Atlantis, Paradise Island is the most iconic property in the Caribbean. With its pink towers rising above the white sand and sparkling blue water, it beckons families to the Bahamas. The resort features 6 different hotel towers, 21 restaurants, 19 bars and lounges, 11 pools, a 141-acre waterpark, and the largest open-air marine habitat in the world. Not surprisingly, families consider Atlantis the best resort in the Bahamas. However, with so much to do, it can be overwhelming to figure out how to maximize your time. To help with your planning our family put together a list of our 25 favorite things to do with kids at Atlantis. Whether you do all of these activities, or just one, your family vacation to Atlantis, Paradise Island is sure to be awesome!
If you’ve seen a photo of Atlantis, Paradise Island chances are you’ve seen the famous Mayan Temple. Brave souls drop down from the top of the pyramid and fly through an aquarium full of sharks. Don’t close your eyes because it’s quite a thrill! The waterslides are the focus of Aquaventure, the Atlantis waterpark, and it’s where most families settle for the day. The Mayan Temple has four slides, two of which float you through the shark tank. The Power Tower is adjacent and it features 4 slides as well as the Rapid River. Aquaventure is definitely one of the best activities for kids at Atlantis! You’ll discover slides and a spa hidden behind rocks and bridges that connect to surprising water features. Spectators are able to view wildlife in the surrounding aquariums while waiting for children to come flying down the slides so everyone will love Aquaventure!
Swim with the Dolphins
There is something magical about swimming with dolphins and your family can do it at Atlantis, Paradise Island! Dolphin Cay is one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated marine-mammal habitats. There are several programs that provide personal experiences with dolphins as well as sea lions. With “Swim in Wonder” ages 6+ will have the chance to swim freely, rub, play, and be towed around by dolphins. It’s a unique encounter that will be the highlight of any vacation to Atlantis. With “Dip ‘N Discover” you’ll stand waist-high and closely interact with your new squeaky friend. You can also reserve a kayak or paddle board session to float around the habitat and watch the dolphins play. In addition, sea lion lovers can reserve some playtime with their favorite animals too! Every visit to Dolphin Cay supports the Atlantis Blue Project Foundation, which focuses on marine conservation.
Float the River
There are two areas of Atlantis where you can ride the rivers. First, for a relaxing float check out the “Lazy River Ride” by the Beach Tower. However, for a more exciting experience try the “Rapids River” by the Power Tower. You’ll ride the current through caves, spin around in narrow waterways, and dash under waterfalls. Our family still laughs about Dad getting flipped over by a surprise wave…twice! The Power Tower tube slides spit you out into the Rapids River so you get a bonus ride as you float your way back to the entrance of the waterslides. You can hop out with your tube and climb to the top, or after you pass station #5 steer right and a conveyor belt will pull you to the top of the tower. River rafting together is a great way to make memories with your kids at Atlantis!
Explore the Aquariums
Atlantis, Paradise Island boats the largest open-air marine habitat in the world. Scattered around the resort are 14 lagoons with more than 50,000 aquatic animals. Many of these areas provide viewing locations above and below the surface for an up-close look at what lives in the ocean. To witness a shark glide along with giant stingrays and swirling schools of fish is magical. Eyes will grow big as you discover such scenes are common, and the abundant marine life will captivate the whole family. “The Dig,” in the Royal Tower, will transport you thousands of years to a time when Atlantis might have existed. As soon as you enter, sound effects and impressive tanks will draw you into another world, and you’ll be in awe of the barracuda, piranha, eels, and other unique creatures! To have access to such amazing aquariums makes a family vacation at Atlantis incredibly special.
While Atlantis, Paradise Island is not a Bahamas all-inclusive family resort there are plenty of dining options to fit every occasion and budget. Fine dining restaurants such as Nobu, Olives, Fish, and SeaFire Steakhouse have celebrity chefs and make for a special evening out. Kids will enjoy watching chefs prepare meals with amazing speed in the open kitchen of Olives, which serves Mediterranean cuisine. Or, you can take the shuttle to The Point, at the Harborside Resort, for outdoor dining amongst mega yachts. Before dinner, grab a drink at one of Atlantis’ bars such as Sea Glass (The Cove) or Moon Bar (The Royal). For a casual dinner visit Marina Village for burgers, pizza, or a local beer at Pirate Republic, the only craft brewery in the country. Plato’s (The Royal) offers quick bites for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and has an awesome lounge and bar for watching sporting events.
