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A trip to the beach alone will keep the kids busy (and happy) all day, but if you’re looking for something a little different, there are plenty of family activities to keep kids entertained in the Dominican Republic. If you're vacationing in Punta Cana, nearby Bàvaro or Santo Domingo, here are Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ picks for the five best things to do with your kids in tow:
1. Manati Park. Walking around the Punta Cana nature-themed amusement park is an overload of fun for kids — the park is packed with animals, gardens, shows and hands-on learning. Visit the Taíno Village for some cocktails and shopping, let the kids play with friendly snakes or talk to parrots, and enjoy a fun-filled day with the family.
2. Horseback riding. There’s no better way to learn about Dominican Republic than on horseback. At La Rancheta in Las Galeras, you can book an intimate trip for six people or fewer. They have the staff and the horses to accommodate even the most inexperienced riders.
3. National Botanical Gardens. If you're touring in Santo Domingo, take a visit to the gardens — the largest of its kind in the Caribbean — with tropical palms, 48 pools and a 12,000-square-meter arboretum. Be sure to check out the Japanese Garden with more than 300 orchid species.
4. National Theater. Head to the National Theater in the center of the Plaza de la Cultura in Santo Domingo. Here you and the little ones can sit down and take in a musical or play, or enjoy the International Book Fair (every April in the Cultural Square). You’re also close to the Museum of Modern Art so if the kids are up for it, stop by.
5. Water activities. Simple pleasures in the Dominican Republic include anything in the water. Sign the kids up for some pirate ship excursions, kayaking, kite surfing, parasailing, snorkeling or scuba diving. Your hotel or resort will likely partner with specific tour companies to provide these options, and often offer discounts for families or group tours.