Simply Unforgettable: Activities Your Kids Will Love in Nassau & Eleuthera
The Bahamas is a hot place to go right now. And no, we’re not talking about the temperature. The year 2018 saw more than 6.5 million visitors to the country, up a half a million from the year before. And the Bahamas boom only continued in 2019, with the islands hosting 15 percent more people in January 2019 than in January 2018.
Why do people love these islands? For starters, there’s the perfect weather, pristine pink-sand beaches, impossibly turquoise water sparkling in the sunshine and world-class resorts and nightlife – all packaged in a tropical utopia that could vie for one of the most beautiful places on the planet. You may be wondering what else there is to do if you’re winging your way down to the Bahamas with a little one – or two or three – in tow. Here are a few suggestions on how to make your Bahamas experience one that your kids will talk about for years to come. We’ll focus on two of the country’s many awesome places: Nassau and Eleuthera.
Adventures Await in Nassau
Since Nassau is both the capital and largest city in the country, finding family-friendly things to do is a cinch. Along with the stellar beaches and water activities, here are a few more things your kids will love.
- Pirates of Nassau. Kids love pirates, and Nassau was at the heart of the action during the Golden Age of Piracy. This three-building museum recounts that fascinating history with fun and interactive activities for kids. They can board a replica pirate ship, see cutlasses and gold doubloons, and learn about women pirates, Blackbeard, pirate trials and lots of other cool stuff.
- Parliament Square. The Bahamas has been independent since 1971 but the colonial influence from Great Britain can still be felt in different places. This is no more evident than in Parliament Square, where the pink 18th-century buildings speak silently about days gone by. Take the kids on a horse-and-buggy ride to see the main sites. They’ll have fun and learn a bit of history along the way.
- Ardastra Gardens, Zoo & Conservation Centre. Located on New Providence Island, kids can see such native species as boa constrictors, parrots, turtles, swans, macaws and the famous pink flamingos. The facility has over 135 animals and a petting zoo.
- Aquaventure at Atlantis Paradise Island. The action is non-stop at this 141-acre aqua park located on Paradise Island. Aquaventure is literally one of the largest water parks in the eastern hemisphere. Take the plunge on Atlantean-themed towers with high-speed water slides, river rapids and more than 20 swimming pools, Day passes can be purchased, but it really takes two or three days to get the complete experience.
- Dolphin Cay Atlantis. No matter what else your kids do in the Bahamas, Dolphin Cay is what they’ll tell their friends about back home. It is one of the largest and most sophisticated marine mammal facilities in the world. What your kids will remember most is getting into the water and swimming with real dolphins or playing with sea lions. The interactive activities are both fun and educational, and young ones come away with a heightened awareness of the importance of respecting and caring for the natural world and the creatures that inhabit it.
Discover the Wonder of Eleuthera
Mainland Eleuthera is just 75 miles from Nassau, but it couldn’t be more different. No water parks, no mini-golf, no colonial buildings. The main commodities are sea, sand and sky, with a few sleepy settlements dotting the 100-mile coastline.
That doesn’t mean, though, that Eleuthera is a place to avoid if you have kids. Far from it! The natural wonders of the island provide endless adventures for your kids to discover and explore.
- Snorkeling. The waters off Eleuthera are legendary for their beauty and clarity. Sure, the view from the beach is gorgeous, but what’s under the water is absolutely mesmerizing. The snorkeling is simply amazing. Just a few yards offshore, your kids will encounter rays, sea turtles, parrotfish, jacks, trunkfish, snappers, triggerfish, tarpon, barracuda and lots of other colorful and exotic reef fish. Some of the best snorkeling locations around Eleuthera are Pineapple Dock, Gaulding’s Cay, Oleander Reef, Blue Hole, Bird Cay and Muttonfish Point.
- Surfing. The Bahamas isn’t famous for its surfing, but Eleuthera is one of the few places with a decent break. The appropriately named Surfer’s Beach in Gregory Town is a left break with some decent-sized waves. You can rent boards and even hire a guide to give you and your kids some pointers.
- Ocean Hole. Located on the south side of the village of Rock Sound, Ocean Hole is a landlocked blue hole that averages about 100 feet deep. Swimming and diving are popular, and the fish are so used to people that they swim right up and wait for a handout! (Hint: Bring something for your kids to feed them.) Ocean Hole is one of the most famous landmarks in the Bahamas.
- Glass Window Bridge. Just two or three miles north of Gregory Town is the narrowest part of Eleuthera. Here is one of the few places in the world where you can see deep, blue ocean on one side and bright turquoise water on the other. The strip of rock is only about 30 feet wide, and the paved road replaces the natural bridge that was washed out by a hurricane years ago. Spend some time exploring the tide pools and low cliffs in the area.
The Bahamas are famous for postcard-perfect beaches, oodles of sunshine and island life at its very best. By all means, indulge in the sand and the sea. But you can make your Bahamian getaway a trip your kids will never forget by adding some kid-friendly adventures to your fun beach days. The whole family will come home feeling happy and refreshed, and you’ll be in full agreement with the slogan adopted more than 30 years ago by these beautiful islands: “It’s better in the Bahamas.”