A family vacay traveling with the children in The Bahamas will be something you will be talking about for years and years and years!

But before we jump into that, let’s take a quick look at where and what The Bahamas are…

The Bahamas is an archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean, 50 miles (80km) southeast of Florida, in the United States. It consists of more than 700 islands, islets, and cays spread over about 100,000 square miles (260,000 square kilometers).

The bahamas

Fast Facts on The Bahamas

Location: Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Cuba and southeast of Florida
Capital city: Nassau, on the island of New Providence
Official language:English
Number of islands: 700+
Population: Approximately 400,000
Official currency: Bahamian dollar
National symbol:Flamingo

The Best Time & The Worst Time to Travel to The Bahamas

The best time to travel to the Bahamas is typically during winter, from December to April. During this time, the weather is warmer and sunny, with temperatures ranging from the low 70s to the mid-80s Fahrenheit (21-29 degrees Celsius). This is also the driest time of the year, with relatively low humidity and little chance of rain.

The worst time to travel to the Bahamas is during the hurricane season, which typically runs from June through November. There is a higher risk of tropical storms and hurricanes that can bring heavy rains, strong winds, and potential flooding. August to October is peak hurricane season, so it’s best to avoid traveling to the Bahamas during this time.

It’s also worth noting that the Bahamas can experience occasional cold fronts during the winter months, which bring cooler temperatures, strong winds, and rough seas. The Bahamas is susceptible to hurricanes and tropical storms as it lies in the Atlantic hurricane belt.

It is always a good idea to monitor weather reports and heed any warnings or advisories issued by local authorities if you’re traveling during hurricane season.

And don’t forget to purchase travel insurance!

The Bahamas is a beautiful island nation with a lot to offer families traveling with children, ranging from activities on the beach to experiencing the local wildlife.

To ensure a great family vacation, here are some tips when traveling with children to the Bahamas.

Choose family-friendly accommodation

When traveling with children, choose the accommodation that caters to families. Look for resorts or hotels with amenities such as pools, water parks, kid’s clubs, and activities suitable for children of different ages.

Plan outdoor activities

The Bahamas is known for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and amazing marine life. Plan outdoor activities such as snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, or visiting nature reserves like the Ardastra Gardens, Zoo, and Conservation Centre.

These activities will provide great opportunities for children to learn about the natural world and will give you great photo opportunities for those digital memory books!

Explore cultural and historical sites

The Bahamas has a rich cultural and historical heritage that can be explored with children. Visit sites such as the Pompey Museum of Slavery and Emancipation, the Queen’s Staircase, or the Pirate Museum in Nassau to learn about the history and culture of the Bahamas.

Sample the local foods

The Bahamas is known for its delicious cuisine, including seafood, conch fritters, and Bahamian-style macaroni and cheese. Introduce your children to local cuisine and let them try new dishes to broaden their culinary horizons.

Plan for safety

While the Bahamas is generally a safe destination, take necessary precautions when traveling with children. Keep an eye on your children at all times, especially when swimming or participating in water activities. Apply sunscreen and insect repellent, and keep a first-aid kit handy.

Traveling with children to the Bahamas can be a fun and memorable experience. By planning ahead and taking necessary precautions, parents can ensure a great family vacation that will be enjoyed by both children and adults alike.

Traveling with Babies & Toddlers

Traveling to the Bahamas with babies and toddlers requires extra planning and preparation to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Check for the most up-to-date information on the below:

  1. Documentation: Have a valid passport and/ or birth certificate as proof of identity and age. You may also need a letter of consent from the other parent if you’re traveling alone with your child.
  2. Vaccinations: Check with your doctor to see if your child needs any vaccinations or preventative medication before traveling to the Bahamas.
  3. Pack the essentials: Don’t forget to bring baby and toddler essentials such as diapers, wipes, formula, baby food, and bottles. Bringing a stroller or baby carrier may be helpful to make it easier to get around.
  4. Choose family-friendly accommodations: Look for hotels or resorts that offer amenities and activities for children, such as a kids’ club, playground, or a child-friendly pool.
  5. Safety precautions: Keep an eye on your child at all times and take necessary safety precautions such as using sunscreen and insect repellent, keeping them hydrated, and ensuring they stay within safe areas.
  6. Plan age-appropriate activities: While planning your itinerary, keep in mind your child’s age and interests. It’s important to choose age-appropriate activities that your child will enjoy and can participate in safely.
  7. Be flexible: Traveling with babies and toddlers can be unpredictable, so it’s important to be flexible and have a backup plan in case things don’t go as expected.

