We’re deep in summer and for kids that means two things – no school (unless you have summer school, hush y’ere) and boredom. Yep. Kids need of constant stimulation. If there is a single lull in their day it won’t be long before you hear: “I’m booooored.” To avoid that, we offer this list of activities for you and your kids, from the very young to teenagers glued to their phones.
- NDTC 57th Season of Dance: The National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica is celebrating its 57thseason with a spectacular show of their artistic creativity. The season runs through August 11 at the Little Theatre on Tom Redcam Drive. Their theme is Reflection, Celebration and Continuity, brilliantly showcased through the NDTC’s new and established performers. Shows are Friday & Saturday at 8pm and Sundays at 5pm. For tickets call (876) 926 - 6129.
- Emancipation funfest: On August 1, Hope Gardens will host a day full of fun for the entire family from 10am to 7pm. There will be games, rides, live music and really good food (not to mention the zoo). Tickets are adults $700, children 4 -16 years $500 and 3 years and under are free. Funfest may be the memorable experience you need for the family this holiday season.
- National Gallery of Jamaica:During July and August Saturdays are free, 10am – 3pm. The National Gallery is a wonderful outing for those who want to experience the artistic side of Jamaican culture. It features artists of all genres, and has permanent galleries for the Edna Manley Memorial Collection, the Intuitives and the A.D. Scott Collection. The Gallery is near the waterfront at 12 Ocean Blvd.
- The Beaches: Always a great place to take the entire family, our beaches are free and pay-to-enter, so there is a suitable one for everyone. Those who prefer fresh water can find many beaches near rivers, such as Frenchman’s Cove in Portland. Other popular beaches include Fort Clarence, Winniefred, Doctor’s Cave in Montego Bay, Mammee Bay Beach in Ocho Rios, Puerto Seco Beach in Discovery Bay, Great Bay in Treasure Beach and the Seven Mile beach in Negril. Nearly all offer amazing food such as fried fish, bammy and festival. If you’re not a big swimmer you can always enjoy the scene relaxing under a shady tree. (Pro tip: avoid the ones near hotels as they will be more crowded).
- National Museum Jamaica: Several institutions worth visiting this summer fall under the National Museum. They offer insight and information on Jamaica’s culture and history. Visit any one of them for a great educational trip for the family. These include the National Historic and Ethnographic Collection of the Institute of Jamaica at 10 East Street, Kingston. Other locations of the museum include: Fort Charles Museum, Port Royal ; Hanover Museum, Lucea; People’s Museum of Craft and Technology, Spanish Town; Museum of St James, Montego Bay; Liberty Hall, The Jamaica Music Museum and the Education Museum, at the Mico University College, Kingston.
- National Parks: These are wonderful places to take the family on an outing, whether to picnic, play some games or just enjoy the outdoors. You can visit national parks such as Holywell Park and Blue Mountains National Park in the Blue and John Crow Mountains. They have breath-taking views. Or, you can enjoy the urban ambiance of Emancipation Park and National Heroes Park. Also worth visiting are several marine parks, fish sanctuaries and forest reserves, and the Rockland Bird Sanctuary in Montego Bay.
We hope this can be a start that will help you find ways to keep your kids occupied this summer, and, if it’s not too much to ask that you parents have some fun with them as well. A family that plays together stays together.
For more ideas on what to do this summer and throughout the year, visit Prips Jamaica, your guide to everything Jamaica.