Atlantis Kids Adventure
Kids have their own special club on Paradise Island, Atlantis Kids Adventures. The inviting and brightly colored kids zone is centrally located in The Royal. The Atlantis kids club is designed to entertain kids ages 3-12 with plenty of actives for a variety of interests. Play areas include an interactive grocery store, Lego and construction building, a Victorian dollhouse as well as a place to play games or curl up with a book. Cooking classes are also available. Frequently Kids Night Out programs are offered so parents can enjoy some adult time. Kids will look forward to their own evening adventures with themes like “Sleepless Slumber Party,” “Kids Kasino,” “Shark Adventure,” or themed carnivals. Atlantis Kids Adventures is open 10:30am – 10:30pm and fees vary depending on the session. Kids must be potty trained and pull-up free. Undoubtedly, Kids Adventures is an activity that both kids and parents will enjoy!
Snorkel the Ruins
The aquariums at Atlantis, Paradise Island are full of marine life. Guests can reserve the chance to snorkel through The Ruins Lagoon, a 2.7 million gallon tank inspired by ancient Atlantis. Rarely in the wild is one able to view 20,000 fish, stingrays, sharks, and lobsters all in one place! Even experienced scuba divers will get a thrill from being so close to such abundant wildlife. Snorkeling the Ruins is one of the most unique experiences for families at Atlantis. Moreover, it’s an activity that you won’t find anywhere else. If you love snorkeling and marine life this is the tour for you. Observers can watch from The Dig or the lower level of the Great Hall of Wonders, located in The Royal. Reservations can be made in advance, through a concierge, or at an Atlantis Adventures location on the property.
Animal Experiences & Feedings
Kids at Atlantis will love seeing all of the creatures that call the resort home. You won’t want to walk the same way twice because you never know if you’ll find a hammerhead shark or turtle waiting for you at the end of a path. Atlantis offers families the opportunity to interact with the incredible sea life in several unique ways. Atlantis Adventures can book a Stingray Experience (age 5+) where guests can feed, touch, and snorkel with these majestic creatures. Sea Squirts (ages 3-6yrs) is a one-hour marine program to teach young children about fish, sharks, and rays. All of the sea animals need to be fed so ask a staff member or check the Daily Atlantean to find out how to view daily feedings. Watching the wildlife devour their meals is great free family entertainment at Atlantis.
There are three pools designed with Atlantis’ littlest guests in mind. First, the Poseidon pool, located outside The Beach. It has a water fountain and animal figures for climbing and sliding. This shallow Atlantis children’s pool makes it easy for parents to keep watch. Next, you can visit Ripples, behind the Mayan Temple. Kids will have fun on the waterslides and playing in the fountains. Finally, don’t miss Splashers, the huge Atlantis waterpark playground! Lifeguards keep a close eye on kids as they race down four slides, climb cargo nets, and cross rope bridges. There are water cannons for spraying and plenty of features to keep kids at Atlantis entertained for hours. Keep an eye out because every so often a hanging water bucket dumps an insane amount of water on the entire structure. Bathrooms and concessions are close which makes Splashers an easy place to spend the day.
Animal Trainer for the Day
If you’ve ever dreamed of working with sea life or seeing behind the scenes of an aquarium, Atlantis has a special program for you. In addition to being a world-class resort, Atlantis built the Caribbean’s first rehabilitation hospital. Guests will work alongside marine specialists and veterinarians as an “Ultimate Trainer” (age 10+) or a “Junior Ultimate Trainer” (ages 6-10). The 6 hr day will be spent interacting with marine mammals and learning how to feed, train and care for Atlantis’ 50,000 sea animals. Marine lovers will appreciate Atlantis’ efforts to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean through its support of World Oceans Day. Also, programs such as being a trainer for the day help fund the Atlantis Blue Project Foundation, whose goal is to foster the preservation and conservation of coral reefs and sea life through scientific research, education, and community outreach.
Look for a copy of The Daily Atlantean as your guide to family fun around the resort. The activity schedule is found at reception or any concierge desk. It lists daily events for kids & families, sports & fitness, marine programs, and adult activities. Families love the free poolside games and they make for a memorable Bahamas vacation with kids. You might surprise your children with a rousing rendition of YMCA during poolside karaoke or prove that you can still hula hoop! It’s all in the spirit of fun, and parents, as well as kids, are encouraged to participate. When the competition is about how fast you can pop a balloon without hands, just make sure someone is capturing your skills on video! BINGO often happens by the Royal Baths pool and is a great family-friendly Atlantis activity. After all, who doesn’t love trying to get a blackout square?!
