07 June 2018
Along with gorgeous pinkish-white beaches and a tropical climate softened by Atlantic trade winds, Barbados offers everything from caves to swim in and explore by tram to child-friendly street parties, all of which combine to make it a fabulous family holiday destination. Many of its hotels offer discounts for families, including free child places at Sugar Bay, Bougainvillea and select Elegant hotels.
Best Family-friendly Things to Do in Barbados
• Take the plunge in Animal Flower Cave at the most northerly point of the island, where you can swim in its pools amidst sea anemones. Refuel at the on-site restaurant, enjoying the likes of shrimp roti and breadfruit tacos along with glorious sea views.
• Go surfing on the rugged Atlantic coast – Bathsheba is the most popular spot, with tuition for adults and kids available. Or take advantage of the huge array of other water sports on the island, including kayaking, SUP paddle-boarding and waterskiing.
• With younger kids, head for a west coast beach for calmer waters, or for the south or east coasts with their protected tide-pools which are perfect for rock-pooling.
• Between April and December, go to watch turtles nesting or even see baby hatchlings at sites including Sugar Bay and Turtle Beach. But walk gently and take care to not disturb either turtles or eggs.
• Hop aboard the Jolly Roger 1 for a four-hour boat trip along the south and west coasts, with pirate games including rope-swinging, walking the plank, and calypso dancing. If you bring snorkelling equipment, hop in for a swim.
• Alternatively, snorkel at Folkestone Underwater Park & Museum with its artificial reef for experienced divers but also its recreational zone with an inshore reef where you might spot turtles as well as fish, sea anemones, sea lilies, corals and sponges.
• Dive deep aboard an Atlantis submarine tour, taking you 45m below the water’s surface to see a shipwreck and plenty of reef life.
• Explore Harrison’s Cave, an underground cave system with crystallised formations, accessible by electric tram ride. By advance request, there are also special Junior Explorer’s Tours taking kids on guided adventures to learn about caves, rocks, water conservation and wildlife, all kitted out with explorer hats and flashlights.
• Get close-up with local animals in a natural environment at the Barbados Wildlife Reserve within a mahogany forest, where inhabitants include Barbados green monkeys, flamingoes and brown pelicans. Tickets also let you tour Grenade Hall, an old signal station that helped to spread warnings about attacking ships or slave rebellions.
• Wander around Barbados’ historic capital Bridgetown, especially its UNESCO World Heritage-listed Garrison, where you’ll find an impressive gun collection including an Elizabethan cannon dating from 1600, together with the Barbados Museum within the former British military prison which features natural history displays and a children’s gallery.
• Discover the Caribbean’s last complete sugar windmill, Morgan Lewis, with guided tours and, between December to April, the chance to see sugar canes being ground and to taste the resulting cane juice.
• Have a family night out at Oistin’s Fish Fry, a local institution for locals and tourists alike, with barbecue stalls, arts and crafts stalls and live music among its lively offerings every Friday.
To find out more or book your family holiday in Barbados, contact your Travel Counsellor.