Lots of people have asked me, worriedly, about coming to Cuba with their children. Is it safe? Is it a child-friendly place? Are there things to do? What about food, water, toilets, etc? My answer: Yes, yes, yes and read on.
The only way to describe the position of children in Cuban society is to say numero uno, number one. Kids are King. They are, in general, treated as royalty. You will, thus, be treated as members of the monarchy (more lowly, though) merely by being with them. Expect full-on adoration with much kissing and cheek pinching. Them, not you. Also expect endless activities: cinema, theatre, shows, workshops etc.
There are a few practical do’s and don’ts. Never drink tap water – always bottled. Don’t even be tempted by hotel drinks if they come with ice. Take a torch, matches and a few lighters. Discreetly check out child-level plugs, wiring and handrails where you stay – sometimes they can be a bit dodgy. Bring a car seat if you plan hiring a car. Pack powdered milk (for babies and for tots) and disposable nappies (they can be small and expensive). Take some emergency food – rice cakes, dried fruit, nuts, tins of tuna. All of the above can be hard to find, and pricey. Once you have those basic things sorted you can really relax. Your hosts will be providing more important things like tiaras and thrones.
Note: Contact us before your visit for an up-to-date What’s On in Havana for kids. Cuba’s Children’s Day is in July – the third Sunday.