The Most Kid-Friendly Caribbean Islands

111111111111It’s February. It’s been months since you’ve seen the front lawn, and the snowman you and the kids built after the first snowfall has become part of a snow colony, complete with s multi-level snow fort. The temperature hasn’t gotten above freezing in weeks, and well, you just need to get away.

But where to? You know you want to head some place warm and sunny, with palm trees, clear water and temperatures that won’t require six layers of clothing just to stay warm. And while the romantic, secluded Caribbean resort with daily couples’ massages and a private hot tub sounds divine, you’re bringing the kids along. You need a place that’s kid friendly, or else you risk hearing choruses of “I’m bored” during the entire week you spend thawing out.

Don’t worry – there are plenty of kid-friendly Caribbean destinations. In fact, some islands are paradise for both young and old.

Puerto Rico

From the busy streets of San Juan to the practically deserted beaches of the south side of the island, Puerto Rico has plenty to offer families. One of the best features? You can book a vacation package to Puerto Rico for a fraction of the cost of some other Caribbean islands, even during the peak winter months, making this an affordable option for many families. Another benefit of Puerto Rico is that unlike other islands, where most of your vacation is likely to take place in the boundaries of a resort, this island offers plenty to do outside of the major hotels, giving you the opportunity to experience more culture, history and possible even save some more money. For excellent shopping and dining with a healthy dose of history, head to the capital of San Juan, where the kids can explore a real fort dating back more than 500 years and you can take a quick daytrip to the El Yunque Rainforest. For relaxation and beach time, head to the almost deserted barrier islands of Vieques or Culebra, or watch the surfers tackle waves in Rincon.

Bahamas

The islands of the Bahamas consistently top the list of family-friendly island destinations for several reasons. Just a short trip from the South Florida coast, they are easy to get to, and don’t generally require many flight connections or long ferry trips. More importantly, the Bahamas offer a wide range of all-inclusive resorts, including Atlantis, one of the largest resorts in the entire Caribbean. In the town of Nassau, a popular tourism destination, kids love exploring the area’s pirate history and lore, while the whole family will enjoy exploring Grand Bahama and its incredible natural reefs. And while most resorts offer plenty of dining and activity options, in many cases your hotel will be located close enough to town to make it possible to head out on your own to eat or explore, giving your family the best of both worlds.

Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman receives a lot of cruise ship traffic, and with good reason: The beaches here are among the best in the Caribbean. The island is an ideal spot for a sun-loving family, as the white-sand beaches are lined with palm trees and overlook crystal-clear turquoise waters. Nature activities are the name of the game here, as kids have plenty of opportunities to swim and snorkel with turtles, stingrays and dolphins. It’s laid-back, relaxing and the perfect spot for a family to build memories together.

Jamaica

Jamaica is an appealing island for families in large part because of its resorts: You’ll find dozens of all-inclusives around the island, all offering plenty of activities for families. Beach bums will find plenty of options, while those looking for more adventure can head inland for hiking, zip-lining and river tubing in the jungle-covered mountains. Older kids may enjoy exploring the island’s pirate history as well, while mom and dad will have plenty of opportunities to kick back and relax.

Turks and Caicos

If peace and quiet is what you’re after, then Turks and Caicos is the destination for you. But laidback and relaxing won’t mean boring for the kids: The beaches are the star here, and the kids can spend hours swimming here in the shallow, gentle waters. Providenciales is a busy town with plenty of shopping and dining, while Cockburn Town is the historical and cultural centre of the islands. Take a trip to a conch farm to learn more about the islands’ biggest industry, or spend some time exploring your resort’s offerings.

Getting out of the snow and ice for a winter getaway doesn’t have to mean visiting a theme park or listening to the kids claim there’s nothing to do. Choose one of these islands for your family trip, and everyone will have a great time.

 

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