Shopping for Baby & Toddler Essentials in The Bahamas

Families traveling to The Bahamas can purchase baby and toddler essentials such as diapers, wipes, formula, baby food, and bottles at various stores and supermarkets located throughout The Bahamas.

  • Supermarkets: Supermarkets like City Market, Solomon’s, and Quality Supermarkets are located throughout the Bahamas and offer a wide selection of baby and toddler essentials.
  • Pharmacy and Drugstores: Pharmacy chains like Medical Pavilion and Super Value Pharmacy offer baby products including diapers, wipes, and formula.
  • Convenience Stores: Convenience stores like 7-Eleven and Distributors carry some baby products such as diapers and wipes.
  • Specialty Baby Stores: Several specialty baby stores throughout the Bahamas, such as Baby Love and Tike & Tide, sell various baby and toddler essentials.
  • Hotels and Resorts: Some hotels and resorts in the Bahamas offer baby and toddler essentials in their gift shops or convenience stores.
Shop_Bahamas ChristmasTime

Nassau would be the most convenient place to look for any items you might need. However, there are a few other islands where you might be able to find things.

  • Freeport: Freeport is the second-largest city in the Bahamas, located on Grand Bahama Island. Several supermarkets, drugstores, and specialty baby stores in Freeport sell baby and toddler essentials.
  • Abaco Islands: The Abaco Islands are a group of islands in the northern Bahamas, and they have several supermarkets and convenience stores that sell baby products.
  • Exuma: Exuma consists of over 360 islands. The main island, Great Exuma, has several grocery stores that sell baby products.
  • Eleuthera: Eleuthera is an island in the Bahamas known for its beautiful beaches and pink sand. There are a few small local markets, so no guarantee that you will find what you need.

While these items are available on most of the major islands and tourist destinations in the Bahamas, it’s important to note that some of the more remote islands may have limited availability.

If you are in a remote resort and realize that you have left something behind, it is possible to have these items shipped or flown to you at your resort. It all becomes about how long you are willing to wait, and how much you are willing to pay.

Hotel staff might be able to source products for you and arrange to have them delivered.  Research the options available in advance and confirm the delivery timeframe and cost.

Kids clubs in the Bahamas

Many resorts in the Bahamas have kids’ clubs, designed to offer a range of activities and entertainment for children. They provide a safe and supervised environment where children can make new friends, have fun, and learn new skills while parents can enjoy some time off to relax and unwind. Two of the more popular resorts in The Bahamas with kids clubs include:

Atlantis (Paradise Island)

Atlantics bahamas

Atlantis, on Paradise Island, is a popular family-friendly destination in the Bahamas, and there are several reasons why it is well-suited for children.

  1. Aquaventure Water Park: Atlantis has one of the largest water parks in the Caribbean, called Aquaventure. It features over 20 water slides and rides, multiple pools, and a large childrens’ play area with smaller slides, water cannons, and fountains. There are also several shallow pools specifically designed for younger children.
  2. Marine Habitat: Atlantis has a massive marine habitat with over 50,000 aquatic animals, including dolphins, sea lions, and sharks. Children can interact with these animals and learn about marine life through various educational programs and experiences.
  3. Kids Activities: Atlantis offers a variety of activities designed specifically for children of all ages, including arts and crafts, science experiments, and movie nights. There are also several play areas and game rooms located throughout the resort.
  4. Junior Ultimate Trainer for a Day Program: this day program is an exciting and educational opportunity for young individuals ages 6 – 10 years to learn about animal behavior and care.

    Throughout the program, participants will explore various areas of Dolphin Cay, including the dolphin lagoons and the animal hospital, which features a surgical suite and pharmacy.

