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You have finally put the finishes touches on your Barbados vacation including the best things to do in Barbados with kids. Before you jump on that plane, check out the activities below to see if you’ve missed any kid-friendly hot spots.
Family travel now accounts for the bulk of all travel worldwide and the numbers are growing. With an emphasis on health and wellness and advances in technology and medicine, it’s no surprise that baby boomers are living a healthier and more active lifestyle.
A healthier lifestyle promotes longevity, and many grandparents are traveling with their grandchildren while embracing leisure travel and special interests travel like never before.
Barbados is a great place for the best family vacations in the Caribbean. This lightweight island weighs in at a mere 166 square miles, but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in activities for the best family beach vacations. it is bursting at the seams with fun things to do for the entire family.
There is something irresistible about a tropical beach. With turquoise water lapping at your feet and warm powdery sand making its way between the toes, it’s no surprise that thousands of travelers seek the allure of the Caribbean every year.
There is a sense of freedom, weightlessness, and peace that envelope you as you acclimate to a tropical setting. Children are no exception. Most children gravitate to tropical beaches like bees to honey.
Barbados has white sand beaches that are perfect for families traveling with kids. But there’s one other thing your little ones will enjoy immensely and will be able to brag about to their friends - swimming with the turtles.
Snorkeling and Turtle Swimming - Ages 10 and up
One of the best underwater tour guides around is Charles, owner of Cliff Sharker. Yes, Cliff Sharker is the name of his boat.
Your family will enjoy swimming with the friendly turtles on your snorkel tour. Charles will provide you with great photos* from your underwater tour and will offer a money-back guarantee on turtle sightings.
The Cliff Sharker snorkel tours are done at Carlisle Bay and Sandy Beach. Carlisle Bay is a marine park near Bridgetown and the site of six shipwrecks. You will also find three great kid-friendly beaches in Carlisle Bay that you enjoy after your tour – Browne's Beach, Pebbles Beach, and Needham's Point.
Sandy Beach, also known as Carib Beach (named after the beach bar) is a white sand beach on Barbados’ South Coast.
Photos are available on select tours.
Contact: (315) 636-4560 – US and Canada | 246-259-6906 or 246-571-4615
Glass Bottom Boat Cruises – Barbados Activities for Families with Kids - All Ages
A glass bottom boat cruise will sail along the West Coast of Barbados where you will see the beautiful coastline with its many hotels and luxury villas.
Westwater Adventures will take you and your children on a two-hour trip where they will be introduced to the colorful underwater world with amazing coral reefs and many species of fish.
A snorkel trip to a shipwreck site is sure to be a hit and to top it all off, they will enjoy swimming with and feeding the turtles.
Location: Folkestone Marine Park, St. James
Contact: 246-233-6089 | 246-421-6008
Go to lifeguard station at Folkestone Marine Park and ask for Monica or Kenrick. Make reservations on their site and pay when you get there.
Sea Spray Watersports - Ages 8 and up
This is another glass bottom boat offering a 2-hour snorkel and shipwreck tour. Transportation is provided from all beaches in the St. James. Bike rentals are available.
Catamaran Cruises – The Beach Family Fun is not Over - All Ages
Jammin Cat Cruises
The music and lively crew come alive aboard Jamming Cat Cruises as the vessel sails down the West Coast of Barbados.
Jammin Cat Cruises is not just one of the best things to do in Barbados with kids, but it also provides heaps of fun for the entire family. The funky colors alone will get you in the mood for adventure on the open seas.
Children will love the water slide and swimming with the turtles and fish. Adults will love the drink service – it is in the water. The professional staff members are super accommodating and do their best to make sure your experience is a memorable one.
Choose from three cruises:
Sun Blast Cruise: 9:00am -2:30pm
Twilight Cruise: 3:00pm – 7:00pm
Private Cruises – reserve directly
Includes buffet meals and stocked bar. Hotel transfers included.
Location: Bridgetown Careenage
El Tigre Catamaran Cruises - All Ages
Take your pick from three available cruises. The 3-hour snorkel cruise is available for families with kids. The 5-hour lunch cruise is available for the entire family, and the 3 hour sunset cruise is great for being with friends or just enjoying a peaceful evening. Turtle swim and snorkel tours available on all tours.
Drinks are included.
Cavans Lane, Bridgetown
Contact: 866-365-9488 - US and Canada| 246-417-7245 – Local and Worldwide
Jolly Roger – One of the Fun Things to do in Barbados - All Ages
Every kid loves a badass pirate story, and there’s no other place to see it unfold but on board the Jolly Roger 1 pirate ship. Kids of all ages will enjoy walking the plank, rope swinging, and swimming with the turtles. If your child is too young to participate in those activities, he/she will enjoy the atmosphere just as much.
