Ten things to do with a child in Bermuda
If you ever find yourselves in Bermuda, and I hope you do, then you will soon realise there is a lot of stuff to do with children, that is as long as it doesn't rain because nearly even single activity involves being outside. Below in no particular order I have listed the top 10 things to do with a child on the island:
1. Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo
Natural Museum might be somewhere to keep the kids out of the son or the rain and zoo has it's flamingoes, tamarins, giant tortoises and wallabies but it is the Aquarium that takes centrestage. 200 species of stunning indigenous species beautifully laid out. Pick out the Parrotfish, Groupers, Triggerfish and Puffer Fish. Cost $10 Adults, $5 5-12 year olds, under 5's free.
2. Crystal and Fantasy Caves
There aren't many real sightseeing things to do on the island but I was very impressed with the Caves. First discovered by two boys playing cricket and looking for a lost ball in 1907, the Crystal Caves are a labyrinth of stalactites and stalagmites. A pontoon bridge carries you across crystal clear waters 120ft under ground. If however you only want to do one of the caves then I would choose the Fantasy Cave, an underground jewel box of soda straw formations. Very cool and there is a very decent cafe on site too. Cost to do both caves $20 Adults, $10 for 5-12 year olds. Under 5's are free
3. Bell Helmet Diving
A very old concept developed by the Hartley family over 50 years ago. The helmet is weightless under water and it works like an upturned glass. Anyone can do this and it is very safe. In 12 ft of warm clear water Greg Hartley introduces you to all kinds of friendly fish and amazing coral. Cost $80 Adults, $55 under 13's.
4. Jet Ski
You can rent kayaks, boats or jet ski's but for the exhilaration of flying across the water and through the coral reefs riding a jet ski around the western tip of the island was thrilling. My son loved it and the guide even let the kids have a go on some open water. We fed the fish, watched the turtles and dived into warm transparent waters too. Cost for 70 minutes $125 for two.
5. Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
It is 185 steps to the top of the world's first ever cast iron lighthouse which towers 362ft high above the island. From here one can see the whole island in it's incredible glory. There is a gift shop and a new restaurant. Cost $3
6. Dolphin Quest
This might not be to everyone's taste as the dolphins, eleven in all, are kept in quite a small area in the Maritime Museum at the Royal Naval Dockyard. However the staff appeared well trained and helpful and no one can deny that watching and interacting with these amazing creatures is an incredible experience. Any doubt I had was washed away by my son's face during the hour he spent with just one other kid and the dolphins and how much he was full of it afterwards. It is expensive, around $250 but you can spend $60 to have a 5-minute encounter or in fact just entry to the Maritime Museum
allows you to observe the dolphins at close quarters. Cost ranges from $50 to $300 depending on what programme you choose.
7. Boat ride
Now everyone should have a mate who owns a boat. I have no real interest in owning one because of the drain on money and valuable time and frankly I have better things
to do on a Saturday than waxing a boat's hull. However being able to get out on the water surrounding this tiny hook shaped isle not only gives you a different perspective but also makes it appear much bigger. We spent an afternoon on my mates speedboat and my son loved it. He took the wheel, swam, fed the fish and put his sunglasses on and relaxed like the grown ups. You can hire a small Boston Whaler from $75.
8. Mini Golf
My son always wants to challenge me at mini golf. Bermuda is a haven for golf courses and there are two driving ranges on the island but also a very picturesque 18-hole challenging mini golf course with floodlights for night play. Cost $10 Adults, $8 Children.
9. Town of St George's
Where Bermuda was first settled and therefore St George's is a fine history lesson for children and at noon (check for days) at the town's square a nagging woman gets the ducking stool treatment all for your enjoyment. Plenty of nick-nack shops and restaurants plus some beautiful narrow streets to stroll. Free
10. The Beach
Try keeping kids of the pink sands and out of the turquoise waters. There are 70 public and private beaches surrounding the islands and probably the major reason why people come to Bermuda. Some of the small coves are absolutely stunning and during the summer the sea can be as warm as 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Be careful of the sun though, there is little shade and a lot of the beaches have no facilities. Horseshoe Bay (pictured) was my son's personal favourite. Free