When someone asks me where to take their family for their next vacation, without hesitation I say Beaches Sesame Street in Turks and Caicos. Okay, technically, it is called Beaches Resort (not Beaches Sesame Street). But, there are few places outside of Disney that can really indulge families of all ages from infants to adults, including grandparents.
Beaches Resort's partnership with Sesame Street makes it so that this is one vacation that can accommodate every age, from infants on up. But it is not just for the little ones. With something for every age in mind, set on one of the most glorious settings on Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos, this is one of the most high-quality, family-friendly vacations around.
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When we were pregnant with our first son, a travel agent suggested we look at Grace Bay on Turks and Caicos for our babymoon. We had never been there before and little did we know what we were in for.
Upon arrival, we discovered one of the most beautiful scenes we could imagine, that looked like a photo. Calm, teal water, as clear and gentle as a swimming pool, meeting soft beige sand, where you could swim comfortably even in January.
This on a setting of the all-inclusive Beaches Turks and Caicos with activities for the whole family made this a dream come true. We had found paradise, and have returned eight additional times since. Our kids have grown up there each year. In fact, we love it so much, we are already booked for the next two years. Why? Read on to find out!
Beaches Resorts is owned by the parent company of Sandals Resort. Like its parent company, Beaches is all-inclusive, meaning you pay a flat rate, and once you arrive almost everything is included, such as:
Beaches Resorts Turks and Caicos is the largest of the three Beaches Sesame Street properties, the other two being in Jamaica. Though there are a lot of similarities in the Beaches properties, you will get the largest selections of restaurants and activities at the Turks and Caicos location, which is why we prefer it.
Our family is fickle, and we love to see as much of the world as possible. It is unusual for us to keep returning to the same spot year after year. But, because of the quality of Beaches Turks and Caicos, we have completed eight visits and are already booked for our ninth and tenth.
Why? Because it is worth every penny.
The Turks and Caicos Islands are in the Caribbean, not far from the Bahamas. There are many direct flights from cities on the East Coast of the United States.
The Beaches property is in Providenciales, right on Grace Bay, one of the most glorious beaches on earth. Only a 15-minute shuttle ride from the airport, Beaches Resorts property is very easy to get to.
Beaches Turks and Caicos has four main villages:
We have stayed in both the Caribbean and Seaside Village as well as the French Village. Both are very nice and you can find accommodations on the lower price point on up to a concierge level and butler level.
Our preference is the Caribbean and Seaside Village because of its proximity to the beach. We have been fortunate to get amazing beachfront views, and who wouldn't want to wake up each morning looking out at that glorious teal ocean? There are two pools in the Caribbean Village for your enjoyment, that get pretty hopping in the afternoon.
The French Village has a wonderful pool and is near a lovely coffee shop where I usually head to get my morning brew. If you are inclined to exercise, you can also work out right there on the main stage with a fabulous instructor who has been there for years. He makes it look so fun!
The downside to this area is that it is not beachfront and you have to walk a bit to get to the beach. It is also where a lot of the evening events take place, so if you have little ones, it is a loud area when they are trying to sleep at night.
We have not stayed in the Italian or Key West Villages. But from visiting those areas, the Italian Village has a large variety of accommodations and has an amazing, large pool that is very popular. It does get crowded, so get there early for a seat.
The Key West Village is home to a variety of townhomes, so it is ideal for a multigenerational family vacation. The pools are smaller and quieter.
You can use any of the pools in any of the villages, so don't let that be your guide as to where to stay. Some of it may depend on availability and your price range and accommodation needs. You can't go wrong no matter where you stay.
There are 21 dining options at Beaches that range from buffet to sit down to food trucks. The food is excellent, and this is coming from a family of picky eaters! You won't go hungry.
You also won't be gorged! The Beaches staff is very thoughtful about not serving oversized portions, which I appreciate. What you put on your plate at a buffet is on you, but for sit-down meals, the portions are reasonable in size.
Be sure to check the dining dress code. Resort Casual means shorts, jeans, t-shirts and polo shirts are fine. Swimwear must be covered, and shirts and footwear are required.
