Kids in Belize: Stuff for Children Of All Ages to Do On Ambergris Caye that Won’t Break The Bank
Kids in Belize: How EVERYONE Can have a Great Time on Ambergris Caye
It’s been over a week now since my brother, sister-in-law and gang of 6 kids departed Ambergris Caye. Ages 4 to 10, boys and girls, everyone had a killer time. Or at least that’s what they tell me. And I finally have some better insight into visiting Belize with kids – and what families can do on Ambergris Caye but on a budget.
And I was worried. I always am when friends and family visit. And this was my first large group – and the first bunch of younger kids. I planned day fishing trips, a super fun chartered trip to Caye Caulker, a trip to Cayo Frances Farm and Fly & the sandbar and a boat trip up north to swim and banana boat at Tranquility Bay (we never made that one – too windy)…
I wanted to go on the ACES Night Time Crocodile Tour – we didn’t make that one either.
They all went snorkeling at Hol Chan and swimming with sharks and that will be remembered FOREVER. The other kids on the playgrounds of Barrington Rhode Island will be regaled with tales of the Coutant derring-do.
All the trips were so fun. But some of the stuff that is going to be talked about for years to come is the little stuff. Like meeting so many great dogs on the beach (for some reason that were all named Tooby – according to the kids – or some variation. Tooby Jr., Juan Tooby…who knows) – or seeing wildlife like wish willies and needle fish – or meeting the kids that were selling beads on Secret Beach on the weekends.
They all LOVED Secret Beach. The gently sloping crystal clear water is PERFECT for beginning swimmers.
They also all loved jumping off…just about anything.
But docks in particular. The littlest ones thought it was the HEIGHT of bravery.
So instead of engaging in their FAVORITE activity of all – hanging out in the air conditioning with their “Ds” (D = device. IPad in particular) – we did all sorts of things.
Devices are totally allowed on the plane rides.
Here are the ones that require little to no money and often were the most fun of all.
And look at my picture at the end of the week. I almost look relaxed. Like I’ve got it.
Fanta – Taste the Rainbow
Thick glass bottles of Rainbow colored Fantas = fun for everyone. The kids LOVED tasting each one and picking favorites. The favorites also changed as the week progressed…from red to orange back to red.
It is SO cute to see a bucket of Fantas on ice delivered to a group of kids. One mans the bottle opening and all think they are the coolest kids on the planet getting their own bucket of drinks.
Red just happens to be my LEAST favorite. Here. I really did taste them all.
Hermit Crab Races
Each Tuesday night, Crazy Canuck’s – the super popular bar just south of town – hosts a Hermit Crab derby. A huge bulls-eye and obstacle course, prizes and betting on the beach.
Kids and families and very good times. See their Facebook page for the details.
Driving the golf cart
Before I even start down this road let me be clear. The minimum age to drive in Belize is 18. So any driving on public roads for anyone younger than that is not legal.
There are animals and kids and people crossing the streets so be careful, no matter who you are.
That being said…the kids think it is the height of super-fun-vacation-insanity to test out the golf cart. Please don’t tell your rental company that I recommended this.
Finding their favorite – Key Lime pie, paleta flavor or breakfast taco
It seems that kids love a mission. Especially one that involves eating the food that they love. (For example, a ceviche tasting tour suggestion is going to fall on deaf ears. It IS something that adults would love.)
Our kids wanted to taste Key Lime pie. They had 5…actually 6 if you include the Truck Stop’s Key Lime ice cream. They declared the favorite…a tie: Mata Chica Resort and Elvi’s Kitchen.
Tasting paletas – especially during the summer months – would be super fun too.
Personally I love PB & Strawberry and I love coconut. I love lime and I love mango. I’ll have to taste them all again.
The Truck Stop. Full Stop.
I’m not sure if it was planning this way but The Truck Stop was MADE FOR KIDS!
The adults love the selection of food – Asian, Latino and pizza – and the kids LOVED the pizza. And the ice cream. Always the ice cream.
There is a ton of room and games in the back. There is a hammock garden and a dock and a corn hole tournament on Sundays. My nephew and brother made it to round 2.
There’s more! There a huge new pool! And super fun events almost every single night. Wait…I think there are events every night.
Movies for adults and kids, Trivia, live music, game shows…
In 9 days, my family ate here 4 or 5 times.
My only issue with this place – the one that my brother called “perhaps the most perfect restaurant/venue he’s EVER been to – is that it is closed 2 days a week.
Learn How Chocolate is Made and TASTE IT
We didn’t get to this on this visit but older kids in particular LOVE this lesson. Because it’s super interesting, less than one hour and involves tasting some DELICIOUS chocolate.
You’ll want to buy some extra before you leave – think MILKSHAKES – and return frequently during your trip.
Painting with Melody
I have three nephews and once a year I visit them and an immersed in BOY MANIA. Star Wars, Legos, video games, popular music, Phineas and Ferb.
So I really don’t know what to expect with girls visiting – and Paige, the 9 year old, wanted to make some art. She had done pottery in Mexico…
The perfect answer? Painting with Melody.
She can set you up in her shop or you can attend one of her weekly classes. It’s SUPER FUN. And you have a great souvenir.
Even if you have very few artistic skills. Here’s the last time I blogged about it – painting in the water.
Beach combing, tidal pool exploring
Because of the reef that is just off shore, the sea is shallow for quite a while. There are wade-able pools and lots of sea grass – the perfect place for tiny fish, snails, crabs…I’ve seen so much cool stuff.
Here’s an octopus that I saw from the beach a few years ago – and the list of my 8 favorite sea creatures in Belize.
There are tiny shells and bits of coral on the beach. And my new obsession – SEA BEANS!
Cool seeds that float across the ocean to hopefully sprout on foreign shores. They are beautiful.
Send the kids out to fill a bag. It could take a while.
There is MY list – please let me know if you have anything to add!
I’d love to expand this with other ideas because Ambergris Caye is a great place to kids. Now I can’t WAIT for them to return to do the mainland.
Caves and animals and river tubing and waterfalls and hiking oh my. (Belize made Rough Guides 30 Best Places in the World to Travel with Kids and they are talking about the mainland.)
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