Updated June 2018
While some of our guests dream of a quiet beach (we’ve got plenty), a good book and a fruity cocktails, others have kids in tow that want to be active and explore. Our private vacation homes have pools that will provide ample opportunity for them to play while you relax – but how about getting out and discovering our beautiful island?! We’ve put together a list of ten family-friendly activities on St Croix sure to please kids of all ages.
Are you a National Parks buff? We’ve got three NPS locales here on St Croix that kick off our list:
1. Get your Snorkel on, Buck Island Reef National Monument – A snorkeling trip out to Buck Island is one of the top must-dos for visitors to St Croix. Declared a National Park in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, today the majority of the park lies underwater. Local tour operators will provide you with all the gear you need to explore the incredible coral reef teeming with marine life. Guides will teach you how to snorkel and lead you through the marked underwater trail.
Our pick: Big Beard’s Adventure Tours
2. Step into History and watch it Glow, Salt River Bay National Park – Here’s an opportunity to make history come alive for the kids. Salt River Bay is the spot where Christopher Columbus landed on his second trip to the New World in 1493. And where the first clash between the Old and New worlds happened, forever changing history. During season, stop in at the Visitors Center sitting on a hill above the bay and learn about the pre-Columbian Taino Indian village below. You can take a dip at Columbus Cove Beach or book a kayak tour and explore the mangroves. If you really want a thrill, book a night kayak tour and experience the glowing water of the Bio Bay. Guides will teach you about the microscopic creatures that make the bay sparkle as you glide by.
Our pick: Sea Thru Kayak Tours
Note: Clairmont Overlook and Blue Vista come complete with spectacular views of the Bay!
3. Storm the Fort, Christiansted National Historic Park. Explore a real Danish Fort in the heart of the downtown district and learn about early colonial life on St Croix. Fort Christianvaern provides a self-guided tour of the fort that protected Christiansted Harbor for over a hundred years. The park is a 5-acre complex of several historic buildings and a beautiful waterfront park to run around in.
4. Storm Another Fort! – St Croix is known as the Twin Cities for its two towns Christiansted and Frederiksted. Frederiksted is also known as “Freedom City” because it’s 18th Century Danish Fort Frederik was the site of the slave rebellion in 1848. On July 3rd, 14 years before emancipation in the United States, St Croix’s enslaved peacefully stormed the Fort and demanded their freedom from Governor Von Scholten. Learn about the history of St Croix and more while exploring this important landmark.
5. Music to Wind down – Enjoy two free Sunset Jazz Concerts each month. Again at the Fort in Christiansted on the last Friday of each month OR head out to the Frederiksted waterfront on the third Friday of each month to watch the sunset and enjoy a free concert in the park and then head out to dinner. Concert times are roughly 5:30 – 7:30pm. For monthly event information visit: Jazz in the Park (Christiansted) or Sunset Jazz (Frederiksted)
6. Take a Leap – Another fun, free activity and a favorite pastime of local kids is jumping off the Frederiksted Pier. When cruise ships aren’t in port, the pier is open to the public. Walk past the information center out onto the main part of the pier, look for the ladder to the right. Only recommended for strong swimmers as there are no lifeguards on duty.
7. Dive Right In – Did you know that kids as young as 10 can try out SCUBA?! A great activity for the entire family, if you aren’t already certified, is the Discover SCUBA program. Kids as young as 10 can participate. The hour-long instructional class requires kids to pay attention and take instruction, but it’s a great opportunity to learn about the physics of gasses and buoyancy. St Croix Ultimate Blue Water Adventures offers daily pool instruction followed by a boat dive (or two!). You can explore depths up to 40 feet and get a whole new perspective of the ocean in our backyard. You’ll be able to participate in multiple shallow dives during your stay and if you’re hooked, it counts towards SCUBA certification.
8. Take a Hike – On St Croix’s easternmost end is a well-maintained hiking path that meanders down to one of the nicest beaches on the island – Jacks & Isaac’s Bay. This is a self-guided hike with some breathtaking views, you’ll want to take lots of pictures! Carry in some water and snacks, but be sure to it all out! If you want to explore more of St Croix’s coastline and trails book a guided hike with Ay-Ay tours and learn about local plants, island history and folklore.9. Hoist the Sails – During the winter months (roughly November through April) you’ll see the red sails of the Schooner Roseway sailing out of Gallows Bay Harbor. Operated by the World Ocean School, a non-profit organization that teaches sailing and teamwork to school kids on St Croix in the winter and Boston in the summer, the Schooner Roseway is a fun family activity that funds a great cause. She has a rich history and is a registered U.S. National Historic Landmark. Learn all about her as you help the crew hoist her huge red sails. While out on the sea, you may see dolphins or even a whale! Visit World Ocean School for sailing dates, times and more information.
10. Indulge – After all of the activity, it’s time for a treat! Make a stop at Armstrong Ice Cream on the Queen Mary Highway near the Whim Plantation. The Armstrong family has been hand-crafting creamy ice cream with tropical fruit flavors since 1900! This is one St Croix treat you won’t want to miss.
Visit My-StCroix.com for a list of family-friendly events and free community events while you’re on St Croix!
Ready to book your trip? Check out our list of expertly managed, private vacation homes on St Croix to find the perfect getaway.