By Gina Guerra Burgos, Taking the Kids correspondent
Day 2 May 17 — Thank goodness for a giant king bed and 8 hours of sleep here at Beaches Resort in Ocho Rios. Friday morning was the Character Breakfast and the Venetian Dining Room was completely decked out with Sesame Street decorations, banners, posters and table settings. Jude received a goodie bag with a mini Ernie doll, a Sesame Street cup to take home and a whistle.
All of the characters from the parade were there and stayed for almost the entire breakfast. As adults, there is a certain kind of magic that happens when you see the characters you’ve grown up with and you realize you’re never too old for this kind of fun. There were plenty of photo ops and time for your kids to have a dance party with their favorite characters. If you are traveling with small children this upgrade is certainly a must have ($12 adults, $16 for children over 2 years old). We enjoyed a full American breakfast with everything your kids could want – pancakes, eggs, bacon, bagels and even peanut butter.
Next we were treated to a lesson at the Scratch DJ Academy. Once the kids learned what a record and a needle were (what?!) everyone was “baby scratching” in no time. The youngest of our group was only 9 and she was able to hold her own so this class isn’t just for teenagers and older kids. We all learned some serious deejaying tips, so be on the lookout for DJ Dunk & DJ Tizbay in a club near you.
Lunch at Bar.B.Q, one of the resort’s five dining areas overlooking the gorgeous Jamaican ocean and endless skies. The menu is perfect for everyone with brick oven pizzas, lots of burgers, grilled cheese and some local jerk dishes on the menu it’s a popular lunch spot. Jude and I decided to hang back at the kids pools while my husband went for the Tranopy package at Mystic Mountain (see video) which included the Skyexplorer chairlift, bobsledding and zip line. He had an awesome time and flying through the jungle and the video from his headcam may have been his favorite part.
The pools offer fun for kids of all ages. There were lots of inner tubes for floating around, six different levels of slides and a smaller wading pool that was perfect for Jude to run free and for me to lay in the water and relax. We took a break for some soft serve ice cream cones and slushies, which are always available at Bar.B.Q.’s right next to the pool.
No need to talk about the delicious dinner we had at the Venetian Dining Room. More important was the CHOCOLATE BUFFET! With a chocolate fountain and Baileys for my coffee, how could this day have gotten any better? We relaxed under the stars listening to Jamaican songbird Karen Smith. There is something so timeless about listening to beautiful live music that even Jude sat captive listening to the ballads and dancing to the island rhythms. The best part of the day was that by Friday night we felt like we had been at Beaches longer than 28 hours, and that made it all worth it.