Top 10 Family Resorts
Cook at The Essex Resort
Most kids don’t truly appreciate the value of a hearty, home-cooked supper until college (forget being able to prepare such a satisfying meal on their own), but you can start them off on the right foodie foot with some invaluable, not to mention fun, time in the kitchen. At The Essex Resort, just minutes from Burlington, Vermont, cooking is a key part of the vacation experience – just as popular, if not more popular, than other onsite activities like spa pampering and hot air ballooning. The resort’s 8-year-old Cook Academy is the area’s premier non-degree culinary school (partnered in education with the New England Culinary Institute) and during the summer, the academy offers plenty of classes ideal for kids and families. The Cook Academy also offers five-day Kid Camp Cook programs, which include daily cooking classes, lunch and snacks, a trip to the local farm, and a book of recipes to take home (June–August; 9am–4pm; ages 10–16; $375 to $425). Camp Cook and Scents of Summer classes, focusing on fresh, local ingredients take place in the resort’s larger, newer the J.K. Adams Kitchen. The four-diamond family resort also comes with colorful guest rooms and suites, some with a gas fireplace and kitchenette, ideal for families; a full-service spa with an indoor lap pool; New England’s only Championship Executive Golf Course; six tennis courts; fly-fishing; bike rentals; and an outdoor adventure center featuring a 450-foot zip line. Summer room rates start from $219/night.