Back to school means back to the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic for kids everywhere. But learning doesn’t have to be limited to the classroom. Hotels and resorts are upping the educational ante by offering programs that engage guests (kids and adults alike) in the culture and environment of their chosen vacation destination. Here are four resorts that make learning a vacation priority.

Sea Turtle Program for Kids
Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort

If your kids adore animals, this is their chance to both help protect this endangered species and learn about their incredible journey from egg to the open seas. Available from July through September, with birthing peaks in August and September, the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Protection program at Hilton Los Cabo is a great way to expose your children to some out-of-the-classroom learning.

During the course of birthing season, hundreds of sea turtles climb the beach near Hilton Los Cabos to find the perfect spot to dig their nests and lay eggs. Hilton Los Cabos recruits volunteers to patrol a 10-mile stretch of beachfront from El Dorado to El Tule to protect adult turtles laying eggs.

Gladiator School
Rome Cavalieri

Here’s your family’s chance to travel back in time to ancient Rome. At Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, combat instructors from Rome’s Gladiator School come to the hotel to train up-and-coming gladiators in the resort’s gorgeous gardens. The training also includes a visit to the Colosseum, where kids can gain their first-tier qualification, ‘Tiro’. After your intense training, you’ll want to relax at the resort’s three luxe pools that overlook the eternal city.

Fly a Beachfront Kite or Play Lawn Chess
Boca Raton Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

At the Boca Raton Resort & Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort’s Mizner’s Quest Club, kids are guaranteed to learn a new sport, craft, or skill each and every day. This supervised camp runs from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily, and offers soccer, yoga, tie-dying, stuffed animal-making, fishing, beachfront kite flying, life-size lawn chess, golf, tennis, and more!

Fall Cooking School
Castle Hill Inn

Sharpen your culinary know-how … and enjoy the breath-taking fall foliage! At Castle Hill Inn’s Fall Cooking School, offered October 20th-22nd, guests can hone their culinary skills under the direction of Castle Hill Inn’s renowned Executive Chef, Lou Rossi. Guests will take part in a two-day cooking class with Chef Lou, followed by dinner. The package includes:

  • Two-night stay at the Castle Hill Inn
  • Gourmet breakfast and afternoon tea daily
  • Welcome reception with Chef Lou Rossi
  • Cooking class with Chef Lou Rossi on Saturday
  • Wine-tasting class with Food & Beverage Director, Anthony Boi, on Saturday
  • Cooking class with Pastry Chef, Christina Mercado, on Sunday

Are there vacation education programs you’d like to recommend?