    Each day is unique and may involve activities such as animal husbandry and feeding and interactive exercises that enrich the animals. Participants will also have the chance to visit the marine habitat and assist aquarists with feeding fish and sea turtles.

    The program begins at 10 a.m. and continues for a duration of four hours, and does need to be pre-booked.

Baha Mar (Nassau)

There are three resorts at Baha Mar: Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, the SLS Baha Mar, and The Rosewood Baha Mar. There are many activities for kids to enjoy here, so they are encouraged to sign up with the  Explorers Club.

The club offers a variety of activities and programs for children aged 3 to 12 that are designed to engage children in fun and educational experiences with a focus on Bahamian culture and the environment.

The Kids Club features a variety of play areas, including a pool and outdoor play spaces. The indoor areas provide books, games, and movies. Kids’ club staff provide a safe and enjoyable experience for children, with a ratio of one staff member per five children. Some activities offered at the Kids Club include scavenger hunts, nature walks, arts and crafts, and beach games.

Escorted by their carers, they can feed the birds, cook with the chef, explore Baha Bay, and stay entertained until AFTER the sun sets!

Toddlers can go wild in the soft playroom while mom and dad enjoy some ‘me’ time. Babysitting is available on request. Reservations are recommended, and fees may apply.

What water activities can kids enjoy in the kids clubs?

Kids clubs in the Bahamas offer a variety of water-based activities that are both fun and educational for children. Depending on the resort, some of the water activities that kids can enjoy or learn to do in kids’ clubs may include:

  • Swimming lessons: Many kids’ clubs offer swimming lessons for children of different ages and skill levels. Certified instructors teach these lessons and are designed to help children become confident swimmers.
  • Snorkeling: Kids can learn to snorkel in shallow water with proper gear and under the guidance of an instructor. This activity allows children to explore the underwater world and observe marine life.
  • Water slides: Kids clubs may have water parks with kid-friendly water slides and splash zones. These provide hours of entertainment for children.
  • Kayaking: Some resorts offer kayaking lessons for kids in calm waters. Children can learn how to paddle and maneuver the kayak while enjoying the scenery around them.
  • Paddleboarding: Paddleboarding is a fun and engaging water activity that kids can learn to do in the kids club. They learn how to balance on the board and paddle through calm waters.
  • Scuba diving: Some resorts may offer introductory scuba diving lessons for kids, allowing them to experience the thrill of breathing underwater and observing the underwater world.

Overall, the water activities in kids’ clubs are designed to be both fun and educational, providing children with opportunities to develop new skills and create lasting memories.

Islands with Water Parks

IslandWater/Adventure ParkDescription
Paradise IslandAtlantis Aquaventure Water ParkThis water park is located at the Atlantis Resort and features over 20 water slides, including the Leap of Faith slide that sends riders down a nearly vertical drop through a clear tunnel surrounded by sharks. The park also has a lazy river, wave pool, and a variety of other attractions.
Paradise IslandAtlantis Dolphin CayThis is a marine habitat located at the Atlantis Resort that offers visitors the opportunity to swim with dolphins, as well as interact with sea lions and other marine animals.
New Providence IslandBaha Bay at Baha MarBaha Bay is a water park located at the Baha Mar Resort that offers a variety of water slides, a lazy river, wave pool, and other attractions. It is one of the largest water parks in The Bahamas and offers fun for visitors of all ages.
Grand Bahama IslandGrand Lucayan ResortThis resort has a water park with several water slides, a lazy river, and a variety of other attractions. It is located right on the beach, making it a great place to cool off after a day in the sun.
NassauBlue Lagoon Island Water ParkThis water park is located on a private island near Nassau and features a variety of water slides, a lazy river, and other attractions. The island is also home to a dolphin encounter program, as well as a sea lion encounter and other animal encounters.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of all water and adventure parks in The Bahamas, but rather a selection of some of the more popular ones.

Swimming with the wildlife

Swimming with the wildlife in The Bahamas is an unforgettable experience for every single family member!

The clear turquoise waters surrounding the islands are home to an abundance of marine life, from colorful tropical fish and sea turtles to majestic dolphins and sharks.

