With two separate properties, both with expansive grounds, it should come as no surprise that there is a wealth of opportunity for family fun at French Lick Resort. I’m not talking about fun just for the kids, but major fun for the grown-up kids, too. The only problem is trying to fit everything in during your visit.
Swimming. There are indoor and outdoor pools at both French Lick Springs Hotel and at West Baden Springs Hotel. I did not get to check out the pools at West Baden, but the pools at French Lick hotel were a big hit with everyone in our large traveling party. The indoor pool has an adorable dolphin fountain in the middle of it and the kids loved swimming into and under the streams of water while the adults enjoyed the poolside beverage service. It was warm enough during our stay in early April to enjoy swimming in the outdoor pool, too.
Bowling. Pluto’s is a bowling alley and arcade located in the lower level of French Lick Springs Hotel. Advance reservations for the six bowling lanes are not available; it’s all on a first come, first served basis for hotel guests. Order pizzas and drinks (including beer for the adults) from the attached pizzeria and make it a family fun night!
Stables. The Stables at French Lick Resort are located approximately one mile behind the West Baden Springs Hotel. Trail rides are available for guests age 8 and older and range from 45 minutes to 2 hours. Younger guests can go for a pony ride led by one of the stable’s staff members. Check with the stables ahead of time for pony ride availability. Since Lucia is 6, her only option was to go for a pony ride. Luckily, Doug, the stables manager, was able to organize pony rides for Lucia and the other youngsters in our travel group. I met up with the group at the stables after my spa appointment (more on that later). I pulled up in time to see Lucia heading off on her very first pony ride. She had a look of sheer exuberance on her face and was waving wildly at me. My heart swelled and my eyes filled with tears. I know she won’t ever forget her first pony ride and neither will I.
Hayride. We visited during spring break and the resort had all kinds of extra fun activities scheduled for the week, such as an evening hayride. Along with a few other families, we were picked up at West Baden Springs Hotel by a giant tractor, pulling a trailer loaded with hay, and driven through the woods. By the time we arrived at the stables, resort staff had a bonfire going and s’mores-making accessories all set up for us. It was such a beautiful night; the temperature was perfect and the setting sun turned the sky a dazzling shade of pinky-orange. After the s’mores treats, we were led on a tour of the immaculate and well-organized stables. Doug allowed us to get up close to a few of the four-legged residents at the stables, including Pepsi the mini-horse. I may or may not have squealed with delight when Doug led Pepsi out of his stall.
KidsFest. Even though we technically didn’t take advantage of all that KidsFest has to offer, I believe it is still worth mentioning. KidsFest can be described as a kids-only club. The KidsFest building is located right in front of French Lick Springs Hotel and it’s where children can play, create, and imagine. KidsFest staff members plan and schedule enjoyable and educational activities based on the season. All activities are supervised by trained counselors and have been developed to ensure kids have a full experience in fun and creativity. What more can traveling parents ask for? The best part: Children age 6 and older can hang out at KidsFest without their parents! (Children under 6 can stay and play at KidsFest but a parent also needs to be present.)
There is still heaps more fun for the whole family at French Lick Resort but it’s time now to focus on the adults-only fun. I’ll start with one word: casino.
I’m not much of a gambler but I’ve seen my share of casinos, from Las Vegas to the riverboats of the Midwest. I can say that the Vegas-style French Lick Casino ranks up there as one of the classiest and cleanest I’ve ever seen. Since I don’t care to gamble too much, I did not spend a whole lot of time in the casino, but made it a point to at least stop in. It was enough time for me to lose $40.
I have one more word for you adults: spa. Actually, SPAS. There are two spas at the resort, one at French Lick Springs Hotel and the other at West Baden Springs Hotel. I did not visit the spa at the French Lick hotel, but spent a glorious morning at the award-winning West Baden spa. A big part of the experience is appreciating the design of the 2-floor, 28,000-square foot space, that gorgeously blends European charm with timeless luxury. The tile mosaics, blown glass, and inlaid marble was not lost on me. I was treated to 50 minutes of utter relaxation in the form of a Swedish massage.
The entire French Lick Resort experience was perfect. We spent spring break there with two other families (our dear friends and neighbors), and we plan to make it an annual trip. With all that there is to do at the resort, and being less than five hours from our homes in Chicago, it really is the perfect family destination. And it really is a whole lot of fun.
Aside from the swimming pools, all the activities I mentioned here are at additional costs to guests. Please check the resort’s website for current prices and availability.
My family and I were guests of French Lick Resort. All of the activities we participated in, including my spa experience, were complimentary. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own.