Disclosure: I’ve visited Turks and Caicos twice as part of complimentary press trips. All opinions are my own.
The Caribbean islands offer a wealth of activities for families, and Turks and Caicos is no exception. This British Territory, comprising two groups of islands, is known for its crisp turquoise waters, making it a beautiful place to explore. If you are arriving on Turks and Caicos via airplane, you are likely staying in Providenciales, while cruise ships arrive at Grand Turk. We recently enjoyed a few days in Providenciales, the most populous of the islands, and loved all of our activities.
Note that this post focuses mostly on things to do in Providenciales, although there are also activities located on Grand Turk and Middle Caicos.
Things to Do in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos With Kids
Visit the Beach in Turks and Caicos
It goes without saying that you’ll want to spend much of your time on the beach. Our hotel, the West Bay Club, is located right on Grace Bay Beach, in a gorgeous part of the beach. You’ll love the gorgeous turquoise water and white sand of this beautiful beach.
At the West Bay Club, beach staff was readily available to help set up umbrellas and beach chairs, and get food from the beach bar and grill. Just be sure to bring lots of sunscreen – the sun was very hot. Despite the fact that there are other things to do on the island, you’ll likely spend most of your time on the beach.
Learn about Nature in Turks and Caicos
The snorkeling is fantastic on Turks and Caicos. Our children enjoyed exploring the ocean right from the hotel beach, as well as a few snorkeling areas within walking distance. Snorkeling excursions can also be booked if you want to go out further and spend more time. One of the most popular spots in Smith Reef in Providenciales.
We also visited the TCI Natural Resources Museum, which is located at DEMA (the Department of Environment and Maritime Affairs). It’s just one room, but offers kids the chance to learn more about the islands and the species of life that can be found there. There’s also an elevation model in the center of the room that shows the islands. It’s free, so it’s worth checking out.
Enjoy Turks and Caicos Water Sports
The kids also spent some time with Morgan and Greg from SURFside Ocean Academy. SURFside Ocean Academy offers ecoadventure, water sports, and children’s activities. Some of these activities can be booked with the West Bay Club, while others can be booked directly with SURFside. My children absolutely loved both Morgan and Greg – they were patient and friendly with the kids. Over the course of two days, they explored the ocean via boat and snorkels, went tubing, and learned how to water ski. You can book any of the SURFside excursions regardless of where you stay.
They also offer island tours and private charters. Kids may love the Iguana Island Hop. With this tour, you’ll take a quick boat ride over to Little Water cay where you can see the Rock Iguana.
Eat Delicious Food
Turks and Caicos boasts some delicious food, with a focus on local seafood. Our resort’s head chef, Chef Joseph, prepared some amazing food, especially his specialty – ribs (my kids, who had never eaten ribs, are still begging to go back just for those ribs!).
During our trip, we also traveled to Bugaloo’s, a seafood restaurant located right on the Caribbean side of Providenciales. It’s difficult to get to Bugaloo’s if you don’t have a car (cabs are quite expensive), but it’s worth the trip. While dining, we watched restaurant employees preparing the local fish and conch right in the sea.
If your trip takes place over a Thursday evening, then you absolutely have to visit the weekly Fish Fry at The Bight Settlement. Popular with both tourists and locals, the Fish Fry is a fun Caribbean festival filled with food booths, entertainment, and merchandise. Bring cash, because there are lots of vendors selling food and handmade items.
Our resort was within walking distance of the Fish Fry, so we were able to walk over. If taking a cab or driving, be sure to arrive early, as parking was limited. It’s definitely where all the locals visit every week.
Visit the Caicos Conch Farm
Because of the recent hurricane damage, the Caicos Conch Farm is closed. I’m leaving the information here in case it does reopen in the near future.
When visiting Turks and Caicos with kids, be sure to stop by the world’s only commercial conch farm. Conch grown on the farm is then shipped to the United States for consumption. The tour took about 45 minutes, and our guide was friendly and knowledgeable.
Be sure to bring cash (the official currency of the Turks and Caicos Islands is the US dollar), because they do not accept credit cards.
Turks and Caicos Family Resort Activities
Providenciales is home to so many wonderful luxurious resorts, many of which are family friendly. Depending on where you stay, you are likely to find a number of family-friendly activities, including kids’ clubs, beach fun, and water sports.
At Beaches Turks and Caicos, you’ll have access to a water park, kids’ clubs, entertainment, activities with Sesame Street characters, and an X-box lounge.
Where to Stay in Turks and Caicos With Kids
You’ll have lots of great options of Turks and Caicos Resorts. We’ve stay at the West Bay Club and Beaches Turks and Caicos, and have enjoyed both. They are very different, so think about the type of experience that you want to have before making a decision. Beaches is best if you want an all-inclusive resort experience, as well as lots of activities. If you prefer a more low-key, luxurious vacation, I’d definitely recommend the West Bay Club.
Volunteering in Providenciales
During my press trip to Beaches Turks and Caicos, I took part in the Reading Road Trip. During this morning activity, I took a van to a nearby public school and had the opportunity to read a book to local students. They loved reading Make Way for Ducklings and were so interested in learning about my home near Boston. It was a wonderful experience and I’d definitely love to do it again.
There’s also an opportunity to walk local strays, called Potcakes. This article explains how to do that, and when you should arrive.
Grand Turk, where the cruise ships land, is home to Cockburn Town, the capital of the Turks and Caicos islands. There, you’ll find the Turks and Caicos National Museum, which offers information about the history and culture of the islands. In addition, you’ll find many of the same types of activities listed above for Providenciales. These include snorkeling and water sports.
Tips for visiting Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
- The local currency is the US Dollar, which makes things easy if you are visiting from the United States.
- Like most islands, everything is more expensive on the island. Bring your own sunscreen and other toiletries where possible to save money.
- The drinking age in Turks and Caicos is 18. If you have kids over 18 and under 21, you’ll probably want to have a conversation about that before visiting, especially if you are staying at an all-inclusive resort.
- They use the same plugs as the US, so you don’t need an adaptor.
- They are on the same time zone as the US east coast during standard time, but don’t observe daylight saving time.
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Originally posted in 2015, updated in 2018.