By Jody Steele, Member Since 2005
As the holidays approach, it can be challenging to search the internet or even worse, venture in to the stores for the perfect gift for your child or grandchildren. Over the years, I have found that gifting “unique” experiences can be more memorable than opening a package. And actually, it is easier and readily available right here at Ocean Reef Club. So for all those children that have been exceptionally good all year, there are many choices to choose from – without Santa’s help.
An array of water activities can be reserved at the Pool Desk (305-367-7797) or Concierge (305-367-6516). Choices include Eco Kayak tours to the mangroves and bird rookeries, Crystal Kayaks that have clear bottoms to view underwater life, sailing lessons, or learning how to use a Stand Up Paddleboard or Peddle Board.
The Clubhouse (305-367-5912) is the place to call to arrange an individual lesson for your future golf pro. Junior Clinics are scheduled for 9 a.m. during the holidays, but arrangements can also be made to fit your family schedule.
Bicycle tours are great exercise and can be a lovely family gift. Bikes can be rented at Cart Rental (305-367-6520). Groups of all ages can explore The Reef and even stop at the new Greenberg Park. At the end of the trip, you can always steer towards Reef Treats to finish up on a sweet note.
Tennis or pickleball anyone? Or croquet? An individual lesson or clinic would make a wonderful gift. All age groups and skill levels from Quickstart to Junior and Advanced are available (305-367-6583).
The Nature Center (305-367-2611, ext. 2473) is always a favorite stop for our grandchildren, but it is fun to plan family trips with Nature Center guides off The Reef. Tours to Everglades National Park, Monkey Jungle, the Everglades Outpost, or the Alligator Farm are all offered over the holiday season. A guide drives you to the site and accompanies the group throughout the adventure. Lunch can also be added.
The Spa (305-367-6506) and Member Fitness Center (305-367-5820) have a number of gifts to offer. A mani pedi or new hairdo is always a hit, while older grandchildren (11-15) can earn a Junior Fitness Certificate by doing a lesson with a trainer to review gym etiquette and equipment safety. This certificate then enables the holder to use the gym between 12 and 4 p.m., which is a nifty privilege.
Take in a show at the newly renovated Cultural Center after Christmas either December 27th or 28th to see Darci Lynne and Friends for a family gift that is suitable for all ages. A pre-performance buffet can be added. Reservations can be made by calling the Cultural Center at 305-367-6300.
Elf Tuck-ins are always a huge success, and just a phone call to Concierge will guarantee that special visit on Christmas Eve.
Last, but not least at all is the chance to be an acrobat at Ocean Reef at the Trapeze Academy. Reservations are now being taken for classes that will be held twice a morning from December 26th-31st. These classes can be reserved through Concierge (305 367 6516) and would definitely make an outstanding gift for ages seven and up.
So we can all look at our calendars and schedule some unforgettable experiences that will certainly become great memories for your children, grandchildren, and really the entire family.