Family Travel Ideas: Best Resort Kids’ Clubs

 In what will be welcome news for harried parents desperately in need of a break, HotelsCombined, the world‘s leading hotel discovery and price comparison website, has announced the hotels around the world boasting the best kids clubs.

“A great kids club is a win-win for parents and their children – kids have a ball and parents can enjoy some much deserved quiet time. When ranking each kids club we considered offerings like type and range of activities, whether the staff are qualified child-care workers, opening hours and age range of children welcome at the club,“ said HotelsCombined‘s Head of PR and Community Relations, Kristen McKenzie.

“The kids clubs on our list offer activities ranging from camel riding to ice skating, glass bottom boat cruises, cooking lessons, reggae jam sessions and everything in between. Some kids clubs are happy to look after babies and others will keep teens aged up to 18 years amused.

“Travellers with young children really do have a wealth of choice – whether it be a glamorous family trip to Barbados or a getaway to Australia’s Gold Coast.“

Winners for World’s Best Kids Clubs:

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Resort, Honolulu: The Camp Penguin club offers supervised activities for children aged five to 12 years with a focus on Polynesian life. Every day of the week has a different theme and different activities. Children learn the “Hawaiian Word of the Day” and can enjoy excursions to Honolulu Zoo, the Waikiki Aquarium, Bishop Museum and Children’s Discovery Center. A lending library provides books, toys, and games. There’s also a children’s swimming pool and a large outdoor pool with water slides.

Beaches Turks and Caicos: The all-inclusive resort offers an infants program, toddlers program, pre-teens and teens program led by certified nannies that are members of the International Nanny Association. To become accredited, nannies at this resort must have met the minimum of 2,000 hours of child care services.  Three to five year-olds can enjoy shell collecting, treasure hunts, magic shows and sand castle building. Pre-teens are offered sailing, snorkeling, beach volleyball, glass bottom boat rides and reggae jam sessions. Teens can take part in water sports, boat cruises, karaoke and dance parties. Children with special needs can have a one-to-one coordinator arranged.

Martinhal Beach Resort and Hotel, Portugal: Raposinhos Creche and Kids Club looks after children in segmented age groups aged from six months to 18 years. “Raposinhos” means “little fox” and at the club children are encouraged to be the same – active and inquisitive. The Club provides wind-surfing, dolphin watching, junior lifeguard courses and bike trips. There is also a tennis academy and football (soccer) academy.  The Club’s “Blue Room” allows older children to absorb themselves in the latest video games or table football. There is also a baby concierge, offering babysitting and baby equipment such as door protectors, baby cots, baby baths and prams.

Badrutt’s Palace, St. Moritz, Switzerland: The Kids ‘Club Palazzino’ offers a slide, a sandpit and swings and two tennis courts, which are converted into a skating rink the winter season. Children are offered cooking classes, horse carriage tours, dogsled excursions, tennis lessons (summer), theme days, painting competitions, craft competitions, dance lessons, children’s disco, walking and cycling excursions, gymnastics, swimming and figure skating (winter).

Liss Ard Estate, Cork, Ireland: Liss Ard Country Estate is a haven for family trips, encouraging day long interaction between parents and their children. Parents don’t go without a break though, with the Estate’s Oisin’s Kids Club operating daily from 9.30am – 1pm. Oisin is the club’s ambassador, a five foot long dog otter who lives in the Estate’s lake. The Kids Club caters for children aged four to 12 years with sports, treasure hunts, creative play, painting, baking and activities such as Ping Pong. Each night the club reopens from 6.30pm – 8.30pm so parents can enjoy dinner together uninterrupted in the Estate’s dining room.

Paradise Resort, Gold Coast, Australia:  Facilities that will appeal to kids include a brand new ice-skating rink, giant Zone 4 Kids Waterpark, Zone 4 Kids Club. The resort‘s Z4K holiday care program offers a range of fully supervised sessions daily for babies aged up to 12 years. Z4K is a mini fun park featuring themed play spaces such as Tiny Town with pedal powered cars and working traffic lights, Under Water World with submarines and slides, and the Magic Garden with its colourful ball pit. All staff are qualified.

