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5 Things to Do on Nassau Paradise Island with Kids in the Bahamas

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Are you dreaming of a family vacation that will please foodies, shoppers, history buffs, animal lovers AND sun seekers? Nassau Paradise Island in The Bahamas is sure to please. If you’re looking for fun activities beyond beach bumming, you’ll love these five things to do on Nassau Paradise Island with kids.

5 Things to Do on Nassau Paradise Island with Kids in the Bahamas

5 Things to Do on Nassau Paradise Island with Kids in the Bahamas (Photo credit: Lyla Gleason)

1. Interact with dolphins and other marine life.

You don’t need to be a guest at Atlantis Resort to interact with marine life on the hotel’s grounds. Resort day passes can be purchased at the Discover Atlantis desk in Coral Towers for access to the resort’s renowned water park and marine habitats. Note: you must be resident of The Bahamas or a guest of an affiliated hotel or cruise line. This includes nine Paradise Island hotels, seven hotels, and six+ cruise lines. Take a look here to see if your hotel or cruise line is allowed.

The Dig is where kids and adults get the chance to see hundreds of fish as they journey through the streets and tunnels of the fabled lost city of Atlantis. Kids will especially love the scavenger hunt maps and interactive touch tank aquarium filled with conchs, crabs and sea urchins.

At Dolphin Cay, pay to participate in a variety of memorable animal encounters during which you can kiss, hug and even swim with dolphins, sting rays and sea lions. My 5-year-old daughter and I loved the Shallow Water Interaction, a 30-minute in-water experience with dolphins that makes a great choice for first-timers and small children.

5 Things to Do on Paradise Island with Kids in the Bahamas - Families can take in Some History at the Heritage Museum of the Bahamas

Learn Bahamian history at the Heritage Museum of the Bahamas (Photo credit: Lyla Gleason)

2. Soak up Bahamian history on Paradise Island.

Opened last year, the Heritage Museum of the Bahamas is jam-packed with kid friendly Bahamian artifacts ranging from prehistoric times to today. Families learn all about the history and heritage of the Bahamas including the days of Columbus, the piracy era, slavery and plantation life, the Maritimes of the 18th century, the days of the Duke of Windsor and current happenings. The museum’s collection will fascinate kids of all ages with items such as a 4.5 billion year-old meteorite, historic toys, Junkanoo costumes, pirate memorabilia, and a replica of a general store. The museum is located on West Hill Street, walking distance from Bay Street.

5 Things to Do on Paradise Island with Kids in the Bahamas - Little pirate fans can learn about The Golden Age of Piracy at The Pirates Museum of Nassau.

Little pirate fans can learn about the Golden Age of Piracy at the Pirates Museum of Nassau (Photo credit: Lyla Gleason)

3. Experience the Golden Age of Piracy.

Nassau is known as the capital of piracy and the home of Blackbeard. If you’ve got a little pirate lover, the Pirates Museum of Nassau is a must visit. The Golden Age of Piracy lasted for thirty years (from 1690 to 1720) and Nassau was home to thousands of pirates during that time.

Upon arrival at the Pirates Museum, you’ll be greeted by a “real” pirate who will gladly pose for photos and welcome you inside. This interactive museum features exhibits like a moonlit dock where visitors will hear sounds of lapping water and see pirates celebrating at a nearby tavern. From there, guests board a replica of a pirate ship and learn about the lives and times of the pirate community. The exhibits are fairly dark and younger children may be scared of the wax figures (they are very real looking!) so plan accordingly. There is a well stocked gift shop and several fun photo-ops (guillotines anyone?) so plan to spend an hour checking it all out.

Five Things to Do on Nassau Paradise Island with Kids in the Bahamas - Shop the Straw Market and Bay Street on Paradise Island with kids

Shop the Straw Market and Bay Street on Nassau Paradise Island with kids (Photo credit: Lyla Gleason)

4. Shop the Straw Market and Bay Street for Bahamian finds.

Nassau Paradise Island is a great spot for kids to buy some local specialties as souvenirs of their family vacation. In Nassau’s famed Straw Market girls will go crazy for the handmade straw purses and tote bags featuring designs of their favorite princesses or characters (Elsa, Anna, Dora, Ariel, oh my…!). With hundreds of vendors you might feel overwhelmed so definitely take your time to decide what you want and be prepared to bargain for the best price.

Bay Street is the main drag of downtown Nassau. If you’re in the market for jewelry or watches, you’ll find a great selection of shops with duty-free prices. If you like rum cake, this is the place to try every variety. The best days to shop are when the cruise ships aren’t in town so be sure to check with your hotel before heading out.

