Remember what it was like to be a child and the excitement that you felt as the end of the school year approached? Almost 3 months of No SCHOOL… No HOMEWORK … Sleeping late, cartoons and seeing your friends….
Its most likely possible that if you have been a parent for a while, this feeling is overshadowed by the dreaded feeling of; NO School, NO Homework, Kids at home all the time, with more kids at your home all the time and the very peculiar side effect of a holiday when kids wake up SUPER early regardless of how hard it was to get them out of bed the entire school year.
Now apart from Summer Camps, which are loads of fun and great opportunities for your kids to learn or further develop hobbies and skills, as well as, to meet new friends and build their social skills – most camps only host kids for about one to two weeks. Enrolling them in a few camps spread out over the summer is a great way to get them out of the house and into activities they will love and enjoy and create memories that may last a lifetime.
However there are lots of great places to visit around the Caribbean too that combine fun for them and fun for you with much needed R&R in some cases for the parental units. Of course this list is not exclusive and there are many more sites to see and adventures to undertake, however we have done the work of searching for a few for you.
Atlantis Paradise Island – Bahamas
Your kids will be BEYOND entertained…. And so will you! Atlantis Paradise Island is an all-inclusive resort that boasts its own waterpark and aquarium and of course casino! Your kids will have a blast, with a plethora of activities including Summer Camps on site for the Junior Scuba Adventurer and the Marine Explorer. Children have the opportunity to work with marine life and experience it first-hand. These camps are at an additional cost, however under general admission fees, while you are chilling by the pool or playing the slots, your kids have access to a vast amount of activities including culinary classes, their own game room, and multiple theme rooms from Victorian Tea Party to Lego Activity. In-room babysitting services are also available as well as night time activities for kids like ‘Sleepless Slumber Parties’
Baconao Park & Cuba National Zoo – Cuba
Cuba is a real secret gem for much of us in the Caribbean, apart from its rich culture and amazing historic based tourism, Cuba boasts one of the most amazing zoos in the region. Have your kids ever asked you about going on a safari? Guess what, the Cuban zoo is a safari. Harmless animals roam about freely on the 340 hectare forested wildlife preserve, while other animals like the Lions are kept within the Lion pits, which you actually drive through. Imagine being on a tour in Africa, that is what you will experience at the Cuba Zoo. Rhinoceroses, Giraffes, Elephants, Zebras, Hippopotamuses, Antelope and lots more await.
Cuba also boasts a life-size replica of a Taino Village, your children will be able to see first-hand what they have been learning in school at Baconao Park. The Park spans hundreds of acres of land and also hosts beautiful botanical gardens, wildlife refuges, an aquarium and an awesome treat for the little ones – Prehistoric Valley. Life-size replicas of dinosaurs appear to roam the landscape in Prehistoric Valley, pose with the Triceratops for a photo or have a picnic beside the T-Rex.
Atlantis Submarine Tours and Jolly Roger – Barbados
Atlantis Submarine Tours offers both day and night dives. You and your kids will be able to visit shipwrecks over 130ft below the sea, and view the beautiful marine life on the coral reefs. The tours are narrated and your children are sure to never forget this experience. If you have a pirate loving child, the Jolly Roger is a fun activity. Sail on the Black Pearl and site-see the coast of Barbados, enjoy an amazing snorkel experience and swim with turtles with the tour guides. Your kids can pretend to be on board their very own pirate ship, rope swing or even walk the plank. Feel free to join in on the pirate fun, or sit back and have a meal at the on-board restaurant or a drink by the bar.
Club Med Punta Cana – Dominican Republic
With different age-ranged Club Med activities and services, kids from 4mths to 17yrs will have a ball at this all-inclusive resort. Child-friendly facilities enable parents to make their own baby food if desired, equipment like bottle warmers are on hand. Babies have their own restaurants where parents eat with them, not the other way around. Baby Gym, Playground for bigger kids and a vast amount of activities are certain to have your kids passed out at bedtime from pure fun exhaustion. Teens are treated to their very own Spa, dance, theatre, DJ and video editing lessons, among others are also available. Big kids ie YOU can also enjoy fun activities or unwind with a variety of spa services also.
Gasparee Caves and Digicel Imax Theatre – Trinidad & Tobago
An amazing cave system waits not too far from the capital city of Port of Spain. After taking a short boat ride to one of the small outlaying islands - Gaspar Grande, this gorgeous cave system will demonstrate to your kids the amazing power of nature. With light flickering and filtering through the limestone rock, it’s a real treat to see your kids’ eyes light up when they view this natural wonder.
Talking about eyes lighting up, Trindad is host to a rocking Imax Theatre. The Digicel Imax Theatre is a movie lovers must do! Regular 2D movies become spectacular and 3D movies become unreal.
Mayan Ruins – Belize
Do your kids want to time-travel? Visiting the Mayan Ruins in Belize will be a delight and a trip never to be forgotten. Climb the pyramids and view the many artefacts – here once again education meets fun and your kids will go back to school with a relatable experience that they will never forget.
Cayman Turtle Farm and Stingray City
On the small isle of Cayman is one of the most fun and educational sites in the Caribbean. Here your kids can watch the hatching of baby sea turtles, and have an opportunity to swim and interact with the larger yearling sea turtles, which anticipate their release into the wild after being hatched and housed at the farm until they can fend for themselves. Your kids will also be treated to the Turtle Twister Water Slide which leads into the Breaker Lagoon, the largest swimming pool on the island which also has a viewing panel into the predator tank, where your kids will be able to view sharks safely.
For the bigger kids, there are many tours available to Stingray City, where they can swim with sting rays. Just a short boat ride off the coast to the shallows, here tame stingrays swim up to be hand fed by the young, the old and the in between.
Coconut Bay Resort – St. Lucia
This all-inclusive resort is well-known for both its adult only Harmony and the family friendly Splash resorts. At Splash, your kids will have endless fun at Cocoland, which has its own pirate ship, mini zip line, rock wall and water fountain playgrounds. There is also a paintball zone for the young and the young at heart to capture the flag along with a waterpark, complete with a lazy river and numerous water slides.
Kool Runnings Adventure Park and Dolphin Cove – Jamaica
Kool Runnings Adventure Park in Negril Jamaica is loads of fun! Awarded by Trip Advisor with a certificate of excellence in 2013, this waterpark’s attractions range from numerous waterslides and features to a lazy river. Kool Runnings also has its own petting zoo, go-kart racing track, river rafting, laser tag and paintball gaming zones. Kids of all ages are sure to have a great time.
Swimming with the friendly dolphins at Dolphin Cove in Ocho Rios is a lovely way to spend the day with your family. This attraction however also has other fun activities for the entire family to enjoy; explore the coast with mini boats or take a glass-bottom kayak out to sea. Guests can also snorkel with the stingrays or view and interact with a variety of snakes and birds along with iguanas on the Jungle Trail.
Carib Cultural Village by the Sea and Soufriere Volcano – Dominica
Another set of indigenious people of the Caribbean that your children will be learning about are the Caribs or the Kalinago people. At the Carib Cultural Village by the Sea, your kids will be able to view a replica of a village and view priceless artefacts. The island of Dominca is also home to the Soufriere Volcanic Crater, complete with hot springs and hiking trail. Dominica is a fun geographical and historical visit for your kids.
Time to plan your trip!
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