Top 15 Fun Things to do in San Pedro, Belize with Young Kids

by | Jul 16, 2018 | PARENTING, San Pedro, TRAVELING WITH KIDS

When I was in my mid-twenties, I had a boss that went on a Disney cruise for his 40th birthday. We all thought he was crazy, but he said: “if my kids are happy, I’m happy!”. Well, now I understand. So, this blog is all about the Top 15 Fun Things to do in San Pedro, Belize with Young Kids!

When we get to a new location, we immediately need to find activities for the kids. Now, don’t get me wrong, I totally believe in letting kids be bored and figure out how to entertain themselves. I see my kids getting better and better at this as time goes on!

But sometimes, you just need to get them out for a fun adventure, and our family definitely functions better outside.

If we’re staying somewhere for a few months, we sometimes find a school or preschool for one or both of the girls, which helps relieve some of the pressure of parenting full time.

However, the school we tried in San Pedro just didn’t work out (lovely people, just old-school with a lot of sitting at a desk working, rather than the play-based approach we’re used to and prefer).

We met a few other home-schooling families and quickly became friends and had playdates, but there were still a lot of hours to fill!

“One important thing to know: ALL beaches in San Pedro are public, so you are allowed to swim anywhere.

There are lots of people who post lists of great things to do with kids, but I find they’re more often geared for older kids, or families with a mix of older and younger kids. My kids need simple pleasures, as do most under-6 year olds!

So, for anyone traveling to San Pedro in the near future with young kids, here is my list of cool things to do here – some free, some cheap/optional cost, some a bit more pricey.

Oh, and one important thing to know: ALL beaches in San Pedro are public, so you are allowed to swim anywhere! You can’t use the lounge chairs at resort beaches, but you can still put your towels under a palm tree and it’s all good.

So, here is my list of the Top 15 Fun Things to do in San Pedro, Belize with Young Kids. BONUS: most of them are free or cheap!

#1: Billy Bones Pool Bar

Our first time at Billy Bones – you can see one of the two bridges and two of the three pools.

Billy Bones Pool Bar was our girls’ favourite place to go on the Island, hands down. It has three pools connected by bridges (and hence cool under-the-bridge areas), with some shallow parts for littles. It was here that Aria began her swimming style of “stop touching me, I can do it myself!” then throwing herself forward and sinking until we pulled her up. That girl will be swimming before she’s two!

There is some good shade and lounge chairs, with a pool-side bar/bistro. We only ever ate the fries (the only vegan option), but they were delicious! We would also bring our own snacks and water, and never had an issue.

Staff are super friendly. You can also go up on the roof of the fitness club and watch the planes take off and land (you see it from the pool, too, but it’s fun on the roof!). There is a grassy area where you can run and play, too.

There is a daily entrance fee ($10 BZ for adults, $5 BZ for kids, last I checked), so this is a good all-day (or come and go) activity.

LOCATION: It’s connected to the San Pedro Tennis & Fitness Club, and behind the Grand Baymen long-term condos. Turn up the street one block south of the Mermaid Supermarket and it’s at the end.

#2: Sandy Toes Beach

The Dads were on play duty while I was on “keep Aria from killing herself” duty. Can you guess which one was more relaxing??

Sandy Toes is a lovely little beach that is perfect for young ones: shallow, warm, protected, and they clear the seagrass really well.

There are Muskoka lounge chairs IN the water! You know, for those people who don’t have toddlers who try to drown themselves or run into the street constantly… our kids used the chairs to create a whole playground for themselves.

The Sandy Toes Beach Bar and Grill is across the Boca del Rio beach/driving strip from the beach (you’ll see what I mean) and has cheap drinks and food. We ordered drinks and food, but they weren’t pushy about it, so you could swim for free if you don’t use the chairs or tables.

LOCATION: Partway down the Boca del Rio strip of beach, closer to the north end. The easiest way to find it: head towards the bridge, turn right just before the bridge, then turn right and drive down the beach until you see the colourful chairs.

