Thursday, July 18, 2013

A kids club with a French twist

Do you look for a kids' club when you travel?

I try to.

Because it's just the kids and I most of the time, it's good for them to make friends quickly and easily. (Remember the Jerry Seinfield quote? 'You like ice-cream? I like ice-cream! Let's be best friends.'
That kind of thing.)

And if it's a good club, they get to do things they might otherwise not be able to do - like collecting coconuts and making ships out of them, as they did in Fiji a few years ago. Or dehusking coconuts on a very dangerous-looking spike in Samoa. At one resort in Fiji, we even looked after an orphaned bird the kid's had rescued during a kids' club walk ... in our five-star room. I can't imagine that happening anywhere else.

But I digress.

Now my kids are older - 12 and 10 - most Aussie kids' clubs are too young for them. They would much rather hang out by the pool with me, which is fine.

But I was bemused when a release from a Parisian hotel came into my email inbox recently.

If ever we three make it to Paris as a family, we'll be making a bee-line for Le Royal Monceau - Raffles Paris.

Here, workshops to be held by celebrated artists, will be conducted in French and English. Dubbed Le Peitit Royal, the workshops are linked to major cultural events in the city and give children and teenagers the chance to participate in treasure hunts through the Louvre's Egyptian galleries, pirate boat trips down the Seine, or follow in the footsteps of a prima ballerina for the day.

Artistic kids can study the work of pioneering cubist Georges Braque (linked to a major exhibition at the Grand Palais), pop artist Roy Lichenstein (marking the start of a major exhibition at the Centre Pompidou), and Pablo Picasso, when the Picasso Museum reopens in November.

Teens can learn to be a DJ with music mixing lessons at the hotel's mobile recording studio, or make pizzas with the chefs of the Michelin-starred Italian restaurant Il Carpaccio.

Kind of puts jelly-eating competitions and boat-races in the shade doesn't it?

To be honest, if we were in Paris, I'd want to be dragging my kids around the sights, but I'm sure there might be a few hours where I might indulge in a little retail therapy, knowing they were being happily entertained ...

And when you're a single parent, a good kids' club - or entertainment program for children and teens - is gold. When you're a single parent, there's no one to mind the children while you do some child-free shopping, have a massage, lie by the pool, or just read a book for five minutes. A good kids program means the kids are happy, and Mum or Dad gets a little break too. Yeah, a holiday. Like it's meant to be.

The kids aren't bored while you are off looking at another cathedral, shopping for clothes or having your chakras realigned, and everyone is happy when you meet up a couple of hours later. It's perfect.

What do your kids like to do when they are on holiday?

Pizza-making at  Le Royal Monceau - Raffles Paris. Oh to be a kid again! 


Char said...

Certainly beats the holidays that we had as kids - where we were basically sent down to the beach for the day with a bottle of sunscreen (that we never used) I might even be tempted to join the kids club activities although passing as a child is pretty tricky when you're in your 50s.

A little word of warning on using the peppermint crisp as decoration to cupcakes. After about 48hrs the green peppermint part kind of melted onto the icing. It still tasted good - just lost the decorative effect.

Anonymous said...

Hehe I don't because I don't have kids but they do make things sound really fun!

Kelley @ magneto bold too said...

in my imaginary life my kids go to kids club while I do all sorts of awesome adult things.

In reality holidays are still a pipe dream.

(but I wouldn't mind going to that Paris one myself!)

buttonbrain said...

Wow, that is an impressive kids club (gotta say given the price tag at a Raffles Hotel, I am highly unlikely to even be allowed on the sidewalk outside). I've never used a kids club, or stayed anywhere that offered one. Our holidays are not that flash.