There’s nothing like a family trip to encourage kids to push their taste buds beyond the realm of peanut butter and jelly. However, a well-organized cooking class worked into a vacation can do more than just cook up inspiration, curiosity and enduring memories.
It can be argued cooking classes at various resorts can teach a necessary life skill that will serve kids later in life. However, an important thing to consider is cooking lessons can further enhance what kids and teens learn at school, applying skills they’ve learned in math, social studies (history) and reading. Other classes include discussions on nutrition and insight on future careers.
At Grand Wailea Maui the youngest foodies will learn the basics of cooking through the creation of their favorites in its Play with Your Food program at Café Kula under the supervision of the chef, perhaps whetting their appetite to help out in the kitchen at home. The weekly class, about $55 for a family of four, runs during the 5–7 p.m. dinner hour, which can be both calming and nurturing after an active day at the beach, pool or family trek.
During summer months, the Biltmore Hotel Coral Gables in Miami fuses summer camp and family time with its week-long camp for kids aged 9 through 16. At the intensive program ($520), with classes organized by age, kids advance their skills under the supervision of the hotel’s professional cooking team 9 a.m.–2 p.m. After class, families can enjoy together time at the resort’s other amenities where kids will no doubt want to share what they’ve learned.
The Ritz-Carlton Chicago offers a camp experience in a daily format. This urban adventure begins when participants are greeted with their own chef hat at the hotel’s award-winning restaurant Deca and then spirited into an exclusive behind-the-scenes kitchen tour, followed by a cookie and cupcake decorating session that adds a sweet new perspective into what happens in the making of the hotel’s signature sweets cart, which, by request, meets visiting families on arrival.
The Essex Resort and Spa takes things to another level with its Camp Cook program from 9 a.m.–4 p.m., where kids and teens seriously considering a culinary career get intensive hands-on lessons. During the five-day Vermont cooking adventure, participants learn about nutrition, food prep, techniques and putting their own spins on a variety of recipes. Students pick their own herbs and vegetables from the on-site gardens and collecting eggs from resident hens.
At Flavors of Fiji at the Denarau Industrial Estate at Nadi on Denarau Island, Fiji, adults and kids can spend a day (9:30 a.m.–2 p.m., $180, adults, $130, kids) trek local markets with resort cooks, who share their formative childhood cooking stories. Once the participants return to the estate, they pull together home-style Fijian and Indo-Fijian dishes, while learning about interesting medicinal and nutritional values of ingredients used in the process. The company also offers Kaiviti Magiti (“Local Feast”), another take on exploring the Fijian culture and history through food offered Monday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. ($155, adult; $105, kids).
Four Seasons resorts in destinations like Chiang Mai and Malaysia offer eye- (and palate-) opening interactive classes for children ages 8–12 that are junior versions of classes offered to adults, featuring interesting ingredients, state-of-the-art kitchen facilities and instruction. All ingredients are prepped in advance to allow the focus to be on ingredients some kids may learn about for the first time.
Kids who love Mexican food can broaden their horizons at CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort during Kids’ Cocina, part of the resort’s kids’ program. Participants ages 4–12 engage in a variety of things running the gamut from baking and decorating traditional cookies to perfecting their quesadilla-making techniques to preparing a multicourse fiesta of flavorful delights.
Halloween is right around the corner, which means its time to start making plans for spooky and scary stops for having fun with the family this fall. New York’s Cayuga County is always a fun visit for family travelers, but if you plan on being in the area this October, you will definitely want to explore its haunted history with some choice spots along New York’s Haunted History Trail. This curated list of haunted and spooky stops throughout New York features incredible locations showcasing the perfect combination of the state’s beautiful charm and fascinating history.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
The next two seasons see Franklin, Tennessee, come alive with festive events, fun pop-ups and colorful lights. Family travelers planning a trip to Tennessee this fall or winter must make time for Franklin, a city just south of Nashville with plenty of history and festivities awaiting.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Mysterious glowing seas? Yes, actually! Through October, Florida’s Space Coast waters within Mosquito Lagoon, Banana River and Indian River Lagoon glow with blue-green bioluminescence — a phenomenon resulting from the presence of comb jellies and dinoflagellates (tiny, single-celled marine plankton that exist in some freshwater locations).