We all know at least one, if not more, single mom or single dad. The fact is there are approximately 14 million single parent homes in the United States alone. But did you know that since 1984 we've been celebrating National Single Parents Day on March 21? Yes. It's true. Unlike Mother's Day or Father's Day, it is time set aside to honor those parents who individually strive to create a supportive, loving and secure environment for their children. It is indeed a bonafide fabulous holiday! It is also a time to celebrate with a unique one of a kind getaway. This was especially important for me, as the single mom advisor and author of It Takes All 5. I want to share some of the unique destinations I discovered that specifically cater to single parent families.
1. DOMINICAN DELIGHT: The Grand Palladium Resort & Spa, part of the Palladium Hotel Group, in the Dominican Republic has created a super easy way to make family travel a no brainer. When you make your reservation simply ask for one of their all new Family Friendly Rooms (subject to a per person supplement), send in your children's needs and upon arrival, the room will be outfitted with age-appropriate welcome packs created especially for kids ages 1 to 19. Everything from formula type to diaper size and video games have been included. The resort also has a state of the art tiered kids club to accommodate children of all ages with appropriate activities. Meanwhile single parents can relax in any of the Resort's four pools or at the first-class Spa & Wellness Center, play at the resort's casino or venture to any one of the 14 bars spread throughout the resort.
2. DOWN ON THE FARM : At Buck Valley Ranch you and your children can get in touch with your inner cowboy/cowgirl! Horseback riding is the main attraction at the farm located in the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania's Fulton County. You stay in a four bedroom guest house filled with cowboy memorabilia and antiques. Healthy and hearty meals are served with attention to dietary needs. Relax in the hot tub or cool off in the swimming pool. Nearby biking on the C&O Canal, canoeing/kayaking in the Potomac River, and golfing. Walk out the front door and you have access to 2000 acres of hiking.
3. EVERYONE'S IN THE WATER: Wilderness Lakes in Sevierville, TN is a single parent's paradise. The resort has two outdoor waterparks, an indoor waterpark and an indoor dry park. Your kids will have plenty to keep them busy while you take a breather. Or you can jump right in the water and share some quality bonding time with your kids. The waterpark features 150 foot long body and tube slides, a multi-level play structure with a 500 gallon dumping bucket and a huge activity pool. The resort is opening the Cyclone Racer, a four-lane high-speed waterslide that turns guests into hydro-powered drag racers. The new Wilderness Adventure Forest features rock climbing, laser tag, rope bridges and much more. If getting wet is not your thing, let them splash and play and ride the water slides then take them shopping at the Black Bear Boutique or enjoy a soak at the Magnolia Grove Hot Spa, an indoor/outdoor, 1,000 square foot hot tub.
4. SUN-BEACHED: Just 50 miles south of L.A. is The Inn at Laguna Beach. The property is conveniently located steps away from the kid-centric town of Laguna beach and offers unparalleled access to the main beach and activities on/near the ocean like tide pooling, paddle boarding and sand castle building. The property has a great family friendly pool and offers guests direct access from several of the guest rooms. Easy for single parents who don't want to carry bags back and forth from the pool. A fun new initiative is that the property recently announced a partnership with Las Brisas. You can order your dinner from this iconic restaurant and enjoy on property from your room or the rooftop bar. Tired of staying in? You and your kids can stroll the streets of Laguna which are brimming with art galleries, shops and restaurants.
5. MAKE NEW FRIENDS: For a really fun getaway that's different check out the The Single Parents Travel Club. They are UK-based but do have members in the US, as well as other countries. Members organize trips of all lengths and budgets and then post them on the site to see if other members want to go. It's a way for single parents who want to travel to connect with other like-minded parents. One of the members shared with me that last summer she and her kids travelled to New York City with two families, then met up with two more families at a villa they shared in Orlando. She and her family have also traveled to Turkey, Egypt, a self-catering villa in Spain, as well as camping holidays, rented cottages, short breaks in youth hostels and activity centers in the UK. The best part is the opportunity for parents to have some adult company. For the children, they not only get to meet other kids from around the world, they enjoy being part of a group where being with only one parent is the norm.
Whatever you decide to do on National Single Parents Day, enjoy it with your children!
Follow Kerri Zane on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kerrizane