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Family-friendly, but not family-focused, is how Barnsley Resort describes itself — but that sells it short. Here are the five best amenities for kids at the recommended hotel:
1. The grounds. The vast spread of rolling fields, ponds and woodlands will entertain any kid who loves just being outside (or a good game of a hide-and-seek). There is also a playground near The Spa at Barnsley Resort with a hollowed-out rock sculpture for climbing.
2. Horsepainting. That’s right — painting directly onto a horse’s hide with horse-safe, eco-friendly paint. Fairy Godmother will take a group of kids (or adults) down to the stables to decorate a willing equine with their bare hands.
3. The Fairy Godmother. Denise Webb, Barnsley’s Fairy Godmother, will do anything to make you child’s stay more fun, starting with an age-appropriate surprise in your room (baby toys or bubbles and games) if she knows your kids are coming. In addition to holiday craft sessions to make gingerbread houses or color Easter eggs, she can set up private crafting activities for your little ones.
4. The stables. Professional cowboy Scott Thompson runs the stables, and he’s a full-fledged cattle rustler in the off-season. At the Forbes Travel Guide recommended Georgia hotel, he’ll hold roping sessions, mini-rodeos and corral rides that your kids will love.
5. The outdoor games. Guest services can always find the ingredients for a good game of bocce ball, croquet or horseshoes on the center green,(on a first-come, first-served basis). Groups can also arrange a round of Frisbee golf or paintball.
There are a good number of amenities for families with children to enjoy at Barnsley Resort. A few of my favorites include: our horse-painting corral activity, which combines corral rides with finger paints; hiking and taking nature walks on our beautiful trails and gardens; biking on our low-traffic pedestrian resort grounds; and just enjoying the playground, swimming pool and canoes and kayaks during warmer months.