Autumn is approaching and with it the joys of a half-term break giving families a chance to spend quality time together. Discover new places and make lasting memories with our handpicked, exciting half-term experiences below:
BEST FOR AUTUMN SUN
Fly south to the enchanting island of Sicily where the Mediterranean sun mellows to a warming gold. Verdura Resort has a dynamic array of half-term activities to keep all ages happy against a backdrop of azure sea. The new Tennis Clinic will see notable players such as Dominik Hrbatý, Mikael Tillström and Karel Nováček lead a three-day masterclass for budding players, while the Golf Academy has a team of PGA Professionals on hand to perfect that swing. Verdura Resort have also teamed up with AS Roma to create AS Rome Camp, where budding young athletes will love honing their football skills. Meanwhile, adventurous day trips abound to memorable destinations such as Sambuca Di Sicilia, known as ‘the most beautiful village in Sicily’, with its ancient Arabesque charm and romantic 19th-century theatre, and Sciacca, just a 20-minute drive from the resort, ideal for a gentle scenic stroll and great (pre-Christmas) shopping.
Masseria Torre Maizza
Nestled in an ancient olive grove within sight of the Adriatic Sea, Masseria Torre Maizza is a sun-drenched spot for families with adventures galore. Relax at the spa, the oversized pool or learn the secrets of Pugliese cuisine at the Cookery School - all ages welcome. Puglia has an abundance of action-packed activities across its scenic coastline. Get the adrenaline pumping at Indiana Park which offers zip-lining and obstacle courses or go-karting at Kartodromo in Fasano, minutes from the hotel. Connect with nature, with horse riding on nearby golden-sand beaches or visit Fasano’s 140-hectare Zoo Safari, the second largest in Europe.
BEST FOR A CITY ESCAPE
Hotel de la Ville
Rome, with its relaxed air of la dolce vita, is a wonderful introduction to the joys of Italian culture for the young and young at heart. Perched at the top of the iconic Spanish Steps, the dedicated concierge team at Hotel de la Ville can arrange everything from gladiator classes for young history buffs, mosaic and fresco lessons for those with an artistic interest and cookery sessions where pizza and gelato are on the menu. For teenagers, virtual reality and iPad-supported tours of Roman history will intrigue and inform. Whilst, for the whole family, exclusive access to a private archaeological site concealing millennial-old beauties can be arranged. Truly a magical half-term in the Eternal City.
There is nowhere more fun-filled than London in autumn and Brown’s Hotel is perfectly positioned in the heart of it all. The hotel’s famous concierge team, who know the city inside out, have curated a new London itinerary for young guests to discover famous corners and hidden gems, from feeding the pelicans at St James’s Park to horse riding lessons in Hyde Park. Meanwhile the ingenious team at Charlie’s have created an array of picnics to enjoy in one of the nearby royal parks including ‘Alby’s Picnic’ just for children. Back at Brown’s treat your brood to a special afternoon tea with a Jungle Book-inspired twist, stuffed with fabulous jungle goodies such as growling tiger lollipops and jungle juice milkshakes. After an action-packed day, smaller guests can be pampered at Brown’s Spa with colourful manicures and facials.
Where could be a better place to introduce the magic of art to children than the treasure-chest city of Florence? Hotel Savoy has a wealth of creative experiences for families to enjoy together and also to entertain the little ones allowing time for growns-ups to soak up the sights. Culinary-minded kids will love the chance to create fruity mocktails with a real-life barman and baking Florentine treats with a pastry chef learning tips that can be brought home. Outside in the city, sail in a ‘barchetto’, a gondolier, down the Arno River with a curated guide for children or take to the picturesque streets on a bike tour with the must-do gelato stop. An exclusive Truffle Hunt in the Tuscan Hills is an unforgettable and unique highlight, filled with the goodness of nature, that will ensure bragging rights on return to school.