Racecars, pottery, and stuffed animals – oh my!

Generally speaking, I’m not someone who has a hard time finding things to do when I’m on vacation, especially when I’m in a gorgeous natural setting. My children also love to hang out outdoors, to swim, and to go for walks. But Atlantis isn’t the kind of place where anyone’s amusement is left up to chance or nature – there’s more to do there than most people could probably fit into a week, even if you did get unlucky and land in the middle of a tropical storm. On my own, I’m not sure I’d bother to build a race car or a teddy bear, but one aspect of our generous Jet Adventure trip was the chance to give many of the resort’s activity offerings a try, and so we did.

On the evening of the day when we attended the opening of the AKA Club we were given the chance to both paint pottery and to make a stuffed animal. Since Teddy was teetering on the edge of total exhaustion (I spent dinner running back and forth from the buffet trying to find something he wasn’t too tired to eat and praying to avoid a meltdown) I told him that he had to choose one or the other. We quickly stopped by the lovely Earth and Fire Studio where we could have painted a cup, bowl, picture frame, or other souvenir and had it fired before returning home. Teddy took a look around and decided he would rather make a stuffed Atlantis Pal. I’ll admit that I was a little disappointed, as I would have liked to make something to bring home for my desk!

I’m not a fan of Build-a-Bear stores (mostly because we already own more stuffed animals than we know what to do with) and always avoid the one at the mall. So although Teddy loves animals, I wasn’t sure that the Atlantis Pals would be up his alley. Boy was I wrong. He enjoyed everything about this activity from choosing his giraffe skin, to picking what symbolic trinket to put inside (his represented “hope), to “helping” while a lovely woman named Mary stuffed it,

to choosing an adorable safari outfit, complete with shoes and a backpack.

When he was all done, Mary donned a judge’s robe and had Teddy repeat a solemn vow to care for and love his new friend, which he first named Plump and then renamed Love Giraffe.

Love Giraffe was our companion for the rest of our stay, joining us on the beach and for meals.

We spent our last evening in the Bahamas at the Atlantis Speedway. I was sorry that Tommy wasn’t there with us because I’m pretty sure that this would have been his version of Shangri La (from babyhood, he’s always been fascinated by things that go).

Here kids get to build their own cars or monster trucks and either race them or drive them on rough terrain accordingly. Teddy, who has never been much of one for vehicles, was overwhelmed by the crowd of kids excitedly building their cars and didn’t want to make his own or even watch the races (this meant that unlike the other children, he didn’t get to bring a car home with him). He did make his own driver’s license, but once he had done that, he was ready to go.

There a few other things that Teddy and I missed, largely because of his age and the fact that I was there with him alone. One fun activity that is included in the price of a room is Aquaventure, the water park at the resort, an area that we spent very little time in. We did take one ride on the Lazy River, lazy indeed to the point of catatonia and perhaps a bit too slow even for the more timid child. We also ventured briefly into Splashers Island, pictured below, which is the pool in the water park that is intended for the younger set. Teddy climbed eagerly into the playset, got some water dumped on his head, and immediately and vocally demanded that I rescue him (and boy did the two lifeguards who were hanging out up there laugh at me when a I was similarly soaked during the mission).

Given Teddy’s reaction to Splashers, I thought it advisable to avoid the faster moving river ride, called The Current, although other people with children his age did go on this and enjoyed it. And with names like The Abyss and The Surge, I didn’t think any of the water slides would really be appropriate (they also require that children by at least 48 inches tall).

We also could have given the cooking classes (called the “Culinary Adventure”) offered at the AKA Club a try but Teddy wasn’t really interested. These classes are intended for children six and older and are 90 minutes long, so I wasn’t willing to cajole him, especially since it was a gorgeous afternoon.

Happily, many of the other bloggers and writers on the trip have posted their own reviews, a number of which include descriptions of the things that Teddy and I missed. To satisfy your curiosity, please see:

This post is part of a series I wrote about my tip to the Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island Bahamas. If you enjoyed it, you might also be interested in:

Lost city of Atlantis

Swimming with the dolphins

Atlantis Kids Adventure

Legos in paradise

The Atlantis Resort from top to bottom

To Atlantis or not to Atlantis: That’s the question

Almost all of the expenses for my trip were paid for by LEGO, JetBlue, and the Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas. But I was under no obligation to write about my experience, was not compensated for this post, and the opinions it contains are (you guessed it) my own.

Photo of racing courtesy of MHJohnson via Flickr.

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