How to have an awesome Bermuda family vacation
By Hannah Barnard on 13th March, 2018
Thousands of families come to Bermuda every year for once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and from the moment you step onto Bermuda’s shores, your children will make memories to last forever. While there are many places around the world where you can swim in blue seas, here are some experiences that will make your Bermuda family vacation especially unique.
COLOR THE SAND
Yes, the sand here really is pink! Impress your kids and tell them that it’s from foraminifera, single-celled marine organisms with shells, similar to the shells of other sea life, such as lobsters and coral. In Bermuda, there is an abundance of red forams, and once they die, their shells eventually join up with the white skeletons of other organisms, and these crushed together cause the sand to appear pink. If your family looks closely, you’ll also see flecks of other colors like black and orange, which are ground-up bits of other marine life, including coral and sea urchin. Each beach has a unique appearance, so take pictures and compare for a cool family project.
The Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo, Hamilton Parish || Photo credit: Bermuda Tourism Authority
DANCE WITH PEACOCKS
Since 1926, the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo, located in Flatts Village, has been a much-celebrated attraction for local and visiting families, making it one of the world’s oldest aquariums. Lift your little ones to bring them face to face with the moray eel. Let them sit on your shoulders while the staff feeds Pebbles, the harbor seal. Watch their eyes light up as Spike the barracuda swims through the North Rock exhibit. They might even be lucky enough to see a mermaid! Even your hard-to-please teenager won’t be able to hide their amusement at the ring-tailed lemurs jumping overhead as you walk through the Madagascar exhibit. And the entire family will love walking alongside the peacocks that roam around the grounds.
Family encounters with dolphins, Bermuda family vacation || Photo Credit: Dolphin Quest
KISS A DOLPHIN
Every member of your family can get up close and personal with dolphins at the Royal Naval Dockyard’s Dolphin Quest. They have several experiences for all ages, even for kids as young as 3. Guests will get in the water with qualified trainers for an interactive dolphin swim experience. You might even get a kiss! For those who don’t want to get into the water, Dolphin Quest also offers shows and demonstrations.
Discover hidden treasures, Bermuda family vacation || Photo Credit: Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute
HUNT FOR TREASURE, RIDE IN A SUBMARINE, AND BECOME AN AMERICA’S CUP SAILOR
The Treasure Room at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute showcases gold coins, historic artifacts, and other priceless undersea treasures, many of them found by celebrated Bermudian marine explorer Teddy Tucker. BUEI houses many interactive exhibits, including The Dive, a simulated submarine ride that takes you thousands of feet beneath the sea where you’ll experience the marvels of the ocean, and Built to Win, where your family can discover what it takes to build a modern-day America’s Cup catamaran and test your sailing skills.
Walking on the ocean floor, Bermuda family vacation || Photo Credit: Hartley’s Helmet Diving
WALK ON THE OCEAN FLOOR
Who says you have to be able to scuba in order to experience fish life up close? Not Greg Hartley, whose father started Hartley’s Helmet Diving in 1947. Wearing a bell helmet, you’ll descend down about 8-10 feet to a shallow reef. Air is pumped into the helmet, which keeps your head completely dry. You don’t even have to know how to swim. Simply walk and breathe as you normally would while getting up close and personal with angelfish, hogfish, and many others. Kids as young as 5 are welcome.
St. Peters Church, St. George’s || Photo Credit: Matt Crump
TRAVEL BACK IN TIME
In 1609, a ship destined for Jamestown, Virginia ended up shipwrecked in Bermuda instead. They spent 10 months on the uninhabited island building new ships and stocking up on supplies. During this time, they realized Bermuda is an amazing place to live, and it was decided to colonize the island. Settlers arrived three years later, in July 1612, and set up in St. George’s. People have lived in the town since that time, making it the oldest, continuously inhabited town in the New World, and the four centuries of history are evident everywhere you look. Children will especially enjoy exploring the forts, the replica of the Deliverance ship, and the World Heritage Centre.
MEET A WENCH, A POET, AND A BARBER FROM CENTURIES PAST
In St. George’s, history comes alive through reenactments and street performances. Kids will be enthralled as the “wench” gets dunked in the harbor by King’s Square for her “crimes” of nagging and gossiping, showcasing the archaic punishments of ye olden days. The Haunted History tour will lead your family by candlelit lantern through the winding alleys and old lanes of the town as you hear stories of famous residents from hundreds of years ago.
Experience the ocean like a shark, Bermuda family vacation || Photo Credit: Kinezumi Watersports
BECOME A SHARK
Dive down into the deep blue sea, then explode high out of the water at speeds upwards of 30 miles per hour. The Seabreacher, operated by Kinezumi Watersports, will give your thrill-seeking family the adventure of a lifetime. This adrenaline-packed ride can be tailored as wild or as mild as you like, so kids as young as 6 are able to experience the fun.
Read more: Best beaches on Bermuda