Planning a trip to Antigua with your family and need something that you feel that everyone in the family can enjoy while being safe? Finding these attraction is not always easy. Here are five Antigua family attractions that everyone can enjoy.
Nelson’s Dockyard – Nelson’s Dockyard is one of the most popular Antigua family attractions. Located on the southern end of the island, Nelson’s Dockyard boasts of being the only continuously working Georgian Dockyard in the world. It was initially built in 1725 as a base for the British Navy to guard against neighbouring colonial powers, particularly the French. It gained it’s name from the famous naval commander Lord Horatio Nelson, who was stationed in Antigua for various periods from 1784-1787.
After the decline in the threat from invasion, the dockyard slowly declined and eventually became abandoned. Efforts to restore the area began in 1950’s, and is now the centre of a vibrant yachting and sailing industry. Much of the history has been preserved, and the Dockyard now includes a small museum featuring local historical and archeological artefacts, as well as gift shops, hotels, and stores.
Museum of Antigua and Barbuda
Museum of Antigua and Barbuda – Located in the heart of St. John’s on Long Street, the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda has a long and storied history. Originally built in 1747 as a court house on the site of the first city market, the building survived several major earthquakes before being converted to a museum in 1985. The museum features a number of artefacts such as a life sized replica of an Arawak house and the bat of Viv Richards, one of Wisden’s Top 5 cricketers in the 20th century. In addition, the museum also hosts a reference library and a computer database holding thousands of records.
Stingray City – Stingray City is one of the top Antigua family attractions. Located just outside of Seatons on the eastern end of the island, your journey starts off at the Stingray City base, a lush garden paradise with a number of wildlife including lovebirds, parakeets, parrots, and even iguanas. After a short briefing the real journey begins as you board the boat to take you to a naturally shallow area in the middle of the ocean.
These clear waters are home to the friendly Southern Caribbean stingrays, which are completely safe once you follow the guidelines set out by your guides. Feel free to hold, pet, and even feed these lovely creatures as they whiz by you. There is also a coral reef where you can snorkel and observe a wide range of other marine wildlife.
Wadadli Nature Park
Wadadli Nature Park is one of the only true nature parks on the island. Located at Lyons Estate in the centre of the island, your guided tour will take you around the park to see some of the animals which are familiar on a local and regional level. These include the playful green monkeys, iguanas, parrots, peacocks, and the majestic fallow deer, which is Antigua and Barbuda’s national animal. In addition there is also a petting zoo with familiar animals such as goats, sheep, turtles and cows, which are always a hit with the young children.
Along the trail are a number of different trees and plants which are signposted and form part of the Nature Park’s arboretum.
The Donkey Sanctuary
The Donkey Sanctuary – The Antigua and Barbuda Humane Society provides a home and a safe place for donkeys in Antigua and Barbuda. Due to the number of stray and abandoned donkeys, and the issues that donkeys can have both on the environment and road traffic, this sanctuary was set up with the intention to reduce the stray population and provide care for these once popular beasts of burden. Visitors have the opportunity to feed and pet these gentle creatures, who all love the interaction with people. Each of the donkeys having a short bio and history written up for visitors to learn more about them. Donations are encouraged, and you can adopt a donkey for only $25.
Where do you take your family when you’re in Antigua? Do you have any other Antigua family attractions that you enjoy visiting while here? What’s your favourite local family attractions? Share your secrets below!