Creating a Pop-up Retro Kid's Club

MonopolyMany resorts and hotels have their own children's programs. If you opt to stay at a boutique hotel or inn that is suitable for a smaller group, a dedicated facility may not always be available. If the group is large enough you may want to outsource the children's program to services that are similar to the Telematch organizers that you'll find in Asia.

For very small groups, you may want to go with a do-it-yourself approach.

  1. Select a room that is bright, well lit and safe.
    It should have a sink and adjoining washroom. Alternatively, situate it near a kitchenette.
  2. Work with the venue to staff it safely.
  3. Organize a space for naps.
  4. Be sure to have a first aid kit on hand and the staff selected has training to use it.
  5. Make arrangements for medical care if required.
  6. Decorate the room with a vintage theme for whatever era you have selected 50s, 60s, or 70s.
  7. Create a menu that is nutritious and appealing. We have provided some ideas in  10 Tips for Creating Child-Friendly Menus for Corporate Events
  8. Provide appealing activities geared to the the age of the children and adolescents who will be attending.
    By sticking with classic favorites, you can provide create an appealing experience that's different from the high-tech tops of today. Children and families can these vintage activities together.

    Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Ages 4 and Under

  • Games: Candyland, Mystery Garden
  • Toys: See and Say, Little People School Bus, Blocks, Train Sets, Toy Kitchen
  • Books: Eat up Gemma, Clifford the Dog, Dr. Seuss Books
  • DVDs: Mickey Mouse Cartoons, Veggie Tales, Shirley Temple Movies
  • Activities: Balloon animals, magic tricks, baking cookies

School Age

  • Games: Snakes and Ladders, Scrabble, Checkers, Parcheesi
  • Toys: Lego, Etch a Sketch, Slinky, Yo-Yos, Bola bats, Jacks
  • Books: Curious George, Pippi Longstocking, The Water Babies, Narnia Series
  • DVDs: Mary Poppins, Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland,The Secret Garden, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Black Beauty, National Velvet, Little Lord Fauntleroy
  • Activities: Making fudge, baking cupcakes, making pizza, treasure hunt


  • Games: Monopoly, Chess, The Game of Life, Clue
  • Toys: Rubick's Cube
  • Books: The Phantom Toll Booth, Pippi Longstocking
  • DVDs: The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, Little Women, Little Men
  • Activities: Baking brownies, making and decorating a cake, lip-syncing contest, scavenger hunt, photography contest


  • Games: Monopoly, Chess, Trivial Pursuit, Careers, Mancala, Uno, Cash Flow Game
  • Books: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,
  • DVDs: The Prince and Me, Star Trek the Movie, The Wizard of Oz
  • Activities: Cooking challenge, karaoke, hip hop dance lessons, rapping contest 

Remember to work with the venue and ensure that copyright guidelines for screening DVDs are followed

  1. Invite the children to bring their favorites toys, books, etc.

The best places to find vintage toys and games are:

Anders Ruff and Shindigz have vintage decor and decor for other themes.

For more inspiration also consult 40 Fantastic Family Activities for Conferences and Corporate Events, Giant Board Games Boost Board Game Appeal for Millennials and 15 Tips for Designing Family-Friendly Events for Families with Infants.

Photo Credit: Marcy Leigh

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