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Top Things to Do in Barbados, for Families

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Photo ©  Teresa Plowright.

A glimpse of scenic coast.

Photo © Teresa Plowright.
Barbados is a friendly-- though much-developed-- Caribbean island, with fun things for families to explore and do, and convenient direct flights from the UK.

Barbados: Features

  • Barbados is the most easternly Caribbean island
  • known for high-end celeb-type resorts
  • a British colony until 1966; legacies include cricket, high tea, and driving on the left.
  • the island is only 168 sq. miles yet home to 265,000 people. Many areas are very developed

Local Lingo : English is widely spoken, and visitors will enjoy the easy-to-understand Bajan dialect (pronounced Bay-jan.)

Barbados Vacations for Families

Barbados is a top Caribbean destination for UK visitors. Dubbed the "Little England of the Caribbean", Barbados is perceived as "the most British" of the Caribbean islands. And --as the furthest-east Caribbean island-Barbados is easily reached by daily flights from London and other UK cities.

Visitors from any country will find a friendly, safe atmosphere. Smiles and waves from strangers go a long way to make a tourist feel welcome. And, while travelers should always be careful of pickpockets when out'n'about, tourists in Barbados can feel comfortable renting a car and touring on their own. (Provided, of course, you can drive on the left.)

As for resorts: even the even legendary luxury Sandy Lane resort welcomes kids. All-inclusive choices include the Almond Beach Village Resort(with an entire family area) Almond Casuarina Beach Resort. More resorts await on "cheap and cheerful" busy South coast, which also has ondo rentals.

Top Things for Families to Do Barbados:

  • explore the underseas on an Atlantis Adventures submarine trip
  • many resorts on the west Gold Coast have coral off-shore, providing an easy way for kids to try snorkeling
  • visit Harrison's Cave
  • Take a day-long boat outing and snorkel over coral and with sea-turtles
  • take a jeep "safari" around the island
  • visit the Barbados Wildlife Reserve (primarily a monkey sanctuary)
  • attend the Bajan Roots and Rhythm dinner plus stage show, with dancers, steel pan bands, folklore figures, fire-eaters, stilt-walkers, fire-limbo.... Prices are steep but include buffet dinner; kids welcome.

Five-week Festival in Barbados

The Crop Over Festival starts with a parade in mid-July and lasts for weeks. Revived in the 1970's, the origins of Crop Over go back centuries, to celebrations when the hard work of harvesting the sugar cane was done. The Crop Over King and Queen are those who've harvested the most sugar cane. Kadooment Day is a grand finale, with costumed parade.

Keep in Mind about Barbados:

  • Prices tend to be high; North Americans seeking a mid-range resort may feel they're paying more for less.
  • The northeast, with its rough seas, still has undeveloped stretches of beach. No swimming, but in some areas you can go "sea-bathing", i.e. dip in the sea close to shore.
  • though the Barbados dollar is pegged to the US dollar at a fixed rate, Canadian exchange rate floats.
  • flight time from New York is approx. 4-1/2 hours.

Find out more:

Check the Barbados Tourism Authority for an annual Best of Barbados or other country-wide promotions.

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