Sandy Lane, Barbados: The Treehouse Club at this five-star Caribbean resort offers plenty of fun for little ones with pool parties, outdoor movies and specially themed children’s dinner parties. The Den, located on the lower level of The Treehouse Club, is especially for teenagers. Teens can enjoy their own lounge with adjoining games room, featuring pool tables and foosball – not to mention popular electronic and board games, jukebox and computer stations. Two large screen televisions and DVD selections are available. Additional activities for teenagers include island tours, sports clinics, water sports and coastal cruises.

Kingfisher Bay Resort, Fraser Island, Australia: Children can feast their senses on all kinds of adventure and educational activities at Kingfisher Bay, such as low ropes course and canoeing, sand sculpture, art and craft, spotlighting for bats, sugar gliders and frogs, stargazing and campfire songs and telling of Aboriginal legends.  

About HotelsCombined:
HotelsCombined allows travellers to find the best prices from all the best travel sites in one search. HotelsCombined searches hundreds of hotel price sites at once with rates at up to 80 per cent off. More than 200 million people every year use the site to find the best prices for 400,000 hotels in 120,000 destinations across the world.

Memorable Spring Break Getaways: These 5 Mobile Apps Make Planning a Cinch

With the help of smartphones, booking a spring break trip just got easier for travelers. From searching for the best flight and hotel deals, to finding activities to pursue outside of your hotel that can involve the entire group, there are several mobile apps that help make planning a vacation simple, organized and efficient.

Here are five “must have” mobile apps that can help you plan for a memorable spring break getaway.

CheapOair

When deciding on the perfect destination, let CheapOair’s app find the best flight and hotel deals and even last-minute vacation packages (perfect when traveling with a large group.) With the app’s new 24/7 Live Chat option, there’s no need to worry about flight delays or lost hotel reservations because a helping hand is always available to sort out any complications.

TripIt

No more frantic searching through emails on your phone for airline and hotel confirmations. With the TripIt mobile app, users now have an easier way to organize and share travel plans. TripIt takes all of your trip details and creates one helpful itinerary at the palm of your hands. Once you receive a confirmation email from anywhere you book, simply forward it to plans@tripit.com, where the app instantly recognizes reservations from over 3,000 booking sites and organizes into one site.

GetPacked: packing list

Once you’ve booked the travel plans for your destination, the last and final step before you leave is packing your luggage and making sure not to leave any essentials at home. The GetPacked: packing list mobile app helps make packing quick and easy.  With the checklist, you can choose from over 600 items to put on your list, with the ability to even add your own items.

Goby

While on vacation, it’s important to spend quality time outside of the hotel room. The Goby mobile app allows you to explore your surroundings by finding local sightseeing tours, festivals and more, to keep everyone occupied during the trip.

LocalEats

When you’re in an unfamiliar city and are looking for a nice restaurant that everyone can enjoy, the LocalEats app allows you to search through recommended restaurants that have been reviewed by local food critics near you.

9 Creative Ways to Help Kids Say I Love You

Guest Post by Susan Marcus, coauthor of The Missing Alphabet: A Parents’ Guide to Developing Creative Thinking in Kids

Got a tactile-learner? A kid who loves to dance? Or maybe your child really loves color? While every child has a constellation of Sensory Alphabet strengths (shape, color, movement and sound are just a few), your child probably has one or two that really stand out — that you notice in his or her artwork or in elements of his or her collections and activities. Valentine’s Day crafts provide ways for parents to nurture these strengths and help kids say I love you in fun creative ways. Below are craft ideas designed for each element of the Sensory Alphabet.