#3: Ramon’s Village Beach

Our last day in San Pedro, and our last day at Ramon’s beach.

You can see the dock for jumping off under the palapa with the flag.

Aria loved walking up and down the dock – no better way to get my adrenaline pumping!

This is probably the nicest beach in the town of San Pedro itself, because they clear the seagrass every day.

There were a few days where the seagrass was so bad it was still hard to swim (see my post on Seagrass in San Pedro), but they also have great dock swimming (great for Charlotte, not so great for Aria – but she was content to wander the beach and the dock).

Just don’t try to use the lounge chairs, and you’re all good! We would just put our beach gear under a palm tree. We bought a drink now and then, because we would use the washroom occasionally, but no one ever made us feel like we had to.

LOCATION: Ramon’s Village, just south of the airport. You can’t miss it! You enter beside one of the two golf cart parking areas.

#4: Truck Stop

Truck Stop dining area.

Really just one of the coolest places we’ve ever hung out.

One of the coolest places on the island! Truck Stop is north of the bridge, so a bit of a trip (golf cart or other transportation required).

There are five different shipping container food trucks with Pizza, Thai, Indian, Mexican, and Ice Cream options (including vegan sherbet!) as well as a bar.

There is a great swimming pool with a swim up bar, hammocks, corn hole games and table tennis/pingpong. There is often live music, and some nights they screen films on their outdoor movie theatre. There is also an awesome climbing tree for the kids.

It was a perfect place to go for dinner because our kids could run and play while we sat and enjoyed a meal!

LOCATION: north of “the bridge”, on the left hand side, a little ways up… you can’t miss it.

#5: Secret Beach

Secret Paradise Beach Club at Secret Beach – it’s not so secret anymore!

Check out my post on Secret Beach for details, but it’s the most gorgeous beach on the island. It’s just down a loooooonng, bumpy – and I’m talking ridiculously go-pee-first bumpy – dirt road about 15 minutes north of the bridge.

It is SO worth it for a full day on the weekend, though! And you can cap it off with a swim and dinner at Truck Stop.

#6: Nature Walk & Waterfall at Xanadu Resort

Technically, I think you’re supposed to be a guest at Xanadu to play here, but I would just wander in and smile lots, and no one ever asked us to leave.

There is a magical little pond/bridge/waterfall area with a table and tree stumps for sitting. Then there is a really cool nature walk that takes you up into the trees along a suspension bridge-type walkway (mother-in-laws, now is the time to look the other way…).

Jonathan almost had a heart attack watching me climb up and walk it with Aria! But it’s SUPER cool and fun for the kids, and you can learn a bit about the local fauna. Would make a great start for a world schooling theme/activity.

LOCATION: in Xanadu Resort, south of downtown – head south past Ramon’s, the Island Academy, and the gas station, and turn left at Marina’s Store towards the beach.

Poor Jonathan could barely handle taking these photos! It was nerve-wracking helping Little Miss Independent walk the upper-level nature walk (about 4 meters above the ground), as she refused to hold hands or be held onto in any way (you can see her shaking off my hands in the first photo). Needless to say, after Jonathan watched this happen once, we didn’t do it again 🙂

#7: Paradice Ice Cream

Our first time at Paradice Ice Cream.

This is about as happy as plant-based kids get, finding ice cream they can eat!

We had the Oreo and Creamy Strawberry (the flavours change all the time depending on what the owner feels like making).

It was such a treat to have creamy, rich ice cream flavours instead of just the usual fruit sherbet that is more common.

Our daily cash budget of $50 USD got difficult to stick to once we discovered Paradice Ice Cream: they have multiple vegan ice cream options as well as several kinds of sherbet! VEGAN HEAVEN!

It was such a treat to have a sugar cone of Oreo ice cream, totally guilt free. They also have tons of regular and funky flavours of dairy ice cream.

A fun place to sit inside or outside and enjoy a treat.

LOCATION: Just north of Ramon’s Village, across from Boomer’s Cafe and the airport (we were in trouble once our girls figured out how close to Ramon’s it was).

