Hol­i­day parks: re­sorts for kids

Many peo­ple as­so­ci­ate hol­i­day parks with camp­grounds that of­fer only the bare ne­ces­si­ties, how­ever, these get­aways have cer­tainly evolved and they now pro­vide an al­ter­na­tive to ri­val many fam­ily hotels and re­sorts. GRACE WYE tells us how.

Caravan, Camping and Holiday Parks with Kids - - Contents -

How do hol­i­day parks weigh up as an al­ter­na­tive to re­sorts?

Wa­ter ba­bies

Whether sit­u­ated on prime beach­front real es­tate, on the bank of a river or even fur­ther in­land, hol­i­day parks of­ten pro­vide an ar­ray of fun wa­ter ac­tiv­i­ties for kids (as well as for mum and dad). Most will fea­ture an in-ground pool, which will pro­vide kids with hours of fun in the sun with­out hav­ing to leave the park. As well as an out­door pool for sum­mer time, some have also evolved to in­clude heated in­door pools for swim­ming all year round and wad­ing pools for tod­dlers. Bet­ter still, some have started to in­tro­duce their own ex­cit­ing wa­ter parks. Packed with wa­ter slides, splash buck­ets and foun­tains, these parks are guar­an­teed to en­ter­tain for hours while cre­at­ing a per­fect sum­mer am­bi­ence.

Let’s not for­get that many hol­i­day parks are lo­cated right on the doorstep of some of the best beaches in Aus­tralia, giv­ing you prime ac­cess to the waves, and if you are a fam­ily that likes fish­ing or ca­noe­ing, of­fer­ings be­side a river will sup­ply these and other wa­ter ac­tiv­i­ties in abun­dance, too. Usu­ally you can hire wa­ter sport equip­ment such as body­boards, surf­boards, ca­noes or kayaks, so have a look around be­fore you book to find a park that of­fers the ex­act type of wa­tery fun you are af­ter.

Or­gan­ised fun

Oh yes, kids’ clubs no longer only reign supreme in hotels and re­sorts. Hol­i­day parks – par­tic­u­larly in school hol­i­day pe­ri­ods – will likely have a range of or­gan­ised ac­tiv­i­ties to take the kids off your hands. Whether it’s a scavenger hunt, face paint­ing, craft time, tug- o-wars, dis­cos, run­ning races or maybe even a cook­ing class, your kids will think they’ve en­tered a hol­i­day realm made specif­i­cally for them. Some parks even have wildlife talks and walks, adding an ed­u­ca­tional el­e­ment to your stay as well.

Or­gan­ised fun is not al­ways lim­ited to kids ei­ther. Many hol­i­day parks hold reg­u­lar morn­ing teas, pro­vid­ing a per­fect set­ting for you to get to know your fel­low campers... and for your kids to find a play­mate to share ad­ven­tures with. If you’re lucky, you may even find a hol­i­day park that of­fers fam­ily trivia nights... now that’s sure to bring out ev­ery­one’s com­pet­i­tive side.

In­door ac­tion

Even if you travel in win­ter, or the weather on your sum­mer get­away is over­cast and wa­ter ac­tiv­i­ties are off the ta­ble, hol­i­day parks usu­ally have a great range of in­door ac­tiv­i­ties sure to keep your lit­tle ones out of mis­chief. Ac­tiv­ity rooms are of­ten on site, boast­ing a range of fam­ily favourites: ta­ble ten­nis, foos­ball, air hockey, pool ta­bles and some­times even ball pits for lit­tler guests.

Games rooms are a great way to spend some time bond­ing as a fam­ily, whether sit­ting down to play a board game or fir­ing up the game con­sole so as to give kids and teens a tech­nol­ogy fix. Camp­ing at a hol­i­day park doesn’t have to be a rus­tic, unplugged af­fair if you don’t wish it to be. Many will have com­mu­nal rooms or cab­ins that have Fox­tel, and Wi-Fi is an in­creas­ingly com­mon find whether you’re stay­ing in a villa, a car­a­van or a tent.

Out­door oases

Jump­ing pil­lows are fast be­com­ing a hol­i­day park sta­ple, and are an in­stant hit with kids. Ever-faith­ful play­grounds are al­ways pop­u­lar, and many have climb­ing struc­tures and ar­eas that cater specif­i­cally for dif­fer­ent age groups. Look around and you’ll find a per­fect park for your clan, whether you’re look­ing to en­ter­tain tod­dlers, pri­mary-aged kids or teens.

Sporty fam­i­lies are prob­a­bly bet­ter catered for in a hol­i­day park than in a nor­mal re­sort, with vol­ley­ball courts, ten­nis courts, sport­ing equip­ment and bike hire be­ing a sta­ple at a num­ber of lo­ca­tions. Best of all, many are nes­tled amid some of Aus­tralia’s most scenic nat­u­ral sur­rounds. Ven­ture out on a bush walk and there’s of­ten a chance you’ll spot wildlife such as wal­la­bies, colour­ful birds and maybe even koalas if you’re lucky.

The out­door ac­tiv­i­ties don’t stop there. Some parks amp up their quirk fac­tor with fun op­tions like gi­ant chess or mini- golf cour­ses. For the adren­a­line junkies out there, you can also find un­pow­ered go karts, ab­seil­ing walls, rock­climb­ing fa­cil­i­ties and zi­plines if you’re will­ing to hunt around a lit­tle.

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