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5 Local Tips For Turks & Caicos With Kids

We moved a little less than a year ago from Canada to Providenciales (“Provo” to the locals), the main island in the Turks & Caicos chain and the destination for most visitors.

We’d enjoyed several activity-packed vacations in Provo before moving here. But settling in has given us the time to really explore and enjoy the islands with our 6-year-old. Here are our five our favorite things to do with kids on Turks & Caicos.

(Read about Turks & Caicos with toddlers and tweens, too.)

5 Local Family Favorites on Providenciales

 1. Explore “The Bight”

 Lower Bight Road is home to The National Environmental Centre (NEC).

the Exhibits at the National Environemental Center in Providenciales, TCI

Opened in 2007, the center does a great job of explaining the natural habitats and ecosystems of the Turks & Caicos Islands. My daughter especially likes the exhibits that explain sharks, snakes and other local sea creatures.

 The excellent Children’s Park at Bight Beach (top) across from the NEC has slides, swings and jungle gyms as well as plenty of shade for parents.

You’ll find cold drinks in several nearby shops and the beach is just a few feet away. When we’re done on the swings and the jungle gym we cool off with a dip in the bay.

 2. Hit the Local Beaches

kid-friendly Long Bay Beach in TCI

We’ve done a bit of exploring and have finally chosen Long Bay Beach, located on the east side of the island as our favorite. Long Bay has waves but small children can still have fun exploring its clear, shallow waters.

Its reliable, gentle breeze makes it a favorite spot for kite boarders—the colorful sails contrast beautifully with the turquoise waters.  We often take a kite with us for onshore kite flying, too.

Grace Bay Beach, the most famous destination in the Turks & Caicos, sits along the broad pocket on the north side of Provo. There’s less wind, smaller waves and a gentler surf for youngersters who are just learning to swim. Grace Bay is bright and hot during the day, though, so be sure to stake out a spot with some shade.

 With Older Kids: Take a scenic horseback ride along Long Bay Beach.

3. Take a Ferry Ride

This past spring we had the chance to take our daughter on the fast-ferry service that takes travelers from Provo to South Caicos and back in a single day.

We went to watch the annual May regatta, an island-wide celebration that features big parties and boat races. But at any time of year you can enjoy its less touristy, more local vibe.

We also like to walk around historical Cockburn Harbor and enjoy watching flocks of flamingos in the salt pans. My daughter’s favorite part, of course, was the ferry ride itself.

 With older kids: South Caicos has excellent fishing and SCUBA diving.

4. Explore the island

the playground at neptune villas, las brisas

One of our favorite Sunday excursions takes us to Chalk Sound and Taylor Beach.  No matter how often we go we’re amazed at how clear and calm the surf is.  We wade way out in shallow water hunting for starfish.

When we’re hungry we brush the sand off and head to lunch at Las Brisas, a fantastic waterfront restaurant at *Neptune Villas, which happens to have a playground.  If you still have energy after lunch you can rent kayaks there, too (we haven’t yet, but it’s on our to-do list).

5.  Take Some Grown-Up Time

If your resort has baby-sitting and you manage to swing some couple time, head to my favorite mommy retreat, The Spa at *The Palms Resort, one of the best resorts on Turks and Caicos.  After trying some of their many fantastic services, enjoy a bite to eat at the resort’s gourmet food store (which my daughter refers to as the fancy treat shop).

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A Canadian expat mom living in Providenciales gives her favorite playgrounds, family beaches, rainy day activities and date night spots for a vacation with kids on this Turks and Caicos island. #Turksandcaicos #vacation #kids

 Sue Nickason does marketing for The Shore Club, a vacation community on Provo’s Long Bay Beach, and several Turks & Caicos resorts.

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