Is St Maarten Good for Families? Your Tropical Retreat!

If you’re planning a family vacation, St Maarten might just be the destination you’re looking for. This beautiful island in the Caribbean offers a plethora of family-friendly activities that will keep both parents and kids entertained.

The question on every parent’s mind is, “is St Maarten good for families?” The answer is, yes! St Maarten has plenty of activities and attractions that cater specifically to families. From kid-friendly beaches to theme parks and museums, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Key Takeaways

  • St. Maarten offers a range of family-friendly activities, from beaches to water sports and cultural experiences.
  • Popular activities include visiting the Butterfly Farm, exploring Philipsburg, and taking a sunset cruise.
  • Families can also enjoy water parks, snorkeling, and ziplining.
A sign on the beach that say off the beaten path.

Is St Maarten Good for Families?

St. Maarten is a great destination for families, with a variety of activities to suit all ages. Families can enjoy beaches, water sports, cultural experiences, and wildlife encounters. Popular activities include visiting the Butterfly Farm, exploring Philipsburg, and taking a sunset cruise.

Things to Do in St Maarten with Kids

St Maarten is a fantastic destination for families, offering a wide range of activities that both adults and children will enjoy. Here are some of the top things to do with kids while visiting the island:

1. Visit the Butterfly Farm

The Butterfly Farm in St Maarten is a great spot for kids and nature enthusiasts of all ages. Here, you can observe dozens of butterfly species from around the world, learning about their life cycles and habits, and even have some land on you for a great photo op. The farm guides will be happy to answer any questions your little ones may have and engage them in the learning experience.

2. Take a Pirate-themed Cruise

For a fun and adventurous day out at sea, take your family on a pirate-themed cruise. These cruises are full of entertainment, with actors dressed as pirates, treasure hunts, and plenty of swashbuckling activities. Your kids will love the experience of feeling like they’re on a real pirate ship and even have the chance to walk the plank. Some cruises even offer snacks and drinks, making for a comfortable and exciting ride.

3. Explore Mullet Bay Beach

Mullet Bay Beach is a picturesque destination that is perfect for families. The crystal-clear water and soft sand make for an excellent day out in the sun. Kids can play in the calm waters, building sandcastles and body-surfing. Mullet Bay Beach is also home to several beachside restaurants and cafes, where you can grab a bite to eat or relax with a refreshing drink.

4. Visit the St Maarten Zoo

For a chance to observe and learn about exotic animals such as monkeys, parrots, and reptiles, take your family to the St Maarten Zoo. The zoo has over 80 species and has been in operation since the 1970s. Your kids will love the opportunity to see animals they may have only read about in books or seen in movies. The zoo also offers guided tours to provide a more in-depth experience and insight into the lives and habits of the animals.

5. Go on a Kayaking Adventure

Take your family on a kayaking tour in St Maarten, an experience that will allow you to explore the island’s beautiful coastline and unique rock formations. There are several tours available, some of which include stops at secluded beaches and hidden coves where your family can take a break and swim in the calm waters. Kayaking is a fun activity that allows for both exercise and relaxation, making it perfect for families looking for an adventurous day out.

These are just a few of the many things to do with kids in St Maarten. From beaches to zoos to water sports, there is something for everyone. Families looking for a unique and unforgettable vacation should consider St Maarten as their next destination.

Divi Little Bay Beach Resort, Philipsburg, Sint-Maarten
Photo by Vinita Babani on Unsplash

Best Family Resorts in St Maarten

If you’re planning a family vacation to St Maarten, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the right accommodation. Luckily, there are plenty of family-friendly resorts on the island that offer a variety of amenities and activities for children and adults alike.

Resort NameLocationFamily-Friendly Amenities
Divi Little Bay Beach ResortPhilipsburgKids’ club, beachfront location, three swimming pools
Simpson Bay Resort & MarinaSimpson BayThree swimming pools, kids’ club, beach access, tennis court
Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & SpaPhilipsburgKids’ club, beach access, swimming pool, spa
Flamingo Beach ResortSimpson BayKids’ club, beach access, swimming pool, water sports rentals

These resorts offer a range of options for families, such as kids’ clubs with supervised activities, swimming pools, beach access, and spacious rooms or suites to accommodate families of different sizes. They also have restaurants on-site with kid-friendly menus, ensuring that meals are hassle-free for parents.