Walk with Sharks
As if riding on an inner tube through an aquarium of sharks isn’t thrilling enough, courageous guests can also walk around inside the Mayan Temple Shark Lagoon. This is done by wearing a snuba helmet on an underwater guided tour. Snuba is a cross between snorkeling and scuba, offering the best of both worlds. Kids 8+ can experience what it’s like to breathe air from a tank while nurse and reef sharks circle above. Fortunately, these sharks don’t like to eat small children (or even well-fed adults)! Guides point out starfish and other features unique to the shark habitat. If you don’t book a tour, stop by and watch others enjoy this incredible experience. Walking with the Sharks is a great activity for all generations, as even non-swimmers can participate. Plus, kids at Atlantis will love to brag that they survived being inside a shark tank!
Family Movie Nights
A movie is a great way to relax after a long day in the sun. Watch a family-friendly Disney movie under the stars or check out a new release in the Atlantis Theatre. Outdoor movies are typically shown at the Cascades Pool or Royal Bath Pool. Popular movies are Moana, Rise of the Guardians, and Onward. However, check the Daily Atlantean to confirm the movie title and location. The Atlantis Theatre, in the convention center, shows recent Hollywood releases. Teens will enjoy visiting the movie theatre for a night out with new friends. There is no charge for movies, just one of the many resort activities for free family fun. Concessions, such as popcorn, are available for purchase with a room key at both locations. Whether you watch a movie under the stars or in the Atlantis Theatre, your family will remember the time together.
Scavenger Hunt & Atlantis Bucket List
Take some time at the beginning of your stay and tackle the free Atlantis Scavenger Hunt. Visit the Kids Concierge in the Royal Tower for the Scavenger Hunt list and a map. You can win a prize by completing the adventure, and it will help your family get familiar with the massive Atlantis property. You’ll discover hidden areas, unique treasures and probably take 100 photos along the way! In addition, there’s an Atlantis “Bucket List” found on the property map so if you’re ambitious, you can do both lists at the same time. The Scavenger Hunt will ask you to locate the famous “heart swing,” while the Bucket List will make sure you’ve seen the “Secret” Cenote in the Power Tower at the bottom of the Abyss slide. Both the Scavenger Hunt and Bucket List provide some free family fun at Atlantis, Paradise Island!
Atlantis is the most kid-friendly resort in the Bahamas. Here your little ones will have the chance to interact with mythical characters, such as the famous Atlantis Mermaid. She makes appearances throughout the resort. You might find her on the heart swing behind the Royal Baths Pool. Or, she could be sitting on the throne in the Royal Shops. A personal poolside meet and greet can be scheduled through Atlantis Kids Adventures for a fee. Kids will have one-on-one interaction and take a photo. Afterward, they will swim with the Mermaid and be able to ask any question that comes to mind (yes, Mermaids do sleep). In March, the Easter Bunny makes an appearance for photos as well as arts & crafts. And, kids will be thrilled to discover that Santa visits the Bahamas! It’s a delight to see kids at Atlantis in awe of these special friends.
The clear blue water and sparkling white sand draw visitors to the Bahamas. Fortunately, Atlantis provides access to the best beaches in Nassau. Cove Beach is perfect for young children as it’s surrounded by rocks and therefore protected from waves. The shallow water is great for swimming. Lounge chairs with shade, are provided so parents can keep an eye on their little fish while relaxing. Atlantis Beach and Atlantis Beach West are long stretches of spectacular white sand. The transparent water is draw-dropping gorgeous, and you can’t help but want to swim and float in the gentle waves. Lounge chairs are also provided at these beaches, so all you have to bring is sunscreen! Paradise Beach access is limited to guests of the Cove and Reef and provides a similar stretch of beautiful sand to what you’ll find at Atlantis Beach.
Arts & Crafts
Not only does Atlantis, Paradise Island provide a ton of water fun, but it also gives guests the chance to exercise their artistic side. Often, Atlantis Kids Adventures will host poolside arts & crafts such as painting. Fees vary depending on the specific project. There are art experiences for adults as well. Check out the Earth & Fire Pottery Studio or catch an evening of Bahamian painting. Also, don’t miss one of the Atlantis Pals Pop-Ups! Children can make their own stuffed animals to take home (additional fee). Kids will dream of their Atlantis vacation while squeezing their new friends each night. The Daily Atlantean will give you the schedule for each day, or you can inquire at Atlantis Kids Adventures for additional information. Atlantis kids will love making their own souvenirs to commemorate their Bahama vacation so keep an eye out for these arts & crafts opportunities.
