Keeping a young family occupied while on holiday is a challenge every parent has to face at some point. Your choice of destination is, of course, the most important aspect, but once you get there, a little bit of insider knowledge can also go a long way. If you've chosen to take your family to Bermuda, holidays are made that much easier simply by virtue of its location, surrounded by a swathe of spectacular beaches. But variety is the spice of life and, when young children tire of the beach (yes, it is possible), you'd be well advised to have a back up. |
After organising countless Bermuda holidays (with and without children), I've accumulated a great deal of local knowledge and more than a few tips for families. Below are some of the best, most accessible parks and playgrounds I've encountered around the island.
Death Valley Field and Playground
Don't let the rather gloomy name put you off, because this is a wonderful place to bring children in the Southampton area. Beautifully maintained and a favourite with local families, there's a lovely shaded picnic area with a number of tables, along with a playground for kids that includes swings, slides and climbing frames. There's also a very large playing field for a good long run around to stretch young legs. There's plenty of space for parking and, while there are no toilet facilities, the park is right opposite a service station if you need snacks and drinks.
Wind Reach Bermuda
This is a purpose-built facility for special needs and disabled citizens, but it's set within a lovely spacious, four-acre recreational park, which is also home to a zoo, activity centre, picnic spots and a children's playground complete with tree swings. I've found that even the younger children are enthusiastic about the many nature trails here, as they're not only easy but there's a lot to see along the way. Top off your day with a visit to the zoo, where the kids will fall in love with the dwarf horses, birds, goats, lambs and other furry residents.
Shelley Bay Beach and Park
You'll be able to show the children the best of both worlds here in Hamilton Parish, with all the fun of one of the island's best beaches (with excellent safe, shallow waters) and the added bonus of a well-equipped playground to fill in the gaps! Kids can make hours of their own fun on the climbing frames, swings and slides and there's a fantastic little Caribbean café to replenish energy supplies. After all that fun, it's probably time to head back down onto the beach. It's so hard being young…
Dark Bottom Playground
Dark Bottom is always a favourite with young visitors as it's located beneath a real lighthouse, on St. David's. Aside from the allure of the lighthouse, I love this location for its authentic feel, and I think it's a great way to introduce children to a bit of the local culture and history. This peaceful park is embraced by palm trees and hibiscus, but there are no facilities as such. The picturesque adjacent village is a wonderful place for kids to experience a way of life almost as it would have been centuries ago.
Ferry Reach Park
Over in St. George, Ferry Reach Park makes for a wonderful excursion for families on Bermuda holidays. I've found this to be an excellent place if you're looking for a really relaxed day out, not only for the delightful little beach (which I highly recommend for snorkelling), but also in the plantation, around the lake, the many nature trails, and wandering around the three historic forts. It's actually the second-largest park area on the island, so I suggest allowing an entire day to enjoy its full potential.
Museum Playground (Dockyard)
Situated inside the famous National Museum Complex, at Dockyard, this playground is my top tip for young visitors – simply because of the scope of facilities and fun on offer. There are slides, climbing poles, nets, swings and, the piece de resistance, a giant, 70ft wooden moray eel wrapping itself around a model of a lighthouse. It's even pretty impressive for grown-up visitors!
Other Small Parks
While not as well-known as the abovementioned parks and playgrounds, I've also come across a few smaller ones that are well worth a visit if you're in the area: • Duck's Puddle Annex (Hamilton Parish) • Smith's Parish Community Field (Sommersall Rd) • Loyal Hill Playground (Devonshire) • Parson's Road Playground (Pembroke Parish) (Be aware many of the smaller parks and playgrounds do not have toilet facilities.)
There's certainly no excuse for being bored on Bermuda holidays – even for the youngest and most fickle of travellers.
John Dixon is an experienced world traveller and the Managing Director of Prestige Holidays. For over 30 years, he has been providing luxury Bermuda holidays, as well as holidays to Croatia, Sicily and many other destinations around the globe. John tries to visit each of the destinations regularly in order to ensure the quality of his properties, and stay up-to-date about the latest local news and events. He has a taste for the finer things in life and has an interest in arts, history and culture.
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