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7 Best Things To Do with Kids on Catalina Island

Catalina Island is a slice of paradise just off the coast of La Romana in the Dominican Republic. Known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life, it's a fantastic destination for families looking for an unforgettable island escape. But Catalina Island is more than just a beautiful beach – it's a playground for kids, brimming with adventure, discovery, and excitement.


Experience the enchantment of Catalina Island as your children build sandcastles beneath swaying palm trees, snorkel among vibrant fish, and delight in chasing playful iguanas. This is the magic of Catalina Island. It's a place where childhood dreams come true, where the days are filled with sunshine and the nights are alive with the sounds of the Caribbean Sea.


So, pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready for an amazing family adventure!


Catalina Island

Best Things To Do with Kids on Catalina Island 1. Snorkeling and Diving Catalina Island boasts a vibrant underwater world, teeming with colourful fish, coral reefs, and fascinating marine creatures. Snorkelling is the perfect way for kids to experience this underwater wonderland firsthand. The calm, clear waters surrounding the island make it safe and easy for even young children to snorkel.


Making Snorkelling a Splash: Rent child-sized snorkelling gear for a comfortable fit. Pack a waterproof camera to capture the colourful fish. Start in shallow waters and gradually venture deeper as your child gains confidence. Keep an eye out for sea turtles, stingrays, and even harmless nurse sharks!

2. Fishing Activities

Catalina Island offers fantastic fishing opportunities for anglers of all ages and experience levels. Kids will especially enjoy the thrill of the catch and the chance to connect with nature.


Here's why fishing is a great activity for kids on Catalina Island:


Easy to get started: No need for fancy equipment or prior experience. Many local shops offer rentals and guided trips perfect for beginners.


Variety of fish: Catalina's waters teem with various species, including calico bass, yellowtail, barracuda (swordfish), Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, and even the occasional shark!


Kid-friendly locations: You can fish from the iconic Green Pleasure Pier, rent a kayak for some adventurous fishing, or join a chartered boat trip for deeper water exploration.


Fun for the whole family: Even if the fish aren't biting, the beautiful scenery, fresh air, and quality time together make for an unforgettable experience.


Learning experience: Fishing teaches kids about patience, respect for the environment, and the importance of conservation.

3. Beach Time Fun

Catalina Island's beaches are a paradise for kids. The soft, white sand is perfect for building sandcastles, digging moats, and burying Dad in the sand! The calm, shallow waters offer a safe place for kids to splash and play.


Beach Creativity: Bring along beach toys – buckets, shovels, moulds, and inflatables for endless fun. Remember to apply plenty of sunscreen and reapply frequently. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy it under the shade of a palm tree.

4. Iguana Encounter

Catalina Island is home to a friendly population of rhinoceros iguanas. These gentle giants are herbivores and pose no threat to humans. Kids will love watching them bask in the sun and munch on leaves. It's a fantastic opportunity to learn about these unique creatures and their role in the island's ecosystem.


Respecting the Iguana Residents: Observe the iguanas from a respectful distance and avoid touching them. Capture photos and encourage kids to learn about iguana conservation efforts.

5. Nature Walks and Trails

Catalina Island offers scenic nature trails that wind through lush vegetation. These trials are a great way for families to explore the island's natural beauty and spot unique flora and fauna.


Nature Hike: Choose a trail that is suitable for your child's age and abilities. Pack water and snacks for the hike. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Be on the lookout for colourful birds, butterflies, and lizards.

6. Seashell Hunting and Crafts

The beaches of Catalina Island are a treasure trove of beautiful seashells. Encourage your kids to explore the shoreline and collect unique shells to take home as souvenirs. These shells can be used for fun craft projects back at the hotel or even turned into personalised jewellery.


Shells: Look for shells of different shapes, sizes, and colours. Bring a small bag or bucket to collect the shells. Be mindful of live creatures that may be residing in the shells.

7. Beachside Bonfire and BBQ

Many resorts on Catalina Island offer beachside bonfires and BBQ dinners. This is a perfect way to end a day of adventure and enjoy some quality family time. Kids will love roasting marshmallows over the fire, listening to music, and watching the stars twinkle above the Caribbean Sea.


Enjoying a Magical Evening: Choose a resort that offers family-friendly bonfires and entertainment. Bring warm clothes as it can get chilly on the beach at night. Join in the dancing and create unforgettable memories with your family.

Enjoying a Magical Evening

A Family Vacation Guide

Choosing the Right Time to Visit: Catalina Island enjoys warm weather year-round, but the best time for families is during the "dry season" from November to April. This period offers the most sunshine and less chance of rain, perfect for outdoor activities.


Accommodation for Families: Catalina Island offers a range of accommodation options, from beachfront resorts to charming villas. Look for family-friendly accommodations that provide amenities like kids' clubs, swimming pools, and babysitting services.


Packing Essentials for Kids


  • A first aid box for small wounds and cuts.

  • Insect repellent to ward off pesky mosquitoes.

  • Swimsuits, water shoes, and rash guards for water activities.

  • For sun protection, wear hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

  • Favourite books, toys, and games to keep kids entertained during downtime.


Related Articles:

Explore Catalina's Hidden Gems with Outboating


To enhance your family's Catalina experience, consider partnering with Outboating, a premier provider of boat rentals and water-based activities. Outboating offers a wide selection of boats, including strike, scorpio, big tuna, sugar and more allowing you to explore the island’s coastline at your own pace.

Why Choose Outboating?


Convenience: Outboating offers easy online booking and convenient pick-up locations in various harbours.


Variety: Choose from a diverse fleet of boats to suit your family's size and preferences.

Safety: All boats are well-maintained and equipped with safety equipment.


Memorable Experiences: Create lasting memories with your family as you discover the beauty of Catalina from a unique perspective.


Catalina Island is a dream destination for families seeking a tropical getaway filled with adventure and relaxation. With its stunning beaches, vibrant marine life, and endless opportunities for exploration, it's a place where kids can truly be kids, creating memories that will last a lifetime. So, start planning your family adventure today and experience the magic of Catalina Island!


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