School's Out!


Though nights at the resort are buzzing, daytime is full-throttle with activities for all ages that range from sailing and windsurfing to archery and dancing the merengue. The hot spots for tykes to teens—Baby Club Med, Petit Club, Mini Club and Passworld - with ages grouped by compatibility.

A cavalcade of strollers can be found at the entryway of Baby Club Med’s Cocos Room for ages four months to infants who’ve progressed to walking. Inside, instructors (many former certified teachers who’ve traded the typical classroom for a different teaching experience) play games and read to little ones. Across the hall are the Rascals, walkers through 24 months. A puppet theatre calls for unleashing small imaginations as does a table set for arts and crafts. In Petit Club Med two and three-year-olds are busy face painting, playing games, undertaking arts and crafts and holding pajama parties.

There are myriad toys and interactive playthings for engaging little ones, as well as Baby Gym sessions, nature walks and time in the pool. On tap for those up and walking are programs such as Lil’ Explorers Science Club and Petit Chef, where snack time is combined with cooking lessons. Parents wanting to get into the fun can accompany their offspring for a variety of workshops.

Outside the clubs are extensive play areas with equipment such as a Little Tykes Treehouse, pint-sized wooden train for boarding as well as various jungle gyms and basketball/tennis courts. A big hit are the swimming pools. Even toddlers can get wet in the dedicated children’s pool with its mini “water park” that includes a splash pad and buckets on levers for dousing instructors.

Older brothers and sisters can enjoy soccer matches, rollerblading and tennis lessons. Creative workshops such as Hip-Hop Kidz and Mini Magic are also on the schedule. Most kids, though, will be vying for time on the resort’s trapeze with lessons in flying high. Not to be left out are tweens (Juniors ages 11 to 13) and teens (14 to 17) who convene at Passworld, a universe unto itself set inside a giant skate ramp. The atmosphere is both groovy and creative with time for everything from hip hop classes to computer games. Getting teens in touch with nature are kayak, catamaran and snorkel outings. And, of course, daredevil moves can be performed on The Ramp or the nearby trapeze.

Where are Mom and Dad throughout the day? They’re relaxing under coconut palms on the beach. They’re also partaking in their own kind of fun, from exploring Punta Cana’s jungles on an eco-tour, scuba diving around a wrecked cargo ship, sailing the lagoon, golfing the 18-hole, Jack Nicklaus-designed fairways and playing footsie couples’ treatments at the spa. Kids might think Club Med Punta Cana was made just for them, but during these precious hours, parents know it’s the ideal place to reconnect not only as a family, but as a couple.

As the day draws to a close, kids waiting for their folks to collect them often spot said parents marching down the beach happily singing a familiar tune, “Lo le lo, le lo…” Yep, this resort’s for big kids, too.