The Escape Artist
Kids in Tow
Ocean Edge Resort is a haven for the young and excessively restless.
The quandary of vacationing with young children lies in the verb. It’s from the Latin “vacare,” to be unoccupied, but anyone who’s spent time with young children knows this is laughably, pitiably impossible. Kids are the definition of occupying. Your best hope is to take them somewhere like Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club in Brewster, where even the most ADD-ridden families can while away a weekend without once resorting to video games.
Driving up a sward dotted with croquet wickets, past a 19th-century carriage house to the door of the “Nickerson Family Mansion,” it’s hard not to think of Newport. A Gilded Age spirit infuses the foyer, with its oil paintings and winged armchairs, but a giant bowl of candy and the smell of fresh muffins lend a familial touch. Stepping out the rear doors into the Ocean Terrace restaurant lands guests in a modern outdoor bar that wouldn’t offend a decorator from Miami. It overlooks a painterly vista of Cape Cod Bay (toddlers won’t plunge thanks to a stone balustrade), and you can watch the sunset while listening to the rhythmic thwack of tennis balls in the courts below.
Although the resort offers lots of accommodation options, kids are best kept in the private villas. These come with up to three bedrooms, a modern kitchen and extra bathrooms, as well as broad swathes of living space to festoon with Legos. Best, the villas are within steps of three outdoor swimming pools for chlorinated entertainment. In the afternoons, staffers lead waterlogged kids in poolside craft activities, while evenings bring outdoor movie screenings.
But the real draw is the private beach, reached by a short boardwalk behind the villas. Unless you’ve packed weaponry, a beach at low tide is possibly the safest place in the world to let a child run amok. Heavy, saturated sand is ideal for sculpting, and the sea is amply stocked with amusing crabs. At high tide, there’s the primal thrill of throwing colorful rocks into the surf, while on summer evenings, the staff builds bonfires and provides the workings for s’mores.
Exhausted parents can find relief in Camp Ocean EdgeVenture, a clubhouse where counselors lead young guests in more swimming, crafts and outdoorsy diversions like collecting innocent shellfish. They even feed the kids lunch. The club abuts an 18-hole Nicklaus Design golf course, so it’s convenient for dropping the tots off before tee time. Or you can just sink yourself in the adjoining pool while your offspring savage the jungle gym out of earshot.
There’s no need to run out for Happy Meals. Ocean Terrace sports a superb kids’ menu with dishes like petite filet mignon for precocious gourmands, or mac ’n’ cheese for traditionalists. The chocolate mousse—as dense as a collapsed star—is the stuff of juvenile dreams. Downstairs, Bayzo’s Pub is a clubby spot with leather armchairs, mahogany and pizza, as well as a grand line of burgers and sandwiches. While the kids get noisy with the pool table, there’s a long, brass-railed bar at which parents can take cocktail therapy before bedtime. Afterward, a stroll back to the villas settles young spirits with the calming sea air.
Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club
2907 Main St., Brewster | 508-896-9000 | oceanedge.com
• Unless you have a particular taste for cozy seaside villages, Brewster can be safely ignored. On-site diversions like junior golf will keep kids busy for days.
• No need to bring a bike to use the extensive trails. Rentals are available.
• Construction begins this winter on a $2-million fitness center.