Here's How to Spend Christmas in the Cayman Islands
Come one, come all! The Cayman Islands Christmas celebrations are as diverse as the people of the islands. It doesn’t matter if there’s no snow. After all, Christmas is all about the warmth of festivities and the spirit of celebration and not about a wintry night. The Cayman Islands becomes a Christmas wonderland around the time of the festival and you can do varied things ranging from witnessing the dazzling light displays to amazing beach parties. There’s something special for people of all ages. And who wouldn’t like to indulge in the lip-smacking delicacies – the Cassava or the Heavy cake, the Fruit cake, Christmas beef and Sorrel!
What’s most interesting here at Christmas time, apart from the holiday activities and festive decorations, is the Cayman’s very own Caribbean Santa at Camana Bay, dressed in shorts and flip flops! Or having the opportunity to enjoy a holiday dive in one of the many world class dive sites - and have you ever heard Jingle Bells with a Reggae beat? Come to this Caribbean Christmas heaven to enjoy all the exotic experiences and more.
The major attractions in the Cayman Islands during Christmas is the Annual Tree Lighting – no other place will you find a brighter holiday than in Camana Bay, the upscale urban centre changes into a glittering Christmas village with a gigantic 40-foot tree at the end of The Paseo on The Crescent by the bay; the Parade of Lights which is the biggest event of the season held on the first Saturday in December. Boats of various shapes and sizes are out in the holiday lights to entertain the crowd of thousands as well as local choirs and bands, food and craft booths to delight the vacationers with a fantastic fireworks show causing the night sky to shimmer and shine; Santa sightings in the town’s Gardenia Court every Wednesday in December, from 5 to 7 pm is yet another fascinating event – the big guy loves to greet his guests at the Santa’s House and take photos with them; Christmas Films Al Fresco – every Tuesday, in December, you are invited to watch holiday movies on the big screen outside on the lawn of The Crescent; Christmas Lights Tour – watch the magnificent display of lights on the roundabouts and even at homes; and do not forget the hoilday beach bbq, Christmas day family brunch, or Gingerbread house workshop at the Ritz Carlton. There is also the annual event of ‘Dashing Thru the Sand’ that takes places the day after Christmas. Don't miss the Christmas decorations at the already gorgeous Botanic Park and Holiday Concerts at churches across the island. All of this, with some cool Christmas traditions, like the Gingerbread Lobby Bar at the Kimpton Seafire, serving up winter warmers and naughty twists on very nice drinks. Try a famous cocktail on your way to dinner or sip a cider beside the outdoor fire pit. It is no doubt Christmas in the Cayman Islands is the most looked forward to and an extremely memorable and cherished time of the year. These are some of the activities that have been laid on in the past but be sure to check the Camana Bay website for more details.
As a very religious group of islands, you will find some of the most wonderful Christmas church services, carol events and musical extravaganzas in Cayman. The St. Ignatious Catholic Church traditionally has a beautiful candlelit service in their outdoor courtyard each year, where children from the St Ignatius school sing carols and their excellent band accompany them. The Baptist Church at Red Bay and Elmslie Church in George Town also offer beautiful Christmas praise and worship services, to mention but a few.
Christmas is a time for old traditions and family gatherings and although Cayman is known for great local food year-round, there is nothing quite like Cayman Christmas beef for the most sumptuous feast ever!
Because there is such an international set of residents living in Cayman, many of whom don’t have family here and may not participate in family Christmas gatherings, Christmas brunch at one of the Seven Mile Beach hotels has become a new Christmas tradition in recent years. All the hotels including the Kimpton, The Ritz Carlton, The Westin and the Marriott all serve the most amazing Christmas brunch buffets, as do some restaurants. Some are overlooking the Caribbean Sea and all are relaxed casual and washing down with endless bubbles (glasses of champagne or Prosecco).
Christmas is very much a time for giving in Cayman and community service groups such as the various Rotary Clubs, Lions Club and Kiwanis as well as school offer all kinds of gift campaigns and fundraisers for those less fortunate.
Christmas in the Cayman's is undoubtedly the most joyful time of the year in the Cayman Islands. But don’t take our word for it, come down and see for yourself!
Happy Holidays from the CEC team.