We’re not big into “Bucket Lists” in our family; generally speaking, when we want to do something, we do it. Still, we live by our Dream Jar, in which we have collected our family travel wishes since L was born in 2009.
We’re making one of those wishes come true next week with a four-day excursion to Yosemite. And tonight, as I ceremoniously stripped the jar of all those wishes about Yosemite Falls and Glacier Point and El Capitan and the iconic Ahwahnee Hotel, I added a new destination to the mix: The Cayman Islands.
The islands comprise a territory of the United Kingdom; there are three of them in all (Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman), and they sit in a cluster south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica.
They also seem like one of the most family-friendly places on Earth.
No, I’m not talking about the powder-soft sand or the turquoise waters. Nor am I singing the praises of the friendly people (the world’s friendliest, according to Forbes). I’m also not extolling the virtues of the island hotels or restaurants. I’m just saying that it sounds like these islands have cool stuff to do.
Such as Cayman Carnival Batabano, an annual event in early May that is one-part circus one-part cultural celebration. Friends who have been tell me the event is a one-night cultural immersion, featuring music, dance, and colorful costumes. According to locals, it also features street parades for adults and children alike (this year, the family day is on May 10).
Another family-friendly draw: Pirates Week. This time-honored November tradition celebrates Caymanian culture with more than 40 family-friendly events, including live music performances, street games, parades, sports competitions, fireworks, costumes, and more.
(There’s also an homage to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” flicks.)
I know my older daughter in particular would love the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, which looks like it has other-worldly displays of native flora and fauna. L would never want to leave the Floral Color Garden, which bills itself as one of the most colorful places in the world. When we go, we’ll have to be sure to bring a sketch pad and enough colored pencils for the girl to share.
And we’ll have to stop at the Stingray City Sandbar for R. This natural sandbar area is home to a fleet of people-friendly southern stingrays who congregate all day long. Visitors can swim among these creatures and touch them. Because Little R is an animal lover, I know she would not want to leave.
Sounds fun, right? It does to me. I’m putting the Cayman Islands in the jar.
If you might want to visit the Cayman Islands, check out the current “Caymankind” promotion being offered by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (which paid me to write this post). As part of this promotion, one family can win an all-expenses paid trip for 4 to the Cayman Islands by sharing what makes their child a “Caymankind” of kid. To enter, click here and submit a blurb about your child’s kind act, his/her respect for others, or the care your child shows for the environment. Good luck!