Teen Hang Out Spots
As much as we love to spend time with our teens, they may not always want to spend time with us, especially when evening arrives and younger children head to bed. As a family-friendly resort, Atlantis gives teenagers their own space. The Gamer’s Reef Arcade, located in The Royal, has lots of video games. There are also some old classics if adults want to show off their PacMan skills! CRUSH, in the Coral Tower, is where teens go for evening entertainment. There is a cover charge but they’ll have an awesome time making new friends in a cool space. With an internet lounge, gaming stadium, pool tables, foosball, DJ, and more, teens at Atlantis can have their own fun. Tween (ages 9-13) and Family Sessions are also available. In The Coral families will find the Library and be able to race R/C cars at The Atlantis Speedway.
Pools, Pools, and More Pools
There are 11 Atlantis pools and each one has its own personality. By the end of your vacation, you’ll find your favorite spot. If you’re an early riser, sneak down and reserve a few chairs. Or, when you arrive at the pool ask for assistance from the staff (blue shirts) and they can set you up for the day (tips are appreciated). Cabana reservations can be made in advance for an additional fee. The Royal Baths Pool has two decks for lounging and it’s a beautiful oval pool near the Royal Towers. The Mayan Temple Pool is the most popular because it’s centrally located to Aquaventure. The Cove provides its guests with a stunning adults-only pool as well as a family-friendly one right off Paradise Beach. Ripples, Splashers, and Poseidon’s Kids Pools are best for small children. No matter where you end up, you’ll find a pool you love!
Sports & Fitness
The sports & fitness center offers many exercise options for families at Atlantis, Paradise Island. Classes include Body Sculpt Bootcamp, RYDE Indoor Cycling, Pure Form Yoga, Hit 45, and TRX Suspension Training. A fee applies to some classes so check in with the fitness center to reserve your spot. The 10,000 sq ft workout facility provides guests with state-of-the-art equipment and is open from 6:00 am – 6:00 pm. A 4-lane, 25-meter lap pool and six basketball hoops are also available for guest use. For those who want a custom exercise plan designed or work on specific goals, a personal training session can be booked with a fitness expert. Golf tee times can also be arranged. Frequently there are morning 5k runs, a great opportunity to get to know other guests while getting in a workout. After exercising, you can book a visit to the relaxing Mandara Spa!
Free Games Around the Resort
If you look closely, you’ll spot games all around the Paradise Island property. These games are great free family-friendly activities at Atlantis. The Harborside Resort is a quick shuttle ride away and it offers a quiet pool, a giant jacuzzi, and The Point, a restaurant with marina-view dining. Guests will also find poolside ping pong and shuffleboard. Just over the Paradise Lagoon Bridge, you’ll spot another shuffleboard set in the shade of palm trees. Here you can play while being steps away from Atlantis Beach West. Families staying at The Cove can knock around the volleyball next to Cascades Grill. Time your game with sunset as the adjacent Paradise Beach is the perfect place to end the day. Croquet is often set up by the famous Heart Swing. Lastly, kids can head over to the golf course for kids golf. There are so many great games for kids at Atlantis!
Sea Turtle Release
Sea Turtles capture the imagination. What could be more memorable than releasing these graceful creatures into the ocean? There are two ways families can assist turtles with their journey home. First, you can book a Sea Turtle Excursion. You begin in the fish hospital by selecting your baby turtle and weighing it. Then, board a boat for an island where you snorkel and release your turtle into the wild. The excursion starts at $1,250 for 4 people and takes place 9:00 am-noon or 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. The second opportunity is in the fall when sea turtles hatch, primarily in August and September. For $150, guests will be taken to a quiet beach on the island. Flashlights are used as “moonlight” to guide turtles safely to the water. Either experience will be something your family won’t forget! Contact Dolphin Cay if your family would like to release sea turtles in the Bahamas.
Paradise Lagoon Rentals
Paradise Lagoon is a 7-acre area where the blue Bahamian water spills into Atlantis, Paradise Island. Located between The Coral and The Royal it dominates the landscape and offers families more aqua fun at Atlantis. Guests can rent water bikes, paddleboards, kayak, or swim and relax on the beautiful beach. The protected environment offer snorkelers and swimmers smooth water. Atlantis actively participates in marine restoration so look closely under the water and you might spot coral growing on ropes. Glass bottom kayaks provide a great view of the underwater world. Rental starts at $36 for 30 minutes and ranges depending on if you’d like to ride, glide or float on the water. Spending time at the lagoon is a great activity for kids at Atlantis as it gives them the opportunity to experience a small part of the ocean.