#8: Playground at Boca del Rio

Where the Boca del Rio beach strip starts (or ends), there is a playground and swimming hole.

There are a few tables, two playground structures, a seawall that’s fun for walking along, and lots of room to run around. There is some good shade, too.

It’s also where the locals swim a lot – it’s a jump-in-off-the-seawall type place. You could also take a stroll across the bridge and explore the other side.

LOCATION: At the very north end of town, turn right just before at the bridge and you’ll see the playground on your left.

#9: Boomer’s Cafe

This is a great little take-out or eat-at-picnic-tables casual place for breakfast or brunch or smoothie snacks.

There is a little play structure, lots of picnic tables under a shaded canopy, and you can watch the planes take off and land (it’s right beside the airport).

They made our burritos vegan without an issue, and the waffles were delicious (probably not vegan, but we didn’t ask too many questions).

While we’re in this phase with Aria where she’s a monster in restaurants, it was a perfect place to go for a Sunday brunch but not spend a fortune or spend the whole time worrying about Aria disturbing other customers.

LOCATION: Across the street from Paradice Ice Cream, just south of the airport.

#10: Playground in Central Park

The only photo I have of Central Park is this impromptu dance party one night after going to Wild Mango’s for dinner (they have great vegan options there, by the way!)

Central Park is basically the beach area beside the dock where the ferries arrive. There are a few playground structures and places to play around.

It’s in full sun, so not great for a long mid-day play, but a nice place for a short visit or as part of a walk along the beach.

LOCATION: along Front Street, where the ferries arrive, by the clock tower.

#11: Circular Staircase in Big Yellow Building on Middle Street beside Elvi’s Kitchen, where the Post Office is (and that’s how you give directions in San Pedro!)

Jonathan and Charlotte were out for a Daddy Daughter Day, but you can see the spiral staircase in the background.

I was too busy making sure Aria didn’t fall or jump off that I didn’t get any photos of our play time there.

We spent 30 minutes just climbing up and down and walking around the outdoor hallways, playing make-believe games. The girls could have played longer but I got too bored!

If I’d brought snacks and caffeine, we probably could have had a little picnic and kept going.

LOCATION: literally what I said in my title.

#12: Playground at Zen Belize

I don’t want to invite the whole neighbourhood over to this private play area, but after doing a tough and rejuvenating yoga class at Zen Belize, I came down to find Jonathan and the girls happily amusing themselves on the little playground the owners had built for their little boy.

Slides, swings, tree house – it was awesome.

We asked, and they said to come play anytime, so we spent a few afternoons just enjoying the little private playground!

If you pay for yoga and get to know Tara, she might not mind if you play there, too. Her classes are great, and happen in a delightful third-story open-air palapa – you can just glimpse the ocean through the trees!

LOCATION: Zen Belize, south of downtown, one street behind the main road – watch for the signs, it’s in front of the animal shelter and behind a bottle return depot.

#13: San Pedro Library

The tables and beach between the Library building and the Wild Mango restaurant.

And my little Miss Independent out for a walk.

It took me multiple tries to find the Library! I asked several people and they all gave different or confusing answers. So, I’m here to help: it’s right beside Wild Mango’s Restaurant (amazing restaurant with vegan options!).

As you get into downtown, and are about to turn left onto Front Street, turn right instead, at the Roman Catholic school. The Library is in the downstairs of the San Pedro Tourism building.

There are some nice picnic tables outside and a sandy area to play. The Library has little tables and chairs where you can sit and read for a while.

If you have an address (e.g. renting a house or apartment), you can also take a membership application to a Minster of Justice to get them to stamp it and give you a library card.

I carried that damn membership application around with me so many times and never got around to finding the Minister of Justice, so I am sorry to say that I can’t help you find them! The library workers described where to go (somewhere near the clock tower, by the ferry dock, I’m pretty sure), so if you find out where it is, let me know and I’ll update this post! 🙂

LOCATION: beside Wild Mango’s Restaurant, on the ground floor of the San Pedro Tourism building.

