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They’re not afraid of col­or. Their build­ings resem­ble an assort­ment of East­er eggs, wait­ing to be plucked from dark green hills. If you’re vis­it­ing the vibrant main island of Bermu­da with your kids, there are many fun ways to explore the pas­tel pos­si­bil­i­ties. From the pow­der blue ocean to the pink sand beach­es, the res­i­dents of the 138 British islands that make up the coun­try of Bermu­da have dipped their brush­es into Moth­er Nature’s paint­box and col­ored their lives to match their sur­round­ings. But, if your kids are like mine, it’ll take more than that to keep them off each oth­er’s backs and off screens. It’s best to have a plan so you’re pre­pared when your son asks, “What are we doing today?” before he turns around and throws a rock at his broth­er’s head. Here are a few ideas out of a thou­sand pos­si­bil­i­ties you can do in Bermu­da on a fam­i­ly trip.

 

 

 

Video: What to Do with Families in Bermuda

 

 

Take A Dive! Snorkeling and SCUBA diving in Bermuda

 

There are count­less pos­si­bil­i­ties. An island that is cre­at­ed by the explo­sion of vol­canos has ground that is too porous to have fresh­wa­ter springs, rivers or lakes, mean­ing, it also has no mud to cloud up your pret­ty view of under­wa­ter ecosys­tems, and the sea life that lives with­in it. The water sur­round­ing Bermu­da is crys­tal clear. Look­ing from above, you can see dark blue patch­es, show­ing the spread of coral reefs, and the lighter hues mark­ing sandbars. 

 

Fun Things to do with kids in Bermuda

A spec­trum of sea…photo by Reil­ly Durfy

 

If your kids are a lit­tle old­er or you’re a more adven­tur­ous type fam­i­ly, there are two dive boat com­pa­nies that can take you to explore one of the esti­mat­ed 300 ships that met their fate on those rocky, shal­low reefs, whether by snorkel or SCUBA. One is Dive Bermu­da and the oth­er is Blue Water Divers and Water­sports.

 

A pop­u­lar spot for both divers and snorkel­ers is The West­ern Blue Cut, about an hour’s boat ride from the Roy­al Naval Dock­yard. The West­ern Blue Cut is a break in the 200 square miles of reef sur­round­ing the island and with­in swim­ming dis­tance of sev­er­al ship­wrecks. The two favorites are the Con­stel­la­tion, a car­go ship that sank car­ry­ing med­ical and con­struc­tion sup­plies, whose unlucky day hap­pened in 1944, and the Mon­tana who sank on its maid­en voy­age in 1863 attempt­ing to assist South­ern troops by clear­ing a block­ade by North­ern naval forces. The shal­low reef spots are about 20 feet from per­fect views of the two sub­merged vessels.

 

Fun Things to do with kids in Bermuda

Down With the Ship…photo by Wouter Naert

 

If that sounds crazy to your fam­i­ly but you still want to see some pret­ty sea crea­tures, try Daniel’s Head Park, it’s nine beach­es on 17 coastal acres, two of which are pub­lic, on the West­ern tip of the island. This may be the best-kept secret for prime snor­kel­ing. The waters are extreme­ly calm and shal­low, mak­ing it the per­fect spot to explore with young kids. Dur­ing WWII, the Cana­di­ans used the area as an army base so bar­racks could still be spot­ted by young pio­neers. Dur­ing the sum­mer, ven­dors pro­vide chairs and beach gear to rent but oth­er­wise, bring your own.

 

Fun things to do with kids in Bermuda, family snorkeling

BYOS © Rina Nehdar

 

If you’re still shak­ing your head and claim­ing you have tiny kids and your par­ents are with you. You’d like to dip your head under the water but your fam­i­ly needs a bit more sup­port, try Snorkel Park Beach, part of the Roy­al Navy Dock­yard com­plex on the West End. Full gear is avail­able to rent for this beach entry snorkel area, plus, when you’re done, you can lis­ten to live music and grab a bite to eat.

 

Ready for more adven­ture? Try Cave Kayak­ing with Kids!

