Once known as the vacation destination for partying singles looking for a mate, Club Med now has six Family Villages, three of which (Eleuthera in the Bahamas and Ixtapa and Huatulco in Mexico) offer special events for single parents that include parent get-togethers and sign-up boards for matching up with sports partners. Both Ixtapa and Eleuthera offer circus workshops, and kids perform a weekly circus show. Both resorts have programs for children ages one to 12; Huatulco accepts ages six through teens. Rates are approximately $798-$840 per adult per week at Ixtapa, $931 at Eleuthera, and $595-$651 at Huatulco. During certain weeks, kids ages two to five stay free at Ixtapa and Eleuthera; kids ages 12-17 pay a reduced rate at Huatulco. Call 800-258-2633 for more information.
Open since 1869, the 261-room, castlelike Mohonk Mountain House sits on 2,200 acres in the Shawangunk Mountains bordering Mohonk Lake, near New Paltz, New York. Mohonk offers special midweek rates during the Children Stay Free specials July 6-30 in which kids 12 and under stay free with an adult (two kids maximum per room). While a double-occupancy room costs $295-$425 per night, the single-occupancy rate is $250-$325, so singles pay $45-$100 less than their two-parent neighbors. All meals are included in the rates. The free children's program for ages two to 12 includes rock scrambles, swimming, boating, fossil hunts on the 85 miles of trails, arts and crafts, and pony rides. The resort has 30 different types of rooms, all with Victorian, Edwardian, or Craftsman decor. Call 800-772-6646.
The Appalachian Mountain Club offers a Father & Child Adventure in the Whites (New Hampshire's White Mountains) in mid-July for kids five to eight and their male guardians. Based at Lonesome Lake Hut, kids and dads do a "pond poke," go hiking, and learn about beaver dams, trees, and water creatures. The prices are about $145 for adults, $65 for kids. Many of AMC's other programs are attended by single parents, ranging from three-day canoeing trips in the Catskills to single-day hiking treks in the Berkshires. Call 603-466-2721.
Single parents make up approximately a third of the participants in the National Wildlife Federation's NatureLink day and weekend programs. This summer, there will be about a dozen weekend events held throughout the country, each with a different theme: fishing, canoeing, camping, or wildlife studies. The cost is about $250 for four people, including lodging, meals, supplies, and activities. Weeklong Conservation Summits, held July 4-10 in Lake George, New York, and July 18-24 in Bellingham, Washington, provide family nature workshops on topics such as moose tracking, birding, gardening, and nature photography, as well as activities like kayaking, rock climbing, and hiking. Daily youth activities geared for kids ages three through teens include nature walks and orienteering. Call 800-822-9919.
The 150-room, turn-of-the-century Delawana Inn in Honey Harbour, an hour and a half north of Toronto on the shores of Canada's Georgian Bay, offers two Single Parent Weeks this summer (August 9-16 and August 23-30). During these weeks, single parents do not pay the single supplement; rates are $435-$688 per adult per week, including breakfast and dinner daily and all activities. In addition to reduced rates for children ($394 for ages 13-18, $231 for ages 7-12, $93 for ages 4-6, and free for three and under), there is a free daily children's program that includes swimming, picnicking on Royal Island, mini-triathlons, and overnight sleep-outs. In the evenings there are parent and child stargazing hikes and campfire dinners. This summer, the new spa offers stress-management classes for single parents. Call 888-335-2926.