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A woman enjoys a ride on a camel through the desert.


Article by Andrew Richdale 06.13.2018

Sailing off the coast of Maui, swimming with stingrays in the Cayman Islands, fishing at Georgia’s stunning Lake Oconee — these adventures are sure to surprise and delight travelers of all ages.

When schedules are full and smartphones are front-and-center at every gathering, quality time together can become rather elusive. But nothing brings a family together quite like an adventure in the great outdoors. These six special activities offer unforgettable opportunities for fun and bonding with your loved ones.

1. Explore a Treasure Island

The sun sets over the ocean and Kapuala cliffs.

When your youngest have graduated from sand castles and wading pools, it’s time to go beyond the beach and discover the wonders of the open ocean. The isle of Maui is known for its lush scenery, majestic cliffs and world-famous beaches but the ocean itself offers a host of exhilarating adventures beyond surfing. At The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, you can book a number of excursions at sea for your family. December to May is prime whale-watching season in this part of the Pacific. An expert guide can lead you to prime spots and teach you and your family about the wonders of these large, beautiful sea creatures. You can also snorkel among turtles and urchin. For an extra special treat, ask the concierge to book a sunset sail aboard an elegant catamaran with local appetizers and an open-bar serving (virgin or alcoholic) island drinks.


2. Bond Over Time-Honored Traditions

Two children splash at the edge of a lake on a wooden deck.

As children get older and life gets busier, quiet moments together become an even more rare and treasured occurrence. While staying at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee, have the concierge book an excursion to Lake Oconee for a day of incredible fishing — and quality time together — with an expert guide on a pontoon. Conditions are fit for fishing year-round. Large-mouth bass, bream and striper all roam the waters, though likely catches change throughout the seasons. When you’ve had your fill of casting lines, enjoy a peaceful boat tour of the lake or try your hand at water skiing, jet skiing, or wake boating. In the summer, grab a seat by the lake for live music by legend John Oatea and a fireworks display that’s reflected in the lake’s still waters.


3. Experience the Natural Wonders of Sea Life Up Close

A small group of swimmers snorkels with a stingray.

There may be no better way to spark a love for nature in your kids than by getting up-close-and-personal with wildlife — the more exotic the better — and there may be no better way to do just that than through the Ambassadors of the Environment program at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. With activities ranging from a night snorkeling expedition and paddling through magical mangroves to snorkeling your way around a shipwreck and exploring underwater reefs, there’s truly an adventure to be had for families of all ages. Follow it up with a boat tour of Stingray City, a small patch of shallow sandbars on the North Sound of the island where large but friendly stingrays gather and await visitors. Stand in the 3-feet-deep water with food and they’ll glide over to eat it, allowing you to pet their soft skin.


4. Discover the Diversity of the Planet’s Wildlife

Tropical fish swim in coral reefs just under the surface of the water.

For most kids, the wonders of nature can be found anywhere there’s a bit of dirt, grass and water. But to spark a lasting sense of awe and appreciation in your youngster’s eyes, journey to Thailand, where a land of otherworldly natural beauty awaits. The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui is a scenic boat ride from Angthong National Marine Park, which contains a multitude of experiences that will excite travelers of all ages. Angthong is an archipelago comprised of 42 different islands. Around those islands, you’ll find reefs teeming with a kaleidoscopic array of exotic wildlife, hikes to waterfalls and hidden coves, and empty white beaches made where you and your family can enjoy afternoons in the sun.


5. Embark on a Fantasy Caravan through the Desert

A woman enjoys a ride on a camel through the desert.

Think a desert ride aboard a camel is only found in storybooks and movies? Turn your little ones’ dream adventure into reality at The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert, where families can ride into the sunset together on these iconic (and gentle) animals. Your guided tour takes you through the stunning desert landscape to a sunset observation point, where light refreshments are served as you enjoy the desert views and create unforgettable memories. After you return to the resort, enjoy bedtime stories under the stars together before calling it a night.


6. Enjoy the Exhilaration of Conquering a First Ski Run

Skiers race down a hill of fresh, powdery snow.

As any parent can attest, there is nothing quite as joy-inducing as watching your child master a skill for the first time. The colorful country of Kazakhstan has gorgeous runs and a rich sense of culture — the sort of experience perfect for teaching your children to ski while also opening their minds to the greater world. The Ritz-Carlton, Almaty is located nearby the renowned Shymbulak, which sits in a picturesque canyon of the Tian Shan mountain range. The largest ski destination in Central Asia, these slopes sit 7,000 feet above sea level and are perfectly suited for amateur skiers. When not skiing, enjoy the hotels delicious dining and admire the breathtaking landscapes, which are on display from the hotel.


Looking for more inspiration your next family getaway? From Bali to Europe, find more travel ideas here.

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Plan Your Stay in these Destinations

  • Kapalua

    Location Maui, Hawaii

    Experience A resort rich in cultural traditions and a warm Aloha spirit.

    • Unique ocean activities for everyone
    • Distinctive beach and poolside cabana offerings
    • Newly reimagined guest rooms and suites
  • Reynolds, Lake Oconee

    Location Lake Oconee, Georgia

    Experience Enjoy fishing, waterskiing, jet skiing, paddle boarding & more

    • 75 miles from Atlanta on 30 acres of shoreline
    • Lakeside cottages, championship golf, locally inspired cuisine
    • Recently renovated infinity pool and spa
  • Grand Cayman

    Location Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

    Experience The natural beauty and soft sands of Seven Mile Beach.

    • Turquoise waters blend with a cerulean sky
    • Decadent seafood at Blue by Eric Ripert
    • Greg Norman-designed Ritz-Carlton Golf Club
  • Koh Samui

    Location Koh Samui, Thailand

    Experience The Samui Way of Life

    • Embrace soothing luxury in 175 ocean-front suites and villas
    • Immerse in a unique outdoor street food dining experience at Baan Talat
    • Relax and renew at the spa with treatments inspired by natural local ingredients and healing practices
  • Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert

    Location Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert

    Experience Romance and relaxation, adventure and natural beauty.

    • Located in a unique 500 hectare nature reserve
    • 101 private luxury pool-villas
    • Local and International cuisine, destination dining experiences
  • Almaty

    Location Almaty, Kazakhstan

    Experience The highest point in Kazakhstan from the top of the Esentai Tower.

    • Design blends cultural traditions & modernity
    • Extensive gallery by Kazakh artists
    • Breathtaking views of the Alatau Mountains