 

Visit the Royal Naval Dockyard

 

Things to do in Bermuda with kids, Royal Naval Dockyard

Toot Toot Through His­to­ry.…© Rina Nehdar

 

Your fam­i­ly could real­ly spend the entire day — or week at the Roy­al Naval Dock­yard! After your adven­ture at Snorkel Park Beach, learn about Bermu­da his­to­ry through Seg­way Tours of Bermu­da. Although the British Navy pulled out of the dock­yard in the 1950s, his­tor­i­cal bat­tles are reen­act­ed around the remain­ing gar­risons and for­ti­fi­ca­tions. While you’re there, vis­it Keep Fort, once a sym­bol of British naval might, part of a ring of for­ti­fi­ca­tions guard­ing the Dock­yard against attack by land and sea. With­in it is the Com­mis­sion­er’s House and the Nation­al Muse­um of Bermu­da, a peek into the past of the island that no one want­ed until some­one did.  “Although nations kept dis­cov­er­ing Bermu­da when their ships sank around it, no one claimed it until some British colonists sank their ship sail­ing to Amer­i­ca and decid­ed to stay,” said charm­ing British trans­plant, Tim Rogers, who, along with his native wife Maryann, guides vis­i­tors on epic walk­ing tours called Bermu­da Lec­tures and Tours. We learned this lat­er, dur­ing stops we took to meet him on our bike tour of the Rail­way Trail (below). After the British final­ly claimed it, he told us, sud­den­ly every­one want­ed a piece of Bermu­da so that’s when they built their armed forces and forts. 

 

Things to do in Bermuda with kids, Royal Naval Dockyard

 

After your war-games, stop for craft beers or din­ner and dessert in one of the spe­cial­ty restau­rants, some set with­in the for­ti­fy­ing wall. Watch a col­or­ful ren­di­tion of native dances or shop for dia­monds rival­ing those found on the mid­night ocean. You can watch artists cre­at­ing their mas­ter­pieces or even make your own glass-blown sou­venir. Shop­pers can sat­is­fy their retail urges by indulging their inner Guc­ci at one of the many high-end shops.

 

Read about more adven­tures pos­si­ble through Fam­i­ly Extreme Sports Activ­i­ties at Woodward!

 

 

Tour the Railway Trail

 

Things to do in Bermuda with kids, The Railway Trail

19 non-con­tigu­ous miles of today’s Rail­way Trail fol­lows the orig­i­nal 22 miles of the orig­i­nal rail­way line…© Rina Nehdar

 

 

Bermu­dans used to get from one end of the island, that spans only about 22 miles, by walk­ing or on horse. The locals decid­ed to spurn cars right around the time they start­ed to gain pop­u­lar­i­ty, the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry. They want­ed to pre­serve the serene nature of the land. Then, they real­ized, vis­i­tors need­ed a con­ve­nient way to see attrac­tions on both sides of the island, so, in 1931 they built a rail­road for a train to trans­port vis­i­tors to do just that. The locals fond­ly nick­named the train “Old Rat­tle and Shake,” Tim Rogers told us as he guid­ed us through an aca­d­e­m­ic deep dive through the Rail­way Trail. We fol­lowed along on bikes from Social Cycles along the scenic path that traces the orig­i­nal rail­way through nine bor­oughs that passed ver­dant wood­lands, secret beach­es and stone staircases.

 

 

Things to do with kids in Bermuda, Railway Trail

We felt very social on our cycles © Rina Nehdar

 

 

While the train was pop­u­lar with locals and vis­i­tors, Rogers told us, it was too expen­sive to main­tain, so in 1945 Bermu­da final­ly relent­ed and allowed res­i­dents to own one four-wheeled car per household. 

 

Today, the Bermu­da Parks Depart­ment main­tains the old Rail­way Trail as a fun way to walk, jog or bike through his­to­ry and the gor­geous land.  Rogers showed us one of the orig­i­nal grey, drab homes built by British set­tlers along the trail. Rogers described the labor entailed for build­ing the home from the island’s porous vol­canic rock. This involved tak­ing whole slabs from the earth, dry­ing for months, and then cur­ing. This process sound­ed so com­pli­cat­ed and tax­ing, it explained why it took so long for peo­ple to make a com­mit­ment to the island.

