Family Vacation in the Bahamas

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Nurse shark in the Bahamas
Nurse shark at the Baha Mar Exploration Center & Eco-Sanctuary


I’ve always wanted to visit the Bahamas and this winter we did it! I was excited to see some turquoise water, white sand, and palm trees. I hoped for warmer weather, which we got, but it was cooler than I thought it would be for the Bahamas and we didn’t spend any time in the ocean (I wish we did). I’m looking forward to visiting again during Spring or Summer when the weather is warmer.

Overall, it was a great vacation. I didn’t have to make dinner, do laundry, or wash dishes (except for Indi’s milk bottles) and we got to do so much together as a family.

It was a great time and I’m going to cover the best parts of our trip like our hotel accommodations, best places to eat, and the best things to do with kids. I’ll also touch on toddler flight entertainment briefly because I know how stressful flying with a toddler can be and being prepared helps. So, let’s get into it! 

Traveling with a Toddler under 2

Boston to Nassau was about a 3 hour 20 minute flight.

Preparing for the Flight

I was nervous. My husband was not, but the memory of our return flight home from Miami from our last family trip did not go smooth and I was afraid we’d have a repeat.

I was mostly worried for our daughter. Our last flight was bumpy and the pressure changes were bother her ears, I ran out of breast milk, and she wouldn’t take a bottle which led to a full fit, crying, screaming, tears – the works. She ended up falling asleep but it was stressful to watch and every parent knows what it feels like to be the person on the plane who “can’t handle (or calm) their child”.

I didn’t want that to happen again, so I packed for every possible scenario we could’ve had.

In-flight entertainment for toddlers

Indi watching Amazon fire tablet on plane
Indi watching Peppa Pig on the Amazon Kid's Fire Tablet 7"

I was very prepared for this flight with our daughter. I had all the snacks, all the beverages, the assortment of toys that would guarantee 3 hours of entertainment if she didn’t take a nap, but thankfully she did.

There were moments where she got a little fussy but it never lasted more than a few minutes.

The toys that really helped during the flight were our whirly squigz, suction toy squigz, a sheer silk scarf, a few of her favorite books, an Amazon Fire Tablet with Peppa Pig loaded on it.

Peppa Pig is not my favorite show and if there are other options, like Ms. Rachel or Bluey, I will play those. I didn’t purchase and download Bluey episodes in time for our trip so Peppa Pig was downloaded as a backup form of entertainment for the plane.

To my surprise, scrolling through the in-flight selection of kids shows I found it: Bluey. 

Bluey was available on the Delta kids section! I was so excited. Maybe more excited than our daughter was. We watched Bluey almost the entire flight home. We had to watch many of the episodes on repeat but no one seemed to mind.

Our Toddler Air Travel Toys & Entertainment

Fat Brain Toys Whirly Squigz
Whirly Squiz Suction Spinners
suction squiz toddler toys
Squigz Little Suckers
Amazon Kid's Fire Tablet 7"
Sarah's Silk Play Scarves


Plants inside the lobby of the SLS at Baha Mar
Baha Mar SLS at night by the pool
Walking around the SLS grounds

Hotel: The Baha Mar SLS

We stayed at the Baha Mar SLS in Nassau Bahamas. The SLS, the Rosewood, and the Grand Hyatt are the three hotels that make up the Baha Mar.

All of the hotels are connected via the casino and walkways around the Baha Mar. From any of the hotel lobbies you can stay inside and find your way to another hotel, the casino, shops, restaurants, and everything you can imagine.

The hotel really had everything. We never had to leave and we were even able to get groceries delivered to our hotel room.

All of the hotels were spotless and always clean. Even the trashcans around the casino didn’t look like trashcans and blended in with the furnishings and decor around the hotel.

We stayed on the 17th floor of the SLS and it was a quick elevator ride from our floor to the lobby and a short walk to the nearest pool, casino, restaurant, and the beach.

Our Room: Room for Running and Private Space for Nap Time

We shared a double suite room with my husband’s mom and sister. Our suite had a little kitchen and living room area for our daughter to run around and play in.

