Baby and Toddler Activities to do in Grand Cayman

Continuing from my last post on Grand Cayman, I want to give you guys a few highlights from our trip and some of my favorite BABY AND TODDLER ACTIVITIES TO DO IN GRAND CAYMAN. When my daughter was an infant, I spent countless hours online trying to figure out where to go on vacation with a baby. I wish I had stumbled upon this kind of information then! So be sure to share this with your friends who have young children!

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This trip was our third to Grand Cayman with our daughter, so I created a rough itinerary of activities and fun things to do several weeks before we left for vacation.  I recommend renting a car for the duration of your trip. It’s inexpensive (we spent about $200 for the week) and gives you more flexibility to see and do more. Note: in Grand Cayman, they drive on the LEFT and the steering wheel is on the RIGHT. It only took a few hours for us to get used to!

Seven Mile Beach Grand Cayman

Stingray City

Heading back to Stingray City was an absolute must! On our last trip, we booked a tour to Stingray City and the sea was very rough. It was still a great experience, but because the waves were a little aggressive (it is located on a sandbar), we spent most of the time trying to make sure our daughter, who was 21 months at the time, was OK in the water while in our arms.  So on this vacation, we returned to Stingray City and the sea conditions were perfect. When the waves are calm, the water is only waist deep.

Pro-tips for Stingray City: 1) Book a morning tour if you have a younger child. The morning tours are about 2.5 hours long and you get back to your hotel or condo before lunch. 2) Make sure you book your tour with an operator that uses boats that have covering from the sun. There are several catamaran tours that go to the area, but cats typically have less protection from the sun – which isn’t ideal for a young child. 3) buy a waterproof phone case or a Go Pro before the trip to capture the experience. Our tour operator sold waterproof cases, but I spent almost double buying it on the island, compared to if I bought one at home! Save yourself some $$ and get one like this before you leave home! I was surprised that it was 100% waterproof, like the label said! Many tour operators charge $50USD or more to take photos and give them to you on a disk. 4) Make sure you bring an infant/toddler life vest with you on the tour. Some tour companies provide them, but I felt more comfortable bringing one from home for our daughter. She ended up using it in the ocean and the pool as well!

Stingrays at Stingray City
Stingray City Boat
on the boat headed from Stingray City

on the boat headed from Stingray City

 

Rum Point

If you have a baby or a toddler, you MUST go to Rum Point! On our second visit to the island, I had already made the decision not to go there because of online reviews stating that Rum Point is overrun with tourists and cruise-shippers. It was only by chance that we ended up taking the drive there, and it turned out to be one of our favorite places on the island! The water is shallow from the entry point near the sand to several yards out, so young children can walk into the water with ease and splash around without worrying about waves. There are also two restaurants – one casual and one a bit nicer - where you can get food, mudslides (a favorite drink on the island), and other drinks. Not to mention a stand where you can rent paddleboards, kayaks, water bikes, and other fun water toys.

sea urchins in the water at rum point

sea urchins in the water at rum point

Lots of starfish in the water at Starfish Beach near Rum Point

Lots of starfish in the water at Starfish Beach near Rum Point

Pro-tips for Rum Point: 1) If you prefer to have quiet time at Rum Point, check the island’s cruise ship schedule before you go to see how many ships will be in port on that day and what time they will leave the island. 2) If you’re staying on Seven Mile Beach, plan to go to Rum Point after breakfast, as it’s about a 50-minute drive. That way, you’ll get a full day there and can even stop at some of the yummy local restaurants on the way there and back. 3) Be sure to checkout Starfish Beach, which is  literally 2 minutes driving from Rum Point. It's a quiet beach and the Starfish are close to the shore in shallow water. You can pick them up, but don't take them out of the water!

Rum Point Toddler
Rum Point Ocean

 

Starfish Village/Camana Bay

Camana Bay is an upscale shopping area with restaurants and a movie theater, located a few minutes away from Seven Mile Beach. Each time we’re on the island, we visit Camana Bay at least twice. There is a lot of open space for kids to roam freely and the area is very family-friendly.  The movie theater has Story Time several days a week and there are also large fountains/splash pads at each end of the complex – perfect for kids to splash around on a hot day, while mom and dad enjoy a cool beverage or even a meal.