Resort Evening means dress pants or jeans for men, long or short sleeve dress shirts with or without collar, dress shoes, or elegant sandals. Shorts, t-shirts, sleeveless shirts or sneakers are not allowed.
At the moment, only Le Petit Chateau, Sapodillas, and Sky require Resort Evening dress.
I think the question should be – What ISN'T there to do at Beaches Turks and Caicos?
There is SO much to do for each and every age, you and your littles will never get bored. Whether your kids go to the kids' clubs, partake in the variety onsite activities, join some of the Sesame Street gang for a special activity, or partake in one of the evening events, there is something for each family member to do – you can even just sit on the beach!
One of the best features of Beaches Turks and Caicos is their worry-free included childcare at Camp Sesame! This offering is ideal when traveling with babies, toddlers, and preschool-age kids.
For kids ages zero to two years old, Camp Sesame has a nursery, with dedicated staff available to take care of them. The nursery has cribs, rocking chairs, strollers, and high chairs, and can provide care for you tot from feeding to diaper changing to naps. A list of the items you need to provide is on the Beaches Resorts website.
Kiddos ages three to four enjoy a bit more activity at Camp Sesame, which includes activities at the indoor play area from crafts to its own dedicated toddler pool to some outdoor adventures. Carefully supervised by the nannies and counselors, this is where our kids had some of their most favorite experiences like puppet making with Ernie, baking cookies with Cookie Monster, and a dance class with Zoe.
There are two camps for kids in this age group. Kids ages five to seven years old can join the Li'l Mateys group, which feels a bit like a fun summer camp. From sports to character activities, swimming in a shallow pool with waterslides to a boat ride, this camp keeps this group active and busy with an assortment of activities. Our kids especially love X-box challenge time, the Lil Matey's Boat Cruise, Shell collecting, and making treasure from trash with Oscar the Grouch.
The Captain Kids camp for kids ages eight to ten years old offers activities appropriate for this age group, but still with excellent supervision. From sports activities to snorkeling at the coral garden, beach science activities to beach olympics, not to mention swimming and waterpark time, kids this age will have loads of fun being active and entertained. My older son loves the beach soccer, soda pong games, and snorkel trip and boat rides.
Kids ages 11-14 get a bit more entertainment suitable for their age group. From “dive-in movies” to karaoke to a DJ class to water sports and beach games, this group will keep very busy with dedicated camp counselors to provide guidance.
Teens ages 15-17 can also have fun with their own dedicated group. With their own dedicated areas like Trench Town and and “night club” with karaoke (that closes when it is time for adults), organized sports and activities, swimming, games, boat cruises, and more, teens can find other teams to hang out with while on vacation. Teens also have staff organizing games and activities, keeping the kids busy.
According to their website, the Beaches Resorts offer autism-friendly resorts, and their kids' clubs have trained staff for children with special needs including autism. They also offer dedicated staff buddies who are trained in and able to care one on one for your child with special needs. This one on one service can be for a few hours or during your length of stay. The cost for one-on-one care is $15 per hour during day hours (8 am to 11 pm) or $20 per hour + a $20 service fee for overnight hours (11 pm to 8 am).
Private childcare is also available for hire at $20 per hour during day hours (8 am to 11 pm) and $25 per hour + a $20 service fee for overnight hours (11 pm to 8 am).
Adults can enjoy a variety of on-property included activities and entertainment. Options range from the Liquid night club to adult-only dining, special entertainment, and adult-only karaoke, just to name a few. With the kids' club and on-site childcare, it is easy to have a night out. For an additional cost, you can enjoy a candle-lit dinner on the beach!
Beaches Turks and Caicos makes it easy to meet and greet with the Sesame Street characters. Two of our favorite “must-do” activities for Sesame Street fans include:
For fans of the Sesame Street gang, this is a must-do activity. The characters come to your room with a staff member to read your kids a story, tuck them in, and give them a plush!
