Whenever we go away on a family vacation I always feel we should spend every waking moment together. I mean, that’s why we are on vacation together right? The problem is trying to find something everyone wants to do. I want to lay by the pool, my husband wants to sleep, the kids want to go, go, go. It seems I’m not the only one faced with this delema. Beaches Turks and Caicos All-Inclusive Resort and Spa think they have a solution in the form of an organized kids camp.
Beaches is known for it’s Sesame Street kids program, one of the elements that attracted both myself and my 3-year old daughter. It turns out most of the activities that occur with the Sesame Street Characters happen in the Sesame Camp. The camp schedule is pretty set for the week, with different Sesame Street activities each day: Elmocize w/Elmo Monday morning, Dance with Zoe Tuesday afternoon, Bake Cookies with Cookie Monster Wednesday morning. So if spending time with the folks from Sesame Street is big on your little one’s vacation agenda, then the Sesame Camp is the place to be.
The day I dropped my daughter off the kids we’re making musical instruments and learning to Count with The Count. There were about 20 kids at the camp and about 5 councillors. The kids coloured and added beans to their maracas, counting along with The Count, who wandered around the table visiting everyone. I was a little worried leaving my daughter but once she found a seat at the table, I wasn’t even on her mind. I think she enjoyed hanging out with the kids her age and of course what parent can compete with The Count or any of the Sesame Street characters. I did notice there were a number of parents hanging out too, getting photos of the activity or just watching their child interact and enjoy the moment.
The feature I love best about the Sesame Camp is the flexibility; I could sign my daughter in and out based on my schedule. I dropped her off for the morning but signed her out just before lunch so we could eat together and then we hung out in the afternoon. Each night you’ll find a daily activity sheet in your room, highlighting some of the featured activities planned at the resort the next day. On this sheet you’ll also find the activity schedule for Sesame Camp.
Photo credit: Have Baby Will Travel
If you notice tomorrow afternoon there’s an activity where the kids back cookies with Cookie Monster, you can drop your child off to participate in just that. You’re not locked into the camp for the whole day unless you (or your child) wants to spend the whole time there. The camps run daily from about 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and you can have them stay for lunch. There’s even the ability to drop your kids off early, at 8 a.m., if you have a diving session that morning.
The camp itself has an air conditioned indoor play space with a cubby for each child. There’s also a playground right outside as well as a covered toddler swimming pool for water activities. Although the facilities are great, I love that the kids don’t spend all day at the camp building; many activities take them around the resort. The Count with The Count activity my daughter participated in had the kids working on their craft in one of the restaurants. Sometimes they’ll even go down to the beach for sand activities.
Photo credit: Have Baby Will Travel
Although we didn’t take advantage of it, your child can participate in the evening camp too (6 to 9 p.m.). Ideal if you’re looking for a little romantic adult-only time. The kids will be entertained with dinner and other fun activities like a costume party or mini disco or movie madness (depending on the day).
The Beaches Turks and Caicos All Inclusive Resort and Spa also has camp activities for infants and toddlers, kids 5 to 7 (Lit Mateys) and 8-10 (Captain Kids), as well as activities for tweens and teens. From Sesame Street activities for the younger kids to the XBox Game Garage for all kids and the Scratch DJ sessions for the older kids, the Beaches kids camps will keep your younger family members busy and entertained and it’s all included in the cost of your stay. There’s no camp fee, just a simple one-time registration (passport required for identification) and the password system ensures your child only leaves the building with an approved adult.
So those images of kids crying at the resort’s club camps are not because the kids are upset about being dropped off; it’s more likely they are crying because their parents were taking them out of the camp. The freedom and flexibility of the Beaches kids camps, coupled with the fun activities geared to the kids, means a family vacation can be a real family vacation. Plenty of time as a family hanging out balanced with plenty of free-time doing what each family member wants to do.
Now doesn’t that sound like a true vacation.
Thanks to the folks at Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort and Spa and Coastal International for making the trip possible.