 

Things to do with kids in Bermuda, Railway Trail

Needs a Lit­tle Spruc­ing. A repli­ca of one of the first build­ings erect­ed on Bermu­da…© Rina Nehdar

 

 

Fun Fact: The Caribbeans brought the vibrant col­or to the island homes because Bermu­da stone was grey and dingy and got dirty fast

 

We also explored Fort Scaur which used to pro­tect the Bermu­da Naval Dock­yard from pirates and maraud­ers with their hid­den canons. We even got to fire a can­non. No. Not real­ly. I was just see­ing if you were still pay­ing atten­tion. But we did get to go inside some defen­sive ditch­es, laugh at ancient weath­er “gauges” and have a pic­nic at its edge over­look­ing lay­ers of aqua­ma­rine won­der and the boats bob­bing with­in. You can bring your own food or have it catered like we did by Utopia and Nov­el Tea.

 

  • Things to do with kids in Bermuda, Railway Trail Fort Scaur

 

 

Play In the Water 

 

There is no short­age of aquat­ic activ­i­ties around the islands of Bermu­da. Anoth­er great way to explore the coun­try is through a boat tour with Island Tour Cen­tre. There’s plen­ty of choic­es, includ­ing tak­ing a speed­boat out on your own. Jet skis, stand-up pad­dle­boards and whale watch­ing are just some of the options.

 

things to do with kids in bermuda

Some­times you feel like you’re float­ing in out­er space.….

 

 

Fun Fact: Bermu­da is Zika free! There isn’t any stand­ing water, so there aren’t any mosquitos.

 

 

Put Your Toes Into the Best Pink Sand Beaches

 

things to do with kids in bermuda

 

On the South Shore, the sand is pink from crushed seashells mix­ing with the skele­tons of inver­te­brate sea life such as clams, urchin and foraminifera, the dark red organ­isms that grow abun­dant­ly on the bot­tom of Bermu­da’s coral reefs. Shells and skele­tons get churned up by waves to the fine, pink sand for which Bermu­da is famous. As it folds into the baby blue ocean, where jagged lime­stone rocks cut into the match­ing sky, the effect tugs at your breath. Horse­shoe Bay is one of Bermu­da’s finest exam­ple of a pink sand beach, all of which are locat­ed in the parish of Southamp­ton. Horse­shoe Bay is the most pop­u­lar beach in Bermu­da so expect crowds dur­ing the sum­mer sea­son but because of that it also has plen­ty of facil­i­ties to make vis­i­tors enjoy a com­fort­able beach day. There is Rum Bum Beach Bar, serv­ing infa­mous rum-based island con­coc­tions like the “Dark and Stormy” and “Swiz­zles” and they also serve food. If you want a sit-down meal, Gulf­stream offers Ital­ian food you can enjoy close to your beach tow­el. There are bath­rooms, beach gear rentals and life­guards in the summers. 

 

 

Walk east from Horse­shoe Bay along South Shore Park, a 1.25-mile sandy trail that con­nects to War­wick Long Beach. Along the way, dis­cov­er seclud­ed coves and oth­er pink beach­es like Peel Rock Cove, Butts Beach, Mid­dle Beach, Wafer Rocks Beach, Angle Beach and oth­ers. Don’t miss the twin coves of Chap­lin Bay and the Stone­hole Bay. Both are stun­ning spots for pho­tographs and swim­ming. Stop by Job­son’s Cove, set between cliffs that rise out of the ocean, with a gen­tle swim­ming hole in between. 

 

 

Go Wild With the Animals at Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo

 

things to do with kids in bermuda

Glub Glub © Rina Nehdar

 

Only ani­mals that they’ve had to res­cue live in the zoo, with 3.5 miles of rock and 140 thou­sand tons of water, said Prin­ci­pal Cura­tor, Dr. Ian Walk­er as he walked us along our tour. He main­tains the zoo as close to the ani­mal’s nat­ur­al habi­tat as pos­si­ble, inform­ing us that we were now in their home. Dr. Walk­er shared this when he came back from admin­is­ter­ing first aid to an injured duck. 

