The world’s best holiday kids’ clubs

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6 minutes

Archery, tennis, circus skills, sailing – the list of activities on offer for children at modern resorts is off-the-scale (and way more exciting than a family day by the pool). Amanda Statham, Editor of 101 Family Holidays, explains where to drop them off and chill out guilt-free.

I love holidaying with my kids yet I have no qualms about signing them into a kids’ club for an hour or two while I read a book or enjoy a massage if what’s on offer is equal to (if not better) than the rest of the resort.

Gone are the days when a few stubby crayons, worn out toys and dog-eared books were sold as a kids club. These days they’re more like Disneyland crossed with the best school in the world – think educational reef tours, art and craft, theatre shows, treehouses, mini spas and scavenger hunts. Your only problem might be how to extract them.

Club Med Punta Cana Resort, Dominican Republic

A Circus School is the highlight at this all-inclusive escape which tops the list of Club Med’s best family resorts. All kids in Mini Club Med (4-10 years) can have a go at the flying trapeze, bungee jumps, tightropes, juggling and aerial silk ropes under the watchful eye of professional staff. But it’s not only circus skills your kids will return home with, there’s also the chance to try archery, sailing, tennis, Zumbatonic (dancing to hip hop, reggae and salsa), ninja bootcamp and being nature detectives. For a bit of down time, Zen Tales, combining yoga and stories, hits the spot.

Tots and babies are well catered for here too, with a kids’ pool, playground, baby feeding equipment in-room and even a Baby Restaurant, where chefs will whip up (or blend) a tasty treat for your little one. And when you want to do things together, the family Big Snack activities such as pancake parties and baking workshops, are a great way to have fun and connect.

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Learn circus skills at Club Med Punta Cana

Victoria Beachcomber, Mauritius

No fear of hearing the words ‘I’m bored’ at Victoria Beachcomber, an Indian Ocean tropical paradise where a kids’ club for younger children (3-11 years) on the beach includes an impressive range of activities from trampolining and table tennis to lagoon outings, Sega dancing and sand castle competitions. Teenagers don’t miss out either, with a dedicated programme of activities in the Teen Club including discos and tennis tournaments.

Outside of the kiddie club bubble, the Victoria Beachcomber is a suitably family-friendly resort with a blissfully safe white sand beach, apartments and rooms big enough for you and your clan, plus lots of extras like prams, cots, sterilisers and babysitting services available.

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The kids club at Beachcomber Victoria in Mauritius

Beaches Turks & Caicos

Routinely voted the top family all-inclusive in the world, it’s little wonder tots, tweens and teens fall hard for all the things on offer, like an Xbox gaming lounge and Pirates Island Waterpark. The Kids Camp is divided into five age groups, ranging from an Infant Programme (0-2 years) through to a Teens Programme (15-17 years).

It’s hard to know which age group has it best, with toddlers spending their days shell collecting, on treasure hunts and watching magic shows, while 5-10 year olds get to try a range of older activities like talent shows, beach soccer and reggae jam sessions. Life’s also good for tweens and teens who have their own pizza bars, nightclub with karaoke, pool olympics and tennis clinics. Each day mascots from Sesame Street make an appearance (there’s nothing like a selfie with the Cookie Monster to make friends back home jealous) and when you’re ready for some family time there are 21 restaurants to sample, 12 kilometres of white sand beach to play on and a waterpark with multiple slides, swim-up soda bars, water cannons, surf simulator and a lazy river.

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Meet the Sesame Street gang at Beaches Turks & Caicos

LUX* South Ari Atoll Resort & Villas, Maldives

Thought the Maldives were only for honeymooners? Time to think again as all-inclusive LUX* has so many good things going on for children, it’s definitely a family affair. The moment little ones step ashore on the island they’ll be enchanted – not least because they’re handed an ice cream and a treasure hunt booklet. Kids club PLAY (3-11 years) offers fun-packed days from 9am to 6pm with jungle gym, nature walks, herb planting, crab hunting and palm leaf origami, alongside more boisterous things like banana boat rides and pool splash. Everyone gets to try kids yoga, but older children (9-11) have some cool extra activities, such as phone photography tips and coconut bowling.

An excellent teens programme is way more varied than the usual sports and gaming offer, with fly-boarding, coral planting and creating art at the JunkArt studio available, and there’s plenty for the whole family too, from board games at sunset with an aperitivo (for the grown-ups) to snorkelling excursions with the in-house marine biologist and settling down to movie nights on the beach at al fresco Cinema Paradiso.

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Fly-boarding at LUX* South Ari Atoll in the Maldives

Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort, Lanzarote

Kikoland, a huge, colourful park for ages zero to 16, lies at the heart of this award-winning family resort overlooking Playa Blanca in Lanzarote. There’s a packed daily programme from 10am-5pm, divided into three age groups, with children in Kiko’s House (3-5 years) enjoying a mix of activities including cinema, superhero games, balloon modelling, music therapy and aqua discos. Hooky’s House caters for kids aged six years and over and days are filled with dodgeball, creative painting and Quidditch (sure to appeal to any Harry Potter fans), while Gremlin Club for those aged nine years and over sees kids trying tennis, water polo, clay workshops and TikTok challenges.

As you’d expect from a resort that’s dedicated so much time and energy to under 18s, there’s plenty for all the family, with a creche should you need a break from baby, a dining plaza with an ice cream parlour and four restaurants and a range of rooms including family suites with double and twin beds plus a kitchenette.

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Cooking in Kikoland at the Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort

Mark Warner Phokaia Beach Resort, Turkey

Set on Turkey’s Aegean coast, this all-inclusive Mark Warner resort is superb for active families, with award-winning childcare included in the price alongside the sparkling pools, sandy beach and restaurants. There’s something for all ages, from Toddler Club (1-2 years) and Minis (3-5 years) through to Kidz Club (10-13 years) and Indy Club (14-17 years) plus free evening childcare. There’s a big focus on outside water- and beach-based fun, with kids getting the chance to learn how to kayak, sail, windsurf and play tennis, while teens can also try wakeboarding and waterskiing (for an extra charge).

All the supervised evening activities for kids are a major bonus for parents wanting a romantic supper (or just a meal in peace), such as Snuggle Club (4 months to five years) with playrooms transformed into a cosy space with beds and blankets so little ones can settle down to watch a film – and hopefully fall asleep so you can carry them back to your room.

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Watersports at Mark Warner Phokaia Beach