We don’t really need science or studies to tell us that the pandemic has left its scars on our psyche. We all feel it, whether we admit it or not. There’s that otherworldly sense of loss and expectation of trauma that wasn’t so palpable before. Collectively, we long for the innocence of another time.
But, what about our children? What are they feeling? What has the impact been on them? At least as adults we had something to cling to: that idea that somehow all things insurmountable lead to another place where we survive on the next plateau. We’ve been aware of the value of lessons learned, stronger (perhaps) for them. But children, how have they coped? As it turns out, resilient as they are, the pandemic has wounded kids, left them without the tools to turn things around, according to a variety of experts—and our own observations, as well.
Here are five spa properties that offer innovative wellness programming for kids:
Staying active reduces stress. Boulders Resort & Spa Scottsdale keeps kids on the move with golf clinics, rock climbing clinics, and the unique Sonoran Explorin’ Tour, a nature and wildlife adventure that takes children into the desert to observe animals and glimpse birds. Expect to see mule deer, coyote, javelina, cottontails, owls, and more.
At Bishop’s Lodge, Auberge Resorts Collection, where the landscape exudes a sacred mysticism, the spa team will specially curate some of the adult-made wellness offerings for kids or for families to enjoy together. Consider Symphony of Sound, which incorporates sound vibrations to initiate and support change. From crystal meditation bowls to ancient instruments, an array of music made will open hearts.
At Carmel Valley Ranch in California, tense children can forget their worries when in the company of majestic horses. The retreat’s Equine Therapy offers guests and families therapeutic ways to forge bonds and find joy by embracing and being enveloped by the power of tranquility, detailed feedback, and deep connection. Various immersive activities developed and led by Robert G. Magnelli, Ph.D. (also known as “The Horseman”) leave participants with profound feelings of calm, healing and insight.
Sometimes kids just need to be kids. Mohonk Mountain House, a family oriented retreat nestled in the Hudson Valley, edging a private glacial lake amid the Catskill Mountains, offers the great outdoors in abundance. Borrowing from an old-school camp vibe, the resort’s Mohonk Kid’s Club celebrates play time with nostalgic activities, such as scavenger hunts, puppet making, tennis clinics, sports tournaments, boat rides, and fossil discovery jaunts.
Ensconced in beautiful Santa Barbara, The Ritz-Carlton Bacara has incomparable nature and much on offer. Children can partake of The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara’s Ambassador’s of the Environment program, designed by Jean-Michel Cousteau to educate kids on the importance of nature. Young guests delve into the Gaviota Coast to discover the wonders of land and sea, including a kelp forest, the intertidal zone, the traditional Chumash culture, and a diversity of birds.
Becca Hensley is Editor at Large for Insider's Guide to Spas. Based in Austin, she writes regularly about travel and spas. She believes a good story draws you in like laughter in a crowded room, and challenges you to do it justice. Her work appears regularly in Austin Monthly, Travel Channel, Toronto Star and National Geographic Traveler.