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#354607 - 10/15/09 01:42 AM 2nd Trip...but bringin the kids this time, HELP!
TannedBanana Offline
So the wife and I were in San Pedro a couple years ago and we were lucky enough to meet another couple from up north (midwest) who we have kept in contact with. We communicate through email quite often, share bits of common interest and are always talking about meeting back up one day.

Well, long story short, they soon after purchased a townhome on the north end so they'd have a place to stay when they came down. They haven't been able to use it much lately so he offered up use of the place for a deal we can't pass up and we thought this time we would bring our (by then) almost 9 year old daughter and 5 year old son.

Do any of you have any tips or ideas about how to keep them active? We thought about:

--hitting the beach at Caye Caulker (seeing as San Pedro's shallow water is full of seaweed). Or are there other lesser known beach hangouts we could go? Smaller Cayes accessable by boat?
--Maybe zip lining? Is there a height or age requirement? (Both of our kids are fairly tall for their age)
--Snorkling the reef (I seemed to remember that being a fairly easy trip)
--Cabe tubing seems pretty easy...

Also, do you know if there are any services that offer childcare/laundry/cooking? I'm not so sure how I feel about the childcare part yet...we would have to feel VERY secure. Opinions?

Thanks,
TB

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#354612 - 10/15/09 02:13 AM Re: 2nd Trip...but bringin the kids this time, HELP! [Re: TannedBanana]
Juan Grande Offline
My wife and I live here full-time with our 3 children (12, 9 and 4-1/2), and have for over 4 years now. I can tell you what our kids love doing and then take it with a grain of salt and add it to your own research.

1) Belize Zoo. The Belize zoo is truly world-class. Now it doesn't compare to the London Zoo or the San Diego Zoo on many levels, but you will not find a more natural habitat in which to find animals in their native surroundings. It's especially fun for the kids because of all the hand painted signs explaining the exhibits. Just beware that if you read the sign about the tapirs too slowly you will be urinated on from 30' before you get to the part of the sign that warns about it. Yes, I have seen it happen to unsuspecting tourists. It's a beautiful setting and the kids will love it.

2) Caye Caulker day sail with Seaduced. This one is great because you can snorkel with the kids, or if they aren't up for it, or are not "in the mood" then they can still have lots of fun staying aboard the catamaran while at Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley. Even if the youngest doesn't snorkel, you can get in the water very easily off the back of the cat, and even from the seating on the deck they can see the jacks, nurse sharks and rays swimming all around the boat. My kids never get tired of sitting in the "hammock netting" at the front of the cat, and while on Caye Caulker for two hours, they can swim in the water just south of the cut. (Juts beware the current in the cut or channel on Caye Caulker with young ones.)

3) And a true insider's tip...rather than cave tubing with the masses, go cave canoeing at Barton Creek with Windy Hill Tours. Their are two to a canoe, so you will each have a child with you and the children will have the "car battery operated" searchlights" as you go deep into the Barton Creek cave system by canoe. Best of all, after you explore the cave by canoe, the kids can play on the rope swings for a good hour or so in what looks like a setting you couldn't have imagined looking any nicer. No tour buses or cruise ship passengers for this one. And on the drive to Barton Creek you can stop at an Amish farm (you pass through an Amish community - not the same as Mennonite) and buy fresh mangos for $.50 BZ (in season).

Hope you have a great trip, and if you follow at least some of this advice, you and your children are in for a trip they won't soon forget.
_________________________
Live the life less ordinary.

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#354637 - 10/15/09 02:39 PM Re: 2nd Trip...but bringin the kids this time, HELP! [Re: Juan Grande]
Barbara K Offline
All good suggestions. The Barton Creek cave trip will probably require an overnight on the mainland since it is a haul from Bz City. You can stay right there at the Barton Creek Outpost - the family that owns it has a bunch of kids of all ages and a variety of lodgings including camping for cheap. Or Crystal Paradise is a good reasonably priced family resort in the general area.
On the island, there are plenty of places to swim and hang out on the beach which are good for kids - in front of Ramon's, down by Banyan Bay/Grand Colony, further down by Caribe Island. All shallow and relatively clear. There will be lots of local kids around too. Babysitting is readily available, but maybe not if you are very far north of the cut. Where is the place you'll be staying?
Bring some fishing poles and let the kids try their luck off the piers. My 11 yr old caught lots of fish from the big pier by Grand Colony a few months ago. Rent bikes and explore the island. Joe's bike rental has kids sized bikes. Stop at the Hol Chan Aquarium on Caribena St (across from Joe's Bikes)- free and kid oriented. Let them feed the tarpon at Sunset Grill while you enjoy a great meal. Ak'Bol Yoga resort (on the N end) often has a "kids club" running - the owners have a couple of kids and it is available to kids from any resort when open (call them 226-2073).
Lots to do for kids. Let them meet the local kids and you all will have the best holiday of your lives!
_________________________
www.barbsbelize.com

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#354679 - 10/15/09 07:37 PM Re: 2nd Trip...but bringin the kids this time, HELP! [Re: Barbara K]
reaper Offline
golf cart trips exploring the island, Shark Ray Alley, a swimming pool, Mannely's ice cream, feed the fish off Ramon's dock.

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#354712 - 10/15/09 10:53 PM Re: 2nd Trip...but bringin the kids this time, HELP! [Re: reaper]
travelqueen Offline
TannedBanana, I didn't read the responses so maybe this was mentioned but my 8 yr old LOVES any of the pools and Mannelly's ice cream.

They'll have a blast!

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#354744 - 10/16/09 02:30 AM Re: 2nd Trip...but bringin the kids this time, HEL [Re: travelqueen]
Sugarbear Offline
My wife and I are doing the same thing, second trip this time bring the children ages 12 and 8. We will be there for he two weeks of Christmas, we have booked cave tubing and zip lining but we booked it on a day when there are no cruise ships in port therefore it should not be as crowded. We also booked a day trip snorkeling and Caye Caulker. The canoe trip sounds pretty good also. I am sure we can find things to stay busy condo has a pool.

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#354745 - 10/16/09 02:35 AM Re: 2nd Trip...but bringin the kids this time, HEL [Re: Juan Grande]
Sugarbear Offline
Quick question for Juan Grande, we have considering moving to Ambergris, our children are 12 and 8, what about the schools there?

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#354993 - 10/19/09 03:40 AM Re: 2nd Trip...but bringin the kids this time, HEL [Re: Sugarbear]
Gridguy Offline
You might try the living in Belize forum if you dont get an answer here...

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#355001 - 10/19/09 12:28 PM Re: 2nd Trip...but bringin the kids this time, HEL [Re: Gridguy]
suecate Offline
We have taken our kids (10 & 11) 5 of the past 6 trips and they love just swimming at the cut jumping off the docks at the tides. We are lucky they both dive now but dont miss snorkeling at mexico rocks its my favorite pretty easy and not as crowded as shark ray and hol chan.

We did the zip lining and the ruins both were fun I just dont love the boat ride.. Dont forget the chicken drop kids always love things that poop..and you can win money.

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#355052 - 10/19/09 08:16 PM Re: 2nd Trip...but bringin the kids this time, HEL [Re: suecate]
D.O.A. Offline
Kids love pools...
Our daughter likes riding around in the mornings looking for Iguanas on the road, feeding the tarpon at sunset grill, taking some items to the local schools (helps them to figure out that they have it good as well), grabbing a smoothie somewhere, even played min golf one time, but I am not sure if it is still around....

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