. Adds Stutz, “The resort’s Vibe Team ensures families are entertained from morning to night with games, obstacle courses and nightly themed shows on the main stage, such as Lion King renditions, Michael Jackson tributes, and full-blown dance parties.”
Included in your stay will be dining at nine specialty restaurants, a cafe, and a dozen bars, access to 11 pools, a children’s splash park, non-motorized sports, activities and entertainment, and more. And if you’re willing to spend a little extra dough, you can book a motorized water sports excursion, visit the casino, or even hire an on-site babysitter so you can spend some one-on-one time with your honey. View COVID-19 initiatives HERE.
Marival Emotions Resort & Suites (All-Inclusive)| Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
Located in the resort area Nuevo Vallarta, Marival Emotions Resort and Suites is proudly all-inclusive so you can spend more time with your family and less time paying the bill. Included in your stay are food and drinks from the property’s six restaurants and seven bars plus fitness classes, mini golf, loaned bicycles (and a guided tour of the area), Marival Theater shows, and one round of golf per adult per stay. Kids and teens can also head off to designated resort clubs, which is perfect if you want to splurge at the spa (babysitters are also available for a fee). If that’s not enough, there’s always the option to add on excursions like diving, zip-lining, and tours in the nearby Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit.
Concludes Mel Dohman, Senior Communications Manager at Travelocity, “This kid-friendly resort offers plenty of amenities for the whole family, from beach and pool toys, bath and splash accessories, to entertainment items like outdoor games and game consoles, to a planned picnic for the whole family.” View COVID-19 initiatives HERE.
Jamaica: Best Kid-Friendly + All-Inclusive Resorts
Royalton Blue Waters (All-Inclusive) | Montego Bay, Jamaica
The Royalton Blue Waters resort is your ticket to paradise. Another Blue Diamond Resort property, this place has all-inclusive perks that include reservation-free dining, your choice of cuisine at several restaurants (including buffet and à la carte-style), bars with handcrafted cocktails, non-motorized sports adventures, daily entertainment, and evening shows.
The entire family will have a blast, whether you’re dipping your toes into the turquoise sea, drifting on the on-site lazy river, or zooming down the waterslides at the pirate-themed splash park. And when it’s time for the grownups to enjoy some time at the spa, the kiddos can head to the Clubhouse Kids Club or Hangout Teen Club to chill. View COVID-19 initiatives HERE.
Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa (All-Inclusive) | Montego Bay, Jamaica
This Hilton property is a water lover’s paradise. Namely, it’s home to the Sugar Mill Falls Water Park, an expansive hub for outdoor fun with three pools, a lazy river, waterfalls, the jungle garden play area, and — to parents’ delight — a swim-up bar for frosty cocktails. If that’s not enough, the property’s 2,500-long strip of white sand beach will provide the backdrop for the perfect beach day.
But there’s plenty more to do during your all-inclusive stay besides swim and lounge by the water. The cost of your stay also includes the use of the tennis court and tennis lessons, evening entertainment, access to the Kidz Club and Teen Zone, and plenty of food and beverage options. You can also choose from optional add-ons like spa services, golf games, and other excursions. As a bonus, kiddos under 5 get to stay for free! View COVID-19 initiatives HERE.
Moon Palace (All-Inclusive) | Ocho Rios, Jamaica
In addition to its all-inclusive package, Moon Palace Jamaica is offering an incredible deal. “For a limited time, kids and teens under 17 stay free until December 2021,” explains Dohman. Even better, your family can extend your stay because “rooms come with free enhanced WIFI for remote schooling and work.”
Some of the resort’s inclusive perks include top-shelf drinks, non-motorized water sports, plenty of gourmet and casual dining options, 24-hour room service, nightly entertainment, access to four pools and a wave simulator, the Wired Lounge arcade, state-of-the-art activity rooms, and more. Of course, you can also indulge at the spa for an additional cost. View COVID-19 initiatives HERE.
Texas: Best Kid-Friendly Resorts
Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa | Lost Pines, Texas
For an escape to nature (without escaping too far), the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa offers an outdoorsy experience combined with upscale creature comforts. This lakeside retreat is 23 miles outside of Austin and is set against a backdrop of Texas countryside. Although your family will enjoy some quiet relaxation, there’s still plenty for the kiddos to do: Kayak down the Colorado River, hike through nearby McKinney Roughs Nature Park, or go on a horseback riding adventure. You can also spend a laidback afternoon hangin’ by the pool or floating down the resort’s lazy river.
And you won’t have to go far to find some tasty nosh. From the Southern-inspired Firewheel Cafe to McDade’s Emporium and Ice Cream Saloon (a kid’s paradise), there are several onsite eateries to choose from. Come nightfall, you can grab a seat by one of the two roaring firepits for s’mores, cocktails, and screen-free good times. (Note that there are currently some limitations in amenities and dining options.) View COVID-19 initiatives and closures HERE.
The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas | Dallas, Texas
Bringing the kids along on vacation doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice luxury. The Ritz-Carlton in Dallas both offers a posh urban experience while welcoming young visitors to enjoy their stay. “The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas’ distinct family allure is derived from our commitment to fostering a warm and inviting environment,” explains Andrew Davidson, general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas. “Children of all ages can feel comfortable amidst luxury with interactive learning opportunities that encourage them to explore the property and city surroundings using their imagination.”
So, what’s in it for them? The Ritz Kids program features activities like scavenger hunts and creative projects that teach environmental responsibility and cultural awareness. Also included is the VIK (Very Important Kid) check-in experience and milk and cookie turndown service so they know that they’re valued guests, too. The Ritz is also conveniently close to family-friendly attractions like the Dallas World Aquarium, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the Nasher Sculpture Center, and the Dallas Museum of Art. Now, try finding all that at your average 5-star hotel! View COVID-19 initiatives HERE.
JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa | San Antonio, Texas
Situated on 600 acres of leafy green landscape, the JW Marriott in San Antonio offers the best of both worlds with the solace of nature plus proximity to the city’s amenities. That is, if you leave the resort at all. The property’s River Bluff Experience offers an expansive lazy river, multiple pools, and adrenaline-spiking slides. Afraid it’ll be too cool to swim? The water’s heated for year-round enjoyment.
But if the fam is feeling waterlogged, there’s plenty of other things to do. Onsite, you’ll find multiple eateries as well as a golf course and spa. Or, you can head off-premises and into town; you’ll find the San Antonio Zoo and Aquarium, Seaworld, Shops at La Cantera, Natural Bridge Caverns, and Six Flags Fiesta Texas nearby. View COVID-19 initiatives HERE.
Lakeway Resort and Spa | Lakeway, Texas
With unobstructed views of Lake Travis, an on-site spa, access to water activities, and pools designated for kids and adults, there’s something here for everybody. In particular, youngsters can monkey around in the Kids Zone, which is full of fun activities like bounce houses, air hockey, a mini putt putt golf course, and more. Since there’s supervision available for potty-trained kiddos ages 5 and up, Mom and Dad can even spend a couple of hours at the spa before everyone meets up for a swim in the Courtyard Family Pool.
When it’s time for dinner you can head to the TR Restaurant & Bar, or venture into Austin, nearby, for countless dining options. You’ll also want to dedicate at least a day or two of your vacation to explore the attractions of this buzzing city. View COVID-19 initiatives HERE.
Love these vacation ideas? See more of our mom-approved Spotted picks, designed to make your life easier.