For those with younger children, the Divi Little Bay Beach Resort and Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa have facilities like baby pools and cribs available upon request. Simpson Bay Resort & Marina offers a playground and kids’ pool with water slide, while Flamingo Beach Resort offers water sports rentals for older children.

Recommended Family Resort: The Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa

The Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa is an all-inclusive resort that caters specifically to families. It has a kids’ club with a variety of supervised activities for different age groups, a water park with slides and a lazy river, and a teen zone with video games and activities.

The resort also has a family pool with a swim-up bar, a beach with calm waters ideal for children, and a variety of restaurants and bars on-site. The all-inclusive package includes meals, drinks, and access to the resort’s amenities, making it a budget-friendly option for families.

When selecting a family resort in St Maarten, consider your family’s needs and preferences, as well as the location and proximity to activities and attractions. With the variety of options available, you’re bound to find the perfect fit for your family’s vacation needs.

Family-Friendly Beaches in St Maarten

St Maarten is famous for its beautiful beaches, but not all of them are suitable for families with young children. Here are some of the best family-friendly beaches on the island:

Mullet Bay BeachRestaurants, bars, restrooms, showers, chairs and umbrellas for rent
Great Bay BeachRestaurants, bars, restrooms, showers, and water sports rentals
Dawn BeachRestaurants, bars, restrooms, showers, and water sports rentals
Simpson Bay BeachRestaurants, bars, restrooms, showers, and water sports rentals

These beaches have shallow waters and calm currents, making them perfect for families with young children. They also have facilities like playgrounds and picnic areas, which can keep kids entertained for hours. It’s important to note that some beaches may have strong currents or steep drop-offs, so it’s essential to check the safety conditions before swimming.Tip: Don’t forget the sunscreen and hats to protect your family from the sun!

A view of the beautiful island of Sint Maarten from the Sonesta Maho beach resort.
Photo by James Thomas on Unsplash

Water Sports for Families in St Maarten

St Maarten is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts, and families can enjoy a wide range of activities together. Whether you prefer the thrill of speed or the tranquility of nature, there’s something for everyone. Here are some family-friendly water sports to consider during your visit:


St Maarten’s crystal-clear waters are perfect for snorkeling, and many operators offer family-friendly tours that cater to all skill levels. You can explore coral reefs, spot colorful fish, and even swim with turtles. Some popular snorkeling spots include Creole Rock, Tintamarre Island, and Mullet Bay.


Kayaking is a great way to explore St Maarten’s scenic coastlines and hidden coves. You can rent kayaks or book guided tours, where you can spot marine life and enjoy the island’s lush vegetation. Popular kayaking spots include Simpson Bay Lagoon and the mangrove forest in Galion Bay.


Paddleboarding is a fun and easy way to experience St Maarten’s calm waters. You can rent paddleboards and explore on your own or take guided tours that include yoga or sunrise sessions. Some of the best paddleboarding locations include Great Bay, Maho Bay, and Cupecoy Beach.

Boat Tours

A boat tour is an excellent way to experience St Maarten’s stunning coastline, and many operators offer family-friendly options. You can choose from catamarans, speedboats, or sailboats, depending on your preference. Some tours include snorkeling, swimming, and even beach barbecues.

Jet Skiing

If you’re looking for some high-speed fun, jet skiing is a popular activity in St Maarten. You can rent jet skis and explore the island’s bays and beaches, or take guided tours that include sightseeing and adrenaline-pumping maneuvers. Some operators offer family-friendly jet ski experiences that cater to younger riders.

Before embarking on any water sports activity, make sure to check with local guides or operators for safety guidelines, age restrictions, and equipment requirements. Always wear appropriate gear and follow any instructions provided by your guides or instructors.

