FAMILY APPEAL

The Caribbean rises to the task of entertaining children and different islands excel in different things. If you want an adventurous eco family holiday, head to Dominica, Guyana and Belize. If you want a no holds barred resort holiday, Antigua, Saint Lucia, Jamaica and Barbados are a good starting place with different flights and family deals.  In the Bahamas, kids can indulge themselves in the largest waterpark in the Caribbean at The Atlantis Resort Paradise Island. The many Out Islands are a great place to explore for more adventurous families.

Barbados remains a hugely popular island for family holidays with its strong British influences and good range of attractions such as Atlantis Adventures submarine trip, Harrison’s Cave, jeep safaris, snorkelling with sea turtles and the Barbados Wildlife Reserve, which is primarily a monkey sanctuary. Barbados has a good range of family friendly hotels including Crystal Cove and Turtle Beach Resort, but the legendary Sandy Lane is perhaps the best known.

St. Kitts and Nevis has a Kids ‘r’ VIPs Programme for children aged 2-15 years. This aims to get families active, learn a new sport or hobby or just have fun during the summer. Activities include swimming classes and cycling lessons or African drumming and dance classes.

The Cayman Islands are a fabulous place for children to get up close and personal with stingrays at Stingray City or explore the natural treasures along the Mastic Trail on Grand Cayman, the Bobby Pond Nature Reserve in Little Cayman Park and the Parrot Reserve of Cayman Brac. Families can also engage themselves in Cayman’s rich maritime heritage and culture by visiting some unique heritage attractions such as Boatswain’s Beach/Cayman Turtle Farm, Pedro Saint James, Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, and the National Museum. Kids can learn about Cayman culture “hands-on” in the Cayman Craft Market.

Puerto Rico should be on every family’s holiday radar with the ToroVerde Nature Adventure Park offering kids rainforest adventures such as zip-wiring and mountain biking. Resorts like El Conquistador are perfect for families with its own waterpark, private island and kids club.

The best way of affording a family holiday in the Caribbean is to choose an all-inclusive resort that caters specifically for families with a sophisticated kids clubs and lots of water and land sports. Beaches is a well-known all-inclusive resort chain in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos Islands which offers families ‘luxury included’ holidays with gourmet dining, Caribbean adventure with Sesame Street activities and characters and nightly entertainment and watersports including scuba diving.

St. James’s Club in Antigua is a fabulous four-star all inclusive resort.  This resort offers various activities from baby and toddlers to teenagers. The ‘Kidz Club includes various activities throughout the day from art classes to nature trails and swimming activities.  The Teen's Club include activities such as sailing and snorkelling and has a ping pong and pool tables, games and volleyball courts.

The all-inclusive Buccament Bay in St. Vincent includes a Pat Cash Tennis Academy, a Liverpool FC Soccer School and a Harlequin Performing Arts Academy. There is also a Little Harlequins Kids Club and Teen Club.

Great family resorts on Saint Lucia include Windjammer Landing with its family villas. If you want to be near the Pitons, Jalousie Plantation has a brand new kids club with hand-painted murals by international artist, illustrator and designer, Lucy Loveheart.

The British Virgin Islands is a great place for children to learn to sail, go swimming with dolphins and hike adventurous trails. Resorts like Little Dix Bay Resort and Bitter End Yacht Club offer a range of diverse activities for children including pirates parties, sand castle competitions, wildlife hikes, nightly kids’ movies, beach volleyball, kids’ day camp and sailing.

Bermuda is an ideal destination for families as it’s a shorter flight time from the UK or a good twin centre with New York. Hotels like The Reefs Hotel & Club have two- and three-bed condominiums with fully fitted kitchens.

Goldeneye Hotel & Resort in Jamaica may be a boutique hotel but it welcomes families in a low-key way and is great for parents who don’t want to feel they are at a family-themed resort. There’s no kids’ club but there’s a wonderful lagoon for messing about on kayaks and learning to paddle-board plus cots for babies and free rollaway beds, plus babysitting and kids menus.

Puerto Rico also offers older kids great adventure at the ToroVerde Nature Adventure Park with zip wiring and mountain biking through the rainforest.