All ages, including young children (under 8)
1. The beach: it's a giant sandbox, what could be more fun! West Bay is a great choice to spend some beachtime, with its white sand and clear, turquoise water. If you didn't bring along beach toys (they can be a little hard to travel with), Eldon's supermarket in Coxen Hole usually has some.
2. Glass bottom boat: see the reef without getting wet! If your children aren't comfortable in the water or can't get used to wearing a mask, the glass bottom boat is a great way for them to see what's under the water. I've taken my kids a few times when they were small, and we saw turtles, tons of fish, and the reef.
3. Gumbalimba Park: monkeys and more. There's a canopy tour/ zipline (kids as young as 4 can go strapped to a guide), or if they're too young or not interested in that, just check out the park part, which has a bug display, pirate cave, swinging bridge, monkeys and parrots.
4. Dolphins at Anthony's Key Resort. There are varying points of view on dolphins in captivity- these dolphins are in a netted enclosure off the beach of a cay, with a few well-trained ones that leave the enclosure to follow the boat out when there's a dive with the dolphins offered. If you opt to visit the dolphins, you could just watch the show, or sign up for a dolphin encounter in waist deep water. Older kids also have the option of a dolphin swim/snorkel, or an action swim. These are activities that take place inside of the enclosure.
5. Iguana farm: check out the prehistoric-looking reptiles. This is a spot where iguanas are protected (people eat iguana on the island, so their numbers have been greatly reduced). You can get up close and feed them lettuce leaves- some of the iguanas are several feet in length.
6. Maya Key: a chance for a history lesson, as well as seeing animals. This key, which is a short boat ride from Coxen Hole, has a replica of the Mayan ruins of Copan with historical information given, as well as sea lions, sting rays, nurse sharks and a few land creatures too, like ocelots and monkeys. There's also a pool and beach.
7. Horseback riding. Barrio Dorcas, just outside of West End, offers horseback riding.
For slightly older kids:
8. Snorkeling. There's great snorkeling several places on the island. If your child is old enough to swim a fair distance, the reef in Sandy Bay is spectacular, it's about a 200 meter swim out (when my kids were young, I'd tow them out with a float, let them snorkel, and then give them a ride back in). In West Bay, the snorkeling is super-close to shore.
9. Scuba diving. At age 8, kids can do a Bubblemaker experience in the pool or confined water up to 6 feet in depth. Age 10 and up, kids can do a junior open water course. If your kids are interested in learning more about marine life, stop by Tranquil Seas on Mon nights at 6 for the marine life presentation given by Mickey Charteris, it's fantastic.
10. Lion-fish spearing. A permit needs to be obtained from the marine park, which includes a short course (a couple of hours). My older son got his at age 10, and loves to go out snorkeling and spearing lionfish.
11. Para sailing. The boys and I went up para sailing several years ago- we were pretty scared, but it was fun.
12. Touring the island. It's about a 1 1/2 hour drive to get to the far east side of the island. The kids might fall asleep along the way (much better than hearing 'are we there yet?'), but it's fun to see this side, with the spectacular views along the drive. Check out the beach at Camp Bay, the picturesque town of Oakridge with the houses on stilts over the water (you can stop here and do a boat tour through the mangroves), a beach stop at Parrot Tree Plantation, take out a kayak, maybe a stop at Fantasy Island to see their animals.
13. Fishing. Many kids love fishing, so work out a price with one of the locals to head out on a boat for a bit of snorkeling and fishing.
14. Fire dancers and crab races. Every Sunday starting around 5 at Bananarama in West Bay, lots of fun.
15. Paddle boarding. You can rent them in West End, West Bay, and there are also a few at Octopus Divers in Sandy Bay.
16. Local events. If you're here mid-September, check out the school kids marching for Independence Day, and see the fishing tournament in West End. At Christmas, scout out where Santa will be visiting (usually West Bay mall). Fireworks are several times of year. Fundraising events such as music concerts are sometimes held for local non-profits. Unfortunately, there's not a really great calendar anywhere that I could find online to help you out with this, so just ask us what's going on.
17. Pool time. With my kids, one of their favourite places to be is the pool, even when there's a beach nearby. There is a pool at the hostel, so enjoy!
18. Check out a local school. It's interesting to see how other schools run. Bring along donations of school supplies (they're always needed), and ask if you can participate, maybe in reading a book to a class during English.
19. Learn how to play the steel pans. http://www.steelpanalley.org/
20. Climb a coconut tree, catch a few land crabs, chase some chickens, dance in the rain, jump off a dock- enjoy all the simple pleasures of Roatan the way the kids here do.