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Kids Activities in the Caribbean

The Caribbean has long been the preserve of honeymooners, but it has also become a major destination for families vacationing with their children.

By Lisa Mullins Bishop, Caribbean Edge Staff Writer

The abundance of outdoor activities, the opportunity to explore the exotic beauty of the islands, and relaxed atmosphere appeal to both parents and children. Many of the large resorts cater to families and offer such amenities as water parks, children's programs, watersport instruction, and family-friendly restaurants. The Caribbean is a great place for parents and children to play together: there are opportunities to learn a new sport such as sailing or snorkeling, to ride the waves on a wave runner, to experience the underwater fantasyland of marine life, to swim with dolphins, to hike through a rainforest, to explore museums that tell the story of the islands historical importance, to see natural wonders such as Virgin Gorda's The Baths or man-made wonders such as Mayan temples and petroglyphs. A respite on a Caribbean island can be as relaxing or as active as a family wants it to be.

Here's are some family-friendly places to consider:

Bahamas

Paradise Island has a great beach and the Atlantis resort has much to offer families. There is a gigantic water park built into a Maya temple with five different waterslides. The hotel has an aquarium and marine habitat with 50,000 marine animals such as sharks, piranha, stingrays and sawfish that will fascinate both children and adults. An archaeological dig allows visitors to see what life was like for Atlantan's 11,000 years ago. Parents and children will enjoy the Discovery Channel Camp, which as expected, emphasizes science and discovery. Campers can look at stars through a high-powered telescope, look for buried treasure, learn Bahamian crafts, among other activities.

Cayman Islands

These islands are known for their tremendous scuba diving and snorkeling experiences. Families wanting to experience this underwater world can seek out operators who offer snorkeling instruction or they can take a trip on a glass-bottom boat. Another option is a trip below water on the Atlantis submarine, or a semisubmersible vessel such as the Seaworld Explorer or the Nautilus. Seven Mile Beach is a popular spot. The Governor Gore Bird Sanctuary on Little Cayman is a wonderful place to see a variety of bird species, and the Cayman Island Turtle Farm has thousands of turtles, many of which can be picked up and held.

Jamaica

This friendly island has much that will please both children and adults. The Wyndham Rose Hall Resort and Country Club has a fabulous waterpark. At the Sugar Mill Falls water complex, guests can swim in three terraced pools, take a plunge down a waterslide, tube down a manmade lazy river. There's also a water tunnel, rapids, and waterfalls as well as a suspension bridge. The hotel has a private beach with snorkeling, windsurfing, kayaking, and sailing. The Wyndham Kids Klub is sure to be a hit with children and their parents. Another family-friendly resort is the FDR, Franklyn D. Resort, where a staff member is assigned to every suite to act as a nanny and housekeeper. There are lots of activities for children and teens.

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Anguilla
Antigua
Aruba
Bahamas
Barbados
Bermuda
Cayman
Curacao
Dominican Republic
Grenada
Grenadines
Jamaica
Mexico
Puerto Rico
St. Barts
St. Croix
St. John
St. Kitts & Nevis
St. Lucia
St. Maarten
St. Martin
St. Thomas
Tobago
Tortola
Turks & Caicos
Virgin Gorda