The suite had two separate rooms with big sliding doors that closed them off from the main living area. We had our own bathroom, shower, and balcony. There were a total of three balconies in our suite.

When we had to put Indi down for her afternoon nap, we plugged in our baby monitor, closed the sliding door to our room and hung out in the living area until she woke up. It was really nice to be able to do that and not have to be quiet around her while she sleeps. It felt more like how we would put her down for a nap at home.

Welcoming Family Atmosphere

Listen, this was a lavish hotel. It was. They had casinos, tons of amazing restaurants, almost everyone walking around with dressed head to toe in designer clothing except for Ryan and I. It was such a beautiful hotel and I loved seeing families everywhere – I mean everywhere.

People were gambling, going out to dinner with their kids, hitting the pools and water park, and enjoying the wild life on the hotel grounds.

Pool outside the casino and cigar lounge

The Grounds & Surrounding Hotels

Speaking of the hotel grounds… they were beautiful. The grounds were well maintained, lush with foliage, amazing pools everywhere, animals, tons of food options, and entertainment all around.

The Rosewood might have the prettiest most tranquil and peaceful grounds of any hotel I’ve ever visited.

We did not stay at the Rosewood, but we did venture over there for dinner one night to eat at Costa.

The foliage around the Rosewood hotel is lush, the pools are surrounded by palm trees and plants and the koi ponds are incredible.

Ryan & Indi in the jacuzzi near our favorite waterfall pool (in the background)
The cave inside our favorite pool with views of the eco-sanctuary marine life

Pools, Pools, Pools

WOW the pools. We stuck to one particular pool that was easy to walk into, was fairly warm, had waterfalls, a deep end with a cliff you could jump off of, and a cool cave that let you see the nurse sharks, fish, and sea turtles swimming in the eco-sanctuary through a glass wall inside the cave.

There were so many pools and each had their own vibe. The pool closest to our hotel lobby was very chill and most people hanging out at that pool were tanning, reading books, having a drink, and taking it easy (sans kids but kids were allowed it just wasn’t the vibe at that pool).

Our waterfall/fish tank pool, as we called it, was definitely the family pool. You had to get out to the pool very early to reserve your chairs because everyone was bringing their kids to that pool. There was actually another pool connected to the waterfall pool by a little bridge and two jacuzzis.

There were other pools on the hotel grounds with fountains, cabanas with water falls, and there was a pool at the Rosewood that looked like a tropical sanctuary, playing tranquil music and had blue lights that lit up the water at night.


I had a lot of amazing steak on this trip! There were also a lot of great kids food options at every restaurant we ate it which was really nice.

A lot of the restaurants offer free food to kids under 5 which was amazing.

Burger at the Swimming Pig

The Swimming Pig

This is your standard gastro pub fare and if you can’t get in at any of the other restaurants (because reservations fill up) you can probably get a seat here. I had a delicious burger with potato wedges our first night and it was exactly what I needed after a long day of travel. They also do breakfast and it’s fairly priced compared to breakfast at some other restaurants we visited.

Cleo Mediterraneo

Kids under 5 eat free

We only got the buffet breakfast here, and like most things at the Baha Mar, it was not cheap. It was however very good. There were so many options to choose from I loaded up on food the day we ate here.

T-Bones steak dinner at Marcus


Kids under 5 eat free

The service and the food here were so good. We ate outside on the patio, right by the ocean and the pier. We shared a t-bone steak, potatoes, and street corn ribs and I inhaled my food.

This is the only photo I took of Costa and it's not of my steak or the amazing Koi fish pond...still a beautiful restaurant with amazing food


Kids under 5 eat free

This restaurant was the most beautiful restaurant of them all – in my opinion. They were all amazing but the koi ponds and platforms you walk to get to the restaurant were incredible. The restaurant manager even gave Indi some fish pellets to feed the koi fish and we had a blast watching them gulp.

Steak at Carne (not seen are the amazing mashed potatoes we also got)


Kids under 5 eat free

If you go here, you have to get steak. The name should help you figure that out, but they do also have seafood options.

Just a big ol' croissant
Egg breakfast sandwich and chia pudding

Cafe Madeline

We ate breakfast here on most days. The chia pudding, pastries, and the breakfast sandwich were really delicious. We never made it in time to try the lunch but they do have a lunch menu.