One of the most popular spots to swim with wildlife is at the Exuma Cays, where visitors can swim with nurse sharks, feed iguanas on the beach, and even swim with friendly pigs. 

bahamas iguanas

Another popular activity is swimming with dolphins at various locations throughout The Bahamas, where visitors can interact with these intelligent and playful creatures in their natural habitat.

The Bahamas is also home to a number of pristine coral reefs, which offer some of the best snorkeling and diving experiences in the world. Whether you’re an experienced diver or just starting out, swimming with the wildlife in The Bahamas is an adventure you won’t want to miss.

Animal/FishWhere to find themHow to swim with them
DolphinsSeveral dolphin encounter facilities or in the wild while on a boat tourInteract with them in a controlled environment or observe them from a safe distance while on a boat tour
Sea turtlesSnorkeling or diving in the shallow waters around the BahamasObserve them from a safe distance while snorkeling or diving
RaysSeveral tours offer the opportunity to swim with stingrays, or visit Stingray City in Grand CaymanInteract with them in a controlled environment or observe them from a safe distance
PigsPig Beach in the Exuma IslandsSwim with them in the crystal-clear waters or observe them from the beach
SharksSeveral shark diving tours in the BahamasSwim alongside them in a controlled environment with trained professionals

Swimming with these animals can be a unique and exciting experience for families visiting the Bahamas. Remember to respect the animals and follow any safety guidelines provided by the trained professionals to ensure a safe and memorable experience for everyone.

Island excursions suitable for families

There are several island excursions in The Bahamas that are suitable for families with younger kids.

Island 1 – Blue Lagoon Island

This small island is located a mere 5km off the coast of Nassau and is a popular destination for families with young children. Besides the beach that is perfect for swimming and snorkeling and the waterpark with slides and splash pools, families to Blue Lagoon Island can experience the famous dolphin encounters.

Visitors can get up close and personal with these amazing creatures and can learn about dolphins, interact with them, and even swim with them in shallow water.

To reach Blue Lagoon Island, you can easily purchase tickets to take a ferry from Nassau.

You can purchase tickets for the ferry to Blue Lagoon Island at the Paradise Island Ferry Terminal or the Nassau Ferry Terminal. Tickets can also be purchased in advance online or through tour operators.

Island 2 – Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park

Exuma Cays is made up of approximately 375 islands. This marine reserve, located in the Exuma Islands, is home to a variety of marine life and is a great place to take kids on a snorkeling excursion.

Children can explore the coral reefs and see colorful fish, sea turtles, and other marine creatures.

exhuma cays

Accommodation at Exuma Cays

There are several private island resorts located in the area, including the popular Fowl Cay Resort, which offers six private villas with their own boats for exploring the surrounding waters.

Alternatives include Staniel Cay Yacht Club, which offers rooms, suites, and cottages, and Fyre Cay Resort, which offers luxury villas with private beaches. There are also many vacation rental properties available on the Exuma Cays, ranging from cozy beachfront cottages to luxurious villas.

How to reach Exuma Cays

By air: The closest airport to the Exuma Cays is Exuma International Airport (GGT) in George Town, Great Exuma. This is the largest island, or cay, in this chain. Several major airlines offer flights to Exuma International Airport from various cities in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. From the airport, visitors can take a connecting flight or charter a private plane to reach one of the smaller airstrips located on some of the Exuma Cays.

By sea: The Exuma Cays can also be reached by boat, with several options available for visitors. Many visitors choose to charter a yacht or hire a local boat captain to take them on a private tour of the cays. Several tour companies offer day trips to the Exuma Cays, with options ranging from group tours to private charters.

Once you arrive at the Exuma Cays, transportation around the islands is typically done by boat, as there are no roads or cars on many of the smaller cays.

Powerboat Adventures

This tour takes families on a high-speed powerboat ride through the Exuma Islands, stopping at various islands and sandbars along the way. Kids can swim, snorkel, and play on the beaches while parents relax and soak up the sun.

In addition, you can feed the wild stingrays and get up close with lemon sharks, nurse sharks, and Caribbean reef sharks.

