Family-Friendly Digs with Plentiful Onsite Amusements
Amid a crystal blue lagoon, a wooden tiki statue with a toothy grin surveys his tropical realm from atop a thatched-roof hut. In the water, swimsuit-clad kids masquerade as pirates or Polynesian villagers, scampering across a wooden-plank bridge en route to a waterslide. Parents gaze on lazily from poolside lounge chairs. Thanks to year-round sun, this 220,000-gallon waterscape is perpetually buzzing at Liki Tiki Village, a family-centric resort that pairs comfortable vacation condos with a slew of kid-friendly aqueous amusements.
Even with mega theme parks such as Disney World close at hand, Liki Tiki Village gives overnighters plenty of perks to stay put, with 64 acres of tropically landscaped grounds brimming with wholesome activities. Basketball and tennis courts invite parent-child tutorials or rekindle sibling rivalries, and a mini-golf course, complete with water hazards, lets future PGA champs hone their putts. Trading land for water, the Liki Tiki Lagoon douses players in a wave pool filled with interactive spray jets, five waterslides, and a toddler play area. A $20 credit to the poolside Shipwreck Sally's Bar and Grill refuels young ones and grownups with burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches. Nearby bartenders dole out margaritas and other libations for poolside sipping or water-gun refilling.
The joyous din from the lagoon occasionally floats up to the private balconies that adjoin each of Liki Tiki's one- and two-bedroom condos—clean, comfortable quarters designed to accommodate families. Sunny yellow walls and plentiful windows surround a kitchen replete with dishes, utensils, and dishwasher alongside a dining-room table. A whirlpool tub conveniently replaces the outdoor hot tub after hours, and wet suits can be cleansed and fluffed using the in-unit washer and dryer.
Orlando, Florida: Perennially Sunny Family Playground
Though fantastical castles and iconic characters remain popular with kids, the Orlando area also hosts a plethora of public parks on the shores of its many lakes. Winter months see a welcome decrease in humidity in tandem with a dispersion of mass flocks of tourists. About a 30-minute drive from the resort, Cypress Grove Park lavishes uncluttered senses with spanish-moss-hung trees, lake breezes, and numerous walking trails where nature lovers can identify the variform flora and fauna or seek fiscal advice from a wise old swamp thing.