 

things to do with kids in bermuda

Dr. Ian Walk­er edu­cates fam­i­lies.…© Rina Nehdar

 

Although some ani­mals are born inside the Bermu­da Aquar­i­um, Muse­um and Zoo,  or are trans­ferred from oth­er zoos, they are released back into the wild if they recov­er. Our guid­ed tour filled us with fun facts to share at future cock­tail par­ties like, only flamin­gos will remain out­doors dur­ing a hur­ri­cane. They will stand, sin­gle file, beside a tree from largest to small­est and rotate with the wind as it shifts direc­tion. We also got to meet Gala­pa­gos Tor­tois­es, Crooked Nose and Sal­ly, who are 100 and 50 years old. You’ll be able to tell your friends you got to meet Crooked Nose, the tor­toise that Shirley Tem­ple rode when she was 10. We dis­cov­ered that at 50 years of age, Sal­ly is final­ly old enough to get busy with her man. 

 

things to do with kids in bermuda

Dr. Ian Walk­er with Sal­ly and Crooked Nose © Rina Nehdar

 

Right before we took a short fer­ry ride through Har­ring­ton Sound, from the zoo to the pri­vate island that BAMZ owns, called Trunk Island, Dr. Walk­er showed us a 6–8 month log­ger­head tur­tle who was washed up on shore and exposed to prey. The vet checked the tur­tle for plas­tic that may have lodged itself in the turtle’s intesti­nal tract before releas­ing it back into the ocean. 

 

things to do with kids in bermuda

What’s Up? Can I get a High Five? © Rina Nehdar

 

 

Fun Fact: The abun­dant reefs pro­tect tur­tles from sharks.

 

 

BAMZ zool­o­gists use the island to raise mon­ey for its human­i­tar­i­an work. They hold sum­mer camps for vis­it­ing chil­dren and locals. These can be attend­ed by the day or week. There is a house there also avail­able to rent for con­fer­ences. I could­n’t imag­ine a pret­ti­er place for either.

 

things to do with kids in bermuda

Pret­ty Inside and Out © Rina Nehdar

 

 

 

Take A Walk With the Dead On the Haunted History Tour

 

things to do in bermuda with kids

He’ll def­i­nite­ly have your kid’s atten­tion © Rina Nehdar

 

You can imag­ine remote islands would be filled with creepy sto­ries abound­ing with pagan myths. Some­where in between the island above and the island below is a mid­dle world inhab­it­ed by those who can­not rest. As the sun steals that world’s light, hear sto­ries in the port town of St. George of wives false­ly accused of witch­craft and ladies still wait­ing for the return of their lost sailors. With rays of street lamp stab­bing through drift­ing fog, vis­it church steps and grave­yards with the team at Haunt­ed His­to­ry Tour and watch as actors lament their fate. Then, try not to scream as you acci­den­tal­ly bump into some of those rest­less spirits. 

 

Read about anoth­er fun hike through his­to­ry on the island of Oahu through Dis­ney’s Aulani!

 

 

Carve Through Stalagtites at Crystal and Fantasy Caves 

 

Some­where in mid­dle-Earth Bermu­da is a three-mile sys­tem of cav­erns called the Crys­tal and Fan­ta­sy Caves. These formed about two mil­lion years ago. As ocean lev­els rose, much of the enclo­sures and sur­round­ing sta­lag­mites and sta­lac­tites became sub­merged. A cou­ple of local boys found it when they lost their ball-play­ing crick­et. You can imag­ine their brav­ery as you descend into the caves, once devoid of any light. Today lanterns light your way as you take stone stairs onto a pon­toon bridge that ris­es and falls with the tide and share some dra­mat­ic Insta­gram selfies.

 

things to do in bermuda with kids

If it’s not on Insta­gram, did it even hap­pen? © Rina Nehdar

 

 

When You Go

 

 

 

Bermu­da is locat­ed in the Atlantic Ocean. East Coast­ers have it easy. Bermu­da is a mere two hour flight from many air­ports includ­ing Boston, New York, Philadel­phia, Wash­ing­ton D.C. and Char­lotte. It’s only three hours from Toron­to or Atlanta and Lon­don­ers can vis­it the Queen’s island in only sev­en hours. Six air­lines fly to Bermu­da from the U.S., includ­ing Delta, Amer­i­can and Jet­Blue. British Air­ways flies to Bermu­da from the U.K. Sev­er­al cruise lines dock in the Roy­al Naval Dock­yard between April and Novem­ber. Vis­i­tors can get a jump start on this itin­er­ary if this is the route with which they arrive. Trav­el­ers could also arrive to Bermu­da in a pri­vate yacht. Any pri­vate ves­sel enter­ing Bermu­da will need to go through cus­toms when berthing.

