Camana Bay is the ultimate family destination on island. With most of the town dedicated to pedestrians, parents can relax while kids run, cycle, scoot and play. The fountains on the Crescent are a hit with kids of all ages, as they dash in and out of the 30 ft sprays (toddlers may prefer the smaller fountains outside the cinema at Jasmine Court). On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the Imagination Playground is set up in and around the fountain – a set of foam tubes, blocks and shapes that encourages children to make their own games.
Kids will also enjoy exploring the Island in the town’s harbour – watch out for Poof the Magic Dragon (part of the National Gallery’s blue iguana programme), swing in the hammocks, spot jellyfish from the docks and play in the sand.
A trip up the Observation Tower is also popular – and it has an elevator for those with smaller legs!
There are plenty of family-friendly cafes and restaurants in Camana Bay – the restaurants along the Crescent are particularly well-suited to parents who want to enjoy a glass of wine while the kids play, and most have kids menus.
Camana Bay also has a busy calendar of events throughout the year.
Cayman Karting (Hidden Lagoon Drive, off Sparky’s Drive, tel: 526-5278) offers a 1,000 ft lighted track where you can drive high performance Sodikart RX7s. Kids need to be over the age of 14 and more than 55″ tall.
No reservations necessary, just turn up and drive for $1 per lap (min 10 laps) which includes printed results. Ten drivers can be on the track at the same time. Closed toe shoes must be worn on the track.
Private track reservations for children’s parties are available. Kids kart free on their birthday.
Opening hours: Monday closed, Tuesday-Thursday 6pm-9pm, Friday 6pm-10pm, Saturday 4pm-10pm, Sunday 5pm-8pm.
Riding a horse along one of Cayman’s beautiful beaches is an experience to be remembered. There are several options around the island, with many stables offering the chance to swim with the horses as well.
Spirit of the West (tel: 916-6488) offers beach rides at Barkers Beach in West Bay led by experienced guides with over 25 years experience. Kids must be over 7 (and over 14 to swim in the sea). Rides last 1 hour 15 minutes and leave at 10am, 2pm and 5pm Monday through Friday (closed Sat/Sun). There are also moonlit rides available on evenings with a full moon. Maximum 7 riders in a group. Special resident rates are available, starting at $50. Private rides are also available.
Pampered Ponies (355 Conch Point Rd, tel: 916-2540) also offers beach, swim and moonlight rides at Barkers. Their horses are all bred and trained locally, including Eclipse and Jet which are the ponies used for kids. Children must be over 5. Rides last 1 hour and leave at 9:30am, 10:30am, 3pm and 5pm. Experienced riders will be able to canter along the beach.
Coral Stone Stables (tel: 916-4799) operate at Barkers and at Bodden Town. Rides last 1 hour 15 mins and leave at 8am, 9am, 10am, 11am, 3pm and 4pm. Kids must be over 7. Rides are “walk and trot”, a private ride must be booked if you want to canter.
Horse Back in Paradise (tel: 916-3530) is for experienced riders only (children must be over 12). Nicki offers private morning and sunset rides for up to 4 people along Barkers beach. Cost is US $100 per person for an hour and a quarter ride. Closed at Easter due to people camping on the beach.
For information on learning to ride, please see our section on Riding under Sports.
Kayaks are a great way to explore the island’s shallow waters and see marine life up close. There are a number of outfits that rent out kayaks and/or offer guided tours.
Based at Rum Point, Cayman Kayaks (tel: 746-3249 or 926-4467) offer a Wildlife Mangrove tour every weekday at 9:30am. The tour lasts 1½-2 hours in two-man kayaks (life vests provided) and costs US $25 for adults over 13, and US $19 for kids age 6-12. Their bio-luminescence tours, offered on evenings with no moon, are one of the most magical experiences anywhere in the world. Not recommended for kids under 8.
Surfside Aquasports (tel: 916-2820) offers guided kayak tours in South Sound, starting at the public dock. The three hour tour explores the mangroves and wildlife along the coast before heading out to the reef.
A giraffe peering into Deckers restaurant is a familiar site to anyone driving along West Bay Road. The giraffe, a crocodile and a volcano are all part of Cayman Crazy Golfing (tel 945-8362), a fun 18 hole mini golf course that kids of all ages will enjoy playing. $10 for over 12s, $6 for kids age 4-12. Open 5pm to 10pm Tuesday-Sunday.
Bring a blanket and a picnic to Camana Bay and watch a movie under the stars. The Moonlight & Movies series is held every Tuesday evening throughout the summer, and on special occasions or holidays such as Valentine’s Day. Movies are shown on a giant screen and admission is free. Check the Camana Bay events calendar for the schedule.
Periwinkle Restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton also shows Movies Under The Stars. Showing every evening throughout the winter season, movies are family-friendly and are watched sitting on comfortable loungers. Open to hotel guests and anyone dining at Periwinkle.
Cayman Stand Up Paddle Co (tel: 938-4787) offers lessons and/or equipment hire for paddle boarding around Cayman. Most of their paddle boarding is done from Seven Mile Beach, but they are mobile and can meet you at a destination of your choice. Rates are $40 per hour for a lesson including board rental.
Paddle boarding is recommended for children over 10, but kids as young as 6 are able to master standing up on a board. Younger children will enjoy sitting on the boards while parents paddle.
Cayman Stand Up Paddle also offers summer camps throughout August.
Dart Family Park (South Sound Road) has a stunning setting beside the ironshore just outside George Town. The large playground is well equipped with climbing frames and slides for a range of ages. Hidden throughout the park is a Cayman-style playhouse, carvings of native animals and a stone amphitheatre. The Dart Park house and cabanas are available for hire for private parties (although no alcohol is allowed in the park), and there are restroom facilities. For reservations, tel: 946-8250.
There are also Dart-created public parks in each of Grand Cayman’s districts: Scholars Park in West Bay (Stadium Drive), Harry McCoy Sr Park in Bodden Town (Gun Road), Jarold Smith Park in North Side (Hutland Road) and Capt George Nixon Park in East End. All parks have beautiful landscaping, play areas and restrooms.
On Seven Mile Beach, Public Beach (West Bay Road) has a swing set for both toddlers and larger kids, plus a slide and some basic climbing frames. Facilities and snacks are available nearby at Calico Jacks.
The residential area of Snug Harbour has a playground, open to the public.
Airport Park is a large, paved play area with lots of swings, slides and climbing activities but lacks shade. Restrooms available.
In Spotts Newlands, the Cecile Crighton Community Park (Chime Street) has a basketball court, picnic area, swings and a climbing frame. It also has free wireless internet and restrooms.
The Black Pearl Skate & Surf park (Grand Harbour, tel: 526-3294) is one of the largest in this part of the world covering over 62,000 square feet. There are courses for skaters of all levels and equipment is available for hire. Kids under 8 must be supervised by a parent, and all children must wear helmets. Skateboard lessons are offered for $30 per hour. Admission is $8 ($4 after 2pm). Open Monday to Friday 2pm-dusk, Saturday 10am-dusk, Sunday 12pm-dusk.
The Surf Park is currently closed.