SHAPE: Is your child’s art always full of shapes? Cut out cookies! Make the process easier and faster by using dough from the grocery store refrigerator case. Find imaginative cookie cutters and combine shapes and words to say I love you in new ways.

SOUND: Let sound-oriented kids make a Valentine’s wind chime with metal, glass and wooden craft store finds. Throw in everyday household items like bowls and plates to create loving symphony.

COLOR: Make “stained glass” cookies with color-loving kids, using bread stick dough. Shape it to make the “leading” on a cookie sheet topped with foil. Use crushed colored sugar candies in the spaces, cook at 350 degrees and let the candies melt. Let cool before peeling off the foil. Experiment with the colors and explore what else can represent love besides red.

MOVEMENT: Have your kids spell out the letters of “I Love You” with their bodies, and then take pictures. These can be used to create a sweet card or frame.

LIGHT: Appoint the light-loving child as the official photographer for holiday events. A lesson in digital app photo editing (PhotoPad is free for the iPad) or in designing digital slideshows or print-on-demand books puts this creative eye into action.

TEXTURE: Make a Valentine’s card that focuses on touch rather than sight. Use bows, ribbons, homemade tassels and other textured embellishments. Feathers and sponge-and-paint prints are fun to cover things with.

SPACE: For little builders, create a giant heart using recycled boxes wrapped in plain paper or Popsicle sticks. Decorate it with stickers, markers, doilies and colored paper. When it’s done create a set of keys, and have your child give them to family and loved ones.

RHYTHM: With your rhythm kid, fill small glass jars (such as baby food jars or small jelly jars) with a tablespoon of different shake-able items such as beans, rice, red-and-green beads, and metal washers. Decorate the lids with foil tied around the tops and stickers for patterns. Shake along to Valentine’s songs.

LINE: A linear thinker loves stories. Put him or her to work making handmade Valentine’s books using photos that tell a story about the great love stories in your family. Start with folded paper with a construction paper cover, hole-punched and tied with string or stitched down the center on the sewing machine for the binding.

Matching a creative thinking strength to the right set of materials and a fun challenge can make it more fun — and help your child build from his or her strengths.

Article by By Susie Monday, educator and artist and co-author of The Missing Alphabet, A Parents’ Guide to Developing Creative Thinking in Kids, with Susan Marcus and Dr. Cynthia Herbert. http:/www.themissingalphabet.com.

The Missing Alphabet: A Parents' Guide to Developing Creative Thinking in Kids
The Missing Alphabet: A Parents’ Guide to Developing Creative Thinking in Kids
 

6 Tips for a Healthier Superbowl Party

Drumsticks 2

Drumsticks 2Trying to steer clear of Super Bowl temptation in the form of high-calorie drinks, wings and nachos may be more challenging than avoiding the blitz. But don’t worry: “As long as you choose wisely, you can enjoy the game—and the food—without blowing your calorie budget,” says exercise physiologist Bob Greene.

Greene, Oprah’s diet and fitness expert, author of the bestselling The Best Life Diet and founder of the popular weight loss program TheBestLife.com, serves up healthy Super Bowl recipes and other tips that will leave you even fitter by the end of the game.

TheBestLife.com’s 6 Tips for a Healthy Super Bowl Party:

•           Whip up Healthier “Football Bash” Bites: Instead of fried chicken wings—try a baked version. Use ground turkey instead of beef in your chili. Opt for kale chips, which are so nutrient-packed that they’d make a regular potato chip crumble. Buffalo (bison) burgers make a leaner burger than standard beef. Need more ideas? Check out TheBestLife.com for all kinds of recipes that are lower in calories (and far healthier) than your favorite party food.

•           Wrap It up Green Style: Lettuce wraps make for the perfect sandwich base for people who are looking for a meal that’s lower in carbs. Instead of a bun, try eating your bison burger on a crispy romaine lettuce leaf.

