Chances are you are familiar with the iconic peachy-pink buildings that make up Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas. But did you know that this Caribbean spot is just a short flight from the U.S. and is totally kid-friendly? It has one of the best waterparks we’ve ever seen, the food is top-notch (hello, Nobu!) and there’s so much for families to do both at the resort and in nearby Nassau. Here’s what you’ll discover when you visit Atlantis (and book now to get your 4th night free!).
The Waterpark Will Blow You Away
Get ready to spend all your time in the water when you visit Atlantis. Set up your gear on a lounge chair and snag a double tube to cruise around the rapids river at Aquaventure. This waterpark is just outside your door if you stay at The Royal (this is where we recommend you stay as it is the most centrally located building on property) and just a short walk from the rest of the resort’s buildings.
Look for the Mayan Temple if you want some waterslide action. There’s even one waterslide where you and your bestie can hop aboard a double tube, head down the waterslide and end up in a tunnel with sharks (well, not WITH sharks, they’re just on the other side of the plexiglass, thank goodness)!
With 11 pools to choose from, you’ll definitely find one that suits your family’s needs. Little ones will want to check out Splashers, the Mayan-themed water playground full of sprayers, dump buckets, mini waterslides and more.
Access to Aquaventure is included for guests of Atlantis. Snag your wristband when you start your day. There are lockers you can rent closer to the beach area and towel stands all over. Plus, food is available poolside and there’s even a Starbucks for those early morning pool visits.
5 Miles of Beaches Surround Atlantis Paradise Island
If you want some relaxation time after a day at the waterpark, head to the beach. You can snag a lounge chair and set the kids up with some buckets and shovels and everyone will be content. There are protected coves that keep the waves at bay and are they perfect for little ones.
Dining Options Are Plentiful and Excellent
Whether you want to go casual or totally upscale, Atlantis has a dining option for you. You can even add on a dining plan if you want to make it easier on yourself during your stay. Bonus: kids 6 and under are free on the dining plan with a paying adult.
Here are our recommendations for dining while at Atlantis:
- Olives: This is a great spot for families with lots of kid-friendly options like pizza and pasta. You’ll love the focaccia and the whole fish is not to be missed.
- Carmine’s: Italian food that’s perfect for sharing is the name of the game at this kid-friendly spot.
- Fish by José Andrés: Located in The Cove, this spot was our favorite for its bright and welcoming ambiance and delicious offerings. While it’s definitely more upscale, we saw many families dining here. Start your meal off right with the hush puppies and then try one of the different preparations of conch, a Bahamian specialty.
- Seafire Steakhouse: This is another family favorite for when you want a meal that everyone will enjoy. We found the service to be attentive and the food, delicious. Go for the surf and turf with the Bahamian lobster tail and filet mignon if you want to best of both worlds.
- Nobu: Japanese cuisine is the name of the game at this spot that should be saved for a night when someone else will watch the kids (more on that below). Go for the tasting menu if your appetite allows or order up a selection of nigiri and maki for the table to share.
Quick tip: If you plan to dine at these are any of the other restaurants during your stay, you’ll want to book your reservations before you arrive as they do get busy.
Where to Stay at Atlantis Paradise Island
We definitely recommend booking your rooms in The Royal when you visit Atlantis Paradise Island. They are the towers that flank the bridge suite that’s often referred to as the “Michael Jackson suite.” These rooms are all undergoing renovation (East Tower to be completed summer 2022 followed closely by the West Tower) and we found them to be bright and airy. Rooms come with a mini fridge and coffee maker to get your day off to the right start.
The Royal has the best location for waterpark access. You can also visit the aquarium and casino in these buildings.
Quick tip: Book now and you’ll snag your 4th night free, an amazing savings!
Atlantis Kids Adventure: The Kids Club of Your Dreams
Looking for some adult time while you are at Atlantis Paradise Island? Book the kids (ages 3-12) into the Atlantis Kids Adventure kids club for the afternoon or evening session and they will be thrilled to participate in culinary activities, outdoor games, art and so much more. You can add on dinner to the evening session so you don’t have to worry about feeding the kids before you head to Nobu.
Quick tip: Your kids can even become mermaids and mermen for a day at the Mermaid Adventures/Camp.
Animal Encounters Are Around Every Corner
The kids are going to love spotting all of the animals that make their home at Atlantis from the hammerheads to the sea turtles. You’ll find animal feedings and creature talks throughout your stay so be sure to make note of those times if that interests you. In the lobby of The Royal, you’ll find an aquarium with sunken treasure (you can even book some snorkel time here).
Dolphin Cay is where you’ll find some real hands-on encounters from dolphin experiences to swimming with sea lions. When you book an activity here, you’ll learn all about how the property took in 17 stranded dolphins and 10 sea lions whose home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and since then has become a safe haven for injured animals (many of which are released after being rehabilitated). Check out the Atlantis Blue Project Foundation page for more info on all that Atlantis is doing to protect our oceans.
A Visit to Nearby Nassau Is Just a $5 Ferry Ride Away
Want to see a little more of The Bahamas while you are there? There’s an easy way to get from Atlantis over to Nassau and that’s via the $5 ferry. Get the resort shuttle to take you over to the Harborside Resort and you can take a short walk over to where you can catch the ferry to Nassau. It seemed to run about every 30 minutes (island time, of course) and it drops you off near Señor Frogs in Nassau after a 15-minute ride.
Walk around the downtown area and stop by the Straw Market for some haggling over souvenirs. The Pirate Museum is another fun spot for families to visit. Restaurants are plentiful and you can catch the ferry back when you are done (just be sure to ask the time of the last ferry so you don’t miss it).
Planning a Visit This Summer? Check Out These Special Events
July 4th: The Royal Baths pool deck transforms into a traditional American fairground, complete with fair games, watermelon and pie-eating contests, hot dog and funnel cake stands. Listen to live music, join in a Junkanoo rushout parade and watch a spectacular fireworks display right on the beach.
Bahamian Independence on July 10th: You are invited to the biggest party in paradise as Atlantis celebrates The Bahamas’ 49th year of Independence. The celebration includes signature Bahamian entertainment, live music, traditional foods and drinks, and a fireworks display.
Music Making Waves Summer Concert Series: Summer bring this family-friendly program that includes Kidz Play Zones, a Blue Project zone with educational experiences, food trucks and a beer garden.
Tips for Visiting Atlantis Paradise Island with Kids
- Download the Atlantis app to make it easier to navigate the massive property before you get your bearings.
- Need some extra-special guidance to make your Atlantis vacation the best? Head to The Coral to chat with the Kids Concierge. They can help with making reservations, hooking you up with a daily itinerary, providing you with kids’ menus and so much more.
- There are many different options for where to stay at Atlantis. We recommend booking your room in The Royal as it puts you most centrally located and close to the waterpark action. If your crew includes really little ones, The Coral could be a good option for you as it has a lower-key water area right nearby.
- Bring your watershoes and plan to wear them at Aquaventure. The ground heats up as the day goes on and you’ll be thankful you have them. Goggles and a beach bag are a good idea too.
- Book your dinner reservations in advance to ensure you get dining times that work for your family.
- There are gift shops at The Royal and at Harborside Resort if you forget your sunscreen or other necessities. The one at the Harborside Resort also sells alcohol.
- A cab from the airport to the resort will run you around $45.
Editor’s note: This trip was paid for by Atlantis Paradise Island but all opinions belong to the writer.
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