Being a kid in Bermuda is like stepping into Fantasia or Alice in Wonderland. There are plenty of weird animals—lizards, trilling treefrogs, yellow-bellied kiskadees, manta rays gliding like UFOs under Flatts Bridge. Roadsides are polka-dotted with trails of Technicolor blossoms, perfect for pretend princesses. And sunshine-packed days spill over with sandcastles, real-life forts, and bubblegum-colored buses. For a calendar of kid-friendly activities, check www.bermudafamilyactivities.com. Tickets for movies and events can be purchased online at www.bdatix.com or www.premierticketsglobal.com.
Sights and Recreation
Royal Naval Dockyard
Make a beeline for the East End, where kids can be immersed in history they will actually enjoy.The ferry ride to the West End alone is entertainment enough, but little ones will adore up-close encounters with dolphins inside the National Museum grounds, plus the adjacent playground with its mini-lighthouse entwined by a 70-foot moray eel. Outside in the Dockyard, don’t miss the games room in the Frog and Onion Pub, or the frozen yogurt and ice cream vendors at Dockyard Terrace and the Clocktower Mall.
World Heritage Center
Make a beeline for the East End, where kids can be immersed in history they will actually enjoy. The World Heritage Centre in St. George’s lets youngsters dress up and experience the sights and sounds of times gone by. Children can also imagine long-gone life at sea by clambering aboard Deliverance, the replica 17th-century vessel on the old town’s waterfront. Head up to Fort St. Catherine to hide out in tunnels or climb atop cannons with panoramic views. Who can’t be a pirate with those kind of props?
Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo
Ring-tailed lemurs, harbor seals, and a black grouper dubbed Darth Vader keep youngsters, and their adult companions, entertained for hours at the island’s favorite attraction. The Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo also has a playground on-site with a conveniently situated café for lunch—or a glass of grownup vino while the kids try out the slides.
Jobson’s Cove and Baby Beach
Bodysurfers may love the sweeping, wave-crashed strands of Warwick Long Bay or Southampton’s Horseshoe, but less experienced beach bums may feel more confident in the adjoining coves, protected and shaded by tall limestone cliffs. Kids can entertain themselves for hours here playing in rock pools, collecting shells, or spying on reef life with a mask and snorkel. Make sure to bring hats, shades, and plenty of sunblock.
This gentle, picture-perfect bay within Pembroke’s Admiralty House Park is on bus routes and accessible from all central parishes. A soft, sandy beach, a dock, and coastal reefs provide all the ingredients for hours of fun whether you’re traveling with toddlers or teens. They’ll likely meet some local counterparts to play with, too.
Entertainment and Events
Kids can ride the toylike train or dance to the rhythms of gombeys at the high season’s stay-up-late Wednesday night street festival, where loads of local food and craft vendors shut down Front and Queen Streets to allow pedestrian-only traffic.
Bermuda Kite Festival
Easter weekend is a riot of colorful attractions as traditional local kites take to the skies, many with long, homemade tails that buzz loudly over every parish neighborhood. At Horseshoe Bay, kites miniscule and gargantuan compete for attention—and prizes. Armed with the day’s mandatory fish cake sandwich, who wouldn’t be captivated?
Christmas Boat Parade
The sight of motoryachts, sailboats, and even pint-sized dinghies decked out in themed lights provides no-holds-barred magic for kids. Watch contestants encircle Hamilton Harbour, choose your favorite, and then top off the night with the shower of fireworks that wraps up the festivities.
Excerpted from the Fourth Edition of Moon Bermuda.