Tobago for kids

Holidaying with children is an oxymoron for many. Many parents find themselves more exhausted after the vacation than before. Not in Tobago. This island was made for children. It’s a like going on safari, to the Natural History Museum and an amusement park all in one

Villa living

If you’ve got two or three families vacationing together, better yet. Rent one of the many villas around the island. Quite a few have a pool and large gardens or backyards. The kids can play football, cricket or tennis on the grass, or spend the day turning into prunes in the pool. A barbecue grill is usually on hand, so you can shop at the supermarket or the market in Scarborough, and make your own meals.

Dining on the verandah. Courtesy the Villas at Stonehaven

The beaches and the watersports…and the turtles!

In places like Black Rock, the villas are just five minutes’ walk or a minute’s drive from the beach. If you visit between March and August, you can spend the night on Turtle Beach watching leatherback turtles come up to nest. Rent a car and visit a different beach every day. Pigeon Point is a particular favourite. Here you can relax in your lounge chair while the children frolic and roll around in the shallow, calm waters, or hunt for crabs scuttling around in the rocks. Teens will nag you to rent a jet ski. They can head out to the nearby lagoon or to Store Bay. The adventurous ones will spend hours at the water sports centre learning to windsurf, kite surf or riding a banana boat.

Visitors help critiTurtle release Tobago. Photographer: Giancarlo Lalsingh/SOS Tobago

Visitors help critically endangered leatherback turtle hatchlings after being rescued from compacted nests and light pollution. Photographer: Giancarlo Lalsingh/SOS Tobago

Botanic Gardens

The Botanic Gardens in Scarborough is perfect for a picnic, and the kids can climb the dozens of mango trees whose fruit dangle tantalisingly within reach. They can run up and down the gentle slopes of this 17-acre sanctuary to their hearts’ content.

Lowlands Mall & MovieTowne

The teens will probably miss the mall and want to scout the local talent. At Gulf City Mall in Lowlands they can pedal around in the car park on manual go-karts (burn off some of that never-ending energy), then go see the latest 3D and HD movies (and their local counterparts). Films premiere within days of opening in the US and Europe so they can always boast when they get back home that they saw the most recent blockbuster in Paradise.

What other tips do you have for planning a family, kid-friendly vacation in Tobago?

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