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Children at St. John

midwest
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Children at St. John

Will be visiting St. John for our first time. Have a week with two kids---age 5 and a teen. We're all really excited---it's obvious to me that we will have plenty to do just exploring beaches and hiking trails. Any tips from those of you who know the island well, about favorite places to go? Anything maybe a first-timer wouldn't know to do/try?

Also, can 5-year-olds snorkel? I'm assuming we can rent gear for the kids as well as myself on island.

It seems boating/yachting/going otu with a captain are popular there...given how wonderful the island itself seems, do those of you with children find taking a day for an expedition on water worth the time/cost? (There's not really whale-watching, right? So wondering if again the 5-year-old would be too young anyways.)

These questions are not the result of any anxiety about entertainign ourselves---I can see the island will be heaven! But I always have a lot of fun dreaming and planning these trips---and don't want to miss something that the kids would really enjoy.

THanks!

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St. John
St. John
U.S. Virgin Islands
atlanta, ga
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248 posts
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1. Re: Children at St. John

Did a trip to St. John with a 5 year old and a 15 year old. We snorkeled nearly every beach and the little one was fine. Even snorkeled the caves at Norman Island. Best bet is to get a snorkel vest and an inflatable raft. That way, if the little one gets tired he/she can just lay on it and put their face in the water. Recommend renting a dinghy thru Noah's Little Arks in Cruz Bay. The kids thought it was the bomb. Also took a day trip to the Baths on Virgin Gorda with a snorkel stop at the Caves. Would not recommend snorkeling at Waterlemon Cay, it is long walk from parking and their is a strong current there.

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St. John
St. John
U.S. Virgin Islands
Cruz Bay
Cruz Bay
St. John
The Baths
The Baths
2,511 Reviews
Virgin Gorda
Virgin Gorda
Virgin Gorda
British Virgin Islands
Waterlemon Cay
Waterlemon Cay
863 Reviews
St. John
st.john
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2. Re: Children at St. John

yes why not our friend took her five year old with her when they went on vac but it was cut short since she was only five after a hour or to she became very fussy and was ready to go home,so the next day the had ababysitter stayed at home with her and it as more enjoyable that way not that we did not mis her but it was very relaxing beside i think afterthat long walk which five year would not be home coloring and watching tv until mon come home but that was our experience yours might be different, you can also go on a fishing trip that was fun or day sail just island hopping

st.john
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3. Re: Children at St. John

are you and your family staying in ahotel or a villa if you stay in ahotel everything is right at your finger tips planning a day trip shorter walk to snorkel booking dinner reservation etc

Raleigh, NC
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714 posts
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4. Re: Children at St. John

Absolutely...Last summer we snorkeled almost everyday of our 15 day trip with our grandchhildren, ages 5 & 7. We practiced for about 10 minutes the first day in the villa pool and then off to the beach. They are not especially good swimmers, so we used the yellow skibelts to make me feel more comfortable. It opened up a whole new world to them; in their words, "the home of the fish." The skibelts were recommended by Cruz Bay Water Sports when the vests we had brought from home did not work.

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Cruz Bay
Cruz Bay
St. John
michigan
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314 posts
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5. Re: Children at St. John

I highly recommend getting a snorkel raft thru isnorkel.com. Raft that is easily blown up by mouth and has a viewing port. Just tie a nylon rope thru the towing hole and pull your 5 year old along behind you. Ours kids loved it! 4 and 7 year olds at the time.

midwest
12 posts
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6. Re: Children at St. John

Thanks for all the great advice!

michigan
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76 posts
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7. Re: Children at St. John

One thing about St. John is that most beaches have very little (if any) waves...Calm, clear, water...with gradual drop offs. Hawknest Beach would be a great starting snorkle for you. the reef is very close to the beach and would be a good practice run as it is shallow and runs in a fairly straight line parallel to the beach.

I would recommend trying to get to a indoor pool to practice with equipment you buy now. That is the easiest time to adjust masks, fins, etc., and get the kids comfortable. Sams carries a nice snorkle set for kids at good price. Our kids both have these and they work great...no leaking in the masks.

My son was great snorkling when he was 6. I cut swim "noodle" in half and carried with us so he could grab on if he felt the need. Didnt use it after the first hour!

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St. John
St. John
U.S. Virgin Islands
Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: Children at St. John

On one of our trips, our friends had their 5 year old and he had a great time snorkling. He went on the day sail with us and evrything.

They had a nifty snorkel suit for him . . . kind of like a wet suite with floaties built into the arms. Very slick.

Harrisburg
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527 posts
5 reviews
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9. Re: Children at St. John

Last year, we consistantly ran into a family from the North Dakota, Minnesota or one of the "cold" states with 4 year old twims. Those boys seemed to snorkel for hours. I am looking forward to when my 2.5 year old is old enough to do the same.

10. Re: Children at St. John

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