You can request which character (we have had Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Abby), though it is dependant on availability. For about 30 minutes of one on one character time, the cost is a steal: $85 for one child, $30 for each additional child, and $65 to add a second character.
The cost includes the plush and a photo! Reservations can be made online or in advance by calling Beaches customer service, or onsite.
Your kids can join their Sesame Street friends for a 45-minute character breakfast, and get to meet, greet, and dance to their heart's content. Now, if you have been to Disney, you know how expensive and how short the character breakfasts can be! This is totally different.
In addition to the 45-minute character breakfast, which includes ALL of the Sesame Street characters (except Julia), you pay a fraction of the cost you would at Disney. And, your kids have ample time to hug, interact with the characters.
Cost includes 45-minute breakfast with the characters, a coloring mat with crayons, a finger puppet, and a 12 oz. sip cup. Adults are $12 each; Children are $16 each (under 2's are FREE); Family Package is $49.99 for two adults and two children; Deluxe package is $99 and includes one 8×10 color photograph. This can be booked online or through Beaches Resorts customer service by phone or onsite.
Additional Sesame Street character experiences for an additional fee can be booked on request, including:
There are so many activities you can do on-property for all ages.
According to Beaches Resorts, all of their nannies and camp counselors are certified members of the International Nanny Association, which requires a minimum of 2,000 hours of childcare experience. Beaches Resorts also states that each of their nannies and camp counselors receives training in safety, nutrition, and child development.
We have put our kids in the Camp Sesame and kids clubs since they were toddlers, and we have always been very happy with the experience. We also often see the same staff year after year, and they recognize our kids. Not only do our kids have a lot of fun with the staff, but they often have access to the character events – like Elmo's birthday party or finding seashells with Big Bird – that we might miss if they weren't in the kids club.
If your kids are older and would not be into the Sesame Street characters, you can definitely still enjoy Beaches Resorts . While the Sesame Street character experiences are plentiful and accessible, they aren't in every nook and cranny of the resort. There are plenty of non-Sesame Street activities, like sports, dining, entertainment, pools, and beach experiences that are not themed at all.
While everyone who visits Beaches Turks and Caicos has their own favorites, our family highly recommends several activities. For kids, we love the Baking Cookies With Cookie Monster, the Surfing experience at the Pirate Island Water Park, the Character Tuck In, and the Character Breakfast.
For families, we love to snorkel at The Bight Reef Coral Garden, a protected reef just a 10-minute walk down the beach from Beaches. You can borrow snorkel equipment and life vests from the resort. You can often find a variety of colorful fishes and sea life, including turtles, eels, and sometimes even a barracuda.
We also love the family-friendly Kitty Katt Catamaran Cruise, which you can book through Island Routes excursions, for an extra fee. There are two booking desks on the property. This super fun experience includes lunch, drinks, a DJ, a snorkel stop, a visit to a small island full of lizards and conch shells, and a fun swim stop in the crystal clear waters of the bay.
We also love to sit and relax on the beach and take in the gorgeous sand and waters of Grace Bay.
While the vast majority of what you will experience at Beaches Turks and Caicos is included, there are some items that are an additional cost. For a complete list, contact Beaches Turks and Caicos, but it is typically things such as private meals, events, the premium character experiences mentioned above, additional excursions through Island Routes excursions, purchases at the shops, spa experiences, and premium alcohol.
Yes, Beaches Turks and Caicos has cribs and high chairs available on request. The room attendants will also stock your room with milk as needed and the on-site shop sells limited baby foods, diapers, and swim diapers. There is also a grocery store not far from Beaches' property should you need any additional supplies.
Book as far in advance as possible for the most options. We book two years out. You can book at the last minute but it is always better to book far out if you can for the best choice in room category and price. You can book online or by calling Beaches Resort customer service.
Beaches Sesame Street Turks and Caicos is an amazing, all-inclusive vacation for the entire family. It is like a cruise ship on land, only you are parked on one of the most glorious beaches in the world. With something for every age, from infants to grandparents, it is a wonderful way to spend time together as a family. It is the reason our family keeps returning, year after year.
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