The Marina Village is a happenin’ spot, especially in the evenings. It can be reached by walking through the Crystal Court shops on the far side of the casino. Or, you can take a shuttle to the Harborside Resort and walk around the corner until you reach the gate. The Marina Village has lots of restaurants for kids at Atlantis. Families will enjoy the Burger Shack, Marina Pizzeria, or Pirate Republic, the only craft brewery in the country. After dinner save some room for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and snap a photo on the ice cream bench while enjoying a sweet treat. There are great shops for souvenirs and the latest in resort wear clothing. On Friday nights the Marina Village comes alive with “Junkanoo Fest,” an outdoor market. It’s worth taking a trip to explore the village if only to view the impressive yachts that surround it!
Take a Local Tour
There are enough activities to keep families at Atlantis, Paradise Island entertained for weeks. However, if you want to venture off the property there are lots of tour options that can be booked by the concierge. A Harbor Tour ferries guests around Paradise Island and is a great way to see the world just beyond the Atlantis resort. Day trips to the surrounding islands allow kids in the Bahamas to swim with pigs and turtles, feed iguanas, visit pristine sand bars and walk on pink beaches. For those interested in history, there’s a Nassau City tour. And, for those wanting to embrace their inner pirate you can take a Rum Tour, a journey back in time to the days when rum-running played a role in the history of the Bahamas. With so many things to do it’s obvious why families return to the Bahamas year after year!
Where to Stay
There are 6 different hotels at Atlantis, Paradise Island. Below are the descriptions for each option:
The Cove: Immaculately designed to provide guests with luxury, sensuality, and white-glove Bahamian service. Kitchen available.
The Reef: For those who want to enjoy the comforts of home with remarkable views of a tropical paradise, these luxury residences are just what you’re looking for. Kitchen available.
The Royal: This iconic hotel stands as the beacon of Atlantis, with opulent details fit for royalty and adventures fit for thrill-seekers of any age.
The Coral: This hotel, located near the Marina, offers a fresh and newly updated design aesthetic with stunning views of the most beautiful yachts in the world and the ocean that embraces them.
The Beach: Value-minded guests can enjoy a tropical vacation, being barefoot and carefree, at this casual hotel just steps from Atlantis Beach.
Harborside Resort: This hotel, located near the Marina, offers a fresh nautical oasis with stunning views of the most beautiful yachts in the world and the ocean that embraces them. Kitchen available.
Atlantis Day Passes
Day passes are available if you’d like to experience the magic of Atlantis, Paradise Island without staying at the resort. Passes must be purchased in advance and depend on availability. The purchase of an Atlantis Day Pass is required for outside guests who would like to participate in a Dolphin Cay experience or another resort activity.
- Familiarize yourself with the Atlantis map so you don’t miss any of the many attractions.
- Splurge on at least one experience. Atlantis, Paradise Island has plenty of complimentary offerings but having an extra special activity will make your trip that much more amazing.
- Plan ahead – During peak times the resort will be very busy. You don’t want to arrive and miss out because activities are fully booked. Prices for activities can vary seasonally so the earlier you book the better.
- Making dining reservations – if you have a special occasion, a large group, or want a fancy night out make fine dining reservations as early as possible.
- Pick up a copy of The Daily Atlantean schedule – it will highlight what unique experiences are happening each day.
- Take into account that a 15% gratuity and 12% VAT will be added to any purchases and/or reservations.
- The cost of food and drinks can add up so ask your airport taxi driver to make a stop at the grocery store before you arrive at the resort. Having some extra snacks and drinks can make life easier for families.
- Utilize the Kids Concierge in the lobby of The Coral from 10 am to 7 pm. They can help with babysitting arrangements or any needs families may have during their stay at Atlantis, Paradise Island.
Covid Testing & Information
As of April 2021, visitors to the Bahamas are required to have a negative Covid-19 test to enter, regardless of vaccination. Tests are to be taken 72hrs prior to travel and uploaded to https://travel.gov.bs/. A $60 heath Visa must also be purchased after negative test results are validated. After being in the country for 5 days visitors must take another Covid test, which is paid for by the Bahamas health Visa. Some countries require a negative test for re-entry so check requirements and plan accordingly. Atlantis, Paradise Island offers Covid testing by appointment in several convenient locations on the property.
We know you’ll have an incredible time at Atlantis, Paradise Island, and we hope our list of the Top 25 Ways to Make Your Family Vacation Awesome helps you make some great memories!
Written by FLT Top Contributor Emily Kapic. You can find more from Emily and her family’s adventures on Instagram @Take5Travel!
Unless otherwise noted, all images in this article were taken by and are courtesy of Emily Kapic.
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