Top 10 family things to do in Antigua and Barbuda

Dreaming of a family vacation that combines sun-soaked adventures with Caribbean charm? Look no further than Antigua and Barbuda, where the azure waters and vibrant culture create the perfect backdrop for unforgettable family moments. In this guide, we’ll explore the top 10 family-friendly activities that make these twin islands an ideal destination for creating cherished memories together. From beach escapades to cultural explorations, Antigua and Barbuda offer a diverse range of experiences for every member of the family.

Soak Up the Sun at Darkwood Beach

What’s a family vacation without a healthy dose of sun, sea, and sand? Darkwood Beach in Antigua is a hidden gem where the whole family can kick back and relax. Let the kids build sandcastles while you enjoy the breathtaking views of turquoise waters and swaying palm trees. With gentle waves and soft sands, it’s the perfect spot for a day of family beach fun.

For an extra touch of adventure, try your hand at snorkeling along the vibrant coral reefs just off the shore. Darkwood Beach provides an idyllic setting for creating those classic family beach moments – from burying each other in the sand to playing beach volleyball, ensuring your family vacation is filled with laughter and golden memories.

Explore the Historical Nelson’s Dockyard

Embark on a journey through time at Nelson’s Dockyard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Antigua that seamlessly blends history and family-friendly activities. Wander through the restored naval dockyard, where the kids can marvel at the historic ships and imagine life on the high seas. The picturesque surroundings offer a splendid backdrop for family photos while providing an educational experience for all.

Don’t miss the Admiral’s House Museum, where artifacts and exhibits bring the naval history of the Caribbean to life. As you explore the dockyard, let the kids play “history detective” with interactive displays and engaging stories. Nelson’s Dockyard is a captivating family destination, offering a delightful mix of exploration and learning for visitors of all ages.

Get a Bird’s-Eye View from Shirley Heights

For a panoramic family adventure, head to Shirley Heights, where breathtaking views of Antigua await. The whole family can embark on a scenic hike to reach this vantage point, surrounded by lush landscapes and historic military ruins. Once at the top, marvel at the sweeping vistas of English Harbour and the coastline – a picture-perfect moment for family photos.

Sunday evenings at Shirley Heights are a local tradition, featuring a lively barbecue, live music, and a festive atmosphere. It’s a family-friendly party where kids can groove to the Caribbean beats while adults savor the local flavors. Shirley Heights offers a blend of natural beauty and cultural immersion, making it a must-visit spot for families seeking both adventure and relaxation.

Sail Away on a Family Catamaran Cruise

Experience the beauty of Antigua and Barbuda from a different perspective by embarking on a family catamaran cruise. Set sail on the sparkling waters of the Caribbean, where gentle breezes and clear skies create the perfect conditions for a family nautical adventure. Many cruises offer snorkeling opportunities, allowing the family to discover the colorful marine life beneath the waves.

As you cruise along the coast, keep an eye out for dolphins and sea turtles – a thrilling sight for kids and adults alike. Some catamaran tours even include a beach barbecue, ensuring that your family day at sea is complemented by delicious local cuisine. A catamaran cruise is a delightful way to bond as a family while exploring the beauty of Antigua’s coastline.

Discover the Exotic Fauna at Stingray City

For a family adventure that takes you beneath the surface, Stingray City in Antigua offers a unique and unforgettable experience. Wade into the shallow waters and interact with gentle Southern Stingrays in their natural habitat. It’s a hands-on encounter that will leave the entire family in awe of these magnificent creatures.

Guides at Stingray City provide informative sessions, allowing children to learn about the biology and behavior of stingrays in a safe and controlled environment. The experience is both educational and thrilling, making it an ideal activity for families seeking a balance between excitement and marine conservation awareness.

Dive into Adventure at Antigua’s Donkey Sanctuary

Looking for a family-friendly activity that combines heartwarming encounters with a touch of whimsy? Antigua’s Donkey Sanctuary is the perfect destination. Home to rescued and rehabilitated donkeys, this sanctuary provides a unique opportunity for families to connect with these lovable creatures. The kids can feed, pet, and interact with the donkeys, creating lasting memories and fostering a sense of empathy.

