Every parent wants to take their children on holidays that they will remember for a lifetime. Of course, it’s not just where you go and who you go with that makes these holidays memorable, it’s what you do when you are there. If you are looking for somewhere that has plenty of unforgettable activities to offer, then Barbados is the island for you. Here we look at some of the amazing things for families to do in Barbados that will leave indelible childhood memories for your kids.
There are very few places in the world where you can take your family on a submarine adventure – and Barbados is one of them. Called the Atlantis, it is a custom-built tourist submarine, capable of reaching depths of up to 30 metres below the surface and fitted with specially designed large portholes that offer amazing views of the world beneath the waves.
On board, you’ll be able to see the famous shipwrecks and stunning coral reefs around the island’s coastline. Get your cameras out to capture the tropical corals, fish, turtles, octopi and many other bizarre and exotic creatures that live in the reefs and among the shipwrecks, or even take a few selfies with the seafloor behind you. For the very adventurous there’s even an illuminated night dive where you’ll see scary nocturnal predators out on the prowl.
Ahoy me hearties! If you’re looking for fun and adventure at the same time, why not set sail on the Jolly Roger? The island’s last remaining galley, the Jolly Roger is a traditional buccaneering sailing ship with bright red sails that offers party tours for the whole family. For a few doubloons, you and the kids can up anchor and head off on an unforgettable seafaring escapade. Departing from Bridgetown, the captain and crew will take you snorkelling with the turtles, provide lots of onboard entertainment and make sure you have plenty of food and drink. And if the kids misbehave, you can always get the crew to make them walk the plank.
Every kid loves chocolate and in Barbados, you can give them a genuine Willy Wonka experience by taking a trip to the island’s very own chocolate factory. The Agapey Chocolate Factory’s ‘Bean to Bar Tour’ offers mouth-watering fun for the whole family, taking you through the complete chocolate-making process. While you’re unlikely to come across any umpa lumpas, you won’t need to find a golden ticket to get in and will get lots of opportunities to taste the different types of chocolates being made. You can also buy some to take home – if they last that long.
Snorkel with turtles
The warm, calm and fertile waters off the west coast of Barbados are an ideal habitat for large turtles and you’ll find these graceful and inquisitive creatures in abundance – they often follow the fishing boats into port to help themselves to the occasional dropped fish.
One of the best ways to experience the turtles is to go snorkelling with them, as these gentle creatures are not afraid to get up close to humans. You’ll find lots of well-organised, child-friendly snorkelling trips on offer around the west coast and this is the safest and easiest way to swim with them offshore.
Everyone loves to explore a cave and Barbados has two intriguing ones to experience. The first of these is the Animal Flower Cave located on the north of the island. Named after the brightly coloured sea anemones that can be found in its tidal pools, some of which are deep enough to swim in, it’s a perfect opportunity to see these strange animals up close. The cave is also ideal for family selfies, as it has a giant mouth that opens up to the Caribbean beyond.
The other cave is Harrison’s Cave. Here, you can take an underground tram ride to discover ancient and mysterious crystal caverns that feature subterranean streams, pools, waterfalls and shimmering stalagmites and stalactites that have formed over the millennia.
Meet the monkeys
The island’s indigenous green monkeys are unique to Barbados, so you can’t get to meet them anywhere else. If you visit Barbados Wildlife Reserve, you’ll find these captivating and playful apes in their natural habitat. Here, there are guided tours where family groups can have the very special experience of getting up close and even feeding the monkeys. Make sure you take a camera as you might also bump into parrots, hummingbirds, peacocks, tortoises, deer and mara.
Where to stay
Royal Westmoreland is one of the most exclusive Barbados resorts, offering families luxury, safe and child-friendly accommodation in beautiful surroundings. Private, gated and with round-the-clock security, this 750-acre resort overlooks the picturesque west coast and offers exceptional villas and apartments, world-class amenities and top-drawer personal service. Facilities include a complimentary housekeeper, private chef service, a championship standard golf course, state of the art gym, floodlit tennis courts, a range of excellent restaurants and a nearby Beach Club. It also has an excellent concierge that will give recommendations and help arrange everything from restaurant bookings and excursions to car hire and, if you fancy a night out without the kids, a babysitter.
For more information, visit Royal Westmoreland’s Holidays Page.