The Pigs

The swimming pigs of The Bahamas are a popular tourist attraction and a fun and unique sight to see. The pigs live on Big Major Cay, an uninhabited island in the Exuma Cays, and they are completely wild. Because of them, the island has become known as “Pig Island,” or, “Pig Beach.”

It’s not entirely clear how the pigs got to the island, but one theory is that they were originally brought there by a group of sailors who planned to return and feast on them, but never came back. Another theory suggests that the pigs were survivors of a shipwreck.

The number of pigs on the island can vary, but there are typically between 20 and 25 pigs living there. The pigs are a mixed breed, but they are generally referred to as “Bahamian Potbellies”. They are known for their friendly and sociable personalities, and they love interacting with visitors who bring them food (of course!) The pigs are not considered dangerous, but visitors are encouraged to be cautious around them and not to feed them anything that could be harmful to their health.

The pigs swim in the crystal-clear waters surrounding the island because as we know, pigs are smart! They have learned that passing boats often bring food, and being pigs, well, they’re eager to get a snack.

They enjoy siestas in the shade during the hottest part of the day, or they cool off in the shallow waters. The Bahamas National Trust has taken steps to protect and preserve these piggies and their habitat but does not own them. 

Pig swimming pig island

Safety Precautions when Swimming with the Pigs

1. The pigs are generally friendly and accustomed to interacting with visitors but are still animals and can be unpredictable.

2. It’s important to remember that the pigs are not pets and should be treated with respect. Visitors should avoid chasing or harassing the pigs and should not attempt to ride them. 

3. Visitors should be careful not to feed the pigs anything that could be harmful to their health, such as junk food or alcohol.

4. When swimming with the pigs, children should be supervised by a responsible adult at all times. They should not touch or pick up the pigs without permission. Ensure children are comfortable and confident swimmers before taking them into the water with the pigs.

Island 3 – Andros Island

Andros Island is the largest island in the Bahamas, home to several nature reserves and parks. Families can take a nature walk, go birdwatching, or explore the blue holes and underwater caves that dot the island.

Andros islands

In addition, the Androsia Hand-Made Batik Factory is an excellent cultural experience for families, offering an opportunity to learn about Bahamian art and history. You can even enjoy a batik lesson at the factory if you book in advance. 

In the second week of June, you can join in the annual Crab Festival, where locals and tourists come together to enjoy a range of exciting events, such as a crab cultural show, cooking demonstrations featuring crabs prepared in 101 ways, a crab release, a culinary contest, and a display showcasing the lifecycle of Andros crabs. Additionally, visitors can enjoy lively Bahamian entertainment, including the traditional Rake and Scrape music.

Island 4 – Grand Bahama Island

Lucayan National Park is a nature reserve located on Grand Bahama Island that offers hiking trails, caves, and beautiful beaches. Children will enjoy exploring the park and learning about the local wildlife. 

This national park boasts one of the world’s largest underwater cave systems, although only two of the caves are accessible to the public. Visitors are not permitted to swim in the caves, and special diving permits are required to explore them.

Places of Interest that Families Will Enjoy in Nassau

Pirates of Nassau Museum: This interactive museum in Nassau is a fun and educational experience for kids. Children can learn about the history of pirates in the Bahamas and participate in hands-on exhibits and activities.

Fort Fincastle: This is a historic fort located in Nassau that children will enjoy exploring. It offers great views of the city and is a fun place to take pictures.

The Queen’s Staircase: This is a historic staircase in Nassau that was carved out of solid limestone in the late 18th century. Children will enjoy climbing the staircase and learning about its history.

The Queens Staircase Nassau

Ardastra Gardens, Zoo & Conservation Centre: Also located in Nassau, this popular zoo in The Bahamas that features a variety of animals, including flamingos, parrots, and iguanas.

The Bahamas offers stunning landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and rich culture – and your kids will find something to captivate them. The Bahamas offers something for everyone, with a wide range of activities, from snorkeling and kayaking to visiting museums and nature reserves.

And with the bonus of kid-friendly amenities such as water parks, kids clubs, and exciting island excursions, parents can rest assured that their children will be thoroughly entertained. So why wait? Start planning your family’s next adventure to the Bahamas and create memories that will last a lifetime!

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