•           “WOD” Your Super Bowl: CrossFit’s Workout of the Day (WOD) is taking off around the country, and the fast-paced exercises done in 30-second intervals fit perfectly into those commercial breaks and halftime. Create a little competition of your own: Divide your guests into teams and see who can do the most push-ups, sit-ups, burpees and more.

•           De-Fat Your Dips: Instead of sour cream—use 0 percent Greek yogurt to cut calories but still keep the consistency of your favorite party dip. Other healthy dip ideas: guacamole, hummus and/or salsa.

•           Snack on Fruits and Vegetables. Your team falling behind? Reaching for a crunchy carrot stick can help release frustration. Red pepper and celery also make for good finger foods, as do grapes and clementines.

•           Try Seltzer-Based Juice “Mocktails” Instead of Beer: To help stick to the recommended alcohol limit (one drink for women, two for men), have cold sparkling water on hand. Look for flavored varieties with no sugar or artificial sweeteners. You can even show your team spirit by opting for a drink in the right color: blueberry or blackberry seltzer if you’re rooting for the Ravens; raspberry and strawberry for all you 49er fans.

“Super Bowl parties are a fun American tradition where people can spend an afternoon enjoying a great game with friends and family,” says Bob Greene, creator of The Best Life. “It doesn’t have to be a chore to make it a healthy event, and TheBestLife.com offers fantastic advice and recipes for all who visit,” he added.

bobpersonal002 High Res

About Best Life
Best Life is a company devoted to helping you become your healthiest. From its popular online weight loss plan, TheBestLife.com, which is based on Bob Greene’s best-selling The Best Life Diet, to its food products and supplements, our focus is on helping individuals create their best life and encouraging them to enjoy it each and every day. Behind all of our advice and products is the belief that losing weight shouldn’t be about counting calories or deprivation, eating nutritiously shouldn’t require sacrificing taste, and living healthfully shouldn’t be a chore. Rather, living your best life involves making smart choices that fit into your lifestyle. It’s about taking pleasure in eating foods that taste good and are good for you. Ultimately, it’s a way of living that brings more joy and satisfaction to your life. www.thebestlife.com 1-888-454-3313.

Get a BuluBox Free!

bulubox

buluboxYou may have read about the Bulu Box Monthly Subscription Box on our Great Gifts Blog.

Now, Bulu Box has given us a special code so you can try it out for free!

All you need to do, Momscapers, is go to the BuluBox site, subscribe to Bulu Box with coupon code box2661 to get your first box free. You can cancel anytime. Shipping is free, and there are no hidden fees.

If you missed reading about Bulu Box, here are the details:

Bulu Box is a cool monthly subscription box catering to health and fitness enthusiasts. BuluBox recipients get a goodie box each month, filled with 4 to 5 premium samples: things like vitamins, weight loss aids, and formulations for sports nutrition, protein, diet, energy, detox, digestion, herbs, natural remedies, endurance and more.

Bulu Box selects only the most recognized and tested brands to include in each box so you can test products and see how well they work before spending lots more on full-sized bottles.

BuluBox.com sent us a sample box for review, and we loved the healthy discoveries we made. It’s a fun and unique monthly subscription. (And it’s affordable, too, with subscriptions at just $10 per month).

So, redeem your code for a free box today!

Note, if Bulu Box has more codes redeemed than they have boxes ready, they will put up a temporary page and collect emails. When they get more boxes available the next month, they will email you to let you know when you can expect your subscription to begin.

Bulu Box sent us a free sample box for us to review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Things We Love: Reclaim Your Hot Mama Mojo {Online Course + Free Book}

Hay House, Inc.Hay House has just announced a new 3-lesson Live Online Course: Reclaim Your Hot Mama Mojo: Three Weeks to a Happier, Healthier, and Hotter Life!

Erin Cox, the energetic and inspirational author of One Hot Mama: The Guide to Getting Your Mind and Body Back After Baby, will help you reclaim your Hot Mama Mojo…once and for all!

