School's out, now what?

Observer writer

Sunday, June 16, 2019

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Summer is almost here and while this does not mean quite the same thing to adults who have to go to work regardless, school is out and that means one thing, bored children looking for parents to entertain them.

For those of you who do not have extended family to whom you can ship them off to enjoy a change of scenery for two weeks (while you enjoy some much-needed peace and quiet), then day trips may be the best option for the weary parent or guardian looking for something for the kids to do besides meld into the furniture.

Bamboo Beach Club, Ocho Rios

It goes without saying that a trip or two to the beach is in the offing. This is Jamaica and we are naturally drawn to the beach, despite an unusually large portion of the population being unable to swim. Our recommendation is Bamboo Beach Club in Ocho Rios. The beautiful, expansive beach is centrally located for those who may not be able to make it to either extremities of the island where some of the best beaches anywhere in the world can be found. Add to that, the friendly staff which takes orders and serve meals at the beachside while you listen to the beat of soulful Reggae music and you would be hard-pressed to find a more relaxing way to spend any day.

Yaaman Adventure

If laid back is not for you and something more adventurous is desired, the nearby Yaaman Adventure Park, formerly known as Prospect Plantation, may be for you. A jitney tour of the attractive 18th century estate complete with botanical lessons, cooking class, mud buggies, camel rides, aviary and more is perhaps only topped by the picturesque nature of the property. It's a full day of activities that, if done right, will require a shower and a change of clothes.

Port Royal

It was once known as the “wickedest city on earth”, and if that isn't reason enough for you to explore the rich history of Port Royal, consider that a large portion of the city was swallowed up by the sea after an earthquake which killed 2,000 people in 1692 in what was said to be God's punishment for all the evil that took place there. That's quite a draw, no? The area, now a quiet fishing village, provides abundant opportunities for a day visitor to become engrossed in the rich cultural heritage of the place while enjoying some of the best prepared seafood anywhere in the world. Among our recommendations are stops at Fort Charles, the island's oldest fort and the only one to survive the 1692 earthquake, and Giddy House, so-called because of its uneven position due to an earthquake in 1907, which left it at a 45-degree angle causing it to seem off-balance.

Frenchman's Cove

Of course, there would be another water feature listed, we're discussing summer in Jamaica after all. Frenchman's Cove is one of the most pristine beaches found anywhere in the Caribbean. Not only does it provide a relaxing salt-water experience for those seeking a getaway from the hustle of daily life, it also has an idyllic river (complete with a swing) that flows directly into the sea. It's the perfect jaunt for a family looking to unwind and reset.

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