The Mom's Guide to the Best Things to do With Kids (Toddlers too) in Jamaica.
Toddlers and older kids will enjoy Dolphin Cove, Jamaica
Kid Friendly Jamaica is Perfect for Family Vacations.
Planning a trip to Jamaica with kids can feel overwhelming.No mom wants to hear the dreaded words, "I'm bored mom," while on vacation (also check out ways to entertain kids on an airplane for ideas on banishing tantrums on the airplane ride). Rather, every mom wants to plan a vacation that is fun, relaxing, educational and filled with opportunities for family bonding. For moms taking their kids on vacation to Jamaica, boredom will not be a problem. Jamaica has deliberately created a family experience on the grounds of many of its all inclusive hotels. Things like mini waterparks, games and personal babysitting services have become the norm in these resorts. But, the true magic of the island is to be found in the exciting tours and activities that await discovery outside the hotel walls. And since Jamaica is a small island, arranging transportation from your hotel to these activities should be easy. Here is a compilation of the most awesome things to do with kids (including toddlers) in Jamaica.
Swim with Dolphins at Dolphin Cove
Swimming with the dolphins is an unforgettable activity, that must be experienced to fully understand the wonder that a close encounter with these creatures incites. Best for children ages three and older this one is definitely one of the best things to do with kids in Jamaica. The kids are allowed to swim up to and pet the dolphins, while enjoying the grandeur of one of the most beloved sea creatures. Activities are catered to the children's ages so a younger non- swimmer would only be allowed to kiss and pet the dolphins, for example. Dolphin Cove also offers other activiites for the true animal lover. There is a program that allows the kids to feed and take other care of the dolphins while observing how the dolphins function in their everyday lives. There is also a swim with stingrays program and glass bottom boats for toddlers to safely enjoy the water. There is also a nature trail (see below) which is the perfect way for toddlers to enjoy Dolphin Cove. To plan a visit, dolphincoveja.com . Like Dunns River Falls, Dolphin's Cove is located in the kid friendly town of Ocho Rios, if you are planning on visiting Ocho Rios specifically, you may also get some good ideas from my article on things to do with kids in Ocho Rios
Take Toddlers on the Dolphin Cove Nature Trail Hike
The Dolphin Cove nature trail is a easy to moderate level nature trail with friendly snakes, birds and other exotic animals. This easy hike makes it possible to carry toddlers and infants, and is also great for older children, who will love the friendly animals coming right up to them. Petting of the snakes is even allowed!
Climb a Waterfall at Dunns River Falls
Exhilaratingly fun for older kids while giving toddlers a piece of the action from either the base of the waterfall or the safe viewing areas surrounding the falls: a hike up the Dunns River falls is a must for the family that loves nature. Dunns River Falls is a beautiful six hundred feet high waterfall that flows directly into the ocean. This waterfall is really a sight to behold, and the only one of its kind in the Caribbean. The guided hikes offered are a great activity for the whole family to enjoy and can be enjoyed by kids as young as six years old. This is also a great way to introduce infants and toddlers to the wonder of nature; the whole waterfall is surrounded by viewing areas that have safety rails, for safe viewing. For rates and more information, dunnsriverja.com
Take toddlers on the Beach Trampolines at Doctors Cove Beach
Doctors Cave beach has two things going for it -- a sparkling, beautiful beach, and a trampoline for the kids. Perfect for ages four to ninety nine, these large water trampolines add a magic touch and a bit of exercise to a day at the beach, and is a favorite with kids of all ages. Book a trip to Doctors Cave beach through your hotel.
See Crocodiles While Rafting on the Black River Safari
This is one wicked, and wildly beautiful trip down one of Jamaica's most famous river. Best for older children through teenagers, this guided raft will take you down a beautiful river surrounded by lush, tropical forestry packed with exotic birds, iguanas, and other creatures that will surely excite the kids. don't be surprised if you spot crocodiles floating lazily down the river, this is the norm!
To plan a wild rafting trip down the black river, or any of Jamaica's numerous rivers, check with your hotel for a reputable rafting company, or check ou the folks at whitewaterraftingjamaica.com
Enjoy Kid Friendly Watersports at Aquasol theme park
The Aquasol Theme park located at the Walter Fletcher Beach is a watersports themed park with all the watersports the kids will ever need.From wave runners to banana boat rides your kids will love the magnificent ocean and thrill of being so close to the sea creatures. Most appropriate for ages five to teenagers, this theme park is exciting, and all the more special because of its location--- right on a beautiful stretch of white sand beach. One other special attraction is the awesome go-kart racing facility that the theme park also has. For the kids, there is also the convenience of a kiddies snack bar.
The favored way to book a trip to Aqua Sol is to book a bus tour through your hotel. Check with your hotel for details on available bus tours before arriving.
Learn about the Reggae Icon at the Bob Marley Museum
A tour of the Bob Marley Museum is a must for fans of the world reknown (though now deceased) Bob Marley. This educational tour is great for teenagers and music lovers as it explores reggae music and the life one of the most inspirational reggae singers that ever lived. A trip to this museum will take upwards of two hours from Ocho Rios, Montego Bay or Negril . Although there are three museums dedicated to this icon, the best, and most informative is located in Kingston, at one of Bob Marley's former homes. A visit to this gem, brings you intimately close to the life and inspirations of this icon.See how he lived, his guitar and much more.
For more information, check bobmarleymuseum.com. However, as the museum is located in Kingston, (Jamaica's capital city and outside of where your hotel is likely to be), it is best to book a tour through your hotel.
Take Toddlers and the Whole Family to the Historical Colombus Park museum
This is a must for its educational value. Columbus Park museum sits on the very spot where Christopher Columbus first set foot in Jamaica in the 16th century. in Jamaica, he found a peaceful indigenous people and a paradise filled with waterfalls, green mountains and pristine beaches. The museum tells this history, and is loved for its value as a kids activity that teaches something about the history and culture of Jamaica. Great for kids from eight years old and up. Your teenagers will love the lesson on Jamaica's past, and the younger ones will love the ancient artifacts like the old Arawak (the indigenous Jamaican people) canoe, and earthen vessels.
Take the Family on the Appleton Estate Rum Factory Tour
Don't be put off by the name of this tour. Although, you will want to keep your kids from the rum tasting portion of this tour , everything else is a well architectured tour on the rum making process. This tour is a way to sneak a learning opportunity on your itinerary of things to do with the kids in Jamaica. Older kids will definitely leave this tour more knowledgeable of the fascinating origins and process of rum, even adults will learn something from this tour. Book a tour at appletonrumtour.com
Go Horseback riding in the Ocean
This activity will be exciting for the whole family, and Jamaica just might be the best place to try it. The horseback tours will lead your family through Jamaica's lush countryside and straight into the ocean. For more information on Jamaica's fantastic beaches, or for ideas on what beaches to visit in Jamaica check my article best beaches in Jamaica. Jamaica has many companies that offer horseback riding packages, with the most popular being Chukka Tours, and Hooves tours. It is also a great idea to check with your hotel for their recommendations.
Jamaica is a great destination for the whole family, if you are anxious about getting there on an airplane with a young child in tow, my article ways to calm a young child on an airplane may help.
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