Visiting Turks and Caicos with the kids
If you’re not prepared, traveling with kids can change your holiday drastically. While as grown-ups, we’re often perfectly content to lounge for hours and dive into a good book, our younger counterparts need action, pretty much all of the time. While choosing a beach destination can be really fun for kids and teens, you know for a fact that even swimming and playing on the beach might grow old after a while, and you’ll need to amp your game to keep everybody happy. We’ve experienced this first-hand and asked our 11 year-old son Max to give you some tips on how to keep your crew content while spending time on Turks and Caicos. In no particular order, here are a few things he really enjoys and thinks other kids might like, too.
Conch and Turtles
We’ve taken Max to the Conch Farm where kids can learn more about conch, see trained conchs come out of their shells and purchase conch shells and fresh conch for dinner. Here, children can learn about the giant sea turtles that swim in the nearby waters and the guides make it interesting and fun. Please visit their site.
Paddle Surf and see all kinds of curious creatures
You can paddle through mangrove lined channels and to nearby cays with the complimentary White Villas paddle boards. Along the way you might spot herons, egrets, oystercatchers and other birds as well as lemon sharks, needlefish and puffer fish. You can also admire the pretty villas in Leeward community, through the canals. This activity is really lots of fun for adults and children that normally share the same board.
Boating on calm turquoise water
The island is beautiful, but please keep in mind that the magic is really out there, on the turquoise water. Boat excursions are memorable, notably for snorkeling, fishing, sightseeing, island hopping, water skiing, beach BBQs, and lots more. Providers on the island know how to personalize your experience and guarantee an unforgettable day. Guided waverunner tours are also loads of fun for kids that ride behind their parent and even sometimes, in front!
What child doesn’t love reptiles?
If you take a ten-minute boat ride from Provo, you land at Little Water Cay (also called Iguana island), an uninhabited island that’s home to the Turks & Caicos iguana sanctuary. Here, about 2,000 endangered rock iguanas have found their home. The cay is a nice, short stop as part of a boat tour and it always wins points with the younger crowd visiting us from up North.
Snorkeling and scuba can easily be done at Coral Gardens with the equipment we have available for you. You can also have Sammy, our favorite personal instructor, come teach you how to scuba dive at the villa.
Hit a few balls!
Depending on where you live, year-round tennis or golf might not be a possibility. On Providenciales, you can spend some time honing your skills, in beautiful weather. Whether you choose to play a little tennis or hit a few balls at the driving range, your kids will enjoy spending this time with you. These activities are among Max’s favorites! The 18-hole champonship Provo golf club also offers 2 tennis courts.
Ponies on the beach
Provo Ponies takes you for 60- or 90-minute rides along trails to Long Bay Beach where you can lead your horse along the shore and into the shallow waters. Even beginner riders are welcome (ages 6 and up). Provo Ponies is only a 2 minute car ride from our villas.
Thursday Fish Fry
Despite its name, there’s more to this event than Fried fish. Enjoy live music, dancing, local craft vendors, and farmer’s-market-style food stands. A fun, lively event popular with both islanders and visitors, it’s a great place to shop souvenirs for friends or family back home, and mingle with locals.
Max caught a small shark (nothing to do with the Fish Fry though)
Long Bay beach is one the world’s premiere destinations for kitesurfing so it would make total sense to give it a try. The fun part? You can have your teens join you and make it a family affair. Minimum weight: 70 pounds. Max just started and can now ride on both sides. In partnership with Kite Provo, White Villas offers a free introductory lesson. This is the best place in the world to learn and you get a free lesson – you can’t go wrong.
Related post: Kiteboarding 101: insider tips from a Master Instructor
If kicking a ball around is fun back home on the street or at a park, imagine doing so, on a white sandy beach. Beach soccer is fun, simple and readily available on the island. We have a few soccer balls at the villas. It’s fun, but man it is tiring for the adults. 🙂
Available at Grace Bay Beach, parasailing is an exciting way to experience the ocean, beach and sun. From high above, aside from potentially seeing turtles, dolphins and rays swimming below, you can observe the coral that makes up the barrier reef. Though not available for younger kids, it’s pure magic for your older youth.
Jumping off the pier or a boat!
Yes, we said it! Go in front of the Flamingo Café, which is close to the Ocean Club East Resort. Walk down the pier and jump off. You can even do back flips if mom’s not looking. Swim back to shore and do it all over again.
Mom, I’m hungry!
If your kids are like ours, they’re always hungry or at least want to snack every 10 minutes. While renting a villa is great for this—you can stock up and not have to buy something every time the urge hits—there are also lots of family-friendly restaurants, and ice cream parlours, on the island. Max LOVES Patty Place which, he says, has the best mango ice cream. His dad, prefers the rum and raisin version!
And let’s not forget White Villas!
Our pools feature a shallow section and lap lane. They’re fun, comfortable for all and right outside your window in the morning. Plus, you don’t have to get up at 6am to reserve a sunbed. We’re working on adding a playground for younger kids… so stay posted. Our indoor/outdoor living arrangement is perfect for families as parents are never too far from their children and can easily watch over them.
There’s lots to do on Turks and Caicos and most activities are family-friendly. For many, just driving on the wrong side of the road is an adventure in itself. The best part? The laid-back atmosphere that means everyone will find the fun, freedom and great memories they’re hoping for. Have smaller children? No worries. You’ll find perfect, white sandy beaches with warm, shallow, crystal-clear waters and plenty of beach toys, a high chair, a car seat and a playpen right there at the villa. We’ve got you covered! While the island is amazing and locals are super nice, the magic is in or on the water. If your kids want a water sports week, you’ll truly be in paradise.
Want to read more? We’ve left a few related posts below that you might find useful.
Can’t wait to have you over!
Simon, Pina and Max.
Visit this section of our site: All activities (under the Playing sports section)