#14: Watch Planes Take Off and Land at End of Airstrip

I only managed to get one shot, but if you look closely, you can just see an airplane coming down the strip.

Some of them pull up so late they feel like they’re buzzing your head!

You can stand at the end of the runway and watch the plans take off and land. It’s also a good area for watching the sun set, so a good combo activity!

It was just around the corner from our house, so a fun place to walk for a bit.

LOCATION: turn right at Marina’s Store, then turn right at the fork in the road, and take your first left. BONUS: turn left at the fork for the Brooklyn Brothers Bagel Shop. Expensive but worth a visit for a nice little place to eat or buy a batch of bagels. Their cookies are also delicious!

#15: Pool and Waterpark at Caribbean Villas

Now, this is one place we never actually spent time. We checked it out, but always chose to hang out elsewhere.

There is a small pool for swimming that is free (you should probably buy a drink or something, but don’t know if they make you).

Then there is the Waterpark where you pay $20 BZ per person (although they said Charlotte would be cheaper) for access to a big waterslide into the ocean, and bouncy trampoline and other big blow-up water toys.

It looked like fun, but not suitable for Aria, so we just never managed to get there. I recommend checking it out, though!

LOCATION: Caribbean Villas, just north of Xanadu Resort (so, south of downtown, between the gas station and Marina’s Store).

BONUS TIP

My bonus tip of the day: stand at the second story window of your screened-in porch and yell “Hola!” to all the people driving or biking by around 5pm – we collected 5 waves and a lot of smiles! The sight of two little blond heads yelling out the window seemed to spread a lot of joy.

Note on Indoor Playground

There was an indoor playground being built while we were there, so it might be open now. It was in the building beside the airport, the one with Flight Cafe and the co-working space in it. Worth checking into!

I hope this list of the Top 15 Fun Things to do in San Pedro, Belize with Young Kids will be helpful to you, and that with this list of simple but fun activities, you find the fun in San Pedro more quickly!

About Meredith Kenzie

I am a full-time traveling Mum of two adorably blond and mischevious little girls (isn’t it a good thing nature makes babies so damn cute?). I love to explore new places, finding the fun little places for my littles to play, and getting immersed in different cultures. I like to write and share about our travel adventures while keeping it minimalist and vegan as much as possible! Oh, and I love yoga, ballet, reading, baking, and time with friends.

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2 Comments

  1. Anouk

    Thank you for your articles! We’re a French family with two kids (2 and 11) staying in San Pedro for 2 months and a half and I found your articles very useful. It’s funny, we’re staying very close to the end of the airstrip too. We’re shopping at Esperanza too for veggies and fruits. We obviously love Paradice cream! Our big girl is going to Island Academy and our almost 3 year-old boy is going to Brighter Tomorrow preschool three mornings a week.
    We leave our life in France every two years to spend 3 to 6 months abroad. So far, we’ve always managed to rent our house in France. As a freelance translator, I can work from wherever I want.
    Thank you for the Billy Bones Pool bar close to our house that we didn’t know about, for the Xanadu walk (we had looked at it from the beach but didn’t go in) and for the truck stop (although we only have one bike for the four of us and it’s quite a long way to walk there).
    We only have 3 weeks left here before we go for a month travel in Guatemala, Mexico and Cuba, and then back to France.
    Safe and nice travels!

    Reply
    • Meredith Kenzie

      Awww, it’s so nice to hear from someone like you! I love writing enough that I don’t fixate on whether anyone reads it, but I wished I’d had articles about San Pedro like the ones I wrote, so I’m so happy to have helped another traveling family! We loved Belize so much and still reminisce about our time on San Pedro. So happy that you found Billy Bones, it was such a great find! Depending on where you go in Mexico, I highly recommend Isla Mujeres, an island off of Cancun. We spent 2 months there after Belize, and really loved it. Different vibe from San Pedro, but some stunning beaches and great food and a sea turtle sanctuary – and also full of golf carts 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your travels!!

      Reply

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