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 $25.
Where do you take your family when you’re in Antigua? Do you have any other Antigua family attractions that you enjoy visiting while here? What’s your favourite local family attractions? Share your secrets below!
I have been on a couple of Sunset Cruises in my time and of course the actual style of cruise can vary greatly depending on the target customer. This particular cruise couldn’t be labelled a booze cruise though the all inclusive bar exists there is a clientele of respect mostly because it’s Antigua and not Mallorca. So you will be safe booking this tour at any age as it did attract a wide range. If you are looking for a booze cruise then you may well struggle in Antigua.
Private sunset Cruise Antigua ?
This is not a private sunset cruise please note for that check out this private sunset cruise by miramar.
Getting to the cruise from Dickenson Bay couldn’t be easier – it actually departs the sandy shores – you will wade out as the waves go out (if you’re smart) to keep your crotch dry ! The ladder descends the catamaran to the beach and it easy to get on and of course the staff are there and helpful. I think this cruise appeals for people especially from Sandals and the Halcyon Cove and the other Dickenson Bay Accommodation options. It leaves from just in front of Sneaky Pete’s at 4:30 pm I believe but check at time of booking. You will have time to settle on the cat and get your boat brief in the calm waters. At no point was this tour or this cruise rough. There was a slight normal light bobbing but it didn’t seem to make anyone feel sea sick.
We got a boat briefing and set off around past the north west corner. You could hang out on the webbing area at the front but you mustn’t jump into it. Strangely some people must be doing that in the past £$^%& ???
A life on the ocean wave – or a sunset cruise.
For me I had been brought down to earth (in a good way) by Sanchia. You see I have been used to going on quite a few boats in the Caribbean but for her it was a first and she was really looking forward to this I saw in her eyes the way I used to look at the Caribbean (I guess my only cure will be abstinence), and she really enjoyed it so much it made me feel so good too.
Because sometimes you forget.
We actually had some really quality talk in part aided by the freedom the ocean gives the mind I believe. We did tuck into a couple of rum punches a speciality on Antigua you should really try them. Part of the joys of a tour is people watching – where are they from ? What are they doing? did they get married in Antigua ? One such couple looked to have been married a while but the key thing that struck me was that his hat appeared glued to his head. There was the trade wind blowing its normal amount and you might make a grab for the hat blowing into the bushes but here how dare he allow his hat to blow into the sea. I think for a moment I was more bothered than he ! It did the dirty deed but he was lucky and it blew in my direction so I was able to trap it for him. After that I turned my attention to his go pro selfie stick I made some small talk but got the impression they weren’t that kind of people (the extroverted talker kind). At some point during my daydream Sanchia had stopped chatting and I asked her if she wanted another drink. I was on a bit of a mission this trip to make me so sick of the rum punch that I could last until the next trip…
Typical Antigua Sunset
I estimate that the initial line out we were a couple of hundred meters out from the shore and we cruised up towards Blue Waters resort we turned at some point there and headed back down the length of Dickenson Bay. It was a lovely evening in terms of the temperature too one could really enjoy the sounds of the twin hulls slicing through the water and the birds from the shore. Antigua is a green and verdant island. When the conditions allowed the sails did come down as right they should. The crew were all happy and good fun and they all got into the whole getting the sail up. Beyond Dickenson Bay is Runaway Bay and then Fort James beach. All are worth of further exploration if you are staying longer. After Fort James that was there to protect one half of the entrance to St Johns. It was a magical time everyone was enjoying the ride and view. St Johns had some cruise ships still in dock they were readying to leave. Onwards we sailed closer again to the shore where there were some funny out crops of rock and resorts and beaches.
Oh yes the crew brought us out some food which was very nice finger food and well appreciated by all. A good variety of fruit cooked meats etc…but no johnny cakes 🙁 I love that Antiguan speciality)
It was getting to what we thought would be the best part of the cruise, the sun set. The boat steadied and set us up for the green flash…
Yet again no green flash for me or at least not convincing – I think some people convince themselves. But still a great sunset.
Another day in paradise over awaiting the fun of the Antigua night and the rest of the cruise. At this point we were quite merry and happy to film our own evidence of such fun. We started back from our holding point towards St Johns again and the return. Well that could have been it the end of a vey enjoyable tour indeed but it was far from over. This is something Antigua does to you with alarming frequency – it gives you an out of the blue experience you didn’t expect and that you enjoy. It started as the cruise ships started to depart were we going to make it in front of them the race began….in the distance we could make out cruise ships that had already passed by like aeroplanes waiting to land in the distance these cruise ships held the sky’s orange to the sea, leaving the ones come right in front of us. We all took pictures of the magnificent beast and we could hear the cheering too of the passengers on the ship and see their flashes going off on their cameras as they took pictures of the cute catamaran below…
You can book this exact same sunset cruise here it is called a lovers rock cruise but it is the same one. Click on the link below to be taken to the expedia website and direct to this sunset cruise.
Did you notice the very weird speedboat water craft at the end of the video?
[editors note: This is the glass bottom boat in Antigua]
Booze Cruise Antigua ?
The crew cranked the music up a notch, as we were ALL in a much more animated state it’s still not a booze cruise trust me 🙂 I don’t know maybe that’s what they go by now the music was party style and some dancing begun down below – a conga ? You must simply try one of these cruises and if your in Antigua I recommend this one. Details after the article.
If you want to check out a video for an Antigua Booze Cruise then this is a good one, it was slightly different to ours this one was the wadadli cats booze cruise.
Where to start if you have never visited Antigua and want to get the most out of your trip ?More
[EDIT] We no longer have a cricket tour ! If you manage tours and have a cricket tour we would be happy to show that here. Just get in touch.
The following has been left in the blog for now.
You can book this cricket tour in advance online to save hassle or you might decide to do it in person on the island through your hotel or resort tour desk.
This is a 3.5 hour tour that takes you to 3 centres of cricket (Stanford Cricket Ground the ARG (Antigua Recreational Ground) and the Sir Viv Richards stadium pictured below) the chance to meet some former Antigua cricket legends like Keith Fredericks and one of the following Curtly Ambrose, Richie Richardson, Andy Roberts or even Sir Viv Richards himself and a 30 – 45 minute session listening to your questions and telling you about their finest.
The ARG is now mostly used for events like Antigua Carnival.