I had a wonderful time exploring Jamaica in the October off-season and researching what to do in Jamaica with young kids. The sum total of my activities on my trip included horseback riding with Chukka Caribbean Adventures; swimming with the Dolphins at Dolphin Cove; touring Rose Hall Great House; partying on Captain Hook's Pirate Ship Adventure; zip-lining at Y.S. Falls; hunting for crocodiles on the Black River Safari.
Yes, there are some kids that start horseback riding and swimming with the dolphins at age 3, but generally speaking, that's still a little young for most parents. Besides, staying on a horse's slippery back, in mane-deep water, was a real core workout. A guide would probably help pull the horse along but your average 6 year old might find it challenging to keep his/her balance.
One of my funniest moments in Jamaica was on Captain Hook's Pirate Ship. This was a great evening activity/attraction, however, there were some elements of this party boat that I thought were more appropriate for a 16+ crowd.
Here are some activities that I thought were age-appropriate for the 6 and under crowd:
The Kids Cove at the Grand Palladium is a big selling point and is appropriate for younger children. Drop the little munchkins off and hit the spa or just take a tropical break while the kids play with their peers.
YS Falls had a calm swimming lagoon that would be appropriate for that age range. I didn’t have a chance to wade in it because I was too busy channeling my inner Tarzan, flying through the Jamaican jungle on gravity defining zip-lines.
Dolphin Cove not only had the dolphin experience, but also a small animal park that would be more appropriate for the under 6 crowd. Touching a dolphin is one thing, just as long as they’re not afraid of larger mammals, however, swimming with one at a younger age may be a little risky for your taste.
Other activities that would be appropriate for a family traveling to Jamaica with young kids include: day tours, nature walks, zoo visits, boat rides, foodie experiences, or simply relaxing near the water.