Travelling as a family of five is no easy thing. Not only do I (because my hubby packs the car and I pack all other things) need to pack most of my house to get us through any and all situations, but finding a place to accomodate us is a struggle. Often hotels and resorts charge premium rates for the extra human or we struggle with finding things to do to entertain our age ranges.
This summer we had the chance to visit Fern Resort and it was hands down the best part of our summer and the easiest trip my family of five has ever taken.
We have a shy 6 year old, an outgoing - no limits 4 year old and a starting to toddle 10 month old. So we need activities, safety and a wide variety of foods. Fern had all this and more.
We were welcomed with friendly staff who were very helpful with making sure we had all the things we required, or that I forgot (naturally). The rooms were ready with the crib I requested, bumper rail for the pull out bed and mattress protectors in case of accidents. The rooms arent as modern as you want but they are quaint old world Ontario and reminded me that resorts like this are from another time. A place that memories are made and have been for generations.
We have traveled with our kids but were always the ones hesitant about kids clubs or programs. Through conversation with people who had attended Fern in the past we were given tales of games, crafts and activities far beyond what we could offer our kids through out the day. We decided to give it a whirl. This is absolutely a MUST DO at Fern. It is why you go there, it is what they do best. My kids walked in with some nerves but ran out screaming "lets eat quick, I need to go back!" They filled our dinner with tales of obstacle courses, jungle gyms, sports games, crafts etc etc etc My husband and I were thrilled to hear how much they enjoyed it and relieved because we had enjoyed a lazy few hours laying pool side, reading and enjoying each others company. It felt like a second honeymoon. I mean how many hours do I get kid free, to read and swim - um none, ever!
Our dinner was a three course sit down dinner served AFTER the kids had their dinner and were returned to the kids club for the evening portion. You heard me - more kid free time! We decided to let our baby have an early evening nap in the nursery, which we kind of thought would just be the nannies entertaining her while we ate. But they sent us a text picture of her fast asleep in a comfortable crib snuggling her bunny. We had a glass of wine, ate our dinner talking with other adults and really enjoying a HOT meal. The food was splendid. Prepared fresh and it was a formal menu to choose from. The servers were polite, helpful and attentive.
I could go on and on about kids club, nursery service, the food and the grounds. The kids loved the pool and the beach area. The shuffle board, basketball, giant chess and checkers, mini golf, fishing, paddle boarding - the list is really endless. But what is most important to share is that this vacation with three kids was truly a vacation for my husband and I. How often can you say that? Travel with kids is often just like regular life but in a new location. You return feeling as tired or more then when you left. But our experience at Fern was the opposite. We left with fond memories, shared joy with seeing the smile on our kids faces and knowing that we would return.