The cruise ship sails out from Bridgetown and cruises down to the Barbados west Coast.
There are three options to choose from:
The Lunch Cruise - 11:00am - 3:00pm
Sumptuous Bajan lunch is available on the four-hour cruise with music and overall great fun for the entire family. Lunch cruise includes two swimming stops to feed the fish and see the turtles.
The Snorkel Tour - 11:00am - 1:00pm
The pirate ship offers a two-hour snorkel tour where you can swim with the turtles and visit the shipwrecks. Lunch follows.
Dinner Cruise – 6:30pm – 10:00pm
Your family will have a blast on this sunset dinner cruise as local entertainers limbo dance, carnival dance and fire-eat right in front of you. Lots of color and lively atmosphere.
Location: Carlisle House, Bridgetown Careenage, Bridgetown
Contact: 246-436-2885 | 246- 826-7245
Atlantis Submarine - Height Requirement: Minimum 3 Feet
Barbados’ geological composition is coral unlike other Caribbean islands that are volcanic. The Atlantis Submarine descends to a depth of 130 feet and provides a close up view of these amazing coral reefs and life forms that exist within them.
Explore the breathtaking undersea world with a family underwater tour. By day, see the resplendent kaleidoscope of color in the coral reefs. By night, catch a glimpse of the nocturnal creatures as they dart to and fro trying to avoid the glaring underwater lights. Day and nights tours are available.
Contact: Tel: 436 8929 | after hours: 243 1069
Length of tour: 2 ½ hours long
The Wildlife Reserve - All Ages
The Wildlife Reserve occupies four acres of natural mahogany forests, and it is here that many animals co-exist. The reserve is a project of the Barbados Primate Research Centre, a non-profit organization headed by Canadian primatologist, Jean Baulu.
Some of the animals are not indigenous to Barbados and were donated by neighborhood Caribbean islands. The Caimans originated from Guyana, the deer were gifted from a Trinidad Zoo, and the iguanas were brought in from Cuba.
Most of the animals are free to roam within the confines of the reserve so do pay attention to your surroundings and where you are place your feet. It is best to wear flats or walking shoes as the pathway is not smooth in some areas.
As you enter the reserve, you will come face to face with turtles, peacocks, deer, and mara – a rodent that looks like a cross between a rabbit and a small deer. The pathway ends at the reptile display and the bird sanctuary lies just beyond.
The land turtles are everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. They have been known to follow visitors, and yes, you’ll have to wait for them to catch up. Here’s something I didn’t know – turtles grunt. Yes, they do!
The highlight of the reserve for most visitors is to see the Barbados green monkeys up close and personal. Now that’s something you do not see every day and I’m sure your child will squeal with excitement when they see the monkeys for the very first time.
The monkeys were first introduced to Barbados from Africa as pets, but somewhere along the line they escaped.
What happened subsequently was a widespread primate proliferation. They can now be found all over the island, especially in small caves, dense brush and forests.
If you’ve ever visited Barbados and lucked out on seeing these magnificent creatures, you will surely find them here. They are not confined and are free to roam anywhere they choose.
They like the interaction with people, although I suspect there is a reason for that. People are food sources. As cute as they are, try to refrain from feeding them. Remember, they are wild animals.
As you enter the reserve, you might see a few of them walking along the fence, but the ideal place to see them is along the trail leading to the Grenade Hall Signal Station. They are very territorial and they tend to move in groups in this area. More on monkeys here..
Location: St. Peter, Barbados West Coast
Cost: Adults US $12.00 | Kids US 6.00
Cash only basis.
Animal Flower Cave
As a child growing up in Barbados, I used to love going down to the cave. For me, it wasn’t just a place to explore. It was a place where I could see the sea anemones come to life. I could never resist touching the beautiful pink anemone flowers, and I was always amazed at the way they would close when touched.
Wanting to share a part of my childhood memories with my son, I decided to visit the cave in July 2015. To my surprise, the flowers were no longer there.
Over the years, heavy treading by curious onlookers has resulted in their extinction. Unfazed by my discovery, my son began his own little exploration of the cave. Not only was he excited to be in a real cave, but he was amazed at the small rock pools, the beautiful rock formations, and nature’s window to the sea.
Flowers or not, the Animal Flower Cave is interesting and worth a visit. The views of the Atlantic Ocean are stunning. The cave is cool and very peaceful. Sitting around a campfire with friends under a starry sky is relaxing, but think about how cool it would be to do it in a cave. That’s what our local tour guide told us. Sometimes he and his friends go down to the cave late at night to hang out. This gives new meaning to the phrase “man-cave”. Now that is super cool.
The Animal Flower Cave has been kid-tested and approved.
Location: North Point, St. Lucy
Cost: US $10 adults | US $5.00 kids