Visiting Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas with Kids
Dolphin encounters, world-class restaurants and a pristine beach make Atlantis a great choice for a memorable family vacation. This island resort in the Bahamas has plenty of attractions and amenities, whether you’re looking for adventure and excitement or simply relaxing in a gorgeous setting.
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Water Park Adventures
Slide down waterslides, explore the different pools, find hidden hot tubs and more at the Aquaventure Water Park. Our 6-year-old hung out at the kids’ water play fort, Splashers Island, and found all the miniature waterslides around the Mayan Temple. Experience a swift and fun ride on the current river with wave surges, drops up to seven feet and white water rapids – or take a relaxing roll down the lazy river through the jungle.
Teens and adventurous adults will love the more challenging slides. Our 8-year-old was ecstatic about the just-fast-enough Serpent Slide. It ends in the aquarium, where he swam next to the sharks and waved hi to us and to the more adventurous folks sliding down the Power Tower.
Beautiful Beaches and Pools
Atlantis has three white-sand beaches where we relaxed, snorkeled and enjoyed the ocean. The resort also has 11 pools, including three kids’ pools. Splurge on a private cabana, with loungers, towels, charging spots, a mini fridge and a friendly server who will bring you snacks and beverages throughout the day.
Learn About Sea Animals
Atlantis is the largest open-air marine habitat in the world. Find 14 lagoons filled with more than 50,000 animals at the resort. Our walks to dinner were accentuated by our 6-year-old pointing out all the cool sharks and turtles along the way.
Take a break from the sun at Ruins Aquarium in the Royal Tower and The Dig, a maze of tunnels where we saw jellyfish, sharks and sting rays. Interact with animals at the touch tank in the aquarium.
Get Up Close and Personal with Dolphins
Get kissed by dolphins at Dip ‘N Discover at Dolphin Cay. This experience is a dip, not a swim, with dolphins. It’s perfect for kids who aren’t sure about animals, and kids who love animals too! My daughter’s favorite part was “when the dolphins splashed on me,” but she skipped the kissing part. The rest of our family lined up for dolphin smooches. Book in advance to receive special pricing.
Just as much fun, experience a Sea Lion Encounter and learn about these amazing creatures. Kids can be a Junior Ranger for the day and participate in educational activities and interaction with the sea animals. An added plus – these experiences help fund Atlantis’s marine habitat, where animals displaced by hurricanes and other environmental factors are rehabilitated.
Atlantis Kids Adventures
Kids ages 3 to 12 can experience beach and backyard blasts, being on the cover of a magazine, interactive games, stage performances and joining a three-ring circus. Kids ages 7 to 12 can choose activities such as crafting, gaming, performing, cooking and more.
Dining at Atlantis
Explore a wide variety of restaurants at Atlantis, from fine dining options to poolside bites. Our favorite fine dining options included our kids; just plan on dining earlier. Fish by José Andrés is not to miss, with homemade sodas, delicious seafood and beautiful views. Save room for amazing dessert options; the key lime pie is unforgettable.
Nobu and Bahamian Club both offered sleek atmospheres and delicious food. Bahamian Club had a great kids’ menu and Nobu had tasty sushi options even our kids loved. Sip Sip at the Cove adults only pool was a favorite – kids are welcome for lunch. The curried chicken salad and drinks were delicious. Stop by Sun and Ice for quick, delicious treats with unique flavors. Our 6-year-old loved the guava ice cream.
The Marina Village at Atlantis offers casual dining like the popular Carmine’s, the Village Burger Shack, Starbucks and Ben and Jerry’s. Plus, take in views of the marina, shop at the retail stores and look out for the Junkanoo parade on specific nights.
Where to Stay at Atlantis
The resort has options ranging from luxury accommodations to casual beachfront rooms.
The Reef, where we stayed, has studios and 1- to 3-bedroom suites with a kitchenette or full kitchen. Step out of The Reef and access quieter beaches and the Cascades pool. Escape from the crowds and enjoy the quieter, zero-entry, but still plenty-big pool at this section of the resort. Download the free resort app to help make getting around easier.
At about two hours, Nassau is an easy flight from Atlanta. We booked an 8 a.m. flight, were on the beach by noon, and spent the afternoon exploring the water park.
Note: Atlantis and nearby areas were spared the force of Hurricane Dorian. The resort and Nassau Airport are fully operational.
– Laura Powell