Barbados is a friendly-- though much-developed Caribbean island-- with fun family outings and direct flights from the UK. Read about 10 Fun Things to Do in Barbados with Kids.
Most photos here were taken on a jeep safari tour of the island. Above: wild and beautiful beaches can still be found in the north and northeast of the island, where seas are rough; Barbados is a much-developed island, and calmer beaches are likely to be home to resorts and other vacation lodging.
Barbados - Jeep Tour
A jeep "sfari" tour is a good way to see the island, especially for those not accustomed to left-hand drive.
Island Safari offers several tours. Our "Adventure Safari" included scenic sea views on the northern and eastern side of the island and much more. Lunch was included; soft drinks and rum punch were served en route.
Continue to British Lion As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary tours for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.
The first stop on our jeep safari was Gun Hill, where The "British Lion" above was sculpted in 1868, and the inscription pays homage to the British empire. Nowadays the Lion's a popular perch for tourists who want a photo op.
Continue to sugar mill ruins
Barbados Overview for Family Vacations: Sugar Mill Ruins
King Sugar ruled Barbados for centuries, though not without protest: Barbados, like many Caribbean islands, has a history of courageous slave revolts. Below: one of many ruins of old sugar mills that dot the island.
Continue to "Chattel House"
Barbados: Photo of Chattel House
One of the many "chattel houses" seen in Barbados: the house is constructed so that it can be folded down and moved one day.
Continue to Speightstown
Barbados, Overview for Family Vacations: Speightstown
The tiny town of Speightstown (west coast, toward the north, in St. Peter Parish) is an old port and one of the few towns in Barbados to still have small streets lined with two-storey shops, sometimes with Georgian balconies on the upper floor.
Continue to Crop Over
Crop Over Festival
Crop Over starts with a parade in mid-July and lasts for five weeks, culminating on Kadooment Day, a grand finale with costumed parade. Revived in the 1970's, the origins of Crop Over go back centuries, to celebrations when the hard work of harvesting the sugar cane was done. Above: some of the festivities on opening day, in Bridgetown.
Even today, the Crop Over King and Queen are those who've actually harvested the most sugar cane.
Continue to Harrison's Cave
An outing sure to please kids is Harrison's Cave, a unique natural formation and a popular tourist spot, located in the middle of the island.
The caves themselves are a wondrous sight, with just enough lighting to look eerily beautiful. You'll find grottoes, a "cathedral", Crystal Cavern, a blue-green underground lake.
Kids will like that visitors explore the cave on an electrically-operated tram*: something to ride, in other words. Visitors have several chances to disembark and take photos.
A tour guide provides history about the caves, which were described by an English visitor more than 200 years ago. Only in 1970, however, did real exploration take place.
*Always check destination web site for updates.