By Jill Martin

Everyone is looking for a deal these days, and a free kids club included with your resort stay is a great way to cut costs. Read on to discover how to score big savings.

Favorite Freebies

Harbor Beach Marriott Resort and Spa in Fort Lauderdale has a free-standing kids club called The Surf Club, for ages five to 12. Holy moly! It's a childhood fantasy come to life. They have a surf simulator, games galore, computers, a theatre with stadium seating and digital underwater cameras they can use to create souvenirs and crafts. It's fun-tastic.

Club Med Sandpiper in Port St. Lucie is the only all-inclusive resort in the U.S. and some of their kids’ programs are included in your package (ages four to 17 are included for no charge). You can pay extra for the kids younger-than-four and babies program. Yes, babies – as young as 3 months old.

The Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Resort offers free morning sessions for their kids clubs. Ages for participation are 5-12. Your kids can stay longer as there is an afternoon session, they can even have lunch, available at an additional cost. Got to love free mornings, though!

Seasonal Specials  

Some resorts offer free programs in conjunction with a special promotion, for either a half day or full day. For example, The Breakers hotel in Palm Beach has offered a complimentary kids club called the Coconut Crew Interactive Camp, during the week (Sunday to Wednesday), and kids can be as young as three. They tend to offer this special in the summer and include things like free kids meals, free continental breakfast and more. Make sure to check for specials at your resort.

Not Free But Worth It

Since I travel with my boys constantly, we've thoroughly investigated our share of kids clubs and we have definite favorites. The programs listed below aren't free, but were my boys’ favorites because of the activities and the staff.

Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach has an amazing area for kids and teens. There is SO much to do and they’ll feed them, too. The decor, the activities, the staff. All are superb. My teen is pretty darn picky and loathes the term kids’ club, but at Coast, he could be cool and entertained.

Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys is the only full-day kids program and, boy oh boy, do they have a list of activities. From feeding fish off the dock to treasure hunts and all kinds of crafts, the list is long on fun. They also offer a Kids Night Out, which gives parents a night off. Did it, loved it!

D-Dawgs KidsZone at the Hilton Daytona Beach Resort is a winner. Seven days a week, from noon till 8 p.m., your kids ages five 12 will beg to come here. There is 1,000 square feet of play area that overlooks one of their outdoor pools. There’s room for arts and crafts, ping-pong, Wii play, games and more. And Every Friday and Saturday night from 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm, it’s Kids Night Out.



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