Katy Holland: The latest trend in family holidays is the skill-cation
Are we there yet? Who needs school for proper learning? All you need do is take 'em on holiday.
Sunday 27 September 2009
Forget the staycation; the latest trend in family holidays is the skill-cation. Yes, according to a recent Mintel poll, parents are keen to hothouse their kids even on holiday. It seems a holiday isn't a holiday unless your tots learn a thing or two, whether it's the tango or how to make perfect pasta.
Unlike boring old school, learning vacations are full of fun. Chalk and talk is definitely out; it's all about hands-on experience.
At the Mandarin Oriental in Chiang Mai, Thailand (00 66 53 888 888; mandarinoriental .com/changmai/leisure), they can train to be a zookeeper and devote a whole day to learning to care for elephants at the nearby zoo. They have their very own charge and tasks include feeding, watering and riding them, as well as the hefty job of mucking out. They learn all about their lives from the fully trained staff who award them a zookeeper's certificate at the end of the day.
Other new children's courses at the hotel include Thai boxing and Thai cooking, all available from October.
For parents who'd rather the lessons were closer to home, a weekend in Salcombe, Devon, could teach the kids that vital life skill: how to make chocolate truffles. The Chocolate Academy (01548 844811; salcombechocolateacademy .co.uk) runs regular workshops at weekends including all there is to know about the cocoa bean as well as how to roll truffles. For nearby self-catering, try Coast and Country Cottages (01548 843773; coast andcountry.co.uk).
Abercrombie and Kent (0845 6182200; abercrombie kent.co.uk) is really pushing the boat out with its brand new Young Explorers' Club, on its winter cruise to the Antarctic. The trip, which is currently being offered at a 50 per cent kids' cabin reduction, retraces Ernest Shackleton's expeditions on a three-week trip (departing 16 December). This programme is designed to give youngsters working lessons in marine biology, ecology and geology, with activities from fish dissection to digital photo workshops.
Go Learn To (0844 502 0445; golearnto.com) has an array of exciting learning holidays, from French A-level revision in Paris (boo) to pizza- making in Sorrento (hurrah).
Who needs school for proper learning? All you need do is take 'em on holiday.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again say analysts
World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas
British supermodel and hitmaker join forces to launch a 'huge song'
I Am Bread could actually a challenging and nuanced title
Top 10 cheapest cities to visit, according to TripAdvisor
Forget the Mile High Club, one in ten Brits get frisky at the airport
Worst Airports of 2014: Poll names Islamabad airport in Pakistan worst in the world
Rare, carnivorous and beautiful: Where to see the most incredible flowers in the world
The 50 Best Winter Breaks
- 2 Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
- 4 Meet Thea, Norway's 12-year-old child bride
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
£30 - 50k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a SCRUM Master to joi...
£13,520: Recruitment Genius: As this role can be customer facing at times, the...
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful entertainment, even...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A fantastic opportunity h...