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We went to Grand Cayman not looking for a relaxing adults-only getaway (we did that in St. Kitts), but to go all-in on a spring break filled with family fun in the perfect setting. Beach vacations truly are the easiest type of family vacation to plan and enjoy because you have all you really need for entertainment right outside your door. Sand, water, and sun make for memorable family days of laughs and smiles. However, even at a perfect beach, you are best served finding a few different activities to add to the agenda of splashing and sandcastle making, so here are five things to do with kids on Grand Cayman, as well as a video with an overview of how we spent our time on my new favorite Caribbean Island.
Before we get into specific kid-friendly activities in Grand Cayman, I can’t stress enough how important it is to check the cruise ship schedule when deciding which activities to do on which dates. On some days, there are up to four very large cruise ships in port, while other days don’t have any ships. I would try and align more popular activities such as the stingrays on a day with fewer cruise ships, if possible.
Play on Seven Mile Beach
Let’s start with the most important kid-friendly activity on Grand Cayman, which has to be swimming and relaxing on Seven Mile Beach. This stretch of beach is on the western side of the island and plays host to resorts such as the Ritz Carlton, Marriott, and where we stayed at the Westin Seven Mile Beach. It is not surprising that these resorts claimed Seven Mile Beach as their home because it is the most perfect stretch of beach for families that I have ever experienced.
The water is crystal clear, blue, and calm. Not only is the water perfect for kids, but the sand is soft and relatively cool. You will even find some trees between rows of resort-owned chairs with umbrellas. If sitting on the shore or wading into the water isn’t thrilling enough for you, there are jet skis, paddle boards, and more readily available for rent up and down the beach.
While you should venture at least a little to some other Grand Cayman activities while on the island, I’d argue that the beach should be the starring attraction of your trip because it is just that good. When making your agenda, leave some big, empty spots of time to just splash around and enjoy.
Kiss a Stingray at Stingray City
Perhaps the most unique attraction on Grand Cayman for both kids and adults can be found in the middle of the North Sound where the stingrays gather on a sandbar for squid dinners and kisses from tourists. The story goes that the stingrays started gathering there once upon a time when fisherman would anchor on the sandbar to clean their fish instead of heading to store where mosquitos were more of a problem.
Now tourists flock by boat to see, and even kiss, these majestic sea creatures. There are a seemingly infinite number of companies ready to take you out by boat to see the stingrays, so you will have your pick of tour lengths, times, and price points. We ultimately chartered a boat to see both the stingrays and starfish – you can read all about our charter experience and some other tour options to visit the stingrays here.
However you decide to get your family out to Stingray City, I would put it very high on your list of things to do with kids in Grand Cayman.
Search for Starfish at Starfish Point
Starfish Point is a beach that overlooks the North Sound and is where you will often find a large number of wild starfish. You can technically drive to Starfish Point, sometimes known as Starfish Beach, but it is a little over an hour by car from Seven Mile Beach, and may not be worth the drive unless you are making a day out of being in that area of the island. However, it is a stop included on many of the boat tours to see the stingrays, and it was a fun place to spend half an hour watching the girls hunt for starfish in the calm, shallow water.
We were told to be sure and not take the starfish out of the water, but I’ve now learned that some say you shouldn’t touch the starfish at all. Either way, the water is clear so you can easily spot the starfish whether you decide to touch them or not. My girls truly had a blast finding starfish in the wild for the very first time!
Ride a Swimming Horse
When we went all-in on chartering a boat for a few hours, our budget to ride swimming horses dried up, but I 100% want to do this with my oldest daughter on our next visit to Grand Cayman. Roughly a ten-minute drive from Westin Grand Cayman on Seven Mile Beach is Pampered Ponies where you can take a horseback ride that not only goes to the beach, but then actually goes into the water!
This horseback ride goes along the uninhabited stretch of beach along Grand Cayman’s northernmost shoreline in Barker’s National Park and then you get to take off the saddles and hold on as the horses swim into the clear, blue water to cool off. This is not just the horses wading into the water, but actually swimming! If you prefer your horse to stay on solid ground, they do also offer a non-swimming ride, but what is the fun in that?!
Visit Massive Sea Turtles at the Cayman Turtle Centre
The largest land-based attraction on Grand Cayman is the Cayman Turtle Centre that is located about a 15-minute ride from the Westin on Seven Mile Beach. This center not only has impressive green sea turtles that weigh up to 500 pounds, but they plan an active roll in being a steward of the species by releasing more than 30,000 sea turtles into the wild.
The Turtle Centre is divided into two sections with two different price points. The less expensive ticket that we purchased gets you access to the big pond with the massive turtles, the turtle touch tanks, and the hatchery. This can easily keep you and your kids entertained for 60 – 90 minutes – just be sure and bring sunscreen.
If you are looking to make a longer day of it, you can spend more to get full access to the property which would also include the butterfly garden, aviary, the predator tank, and the largest swimming pool on the island, Breaker’s Lagoon with two waterfalls and an underwater viewing panel into the predator tank. This full access ticket to the turtle center also offers the opportunity to jump in and snorkel with yearling sea turtles and other marine life in the coral lined Turtle Lagoon!
While there may be discounts available, to give you a rough idea of pricing, their website lists the shorter experience at $18 and full access for $45. We paid less than that for our shorter experience via the cab driver going in and negotiating some sort of deal. On our visit, we took a cab to the center and they had a free Turtle Center bus available for returns to the resorts on Seven Mile Beach.
More activities for kids in Grand Cayman
These five activities are very high on my list of things to do with kids in Grand Cayman, there are many other great spots and activities on this family-friendly island. Some other family-friendly spots and attractions on Grand Cayman include: Camana Bay with its shops, restaurants, and an outdoor play fountain; the Cayman Crystal Caves, which is on my list for exploring next time; an underwater ride on the Atlantis Submarine; and lunch at Kaibo, which is not worth a trip by itself, but a good place for a snack while in the area at Starfish Point or on a boat tour.
To learn more about putting together an unforgettable and affordable family vacation to Grand Cayman, check out the other articles in this series.
If you have been to Grand Cayman, what were some of your kids’ favorite Cayman activities?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.