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Every now and then Omaha favorite son Andy Roddick shows up at Texas Hill Country’s Horseshoe Bay Resort. But that’s not why you bring your little ones to the Andy Roddick Kids’ Courts. It's all about scale: Larger, depressurized balls and smaller rackets and courts mean children 4-10 can get their game up to speed more quickly. Your kids can serve for a mere 25 bucks a day: the $15 resort fee you’d be paying anyway plus a $10 racquet rental. Junior tennis clinics and private lessons are also available.
If you’re not a tennis family, Horseshoe Bay also has a kids club for the 4-12 set ($75 full day, $40 half day, $55 dinner session), but if your children are like mine and refuse to leave your side during a trip, the club rolls out such activities as hula hoop contests and “dive-in” movies (set amid the pool) for the entire brood.
The family that sticks together can also cook together, with a resort chef on Monday nights as part of the Westin Aruba’s Little Chefs program. The menu typically includes pizza as well as simple appetizers and desserts. Cooking fees: $50 per adult, $25 for kids 12-16, free for kids under 12.
About 27 miles southeast of underappreciated Albuquerque and within the Santa Ana Pueblo, the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa’s Camp Hyatt ($45 per session, $55 dinner session) allows kids 3-12 to make adobe bricks out of mud and straw. But brick making can be a family affair, too, during the Srai-Wi (SHRY-WEE) Family Experiences program. Every Saturday from May-October, families with kids as young as five also can learn pottery making ($25 per person) from a Pueblo woman.
And trust me, it would be a shame to leave Tamaya without riding a horse through Pueblo backcountry. Kids 7 and up may ride, but parents forced to stay behind can watch their younger ones saddle up for a low-key “lead around” down by the stables.