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Summertime Equals Family Time at the Spa

If your family is looking for an active, fun-filled and memorable vacation this summer, spas ensure the ideal family-friendly retreat. And, if you think spas are a bit too relaxing for your children, think again, as they are great atmospheres to get the kids moving with healthy and educational activities.

"With unique offerings from flying on a trapeze, to learning how to cook, or hands-on lessons on skin care, International SPA Association members are welcoming families this summer with a focus on educational experiences for children and teens," said International SPA Association President Lynne McNees. "Spas are the perfect get-away for families that are looking for a fun experience centered on wellness, education and bonding."

From the four million teenagers who have been to a spa, to men, which account for more than 30 percent of spa guests, people are realizing that the spa lifestyle equals a healthy lifestyle. In fact, 51 percent of U.S. spas offer educational programs and nutritional consultations, 40 percent offer healthy cuisine classes, 26 percent have educational offerings on obesity or weight gain issues and 17 percent offer exercise programs for children and teens.

A small sampling of the family-friendly opportunities at spas this summer includes offerings for future chefs, astronauts and even circus performers:

  • The Solace Spa at Marriott's Boyne Resort in Boyne Falls, Michigan, will have your kids flying through the air with their Trapeze Experience class. Running for three weeks in August, this program encourages all ages to experience the exhilaration of flying and catching while gaining technical knowledge of the trapeze.
  • California's Ojai Valley Inn & Spa offers a variety of family-oriented activities including: Saturday golf and tennis clinics, Artist's Cottage projects, and popcorn-filled evenings with dive-in movies in the pool. One of the most creative and educational activities is the astronomy and star-gazing class led by a NASA astronomer.
  • The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona, has partnered with the Phoenix Zoo to bring an interactive "Desert Connections" program to guests. In keeping with the animal theme, children can participate in "Animal Yoga" where they will roar like a lion, hop like a bunny, stretch like a giraffe, and sit like a dog.
  • Hawaii's Spa Grande at the Grand Wailea Resort offers menus for children six to 12 and teens 13 and older. The children's offerings include a Wave Massage, Chocolate-Coconut Scrub and Honey Sugar Manicure. The teen menu focuses on treatments that target adolescents' skin including an Acne Facial, Mud Body Wrap, and Body Bronzing, which gives a tan without the risk of sun damage.
  • If you have a little Emeril or Paula Deen on your hands, The Greenbrier Spa in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, is inviting them to tantalize their taste buds with hands-on children's gourmet cooking classes that include kitchen safety tips. The Greenbrier culinary staff focuses on a theme such as "Pizza Pizzazz," "I'll Make Supper" or "Afternoon Snacks."
  • At Loews Hotel in Henderson, Nevada, SushiSkool is in session on Saturdays through Labor Day. A Master Sushi Chef leads the class designed to teach the next generation of sushi lovers the basics of ordering, using chopsticks, and etiquette.

For more information on a wide variety of family-friendly spas, see this article on The Family Travel Network.

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