The rehabilitation of Boracay is far from over but there are still parts of it that can provide a dream vacation for families. Not all beaches in the island are created equal. Some will be suitable for kids while others will be for the backpacking folks who prefer kitesurfing at the windy side of the island.
Investing on a beachfront hotel in station one can make the difference between a relaxing holiday or a nightmare to rival the Griswold's Christmas Vacation. Don't take a chance and look-up the recommended hotels I blogged about in the previous post, "Post-closure Boracay Travel Tips for Families."
Top Ten Kid Activities at Boracay Beach
1. Ocean Fun Time. The low tide makes White Beach accessible to kids (and adults) of all ages including infants and toddlers. We’ve been taking our girls to Boracay every year since they were babies because they could waddle and play at the shoreline, at any age.
2. Build and destroy sand castles. The quality of the sand in Boracay is one of the best in the world. It’s powdery soft and never gets hot. A great sand box for kids! While you can create castles, mermaids, animals and whatever magical creature you can sculpt with a shovel, we know that part of the fun is breaking it down.
The local young people of the island also build sandcastles that you can photograph with the family for a small tip. Ask your kiddos not to destroy those unless you commissioned them to make a special one for you which you can do for $7-10..
3. DIY necklaces. My husband, Steve had the great idea to collect small shells with holes, attach a tiny string, and make them into necklaces. A little memorabilia from the sea.
4. Braids and Henna tattoo. My daughters don’t like sitting down. It’s hard to have a family dinner without reminding them to finish their food before leaving the table but they happily sat for henna tattoos and hair braids. These artists and hair braiders roam the island. Many hotels also have their in-house masseuse and hairbraiders.
5. Kayak and paddle boards. There are paddle boards and kayaks for rent for about $12 per hour at station one. You can also rent them for half an hour. The private boat rides are about three hours long and with the age of our girls, won’t be suitable for them yet.
6. Family Walks. We bribed the girls with ice-cream so they would walk down the beach with us. Their favorite is the Gelatto place beside Aria, an Italian restaurant at D’mall which is also one of our favorite restaurants. If you want to get a spot there, go for an early dinner around 5:30 PM before it gets full.
Family walks...who are we kidding? After a while, they just ended up on our shoulders.
7. Refresh and hydrate with fresh mango shakes. The girls consumed fresh mango shakes without milk and sugar. Every day. Since they weren’t big on drinking water, these golden liquid goodness was a good source of hydration. Add a splash of rum and the parents can enjoy it too.
8. Scavenger Hunts. Santa gave Catalina a tiny camera for Christmas. We made a list of things that she needed to photograph while Ariella received a list of things to find and put in her bucket.
9. Ocean kid toss. The girls loved being thrown, tossed and swirled in the ocean.
Steve earns his beer o’clock from all the arm work-out. If you want the husbands to be happy as well, stay near White House because the pub at the front of the hotel – Los Indios Bravos – had craft beer and the NBA premium channel. It was Steve’s favorite spot for IPA's, especially since bringing drinks to the ocean is now prohibited.
10. Floaty fun. We had a giant unicorn. 'Nough said.
P.S. If my kids had a say about this list, they will include ice-cream.
After all, when I asked Ariella, "What's your favorite part of the day."
"Ice-cream!," she replied. Over and over again to the point that she calls the capital of the Philippines, "Vanilla."
For more Boracay photos, follow my instagram account @dramayogi.