Erin’s guidance comes to mamas through a  fun and revolutionary life-rejuvenation process.

These are some of the questions she will be addressing in her Online Event:

* Do you ever feel like you’ve lost your SELF to being a mom?
* Has your love life taken a hit because you don’t feel sexy anymore?
* Have you lost touch with your spirituality and sense of inner peace?
* Could you use a little more time to yourself and more fun in your life?
* Would you like to have more vibrant energy and abundant health?
* Do you want to be a better lover, mother, or friend?
* Do you feel stuck in bad habits or negative self-talk that prevents you from being the best version of yourself?

Plus, as an added bonus, all purchasers will receive a FREE copy of Erin’s book One Hot Mama

You’ll also get exclusive bonus material including:
. The One Hot Mama Healthy Eating Plan
. Recipes and Shopping lists to help keep you hot and healthy
. Erin’s One Hot Mama exercise videos to help you get fit and stay fit

Get a more detailed description of the three lessons here.

 

New Giveaway: Quest Cravings

quest-cravings

We just launched a giveaway on our sister site, BestSelfHelp.com, which brings you all the latest coupons, freebies, deals and discounts on health & fitness, beauty, wellness, self help, seminars, and more. And we wanted to share it here, as well!

quest-cravingsQuest Nutrition recently sent us a box of Quest Cravings Protein-Packed Peanut Butter Cups to try, and we want to give you a box, too!

Quest Cravings are as healthy as a protein bar. With 20 grams of protein, 4 grams of active carbs and no added sugar, you can eat Cravings every single day. These are high protein products that are actually good for you.

Learn more about Quest Cravings here: http://www.questproteinbar.com/cravings/, and enter to win a box 12 Quest Cravings Peanut Butter Cups below (Retail value: $27.99)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. We hereby release Facebook of any liability. Winner(s) will be contacted by email 48 hours after the giveaway ends. If you have any additional questions – feel free to contact us!

Disclosure: Quest Nutrition sent us Quest Cravings free of charge for promotional purposes. 

Things We Love – Shred: The Revolutionary Diet

Shred: The Revolutionary Diet: 6 Weeks 4 Inches 2 Sizes
Shred: The Revolutionary Diet: 6 Weeks 4 Inches 2 Sizes

From the bestselling author of The Fat Smash Diet comes this helpful new diet book promising big results for people who are struggling to lose that last 20 pounds.

Many of us know firsthand how it gets more difficult to lose weight as we get closer to our goal. This book is designed to help you push through the plateaus when your previous weight loss efforts have stopped working.

Dr. Ian K. Smith has created this program, which combines a low Glycemic Index diet with meal spacing and meal replacements. (Dieters on the Shred Diet plan will be eating every three and a half hours, so it helps you keep your blood sugar – and moods – in check). The diet is composed of 6 week cycles, which you can repeat as often as you need to get the results you want. Dr. Ian puts the average weight loss for a cycle between 18 and 25 pounds.

What we love about the Shred diet is its inherent flexibility. Dr. Ian offers solid education about what works to push through frustrating plateaus and he provides specific guidelines to follow, but he emphasizes that, once you get an understanding of the Shred philosophy, you’ll be able to eat anywhere and know that you have the ability to both enjoy yourself (and food) while staying lean.

We also love that the focus is on eating a variety of healthy foods and on paying attention to meal spacing. As Dr. Ian says “the timing of your meals and snacks can be a reason why you are or aren’t losing weight.”

Dr. Ian has launched “Shredder Nation,” which you can get a taste of online. Get free tips by following Dr. Ian on facebook (facebook.com/shreddernation), Twitter (@doctoriansmith) and via his website: doctoriansmith.com. The book is available at amazon for preorder (with a release date of January 10).

Disclosure: An advanced reading copy of Shred: The Revolutionary Diet was provided to Momscape free of charge for review purposes. The opinions expressed are our own.