Family-Friendly Restaurants in St Maarten

St Maarten offers a range of dining options suitable for families, with many restaurants offering not just great food but also a kid-friendly atmosphere. Here are some of the top family-friendly restaurants in St Maarten:

Restaurant NameLocationFeatures
Cheri’s CafeMaho BeachBeachfront location, kids’ menu, play area
Hard Rock CafePhilipsburgRock ‘n’ roll atmosphere, kids’ menu, music memorabilia
Pizza GalleySimpson BayCasual atmosphere, pizza and pasta menu, outdoor seating
Lee’s Roadside GrillSimpson BayCasual atmosphere, Caribbean-style cuisine, outdoor seating

Cheri’s Cafe, located on Maho Beach, not only provides a beautiful beachfront view but also a play area for children to enjoy while parents indulge in savory food from their extensive menu. The Hard Rock Cafe, situated in the capital of Philipsburg, offers rock ‘n’ roll-themed dining with an extensive menu featuring burgers, sandwiches, salads, and their famous smokehouse BBQ. Pizza Galley’s casual atmosphere and wide-ranging pizza and pasta menu make it the perfect spot for a fun family dinner. And for a taste of authentic Caribbean cuisine, Lee’s Roadside Grill is the perfect option, offering outdoor seating and a relaxed atmosphere.

When dining with children in St Maarten, it is always a good idea to check for kid’s menus, allergen information and the presence of a play area or other kid-friendly amenities. With these family-friendly restaurants in St Maarten, parents can rest assured that they will have an enjoyable dining experience with their children.

The walkway Sonesta Maho resort in Sint Maarten.
Photo by James Thomas on Unsplash

Safety Tips for Families in St Maarten

St Maarten is generally a safe destination for families, but it’s always important to take necessary precautions to ensure a worry-free vacation. Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind:

Healthcare Facilities

Ensure you have adequate health insurance coverage before your trip. If you need medical attention while in St Maarten, there are several healthcare facilities available, including urgent care clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies. It’s always a good idea to carry any necessary medications and medical devices with you.

Emergency Contacts

Keep a list of emergency contacts with you at all times, including the phone numbers for local police, fire, and ambulance services. It’s also recommended to have the contact information for your embassy or consulate in case of an emergency.

General Safety Precautions

St Maarten is a relatively safe destination, but it’s always important to take general safety precautions, such as:

  • Avoid walking alone at night, particularly in secluded areas
  • Carry only necessary cash and valuables
  • Be aware of your surroundings and avoid any areas that appear unsafe

By taking these precautions, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable vacation for your family in St Maarten.

Family-Friendly Cultural Experiences in St Maarten

While St Maarten is renowned for its stunning beaches and water activities, the island also offers unique and enriching cultural experiences that are suitable for families. These experiences provide an excellent opportunity to learn about the island’s history, traditions, and local customs.

Visit Local Markets

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the local culture is by visiting one of St Maarten’s vibrant markets. The Philipsburg Market, located in the capital city, is a must-visit for families. Here you will find an array of local produce, exotic spices, artisanal crafts, and souvenirs. Kids will enjoy sampling fresh tropical fruits and interacting with local vendors.

Discover Historical Sites

St Maarten boasts a rich history and is home to several fascinating historical sites. Fort Amsterdam, located on the Dutch side of the island, offers an opportunity for families to learn about the island’s colonial history. The museum features exhibits that showcase the island’s history and culture. The 18th-century Fort Louis, located on the French side, offers breathtaking views of the island and is an excellent spot for a picnic or photo-op.

Participate in Traditional Festivals

St Maarten is known for its lively and colorful festivals that take place throughout the year. Carnaval is the biggest and most popular event, held every year in February. It features colorful parades, music, dancing, and traditional cuisine. Kids will love the costumes, dancing, and music. Other notable festivals include the Heineken Regatta and the St Maarten/St Martin Annual Summer Festival.

These cultural experiences in St Maarten are not only educational but also provide an opportunity for families to bond and make lasting memories together.

Looking out of the plane window, landing in St Maarten.
Photo by redcharlie | @redcharlie1 on Unsplash

Budget-Friendly Options for Families in St Maarten

A family vacation in St Maarten doesn’t have to break the bank. There are plenty of affordable options for families on a budget to make the most of their trip. Here are some tips to help you plan a memorable vacation without overspending.

