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5 Exciting Fun in the Sun Hot Spots for Your Family

Escape the winter at these kid-friendly Caribbean resorts

Woman wearing blue hat zip lining through a tropical forest

Look no further if you want to ditch the cold and maximize some family time to start off the New Year. These sun-splashed, kid-friendly destinations each offer something unique and will make you forget the winter—at least for a week!

1. Revisit a swashbuckling time in history in the Bahamas

The capital city of the Bahamas, Nassau, is known for friendly locals, white-sand beaches, and spectacular snorkelling and diving in the aqua waters of the Atlantic Ocean. But its history dates back to the heyday of piracy in the late 1600s. Take a self-guided tour of The Pirates of Nassau attraction, where you’ll go aboard the replica ship Revenge and learn the story of the legendary pirate Blackbeard. While you’re downtown, check out the Queen’s Staircase and the famous Nassau Straw Market for all your souvenir needs.

Aerial view of of the Melia Nassau Beach resort featuring the ocean and water pools 

Where to Stay: Meliá Nassau Beach is an all-inclusive resort for all ages located on sandy Cable Beach. Numerous activities are included in your stay, such as paddling in a glass-bottom kayak, ping-pong and beach volleyball. Families will love the daily activities, such as mask-making workshops, bingo and basket weaving at the Kids Club. Dine at one of eight restaurants and stay up for the nightly family entertainment.

2. Go off the beaten path in St. Lucia

Experience something totally unique on this tropical island, like getting covered in mud and taking a dunk in the natural hot Black Water Pool in Soufrière. You’ll also want to visit the nearby volcano at Sulphur Springs Park, where the smell of rotten eggs welcomes you. Watch steam rising from the enormous dormant volcano and pose for family photos; just don’t breathe through your nose.

Outdoor couch with outdoor tables and chairs behind it on the balcony of the Windjammer Landing 

Where to Stay: Windjammer Landing is a family vacation paradise. This upscale all-villa beach resort in Castries has estate villas big enough for families with multiple offspring in tow and six resort pools, including two perfect for small children. Older kids can try complimentary water sports from pedal boating, paddle boarding and tube rides to snorkelling, kayaking and windsurfing. Younger kids can visit the Jaquot Fun Club and play with life-sized chess pieces on the beach.

3. Make a four-legged friend in Aruba

Aruba’s Palm Beach area is a three-kilometre strip of luxury hotels that welcomes families with kids of all ages. There are piers, restaurants and shops to explore, not to mention plenty of water sports. There’s also Donkey Sanctuary Aruba, where you can help with chores and feed rescued donkeys, or just observe these fine creatures in their habitat.

Donkey being fed a carrot by a human hand in Aruba 

Where to Stay: Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club has spacious villas, two outdoor pools, and a lazy river and waterslide. The water is calm here, and even younger kids can swim and snorkel. Teenagers can check out The Den for video games, while younger kids can visit Maty’s Hall Kids Club for games, activities and a playground.

4. Go from sugary sand to a historic sugar mill in Barbados

The soft white sandy beaches of this independent British Commonwealth nation are ideal for sandcastles. When the tide comes in, check out the syrup factory and sugar mill at St. Nicholas Abbey, a 350-year-old plantation house with two resident Moluccan cockatoos and a few monkey visitors on its grounds. Take in the view from Cherry Tree Hill before heading back to your resort for a dip in the pool.

Close up view of the fields from a 350-year-old plantation house 

Where to Stay: Hilton Barbados will bring smiles to small faces with the Kidz Paradise Club, which offers indoor and outdoor activities, and age-appropriate adventures for ages four to 12. (Think treasure hunts, pool and beach games, movies, story time and PlayStation for the teenagers.) Try surfing, go diving, or start a family game of tennis or beach volleyball.

5. Seek adventure in the rivers and rainforest of Jamaica

Families who love water adventures should head to Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios to explore the flowing waterfalls that run nearly 200 metres. The rushing river is one of the few on the island that flows right into the Caribbean Sea. For a thrilling family escapade on land, check out Mystic Mountain Rainforest Adventures, where you’ll board the Sky Explorer chairlift and travel over the forest canopy to more than 200 metres above the rainforest. Kids will love zooming back downhill on a custom bobsled ride inspired by Jamaica’s Olympic team.

Wide shot view of the large pool at the luxurious Melia Braco Village 

Where to Stay: The luxurious Meliá Braco Village is an all-inclusive colonial-style village resort with a stunning beach, Jamaican street parties, fruit carts serving fresh coconuts and invigorating swimming pools. Kids aged five to 12 can join Kids & Co adventure programs while parents sneak off to the YHI Spa & Wellness Centre. Included in your stay is access to the recently opened on-site Adventure Park, which has an obstacle course, zip line, climbing wall and trampoline.

Young boy excited to reach the end of a water slide, about to drop into the pool 

Looking for even more holiday ideas?

Check out our suggestions on planning your next vacation. Or, if you want to make it a grown-ups’ getaway, get inspired by these seven adults-only resorts that will make your grown-up life better.

No matter what kind of trip you dream of taking, CAA’s travel experts can help you make it a reality. And wherever you go, CAA Travel Insurance can help protect you on your way.

Image credit: Donkey Sanctuary Aruba, windjammer-landing.com, melia.com and Mystic Mountain Rainforest Adventures