Five Things to Do in Paradise Island with Kids in the Bahamas - Families can eat like a local at Bimini Road in Marina Village.

Eat like a local at Bimini Road in Marina Village (Photo credit: Lyla Gleason)

5. Eat Caribbean cuisine like a local.

Exposing kids to local cuisine on vacation is a great way to encourage them to try different flavors and foods. The best spot for kids to explore Bahamian cuisine is Bimini Road in the Marina Village shopping district. Families can try local favorites like Jerk chicken, conch stew and fritters, fried plantains, and peas n’ rice. For less adventurous eaters, a children’s menu is available featuring pasta, breaded grouper fingers, chicken nuggets and other kid favorites served with veggie sticks and apple wedges.

Don’t stop here! Discover 20 things to do at Atlantis Paradise Island Resort now.

Has your family traveled to the Bahamas yet? What was your favorite activity or what are you looking forward to trying?  Tell us in the comments below!

A Note from the Globetrotting Mama: Special thanks to Nassau Paradise Island, the Bahamas for hosting our visit. All opinions are my own, as always.

About Lyla Gleason, The Globetrotting Travel Mama

Long before the glamorous world of marriage, motherhood and travel blogging, Lyla Gleason had an exciting career as a travel publicist representing hotels and destinations across the globe. She spent her childhood on Long Island and then attended college and grad school in Boston and lived abroad in Rome. Some of her most favorite vacation spots include the Caribbean, India and Turkey. She is currently a downtown NYC mom who can be found chasing after her 7-year-old daughter, cooking dinner, mingling at blogger events and exploring near and far with a camera in hand. She is the author of, a lifestyle blog dedicated to travel, family fun and fabulous finds. Connect with Lyla on Twitter at @travelmommy.

  1. Baguio City Guide by Relyn says

    I love visiting museums when I travel, I feel like I’m learning more about the culture of the people. Learning to eat like a local also widens your perspective. Thank you for sharing, this is really helpful!

    • Lyla Gleason, The Globetrotting Travel Mama says

      I couldn’t agree more! Nassau is great spot for interesting museums and delicious cuisine. So glad to hear you found this story helpful.

  2. Amy Whitley says

    Far more museum attractions than I expected! I have never really wanted to visit, but now I’m not so sure! Looks very intriguing!

    • Lyla G - Globetrotting Mommy says

      More than I was expecting too! I hope you’ll have time to check some of them out sometime soon.

  3. I knew there was a lot of activity, but I didn’t realize Paradise Island offered cultural activities as well. I’m particularly sold by the local cuisine. Looks delish!

    • Lyla G - Globetrotting Mommy says

      Yes, there is so much to do and see there. And, the local cuisine really was delicious, especially those conch fritters…

  4. Wandering Educators says

    SOOO inspiring! I haven’t been to the Bahamas in far too long – this definitely makes me want to visit there with our daughter!

    • Lyla G - Globetrotting Mommy says

      Glad to serve up some inspiration. I hope you and your daughter get the chance to visit soon as its a great mother/daughter destination.

  5. I have to say that I wasn’t a huge fan of the Atlantis so if I make it back to Nassua, it will probably be to stay somewhere else. Maybe we would have enjoyed the stay more if we had gotten off the resort to do more of what you suggest here.

  6. Lyla G - Globetrotting Mommy says

    I always enjoy getting off property whenever I travel. My first trip to Nassau was on a cruise stopover so it was a treat to have some time to really explore the area.

  7. We loved Bahamas–can’t wait to go back!

  8. Hi,
    I’ve talked to the Atlantis representative and they advised me that you have to be a guest either at Atlantis or their partners. We’ve already booked our stay and it’s not with their affiliating partners. I’ve wanted our kids to experience marine life but I guest it won’t happen.

    • Colleen Lanin says

      Bummer! Let me reach out to Atlantis’ PR team and see what they say…

    • Colleen Lanin says

      Hi Anna – You are right. You need to be a Bahamian resident or the guest of one of nine approved hotels, or a cruise ship guest to buy a day pass at Atlantis. I have updated this blog post to include this information. I hope you have a wonderful time in The Bahamas nonetheless! Perhaps you could extend your trip by one night at one of these locations or at Atlantis itself to experience all of the wonderful things this resort has to offer!

      • Thank you for the idea but I did not realize how expensive it was. Room is $400+ and each ticket is $150-170. I could not find any discounts.

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