Fun’s a Shore Thing at Jamaica’s Beaches Negril

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hammock shrunkYour beach vacation B.C. (before children)? Some sunbathing, a frozen tropical beverage, maybe a good book. Your beach vacation A.C.? Let’s just say being a beach bum is a lot tougher once you have kids. Unless, of course, you pick the right resort.

If you’re looking to relax, but you’re child is looking for excitement, look no further than Beaches Negril. This Jamaican holiday is great for all ages, from toddler to teen, to the ages in-between. Beacause of its fantastic kids club, it can also be a romantic getaway for Mom and Dad.

I recently escaped the Midwest winter for a warm weekend in this beautiful and lively coastal Jamaican town, just one hour from the Montego Bay airport. Luckily, Chicago is one of the many cities with direct flights to Montego Bay, making a long weekend in Jamaica, no problem, mon!

As reggae legend Bob Marley would say, “Don’t worry ‘bout a thing”— Beaches Negril has it taken care of. Being an all-inclusive, your food, drinks, watersports and entertainment are all covered.

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Sunny Days

Can you tell me how to get to… the best kids club on the PLANET?! Is your child sweet on Elmo? How about a tea party with Big Bird or baking cookies with Cookie Monster?  That’s what’s on the menu at Beaches Negril. The Sesame Street characters drop by the kids club throughout the day. One day my four-year-old daughter’s group went on a nature walk with Grover, another day Zoe stopped in for story time. There’s even a weekly Sesame Street Parade. While my husband and I were out snorkeling, scuba diving and relaxing on the beach, my daughter was having the vacation of her dreams in the kids camp.

boat shrunk Tween Time
Has your child already moved away from Sesame Street? There’s plenty for ‘tweens as well, from tie dye t-shirt and jewelry making to pool games and waterskiing. When they want a break from the sun, they can step inside the XBOX 360 Play Lounge.

Teens Rule
It’s no adults allowed during certain hours at the resort’s disco, Club Liquid. Come here between 8-10pm and it’s teens only. There also Trench Town, a reggae-inspired gaming lounge open throughout the day. No need to spend all your time inside though, this is the Caribbean, after all! There’s plenty of watersports for teens and tweens, including snorkeling, beach volleyball, windsurfing and banana boat rides. There’s also an on-site waterpark, with a splash pad for little ones and a multi-story water slide for the big kids.

starfish shrunkUnder the Sea
Beaches Negril lies on the most beautiful stretch of Jamaica’s coastline, known as Seven Mile Beach. You can relax in a hammock while the kids are off doing their thing, or enjoy one of the many watersports activities as a family.


Snorkeling and even scuba diving is included in the price of staying here. My little mermaid was the perfect age to enjoy the glass bottom boat tour! 

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Raising the Bar
How many swim-up bars cater to kids, as well as adults? while I was enjoying a pina colada, my daughter was particularly fond of the Fairy Princess frozen concoction mixed up by her favorite bartender.
bar beachMy other favorite bar was right on the beach. While your kids are throwing a football or building a sandcastle, you can be enjoying your favorite tropical umbrella-decked drink. Can you think of a better place to enjoy the sunset— toes in the sand and drink in hand? 

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Romance is on the Menu

There are five restaurants on the property, including a pizzeria, Japanese steakhouse and a jerk chicken and burger stand. Our favorite was Stewfish, a casual, yet romantic, al-fresco seafood restaurants located right on the beach. And when I say on the beach, I mean your feet are actually in the sand.
While we were enjoying delicious Jamaican seafood, our daughter was playing in the sand, only steps away. When’s the last night you had a romantic dinner with your four-year-old in tow? Somehow, Beaches Negril makes it possible.

After our nightly al-fresco meal in paradise, we’d usually check out the nightly entertainment. Every night they have an incredible family-friendly show. Some nights featured live Jamaican music and dancers in traditional costumes. Other nights Big Bird and his friends were in the spotlight, but every night’s show was great.Andrea Guthmann is a freelance journalist focusing on family travel. She spent many years as a writer/producer for WTTW-TV, the PBS station in Chicago. Her travel stories have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Parent and on-line travel sites.

A native Floridian, Andrea’s now a big (windy) city mom of 3, who range in age from pre-school to high school. She loves sailing Lake Michigan and visiting the world class museums and restaurants in her sweet home Chicago. Being a scenery starved city girl she loves escaping to the outdoors during vacations and is working hard to raise 3 happy campers.

Disclosure: Beaches Negril hosted the author to research this story.

 


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