Friendship. Health. Immersion.
Sports programs in Granada, Nicaragua are a great way for young newcomers to meet other kids and have a Spanish language immersion experience. The experience of playing sports is somewhat universal, but it’s also bound to be different based on geography, culture and economics. Granada supports mostly youth soccer and baseball teams, but there is a growing interest in organizing a basketball league for tween boys, as well. Continue reading “Aiden digs the boy’s boot camp basketball training in Granada, Nicaragua”
Touring the islands of Granada, Nicaragua is a fun adventure that is easy and inexpensive to do on any given day. Enjoy the fresh breezes that blow over Lake Cocibolca as you remember how awesome it is to live in the land of lakes and volcanoes.
Put your feet up while you motor through the 365 tropical islands (one for each day of the year they quip) that were born thousands of years ago out of the last eruption from the ever vigilant Mombacho Volcano that gives grandeur to Granada’s skyline.
Check out a quick video to see what it is like to tour the islands!
You are in charge of your tour…
Continue reading “Touring Las Isletas de Granada with kids.”
Activities for rain or too much shine…
I write about weather a lot, but when you live in Granada weather is something that you will notice and you will have to form your strategies of how to keep your family comfortable and entertained despite extreme heat or a rainy day.
Many homes in Granada do not have air conditioning or residents are hesitant to use air conditioners because of exorbitant electricity costs in Nicaragua. There are also very few businesses in Granada that use air conditioning for the same reason.
So trust me, we know each business that does keep the air flowing and on a sweltering day, I can make up a good excuse to head to one of them.
A great air-conditioned destination for kids in Granada is our local crafts and school supplies store called Gonper. It’s not a huge store but it does have a lot for kids to check out. Continue reading “Kids love an air-conditioned crafts spree at Gonper in tropical Granada”
Update: Aiden and I have toured Mombacho Volcano now three times and I feel just as strongly about how worthwhile this activity is for families as when I wrote this article in 2017. The prices and transport times listed below are current as of January 2018.
Recommended: Boutique family accommodation featuring personal catering and self-catering facilities at El Respiro Ecolodge & Farmstays.
Staying cool in the hottest months
When Semana Santa (otherwise known as Spring Break or Easter Vacation) hit Granada in April, I decided we needed a plan to give ourselves a rest from the constant heat. Ironically, this led us to visit a volcano. Mombacho Volcano Natural Reserve was a perfect solution for getting the family outside and recreating in breathtaking Nicaraguan nature without feeling the summer burn.
When you arrive to the top of Mombacho Volcano which has three craters, you will appreciate that you are now in a cool, breezy, cloud forest full of tropical canopy and exotic critters. It is like someone has suddenly turned on the air conditioning. This leads to a boost of physical productivity! Watch your kids take off down the trail…. Continue reading “Hiking Mombacho Volcano with kids in Nicaragua”
Visiting families that reside inside the city of Granada often seek a recreational green space similar to something on offer at a public park back home. Publicly in Granada, the Cocibolca lakefront area called the Malecón is the most similar to that sort of recreational environment, although it really is only a strip of land that follows the lake with no wide open lawn area. The Malecón includes playground equipment, restaurants and some basketball courts. It is safe to use during the day and the city is doing a lot to make it a more attractive, maintained destination. On Sundays, it is a very popular hangout for Nicaraguan families.
Personally, we venture down to the Malecón maybe once a month to catch a fresh breeze and see the lake. For recreating, we much prefer the Cocibolca Jockey Club located at the rotunda at the entrance of the city proper. The CJC is where we go to when we need a break from the intensity of the city and especially the heat. Continue reading “The Cocibolca Jockey Club: the best green space in town for kids.”
A private kid’s pottery lesson with a professional Nicaraguan potter is another awesome activity that your children can enjoy in Granada. Misael Torres is an enthusiastic and patient teacher who gives lessons in Granada and at Laguna de Apoyo. Your child takes the wheel for $5 an hour while Misael gives gentle suggestions on how to manipulate the clay into form. Continue reading “Kid’s Pottery Classes With Pro-Potter Misael Torres in Granada, Nicaragua.”
Recommended Hotel to stay overnight: Laguna Beach Club
If you have read my 7 Key Ways to Help Your Kids Enjoy Granada, you already know that I advise visiting families to avoid introducing Granada to their kids during the hot summer months of March and April.
These months are hard on both parents and kids. You’ll find that the heat limits outdoor physical activities and can raise stress levels. However, if you are planning on coming this April or are already here, you are going to need some savvy local ways to stay cool during the Nicaraguan summer.
One highly recommended excursion is hanging out at Laguna de Apoyo. The laguna is a short 20 minutes drive from Granada where you can submerge yourself in some healing mineral waters that fill the crater of a 23,000 year old volcano! Continue reading “Keeping the kids cool in a Nicaragua heatwave @ Laguna de Apoyo”
Our Approach to Granada
Before our family moved to Granada, we were already living in the north of Nicaragua, well into our third year. We were homeschooling at the time, partly because we always had homeschooled and also because we lacked a viable alternative in that area.
In Granada, I wanted Aiden to have the chance to meet some of the local kids and the experience of going to 5th grade at a bilingual school, but I first scheduled some transitional months in Granada for him to acclimate at his own pace before the school year began.
We arrived to Granada in May and booked a beautiful vacation home with a backyard and a pool on a quiet street. I wanted to create a positive, no pressure first impression. Instead of jumping right into anything, we played tourist to get a feel for what Granada was all about and reconnect as a family.
This vacation time was well spent. We explored, ate out, swam every day for a month and overall felt healthy and reinvigorated building up positive memories to fall back on when we needed them.
In June, we moved to another amazing, colonial vacation home with a pool (keeping up morale!). And for this month, we introduced Aiden to Sacuanjoche International School by enrolling him in their week long summer camps to meet other kids and have a peek inside a local, bilingual school.
It was a really great choice. Continue reading “Utilizing the Granada summer camps for kids to transition into a new school”
A fun thing for kids to do in Granada is spend an hour and a half making chocolate at Chocomuseo that they actually get to eat at the end. This is a fun class for families and kids and a great venue for play dates.
Aiden had a blast with his good buddy and although the taste of the cacao toasted over fire produced a chocolate that wasn’t what he was used to, he obviously still ate it.