Offset screen time with these in-real-life, outdoor activities just for kids
After a topsy-turvy year, the kids are ready to get back outside. With 2021 comes the hope of a return to normalcy and more social activities on the horizon.
From workshops and swimming lessons to ballet and golf, there’s plenty to do this spring and summer to keep kids active and away from the screens that came to define life in 2020.
As area families look to enroll eager kids in extracurriculars, private communities, clubs, resorts and local businesses are gearing up for a return to a traditional social experience for children looking for fun outside of home.
Montage Palmetto Bluff
Palmetto Bluff is home to a marina and nature preserve, both of which inform the kids’ programming at this resort and community set on 20,000 acres.
“We have a number of experiential kid’s programs to encourage a love for the great outdoors and time spent together,” says Christine Wrobel, director of public relations and marketing.
The Montage Merits program, complimentary to all Montage Palmetto Bluff resort guests, is one such experiential program designed for children of all ages, giving them an opportunity to make memories and enjoy the outdoors by earning 12 different take-home badges. Kids earn a Montage Merit pin or badge for each activity conquered — whether roasting a s’more, riding a horse, spotting a bald eagle or catching a fish, to name a few, Wrobel says.
When kids complete all 12 Montage Merit activities, they receive a special prize and earn “Gilbert the Gator” status, letting everyone know they’re a true Lowcountry explorer.
Montage Academy is another family-friendly program designed to offer students in-person activities beyond their virtual curriculum. Students can participate in a range of daily activities: crafts and science with the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy; epicurean adventures with the culinary team; physical education and sports; geocaching; scavenger hunts and more.
“We hope to allow families to reconnect, recharge and create long-lasting memories through our programming,” Wrobel says.
For more information, visit montagehotels.com/palmettobluff
or call 843.706.6500 for the resort or 855.264.8705 for reservations.
Set on 1,800 acres along the Ogeechee River, The Ford’s sprawling estate hosts an award-winning golf course, marina, equestrian barn, swimming pools and fitness facilities — as well as ample opportunities for member families and their guests to stay active and entertained, with camps and sports gearing up now for the warmer season.
“Keeping an active lifestyle has never been more important than it has been in the past few months,” says Shannon GaNun, director of communications. “We offer engaging outdoor activities like swimming games and horseback riding clinics, that can be a refreshing change of pace from being stuck inside and in front of a screen.”
The Ford also offers a kids’ nature camp, led by naturalist Brittany Dodge. The immediate goal is to get kids invested in the environment and wildlife around them at an early age. Long term, staff members say they hope the camp instills stewardship which children can continue on into adulthood.
All of The Ford’s camps (there’s also golf, fishing and archery to choose from) are initially for members only, but if there are still spaces available, members are able to invite outside guests. “Resident members enjoy a true multigenerational membership with full privileges extended to parents, children and grandchildren,” GaNun says.
Families should contact the club concierge for camp registration.
For more information, visit fordplantation.com or call 912.250.1509.
At Savannah Quarters, family and fun go hand in hand. Youth activities include junior golf and tennis, art classes and even cooking classes. The community’s year-round programs aim to involve kids athletically and socially, says Hayley von Hollen, director of fun and social lifestyle (is there a more kid-friendly job title out there?).
“We hope to provide families with fun safe options to get the kids out of the house and stay active,” von Hollen says. “We love our families, and the advantage of our programs is that children and parents can both enjoy The Club at Savannah Quarters. It’s a great way for kids to meet other children in their own age group and for parents to meet parents with like interests.”
Most of Savannah Quarters’ camps are for members only who sign up through the member website. However, the Sailfish Swim Team is open to everyone — families can sign up by reaching out to the community’s recreation department.
For more information about programs and amenities, visit savannahquarters.com or call 912.450.2300.
At The Landings on Skidaway Island, outdoor activities are a way of life. With access to six golf courses, five pools, dozens of tennis courts and a fitness center, families at this planned community are used to an active lifestyle. The Landings also hosts spring break and summer camps as well as Kids Night Out events (perfect for parents who want to enjoy a date night).
For members of The Landings Club, spring is prime time to get outside and enjoy the coastal activities, says communications manager Christina Danos.
“With a lot of local camps and programs not happening, we hope a perk of being a member of The Landings Club is that our tailor-made programming still happens, and is safe for everyone involved,” Danos says.
All of the community’s spring events, summer camps and kid’s activities are open to The Landings Club members and their member-guests.
For more information, visit landingsclub.com or call 912.598.8050