Family vacation guide: fun Montego Bay activities for the whole crew
By Lebawit Lily Girma, Dec 2019
Flecked by brilliant turquoise shores along Jamaica's north coast, Montego Bay is an ideal spot for a family vacation. Most of its resorts are a half-hour (or less) from the international airport, which means you'll be checked in and at the beach in no time. That keeps arrival headaches at bay and everyone, from mom to toddler, relaxed, happy and worry-free.
Montego Bay also packs a punch in entertainment, on or off the resort grounds. Whether it's water parks to keep the kids occupied, shallow white sand beaches ideal for toddlers or vibrant gardens and falls surrounded by hillside scenery, options for memorable family fun abound.
1. Exploring Dunn's River Falls
Discover the great outdoors in Jamaica with the whole family at Dunn's River Falls.
Tucked in the lush hills surrounding nearby Ocho Rios, Dunn's River Falls is a popular spot for immersing the family in the best of Jamaica's great outdoors. The beauty of Dunn's River is that everyone can partake in enjoying the fresh water that runs through this forest, and there are many different tours available that you can book in advance. For adults and teens, take a guided climb up the rocks along the wet trail and hike through the falls. Toddlers and their parents can walk up the dry pathway alongside the falls. Everyone can relax in the new Central Gardens section of Dunn's River Park, which boasts a picnic area and an interactive water park where small children can play and cool off.
Pro tip: When you're booking your tour through the park, pick a day without cruise ship visits and get there first thing in the morning or in the late afternoon.
2. Touring the Ahhh Ras Natango Gallery and Garden
Nestled in the hills above Montego Bay, these delightful botanical gardens are the perfect daytime escape from the beach and a fun cultural activity for your family vacation. A guided tour takes you on a light, shaded walk across the gardens, which sit 2,000 feet above sea level, and teaches you all about Jamaica's native plants, flowers and birds. Kids will love the hummingbirds; grown-ups will dig shopping for unique souvenirs at Ras Natango's stunning on-site art gallery and shop. Enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views over Montego Bay at the end of the walk; they're even better with a cold, fresh-squeezed juice straight from Ras Natango's garden.
3. Bamboo river rafting on the Martha Brae
Relax on a bamboo raft as you take in the tranquil views surrounding the Martha Brae.
Cruising down the Martha Brae River on a 30-foot bamboo raft is one of Jamaica's most iconic experiences. It's also a great way to take in lush inland scenery while relaxing and learning about the island's flora and fauna. You'll sit comfortably in bamboo chairs as your guide rows slowly through the Martha Brae's calm jade waters and shares the history of the area. If you're feeling adventurous, try your hand at rowing for a photo op.
Maximizing resort fun
When you check in, ask for the kids' club's activity schedule so you can start planning how to keep the little ones entertained when you're not tooling around the island. Get in some beach time in the morning, then switch to the water park and the pool in the afternoon. The late afternoon is a great time to rest and cool off indoors before heading back out for dinner.
Whether your group stays at the resort for the beach and the family-friendly activities or ventures into the great Jamaican outdoors, Montego Bay offers options for all ages. If there's anything you should be prepared for, it's your family asking when you'll be going back to Jamaica.
Browse our Jamaica vacation packages today to start your family adventure!