5 Out of the Ordinary Family Activities in Barbados
Keeping the kids entertained on holiday has always been a challenge for parents. Luckily, that’s not a problem for those visiting Barbados. With spectacular and, perhaps, once in a lifetime activities on offer, the island has everything you need to create an unforgettable family vacation. And being only 21 miles long and 14 miles wide, it is all within easy reach – so they won’t be asking, ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ Here are our 5 top picks for family activities in Barbados.
1. Take a trip on a submarine
Very few people ever get the chance to explore beneath the waves on a real submarine, so take the kids for an extra special treat while visiting Barbados. Atlantis Submarines offers the ultimate adventure as you submerge to a depth of up to 150ft to see the stunning sea life living under the surface.
With large portholes for the family to look out from, you’ll get the chance to see an amazing array of exotic fish, corals and even shipwrecks. There’s also a night dive where the submarine’s high powered spotlights illuminate the spectacular colours of the corals and many of the rarely seen night time predators.
Atlantis Submarines are based in Bridgetown. Trips last for around 45 minutes, which is just about ideal for kids.
2. Explore the island on a jeep safari
If you’re a family of Indiana Joneses, why not take a trip on a jeep safari? Suitable for children aged five and over, this exciting, sometimes bumpy, off-road adventure run by Island Safaris explores Barbados’ most spectacular hidden gems.
Over 5 hours in duration, you’ll get to visit the parts of the island that tourists don’t usually see, including Joe’s River Forest in the island’s tropical rainforest and the exciting blow holes and cliff edges in Little Bay. With beautiful beaches, places of historical and geographical interest, expert information about the island from your guide and regular refreshment stop offs, this is the ideal way to get off the tourist route and see Barbados from a totally different perspective.
3. Go on a pirate ship
The pirates of the Caribbean are alive and well in Barbados and if you have the inclination to find your sea legs, you can hop aboard the island’s famous galley, the Jolly Roger. With pirate sails, rope swings, even planks to walk, it’s brilliant fun for kids and mums and dads alike.
Ideal for families is the lunchtime cruise which, for a few pieces of eight, will provide a BBQ buffet, and swimming stops where you can snorkel with turtles and feed the fish. For families with older children, there’s also an evening cruise which features hearty Caribbean food and a show, with limbo dancers, stilt-walkers and even fire-eaters. For grown-up pirates, you’ll also find there’s plenty of rum to enjoy a cocktail or two.
4. Go green monkey watching
Not every holiday destination gives you the chance to see wild monkeys living in their natural habitats, so take advantage of your time in Barbados to see our famous green monkeys. The best place for this is at the Barbados Wildlife Reserve where you’ll see these playful creatures hiding in the lush forest.
Besides monkeys, the children will be fascinated by the many other exotic and free-roaming animals in the reserve, including brocket deer, parrots, peacocks, tortoises and the bizarre mara, a type of hare which looks like a tailless kangaroo. The entrance fee also lets you visit the Grenade Hall Forest and Signal Station where you’ll be able to climb the 200 year old tower and see its spectacular views of the island.
5. Animal flower cave
A truly unique experience is to be had at the Animal Flower Cave at the north of the island. The flowers in this cave are actually sea anemones that live in the ocean filled pools. This is the island’s only accessible sea cave and entrance is gained by climbing down a set of coral steps from the cliff above.
Sea anemones are beautiful creatures and it's unusual to see them out of the ocean and to watch them open and close. The cave itself is also fascinating. It has a 500,000 year old coral floor which has been smoothed over the millennia to form an undulation that creates magical patterns with the reflected light. The pools are completely transparent and some are even deep enough to swim in. The mouth of the cave, looking out to the ocean, has views which provide an excellent photo opportunity.
While there are plenty of the usual family activities available in Barbados, such as days at the beach, water sports and playgrounds, the island has some unique activities which you and your children will find hard to experience anywhere else. With submarine adventures, jeep safaris, pirate ship expeditions, monkeys and sea anemones, your children will have a family holiday they will remember for a lifetime.
To make your family holiday even more special, why not stay in one of the fabulous apartments and villas here at the west coast’s prodigious Royal Westmoreland?