 

West Coast­ers have a bit more of a com­mit­ment. You first have to fly to one of the East Coast cities and take anoth­er flight into Bermu­da. Though, you could break up the trip and enjoy two places on your vacation!

 

 

Getting Around

 

Once on the island, you’ll find land and water taxis, pub­lic bus­es and fer­ries to get you around. Remem­ber, only res­i­dents can dri­ve a four-wheeled vehi­cle in Bermu­da, so it’s not pos­si­ble to rent a car  but vis­i­tors can hire elec­tric two-seat Twizy vehi­cles, mope­ds and bicy­cles. Have fun try­ing to remem­ber to dri­ve on the left side of the road, always wear a hel­met and keep in mind that the speed lim­it is only 20 mph (35km/h), so leave plen­ty of time to get to where you’re going and take the scenic route. You won’t find a short­age of those.

 

 

Passports and Visas

 

Bermu­da requires all trav­el­ers to have a valid pass­port when enter­ing the coun­try. It’s also nec­es­sary to have a round-trip tick­et – whether via plane or boat – and to present proof of a return itin­er­ary to Bermu­da immi­gra­tion author­i­ties. Visas are not required for tourist and busi­ness travelers.

 

 

Where To Stay

 

The love­ly South Shore with an ocean­front beach club and shady chaise lounges (around plen­ty of pink sand) is a short walk, or com­pli­men­ta­ry shut­tle ride, from Fair­mont Southamp­ton, Just a short walk along the South Shore Trail, you’ll come upon Horse­shoe Bay Beach to mar­vel at more pink sand. All rooms at the Fair­mont Southamp­ton face the turquoise ocean and have pri­vate bal­conies. There are 10 on-site restau­rants, cafes and lounges. Moms and dads will enjoy the award-win­ning, 18-hole Cham­pi­onship Par‑3 golf course at Tur­tle Hill Golf Club, take a kid break at the 31, 000 square foot, adults-only Wil­low Stream Spa and Fit­ness Cen­tre and enjoy resort hot tubs, pools and ten­nis courts. Kids can make new friends at the Explor­ers Camp, which has spe­cif­ic pro­grams for chil­dren ages 6 – 13. There is also a Tod­dler Room and Games Room locat­ed on the low­er lev­el of the resort, adja­cent to the Explor­er’s Camp. Water­sports, includ­ing jet skis and pri­vate boat rentals, are locat­ed at their dock at The Water­lot Inn, and for adven­tures off prop­er­ty rent a Twizy, a bike or a scoot­er. Check their web­site for spe­cial offers.

If you’d pre­fer to stay in Hamil­ton, check out the Hamil­ton Princess and Beach Club. Rooms face either a line of yachts, bob­bing in Hamil­ton Har­bour, or the city of Hamil­ton. Fam­i­lies can lounge at the pri­vate Princess Beach Club and order drinks and food while enjoy­ing the pro­tect­ed waters. There are three, not to miss spe­cial­ty restau­rants; a fit­ness cen­ter and spa that offers yoga and pilates class­es; a vari­ety of pools includ­ing an infin­i­ty pool gaz­ing over yachts as they mean­der in and out of the har­bour. Don’t for­get to walk around the hotel to appre­ci­ate orig­i­nal works of art by icon­ic artists like Andy Warhol.

The Hamil­ton Princess and Beach Club is just a three-minute walk from Queen Eliz­a­beth Park, where on Sat­ur­days, between June and Octo­ber, you can see Gombey dancers dis­play their icon­ic, live­ly per­for­mances in col­or­ful cos­tumes set to rhyth­mic drum beats. There are sev­er­al Gombey dance pro­grams around Hamil­ton through­out the year that attempt to cap­ture and recre­ate this impor­tant part of this bright island’s heritage.

 

I want to thank Go Bermu­da for set­ting up many of these activ­i­ties dur­ing and after the Fam­i­ly Trav­el Asso­ci­a­tion con­fer­ence which was held in Bermu­da in Octo­ber 2018. Because we only had so much time, I learned about the oth­ers through research. Enjoy!

 

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What to Do With Kids In Bermuda

 

What to Do With Kids In Bermuda