One has only to glance at social media to see that parents are asking for guidance on how to keep their children occupied this summer.
With commercial flights cancelled until at least 1 Sept., families are looking around Cayman to see what entertainment and activities are available.
The Cayman Turtle Centre, which officially reopened on 4 July, is a great way to spend a day, particularly with young ones.
“Our exhibits are open once again,” said Tim Adam, CEO, “except for our snorkelling lagoon, which remains closed to guests for the time being.”
Adam said that staff used the time when the park was closed to deep-clean and disinfect everything, as well as give it a bit of a makeover. He also assured the public that all the resident animals and birds – including Smiley the crocodile – were safe and well-cared for over the past few months.
“All our successful conservation programmes, including the captive breeding and release of our turtles and birds, have continued,” he added.
In order to celebrate the reopening, all visitors will receive the special resident rate until 31 Aug. That means that everyone, even if they are not Cayman residents, will be able to enjoy the Turtle Adventure Tour for $15 for adults and $10 for children from ages 3-12, with children 2 years and under enjoying free entry.
Want to visit as many times as you like over three months? Buy the Summer 2020 Pass which covers two adults and two children (under 12) and offers 10% off at Schooner’s and the Splash Gift Shop. The pass is $99 per family.
Visitors will have access to the entire park, with the exception of the snorkelling lagoon. Highlights include the Breeding Pond (where visitors can see and feed the green turtles), the Turtle Touch Tanks and Wading Pools, Smiley the Crocodile’s Croc Cove, Schooner’s Bar & Grill, Predator Reef, the Caribbean Free Flight Aviary, the Blue Hole Nature Trail, Cayman Street, and Breakers Lagoon (home of the Turtle Twister Waterslide – a big hit with kids).
In keeping with the COVID-19 protocols, front-facing staff will wear face masks and visitors are asked to wear them in all indoor areas. There will also be many sanitising and hand-washing stations throughout the centre.
Camper FriYAYs: Summer camp groups are invited to enjoy a fun Friday experience at the centre, which includes the special release of a turtle into the sea. Learn about wildlife, participate in a scavenger hunt, and much more. FriYAYs run every Friday from 24 July to 28 Aug. Camp organisers should email [email protected] for more information and to book.
VIP Experiences: New for Summer 2020, couples and families looking for a more private and interactive experience can enjoy one of four VIP experience packages. All packages include a private turtle release exclusively for the group, as well as full access to Cayman Turtle Centre, lunch in a private cabana, and gifts to take away. For more information, email [email protected].
Feeding times and keeper talks
Hand-feeding Birds and Keeper Talks (on request) at the Caribbean Aviary
Times: Wed.–Fri.: 10am–3pm/Sat. and Sun.: 10am–noon and 1-3pm
Learn about the colourful and interesting birds of Cayman and the Caribbean and participate in the bird-feeding fundraiser. Kids can also join in the free, fun and educational Aviary Bird Treasure Hunt with a chance to win prizes.
Shark Talks at the Predator Viewing Window
Times: Wed.–Fri.: 10:30am
Learn the facts about sharks and why they are important to people and the marine ecosystem.
Predator Reef Feeding at Predator Reef Bridge
Times: Wed.–Fri.: 11am
Experts talk about and hand-feed barracudas and nurse sharks, followed by a look through the viewing window at the other predatory fish eating their fill.
Turtle Feeding at the Breeding Pond
Times: Daily at 11:30am
See mature green sea turtles coming to the surface to feed. Guests can feed them anytime as well. Personal packages of turtle food are available at the Splash Gift Shop and Lil’ Splash.
Cayman Crocodile Encounter at Croc Exhibit
Times: Thur. at 11:45am
Smiley the Cayman crocodile displays a unique hunting method when being fed.
For a limited time only, visitors can save an extra 10% on the resident rates when they book their tickets in advance at www.turtle.ky, or purchase them at the box office. Opening hours: Wed.–Sun., 8am–5pm (last entry is at 4:30pm).