Atlantis Paradise Island: Mom-Approved Guide for Fun-Filled Family Adventures

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Atlantis with kids - help care for dolphins one-on-one
Help care for resident dolphins one-on-one with an animal behaviorist, and learn how to protect and support these incredible marine mammals in the wild. Photo courtesy of Atlantis Resort Bahamas.

Should you visit the luxe Atlantis Resort with kids? Yes! The premier resort in the Bahamas has family-friendly accommodations, miles of soft white sand beach, the world’s largest open-air marine habitat and the fabulous Aquaventure outdoor water park. Here’s how to have more fun at Atlantis with kids.

This post is sponsored by the Atlantis Resort Bahamas.

A trip to Atlantis Paradise Island in The Bahamas is a bucket list vacation for many families. It certainly was for mine, when I visited with my 8-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son.

And since a trip to Atlantis is an investment, planning your accommodations, meals and activities in advance is important.

With that in mind, here is our ultimate guide to visiting Atlantis with kids, to help you get the most out of your Bahamian getaway.

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SheBuysTravel Tip: To help plan your trip, read our guide for first-timers visiting The Bahamas.

Open air walkways at The Cove, one of the hotels at Atlantis Resort Bahamas
Open air walkways at The Cove at Atlantis. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

Where to Stay: Kid-Friendly Accommodations

Atlantis Bahamas has five hotels and all are great for family travel. Which one you choose will likely depend on your budget and where in the huge resort you would like to be located.

Your options are:

  • The Cove. This luxury hotel is my favorite. Our balcony suite had stunning views of the ocean and was steps away from Cove Beach, The Baths Pool and Aquaventure water park. The restaurant Fish by José Andrés, which offers a mouthwatering breakfast menu, is also nearby.
  • The Royal. Royal Tower is the iconic pink hotel you see in Atlantis ads. This is a great place to stay if you want to be in the heart of the action. Inside you’ll find The Dig—a labyrinth of tunnels filled with exotic fish and sea life—plus you are walking distance from Paradise Lagoon, Royal Baths Pool, the Mayan Temple slides and Dolphin Cay. All rooms and suites are newly renovated.
  • The Reef. If you’re looking for a quieter spot that is good for families, The Reef offers units with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms as well as kitchenettes or full kitchens. It will take a little longer to walk to Aquaventure from here, but you’ll have easy access to the private beach and a family pool reserved for guests of The Reef and The Cove.
  • The Coral. This is a good option for travelers on a budget. Located next to Marina Village, The Coral is close to restaurants like Olives and to the Atlantis Theatre, where you can catch a film.
  • Harborside Resort. If you want space away from the crowds, you could rent a villa in Harborside Resort. These villas come with fully equipped kitchens and sleep up to 10 people.

SheBuysTravel Tip: Before you go, read our VIP tips for Atlantis Resort Bahamas

Day Passes

If you’re in The Bahamas and want to enjoy Atlantis without spending the night, that’s an option too. You can buy a day pass to explore the resort.

Dining in Atlantis with kids
Dinner at Olives. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

Where to Eat: Family-Friendly Dining Options at Atlantis

Would your kids rather eat sushi from Nobu, pizza from Marina Pizzeria or amazing bread soaked in olive oil at Olives?

These are three restaurants at Atlantis that Christy Crockett Wisor, mom to Jake and Faith, highly recommends.

She has been to Atlantis twice with her kids, now ages 8 and 9, and has tried many of the resort’s 21 restaurants.

My kids and I agree with her recommendation to eat at Olives—we loved it there.

Make Reservations Before You Go

Crockett Wisor also advises parents to make their dinner reservations several weeks in advance. Some of the resort’s popular restaurants fill up in the evenings and you won’t want to miss out.

I was happy to have a reservation at Carmine’s for our visit to Atlantis. We loved dining family-style and it was so nice to sit outside in Marina Village.

Boy eating spaghetti at Carmine's, an Italian restaurant in Atlantis Resorts with kids
Family-style dining at Carmine’s. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

Check Out the Dining Plan

As just about everyone who has been to Atlantis or considered going to the resort knows, you want to plan for your food expenses.

Look into the Atlantis Dining Plan, where kids 6 and under eat for free, or the resort’s Food & Beverage Experience Credits before you go. With the Experience Credits, the resort is offering a 15 percent bonus. For every $100 you put into Experience Credits, Atlantis adds $15.

Where to Play: Aquaventure and Animal Experiences

The most important thing to know about visiting Atlantis with kids: The resort is expansive. There is a free shuttle to help, but you will still be walking a ton. If you’re not bringing your own, consider renting a stroller.

The Kids Concierge can help with that. These resident resort experts can also:

  • Give you information on kids’ activities
  • Create daily itineraries full of family-friendly fun
  • Make bookings for kid-friendly animal experiences
  • Share child menus and advice on fine dining
  • Make reservations for Atlantis Kids Adventure, the kids’ club

Download the Atlantis App

Planning your activities in advance can make for a more relaxing, enjoyable vacation once you arrive.

But if you’d rather plan as you go, Atlantis has a mobile app. You can use the app to rent a cabana or make dinner reservations. It also has an interactive map, which will help you navigate the 141-acre water park, Aquaventure.

Water slide at Atlantis
Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

Aquaventure

Aquaventure is the largest water park in the Caribbean, with water slides ranging from mild to mildly terrifying.

Little ones will enjoy the water fun at Splashers and Ripples (near The Royal). Kids at least 48 inches tall can slide right into Leap of Faith in the Mayan Temple and the Power Tower water slides like The Surge.

My kids’ favorite Aquaventure attraction was not a slide, but The Rapids River. This mile-long river ride pushes inner tubes through caverns, under waterfalls and into white-water rapids. It’s a bumpy ride and there’s no guarantee your inner tube won’t get dumped when there’s a surge of water.

Rapids River at the Aquaventure water park in Atlantis Resort Bahamas
The Rapids River. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

Marine Life

Atlantis also boasts the world’s largest open-air marine habitat, so strolling around the resort is always a treat. You can see more than 50,000 aquatic animals spread across 14 lagoons and aquariums. Visit one of the outdoor lagoons to see stingrays and sea turtles, or head indoors to The Dig to see jellyfish and tropical fish.

You can even take a water slide through a shark tank at Mayan Temple Shark Lagoon. Floating through a clear tunnel while sharks swam overhead is my daughter’s favorite memory of Atlantis.

Animal Experiences

Paid animal encounters are also available if you’d like to get a little closer to the sea life. Dolphin Cay offers paddleboarding and kayaking with dolphins or playtime with sea lions. A portion of the proceeds from paid animal encounters goes to the Atlantis Blue Project Foundation, which works to save sea species and their habitats throughout the Caribbean seas.

SheBuysTravel Tip: If you’re interested in animal encounters, you should book them in advance.

Atlantis with kids - paddleboarding at Atlantis Paradise Lagoon
Paddleboard as a family at Atlantis Paradise Lagoon. Photo courtesy of Atlantis Resort Bahamas.

Paradise Lagoon

Paradise Lagoon is a little off the beaten path and is a safe place for kids to swim. My daughter had a great time snorkeling here in the lifeguard-protected shallow water.

If you don’t bring your own gear, the resort sells snorkels in the gift shop.

Beaches

Finally, for a Caribbean activity the whole family can enjoy, take the kids to play on the resort’s five miles of beaches. The sand is soft and white, and there are plenty of interesting shells and fossils just waiting to be found.

Five miles of beach at Atlantis Resort Bahamas
Grab a Starbucks from The Reef and take an early-morning stroll at the beach. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub