I have lived in Antigua over the winter with my baby boy and his toddler brother for the last three winters. As a family, we’ve tried and tested all of the fun kids activities that there are in Antigua. There are lots of cool activities and experiences to choose from for kids of all ages such as snorkeling with stingrays, flying through the air on zip lines, and dancing to local steel bands.

6 Best Things To Do In Antigua With Kids

I’ve handpicked the 6 best things to do in Antigua with kids that you must not miss out on (for kids of all ages).

1. Swim and snorkel with stingraysStingray in antigua

I’ve put swim and snorkel with stingrays at the top of our list because my son loves it and it’s one of our top things to do in Antigua with kids. It’s great as you don’t need to be able to swim to go as you’re in shallow water and it’s suitable for kids of all ages, our baby was 7 months when he went this winter. What’s even better is that under 5’s go for free!

Once you get into the water from the pontoon you’ll have lots of time to swim and snorkel with the stingrays as they glide past you. There are also several guides on hand with buckets of squid to give to you so that you can also have a go at feeding them as well.

You can also have a chance to hold one if you’d like to, which is an amazing experience. A guide will explain to you how to hold them correctly and carefully so that you keep them in the water as it’s important that they stay wet).

Top tip – they also run a tour to Laviscount Island that you can add on which includes a stop-in on your way back from the stingrays.  The island is wonderful as it’s a breeding programme for giant tortoises and you have a chance to pet and feed them.

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2. Fly through the rainforest on a zip lineZip lining in Antigua

If your kids love a little adrenaline adventure  then zip lining through the rainforest is an activity that they’ll really enjoy! They take children from four years old as long as they fit the harness.  

Antigua Rainforest Zipline Tours can be found along Fig Tree Drive. The drive along Fig Tree Drive itself is stunning and one of the coolest parts of driving out to the zip lines.

There are 12 zip lines and plus there is an aerial course with cool walkways and challenges to complete.  They sell different zipline tour packages that start from just 6 zip lines which they recommend as a good starting point for kids. It’s ACCT authoriszd, which means that it’s passed standards in installation, operation and inspection, so you can enjoy the experience without worrying about safety.

3. Watch the sunset at Shirley Heights and party to the musicFamily Shirley Heights Party Night-1

Every Thursday and Sunday from 4 pm at Shirley Heights Lookout there is a party night.  This fabulous evening will deliver a dash of Caribbean flavour to your stay and is a must do activity on everyone’s list when they visit Antigua.

The view from the lookout is incredible and iconic in Antigua, it’s one of the best on the island. The view looks out over Nelson’s Dockyard and when the sunsets the sky and sea become stunning with oranges and yellows.

In the build up to sunset a steel band that plays, you can take in the view and maybe have a rum punch or two. After the sunsets a local covers band plays with both kids and adults dancing along.  It’s a very family friendly Caribbean party.

4. Head out snorkelling to look for turtles

What’s great about Antigua is that there are some fantastic snorkeling spots that are just a short swim from the beach and you can get to them simply by walking into the water.  

A few of our top choices are:

  • Galleon Bay – there are shipwrecks at the far end by the Pillars of Hercules.
  • Long Bay Beach – a shallow reef that you can swim to from the beach on the right-hand side.
  • Deep Bay – a shipwreck that you can swim to.

Most of the all-inclusive resorts in Antigua will have snorkelling gear that you can borrow, but it’s best to check in advance to make sure.  Even if you can rent snorkelling gear at the beaches, it tends to be adult size.

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5. Take a boat tour around the island

In my mind, there is no better way of getting a feeling for Antigua than by taking a boat tour around the island. What’s great about a boat tour is that they will take you to some pretty amazing reefs and beaches that you just can’t reach by car.

Most boat tours also come with an option to snorkel and provide the snorkel gear too. There are a lot of boat tours on offer in Antigua and they are all slightly unique in their own way.  Some are sailboats, whilst others are high speed jet boats and some (our favourite) are eco-orientated.  

Adventure Antigua offers a great selection of boat tours so you can choose one that best suits you and your family.

6. Discover some local history at Nelson’s Dockyard

Found in English Harbour, this dockyard has been named after Horacio Nelson who once lived there before he won the famous battle of Trafalgar.  Visiting Nelson’s Dockyard is a great chance for kids of all ages to learn more about the local history of Antigua.  What’s really cool is that it’s still in use today.

Within the dockyard you’ll find a museum, shops and several restaurants and bars to choose from to have lunch or dinner.   As a family we love nothing more than eating our lunch and people-watching as there is always lots happening such as the super yachts coming and going to keep you entertained.  

They also often host events there such as Antigua Sailing Week as well as several cool parties for Christmas Day and New Years Eve which are perfect if you’re visiting over the festive season.

Top tip – make sure to take the short and relatively easy hike to Fort Berkeley and you’ll be rewarded with some amazing views.  You might also get to spot a goat or two and some hermit crabs – animal spotting is what motivates our boys to head there.

 

Best Family Friendly Beaches

Antigua has 365 beaches to choose from, which is a beach for every day of the year!  With that many to choose from, you might find it hard to decide which ones to explore with your family.

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I’ve put together a lift of my top three most family friendly beaches in Antigua.

Pigeon Point Beach

Found near English Harbour this is a great beach as it has plenty of tree shade, shallow water, as well as a small play area. It also has two family-friendly cafes to choose from and plenty of on-beach parking so you won’t have far to carry your beach gear.

What I love the most, is that you’ll find lots of other kids here for yours to play with, which is fantastic if you need a break from entertaining them!

There aren’t any shops on the beach, so you’ll need to stock up before you arrive, or drive the 5 minutes to English Harbour which has lots of shops.

Galleon Beach

This is my top recommendation if you’re looking for some family-friendly snorkelling that you access direct from the beach.  If you’re lucky (and arrive before it gets busy, then you’ve got a good chance of seeing some turtles from the shore.  You can hire snorkel gear and paddle boards from the beach.

There’s also a great restaurant on the beach called Loose Cannon (best burger on the island in my opinion!). If you book a table then you get free parking in the large car park just behind it. Again, like Pigeon Point Beach, there aren’t any shops for water and snacks so make sure to bring plenty with you!

The only downside is that parking, unless you book a table at Loose Cannon can be a little tricky.  My advice is to get there early if you want a space near the beach.

Dickenson Bay BeachBeach kids Dickenson Bay

This mile-long stretch of beach with several resorts on it, is one of the most popular beaches in Antigua. The best thing about it is that it has a huge range of activities and services on offer which helps to draw in visitors. And it’s also very conveniently located near St John’s for day-trippers arriving by cruise ship.

The reason I’ve included it on my list is that if you’re looking for a lively, action-packed, more developed beach in Antigua, perhaps for older kids, then this is the one for you.  It has plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from as well as a brilliant range of water sports such as stand-up paddle boards and jet skis to hire.

Guest Bio: Sara Young is the author of Big Adventures With Little Feet, a family travel blog with the key aim to inspire parents to travel with their kids. She loves exploring the world with her sons and giving them big adventures, whether that’s hiking or skiing, sailing or surfing.

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