We visited Camana Bay the week before Christmas and it was absolutely beautiful! The lights and the Christmas decorations, with the backdrop of the bay, were stunning!

Camana Bay during the holidays

Camana Bay during the holidays

If you’re looking to take a break from the beach and do something fun with your kids, visit Starfish Village. Starfish Village is an amazing children’s center, tucked right in the corner of Camana Bay. They have daily programs for open play, sing-a-longs, and even have a “drop-and-play” program for kids 3 and over. Our daughter was too young for the drop-and-play, so we did the “stay-and-play” program and sing-a-long during our last vacation, and she loved it! It was a great opportunity for her to play with new toys, sing, and interact with other kids.

Pro-tip for Starfish Village: 1) Starfish Village’s programs are constantly changing, so it would be helpful to send an email before your trip to find out if there are any updates to the program schedule listed online. 2) We were surprised to realize that there were very few tourists at the stay-and-play, and mostly children with their nannies (which makes sense since most of the programs are mid-day). Chat with the other adults there to see if they have any tips on things to do or places to visit. Local residents always have the best tips!!

 

*this post contains a couple of affiliate links; however, all opinions are my own and product suggestions are items I’ve purchased personally.*

Grand Cayman - The Perfect Destination for Infants and Toddlers

I should be wrapping presents, but figured I’d procrastinate a little while longer and catch you all up on our vacation to Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands. This will be one of several posts in a series, as there’s so much to share about Grand Cayman, and I can’t fit it all in one post!

Believe it or not, this is our THIRD trip to Grand Cayman in the past sixteen months! It’s actually kind of surprising, because we typically avoid going back to the same destination over and over, as we enjoy exploring new areas; however, Grand Cayman is clearly an exception. In my mind, it is one of the best family-friendly destinations in the Caribbean.

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Grand Cayman has a reputation of being the place where the rich and famous hide their money (the banking industry on the island is prominent) and also where they go to vacation. And while this may be true, the island attracts people from all walks of life and economic backgrounds.

Because I love lists, here are the top seven reasons why we’ve fallen in love with the island of Grand Cayman:

1.       It’s a short flight from most East Coast cities. And bonus for us, there’s a nonstop flight from DC to Grand Cayman. Wheels up to wheels down is 3.5 hours.

2.       The island is ranked one of the safest in the Caribbean. Safety is always a concern for me, when traveling with my daughter.

3.       Families are everywhere! It’s not an island where you’ll see tons of rowdy Spring Breakers. It is a super family-friendly island. Young children are welcomed in almost all restaurants, and there are lots of options for activities. We were surprised by how many of the tourists were traveling with infants. It was great!

4.       No one will try to sell you tchotchkes on the beach or offer hair braiding services. (no further explanation needed!) If relaxation is what you want, you will get it!

5.       It’s considered the culinary capital of the Caribbean. The food in Grand Cayman is delicious, and the big names of the culinary world (Anthony Bourdain, Eric Ripert, etc.) are often on the island. Maybe one day I’ll be lucky enough to attend the Cayman Cookout, the annual food and wine festival that takes place on Grand Cayman.

6.       Caymanians are SO kind and warm. I guess it makes sense that the slogan for the island is “Cayman Kind,” because the local Caymanians are some of the most genuine and warm people I’ve ever met while traveling.

7.       Stable infrastructure: the roads are well paved, there is reliable healthcare available, and there is access to clean and safe drinking water (from the tap). So, in mom-speak, that means no travel vaccinations are needed and if your little one gets sick, getting them to the nearest hospital will not be a problem.

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And because I want to give you an honest perspective, I think it’s also important to share the “cons” of the island. Well, there’s only ONE con: the average cost of meals and lodging is definitely expensive; However, you can tailor your trip to Grand Cayman in a way that makes it more affordable. For example, you can rent a condo or a home instead of staying on a resort (resort fees add up!), you can cook most of your meals in the condo instead of eating out, and you can opt for the free/inexpensive activities, rather than the organized day tours offered by tour operators. But I’ll get into these details later! Stay tuned for my next post about all the great things to do with your family on the island.