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Family Activities in St. Kitts

A day’s worth of sightseeing is found on St. Kitts, more if you’re especially interested in historic sites. Budget a day for an overall look at the sights, which range from historic homes and museums to natural formations and Indian petroglyphs.


Don’t miss the petroglyphs, located near Romney Manor, carved many years ago by the Carib Indians. While you’re stopped here, check out the handicrafts sold next door by a neighbor who creates turtles and bird feeders from coconut shells. (Kids love the coconut shell turtles—their heads bob up and down on a spring.)

Caribelle Batik

Just beyond the petroglyphs lies Caribelle Batik, Romney Manor, Tel. 869/465-6253, a stop worth making even if you don’t want to shop. Here you can watch batik in progress and buy the finished product in the form of shirts, wraps, and wall hangings.

Even if you don’t want to buy, it’s worth a trip to Romney Manor just to visit the ruins of the stately greathouse and the grounds shaded by trees that date back hundreds of years. The closest thing that St. Kitts has to a botanical garden, these grounds are home to many tropical plant species. You can’t miss the huge Saman tree, said to be the largest tree in the Caribbean. On the drive to Caribelle Batik, look for the historic aqueducts along the side of the road, a reminder of the island’s early water system.

Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park

Continue around the island and don’t miss a visit to Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, Tel. 869/465-2609, one of the top historical attractions in the Caribbean. From over 800 feet above sea level, you’ll enjoy one of the best views found on any of the islands. On a clear day, you can view Nevis, Montserrat, Saba, St. Martin, and St. Barts.

Brimstone Hill is nicknamed “The Gibraltar of the West Indies,” and is one of the most amazing attractions in the Caribbean, a mandatory stop for anyone interested in military history. The structure took over a century to construct of volcanic stone and is named for the faint sulfur smell sometimes encountered here. At this site, the French and the British fought for control of the island, a battle first won by the French and the next year won back by the British.

Wear good walking shoes and bring along drinking water for your look at Brimstone Hill. (At the parking level, you’ll find a small concession that sells water, soft drinks, and snacks.) And a safety tip: At Brimstone Hill, visitors can climb upstairs for additional views. Families with young children, however, be careful. There are no railings on the second level and, between glare, wind, and a floor that is black with hundreds of years of weathering, it can be tough to see just where the second level opens into the first floor courtyard. Keep young children by the hand here.

Your first stop should probably be the brief film that gives an overview of the site and its rich history at the Visitors Orientation Centre.

From the parking level, walk up the cobbled path to the citadel. Here a view of up to 70 miles makes neighboring islands seem just a stone’s (or a cannonball’s) throw away. From this lofty peak, it’s easy to imagine the British forces keeping an eye on the seas over two centuries ago.
The citadel has two levels. Museums featuring Amerindian artifacts, British and French memorabilia, and St. Kitts items are located in the stone rooms.

Scenic Railway Tour

For familes who want to get a sense of the history of the island, jump aboard the St. Kitts Scenic Railway National Tour, Tel. 800/582-6208. This is one of St. Kitts’ newest attractions.

The Scenic Railway takes guests on a tour of the island on the same railway that was built in 1912 to deliver sugar came from the plantations to the sugar mill in Basseterre, and has been in constant operation since then. The trail leaves Needsmust Station in Basseterre and heads north, along the coastline. Riders can see some on St. Kitts’ villages, farms, and other sites on the voyage, which is narrated by the Railway Conductor.

Back to St. Kitts & Nevis with Kids


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