The sanctuary is committed to the well-being of these animals, and guided tours offer insights into donkey care and conservation efforts. It’s a delightful escape into nature where families can enjoy the simple pleasures of spending time with friendly donkeys while supporting a noble cause.

Experience Local Culture at the Antigua Village

Immerse your family in the vibrant local culture at the Antigua Village Market. Held regularly, this market showcases the best of the island’s arts, crafts, and culinary delights. Wander through stalls adorned with handmade jewelry, vibrant textiles, and local artwork, providing the perfect opportunity to pick up unique souvenirs and gifts.

The market is not just a shopping destination; it’s a cultural experience where families can engage with local artisans, musicians, and chefs. Let the kids sample tropical fruits, try their hand at traditional crafts, and dance to the rhythm of Caribbean music. The Antigua Village Market offers a sensory journey through the heart of the island’s creativity, ensuring your family takes home more than just memories.

Indulge in Waterpark Fun at Antigua’s AquaVenture

For a day of splashy fun, head to AquaVenture in Antigua, the ultimate waterpark destination for families. With a variety of water slides, lazy rivers, and interactive play areas, AquaVenture guarantees a day of excitement for kids of all ages. Let the little ones splash around in the dedicated children’s section while older kids take on thrilling water slides.

The park’s tropical setting adds to the ambiance, creating a family-friendly oasis where the laughter of children echoes alongside the sound of flowing water. AquaVenture is not just a waterpark; it’s an aquatic adventure that promises a refreshing and entertaining day for the whole family.

Explore the Natural Wonders of Devil’s Bridge

For families with a penchant for exploration, Devil’s Bridge is a geological marvel that offers both scenic beauty and historical significance. This natural limestone arch, carved by the relentless forces of the sea, provides a stunning backdrop for a family outing. Stroll along the coastal paths, marvel at the turquoise waves crashing against the rocks, and let the kids discover the fascinating tide pools.

Devil’s Bridge is not only a scenic wonder but also holds cultural importance. Local legends surround this natural formation, adding an element of intrigue to your family exploration. Capture the breathtaking views, feel the sea spray on your face, and let Devil’s Bridge be a memorable chapter in your family’s Antiguan adventure.

Unwind at the Family-Friendly Ffryes Beach

Cap off your family vacation in Antigua and Barbuda with a day of relaxation at Ffryes Beach. This pristine stretch of sand is a haven for families seeking a tranquil escape. Set up your beach chairs, unfold the umbrellas, and let the kids play in the calm, shallow waters. Ffryes Beach is not just a sunbathing destination; it’s a canvas for creating the perfect family beach day.

Bring along a picnic or sample local treats from nearby vendors while you watch the sunset paint the sky in hues of orange and pink. Ffryes Beach provides the ideal setting for family bonding, ensuring your Antiguan getaway concludes with a day of serenity and joy.


Q: Is Antigua and Barbuda a safe destination for family vacations? A: Yes, Antigua and Barbuda are considered safe for family vacations. The locals are friendly, and the islands prioritize the safety of tourists.

Q: Are these activities suitable for children of all ages? A: Most activities mentioned cater to a wide range of ages. However, it’s recommended to check specific age restrictions for certain attractions, such as waterparks and boat tours.

Q: Can I find family-friendly accommodations in Antigua and Barbuda? A: Absolutely. Antigua and Barbuda offer a variety of family-friendly resorts and accommodations that cater to the needs of families with children.


Antigua and Barbuda, with their blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture, provide an unparalleled setting for a family vacation. From sun-soaked beaches to educational explorations, the top 10 family things to do in these Caribbean gems ensure that every member of the family, from the youngest to the oldest, can create lasting memories. So pack your bags, gather the family, and embark on an adventure that promises not just relaxation but a tapestry of experiences that will be cherished for years to come.


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