Affordable Accommodations

One of the best ways to save money on your St Maarten vacation is to opt for affordable accommodations. Look for budget-friendly hotels, bed and breakfasts, or vacation rentals that offer family-friendly amenities such as kitchenettes, swimming pools, and complimentary breakfasts. Many accommodations offer special packages that include activities or dining options

Free or Low-Cost Activities

St Maarten offers plenty of free or low-cost activities that families can enjoy. Take a stroll on the beach, explore local markets, or visit historical sites such as Fort Amsterdam. The Butterfly Farm is a popular destination for families and offers affordable admission fees. Hiking and biking trails in the area are a great way to stay active and enjoy the beautiful scenery for free.

Dining Options

Eating out can get pricey, but there are budget-friendly dining options available in St Maarten. Look for local restaurants or food trucks that offer affordable and authentic cuisine. Many restaurants also offer kid’s menus or discounts for families. Consider packing a picnic for a day at the beach to save on dining costs.

Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is key to having a budget-friendly vacation in St Maarten. Research activities and accommodations ahead of time to find the best deals and discounts. Consider traveling during off-peak seasons to save on airfare and hotel costs. Look for package deals that include activities, transportation, and accommodations to maximize your budget.

With a bit of planning and research, families can enjoy a fun-filled vacation in St Maarten without overspending.


St. Maarten is an ideal destination for families looking for a fun and memorable vacation. With its beautiful beaches, water sports, cultural experiences, and wildlife encounters, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Families can visit the Butterfly Farm, explore Philipsburg, take a sunset cruise, or enjoy water parks, snorkeling, and ziplining. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, St. Maarten is a must-visit destination for families.

Maho Beach, St Maarten. Dutch side.
Image by neufal54 from Pixabay

FAQs about St Maarten for Families

Are you planning a family vacation to St Maarten? Here are some answers to common questions you may have:

Is St Maarten good for families?

Yes, St Maarten offers plenty of family-friendly activities, including beaches, water sports, cultural experiences, and attractions designed specifically for children. The island is also relatively safe, with low crime rates and a welcoming community.

What is the best time to visit St Maarten with kids?

St Maarten is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit with kids is during the dry season between December and April, when there is less humidity and fewer chances of rain. However, keep in mind that this is also peak tourist season, so expect higher prices and larger crowds.

What are some kid-friendly activities in St Maarten?

St Maarten offers a variety of activities that are suitable for families, including visiting theme parks like Rainforest Adventures and the Butterfly Farm, exploring the St Maarten Zoo, and learning about local history and culture at the St Maarten Museum or Fort Amsterdam.

What are the best family-friendly beaches in St Maarten?

Some of the best family-friendly beaches in St Maarten include Great Bay Beach, Mullet Bay Beach, and Simpson Bay Beach. These beaches offer calm waters, clean sand, and facilities such as playgrounds, picnic areas, and restrooms.

What are some budget-friendly options for families in St Maarten?

If you’re on a tight budget, consider staying at a self-catering apartment or guesthouse instead of a resort, and cooking your own meals. You can also save money by visiting free attractions like beaches and parks, or by taking advantage of discounts on tours and activities.

Is it safe to travel to St Maarten with kids?

St Maarten is generally safe for families, but it’s always important to take precautions when traveling with children. Keep an eye on your belongings, avoid walking alone at night, and be aware of your surroundings. It’s also a good idea to have emergency contacts and medical information on hand.

How do I get around St Maarten with kids?

The most convenient and affordable way to get around St Maarten with kids is by renting a car or taking a taxi. Public transportation is also available, but may not be as reliable or kid-friendly. Keep in mind that driving is on the right side of the road.

With these tips and suggestions, you’re ready to plan a fun and memorable family vacation in St Maarten!


  • Karin K

    Meet Karin, the passionate author and founder of My love affair with St. Maarten began in 1994 during a memorable trip. The island's allure was so captivating that I decided to make it my permanent home. Since then, I've been committed to sharing the beauty and wonders of St. Maarten through my adventures and insights. Join me on this incredible journey!