Stix Noodle Bar

Kids under 5 eat free

I didn’t really like my food from here but I did like Indi’s kid’s meal: white rice, chicken teriyaki, and broccoli.

Beach, Water Parks, & Adventures

We didn’t bring a stroller on this trip. I could’ve brought our ergobaby Metro+ stroller and it would’ve been helpful for carrying our bags, but Indi is not into strollers lately so I decided to leave it at home. We did bring the tushbaby hip carrier as a backup and let Indi do a lot of walking during our trip. The grounds were nice and clean, flat, and paved so if I brought the stroller it would’ve been easy to push around.

The Beach & The Pier

We saw a barracuda and a wild sea turtle on a couple of our walks out on the pier.

The weather in Nassau was around 67 – 71F so long sleeves and pants were our attire most days and I wasn’t really up for swimming in the ocean. We did however spend a lot of time in the pools which were warmer and some partially heated.

We loved walking in the white sands and seeing the turquoise ocean waters.

Baha Bay: Water Park

We frequented the water park for the toddler swimming pool and water slides.

My husband and daughter had so much fun going down the slides together.

There was also another part of the water park, that was too big for our toddler to play in, but looked like a lot of fun for older kids.

Lifeguards & Friendly Staff

First I have to say that all the staff at the entire resort were friendly and nice.

Lifeguards were on duty at every pool and staff walked around and were available for help whenever you needed it.

The Arcade

There was an kids arcade at our hotel and we had to check it out.

Our favorite game was hungry hungry hippos.

Animal & Sea Creature Encounters

The Aviary

We visited the on-site Aviary at least four times during our trip. We all loved it.

The Aviary is free to enter, but if you want to feed the birds you have to pay.

For a fee, you can purchase bird seed on stick, and two times a day guests are allowed in to feed the birds.

Flamingo Parade

There were a flock of flamingo on the hotel property that would come out in the morning and parade around the grounds. It was really fun for the kids and adults and everyone would circle around while the animal caretakers would talk about the birds.

Indi & Ryan petting an African Tortoise

Feeding the African Tortoises

I didn’t think the tortoise would be particularly exciting but I wanted Indi to experience them to continue fostering her love of animals. So we signed up to feed the tortoise.

First of all, I had no idea that they liked to be pet. We were told to pet their shells and if they liked it they would stand up and they did just that. They don’t move very fast but I was impressed with how well they did move.

When the wildlife instructor brought the tray of food out for us to feed them, the tortoise knew what time it was and shifted in to high gear towards the food tray.

We were warned that the tortoise have very large poops. I didn’t know what to expect by “large” but I think I saw at least four of them go and they were massive.

Feeding the tortoise was slow, but fun. Feeding animals period is fun.

Nurse shark in the Bahamas

The Exploration Center & Eco-Sanctuary

We watched Nursing Sharks, Stingrays, and Sea Turtles be fed by the eco-sanctuary staff and were able to touch starfish and other sea creatures in a little area off to the side of the main pools.


I already mentioned this but the weather was actually quite cold! We visited last week of December into the first week of January so it is winter in the Bahamas.

It wasn’t as cold as the weather in New Hampshire and Boston, but it was still cooler than we expected. Luckily, I did pack SOME long pants and long sleeves. At night when the sun went down you needed a sweater and something to cover your legs. The staff around the island wore long sleeves and jackets every day,

I wore shorts and tank tops most afternoons which was nice. I did manage to get a little tan during our trip and a couple days the sun came out and it was nice and warm.

I definitely want to go back when the ocean is warm.


I am already planning our next trip to the Bahamas…I’d like to check out the Atlantis or even get an airbnb by the beach. If we go again, I am packing and checking-in an entire suitcase of waters and snacks from home. I paid $14 for a bag of Cheez-Its. Yes, $14 for one regular sized bag of Cheez-Its…so I don’t want to ever do that again.

about the author:

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Andrea is the voice behind Living Like Lacasse. She is a mom, designer, and all-around creative who loves good food, good company, and good design.

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