LEXINGTON, Ky. - 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, ISPA 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 4 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 this summer from ISPA members includes offerings for future chefs, astronauts and even circus performers:
- The Solace Spa at Marriott's Boyne Resort in Boyne Falls, Mich., 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. Organizers say the trapeze class is a tool for team-building, self esteem, and it offers a full-body workout.
- 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, Ariz., has partnered with the Phoenix Zoo to bring an interactive "Desert Connections" program to guests this summer. In keeping with the animal theme, children can participate in "Animal Yoga" on Sunday mornings. Throughout the class, children will roar like a lion, hop like a bunny, stretch like a giraffe, and sit like a dog.
- Hawaii's Spa Grande at Grand Wailea Resort & Spa 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. A Co-ed Teen Spa Night offer lessons on spa etiquette and bathing rituals.
- If you have a little Emeril or Paula Deen on your hands, The Greenbrier Spa in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., is inviting them to tantalize their taste buds with hands-on children's gourmet cooking classes. The Greenbrier culinary staff focuses on a theme such as "Pizza Pizzazz," "I'll Make Supper" or "Afternoon Snacks." Kids will learn the fundamental steps of creating culinary masterpieces and kitchen safety tips.
- At Loews Hotel in Henderson, Nev., 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.
ISPA represents 3,000 members, both spas and product companies, in 75 countries. It's simple to find the ISPA member nearest you at www.experienceispa.com.
About the International SPA Association
ISPA is recognized worldwide as the leading professional organization and voice of the global spa industry. Founded in 1991, ISPA advances the spa industry by providing invaluable educational and networking opportunities, promoting the value of the spa experience and speaking as the authoritative voice to foster professionalism and growth. More details on ISPA are available on http://www.experienceispa.com/.
(Editor's note - A listing of ISPA members that have made the association aware of their summer offerings is included below. ISPA is happy to put you in contact with members who could serve as interview resources. Please feel free to contact Debra Locker at the above contact details for ideas on members to accompany your piece.)
Aspira Spa at the Osthoff Resort
Elkhart Lake, Wis.
Elixir Mind Body Massage
Ginn Hammock Beach Resort
Inhloff Salon & Day Spa
Lake Austin Spa Resort
Mohonk Mountain House
New Paltz, N.Y.
Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
Rancho Mirage, Calif.
The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Miami
Spa Grande at the Grand Wailea Resort
Newport Beach, Calif.
Spa Moana at Hyatt Regency Maui
Turtle Cove Spa at Mountain Harbor Resort
Mount Ida, Ark.
The Westin Dragonara Resort
St. Julian's, Malta
Viridian Day Spa
Mount Pleasant, S.C.