When Children Need a Vacation from Vacation: Exploring Hotel and Resort Play Spaces

08|14|2018

Magnolia Mall Aquatic Theme Play Environment Created by Playtime

There’s no question about the critical role of play in the lives of children. Playtime aids in the crucial development of a child’s body, mind, and emotions. It is their job to play, and modern thinking is beginning to embrace that idea again after many years of pushing children to participate in adult activities during their formative youth, or at the other end of the continuum, allowing too much sedentary time to creep into family schedules.

Play in the Hospitality Industry

With the benefits of playtime becoming more apparent, an evolution in children’s environments is occurring—from classrooms to bedrooms to playgrounds. It’s no surprise, then, that the hospitality industry is heeding the warnings and capitalizing on the newest data about child development. Family restaurants and entertainment venues have been integrating playgrounds into their offerings for a while, and today’s hotels and resorts are rapidly catching on.

Hotel and Resort Innovations

Many hotels and resorts have created some pretty innovative play spaces for their smaller guests. For example, the Blue Whale in Gothenburg, Sweden’s Plikta Park resort allows little ones to enter the belly of the beast, quite literally, and then climb on the whale’s tail and slide down its side before delving into the nearby “seaweed” jungle gym. Youngsters are then encouraged to visit the inspiration for the themed play space, the Gothenburg Natural History Museum, with its collection of actual blue whales, according to a recent piece in Travel and Leisure.[1]

Likewise, the Ritz Carlton Golf Resort in Naples is catering to their underage guests with plenty of diverse choices for appropriate entertainment. In addition to the always popular video game option in their ICE lounge with theater seating and state-of-the art gaming systems equipped with VR capabilities, the resort offers some more profound and enriching experiences as well. Their play space includes “cubes, bricks, cogs, curves, and cylinders with shapes and holes that fit together in ways that enhance creativity.” Also, guests have access to a Nature’s Wonders program in which a conservationist guides families with children ages 5-12 on an expedition featuring 11 aquariums and an up-close view of reptile skeletons, among other activities.[2]

And of course, Disney is on board, providing plenty of play options for their resort and hotel guests. Kids 2-12 can “run free in immersive environments featuring soft and textured surfaces, swings, tunnels and slides designed for interaction”[3] in a space designed to let children play without direction as a break or cool-off from sometimes overly-structured vacation activities. In fact, while adults think of vacation as a break from the routine, children can feel stifled or bored with the scheduling that can occur on family trips.

The PLAYTIME Commitment

At PLAYTIME, we understand that one size does not fit all and that children need a variety of experiences to maximize opportunities to meet challenges, take risks, and benefit physically, psychologically, and intellectually. We design our diverse interactive environments with child development in mind, and our goal is to stay creative and focus on the needs of today’s children.

Learn more here about all that PLAYTIME is doing to provide exceptional play experience for children.

[1] https://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/worlds-coolest-playgrounds#6

[2] http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/naples/naples-golf/area-activities/ritz-kids#fndtn-NaturesWonders

[3] https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/recreation/playgrounds/