Cayman comes alive at Christmas

Christmas in the Cayman Islands is always a fantastic, fun-filled experience. Just ask anyone who’s enjoyed one. There may not be snow, mistletoe and ice-skating rinks but all the fun things associated with the festive season are here in abundance. Fabulous food and drinks go down well and there are lots of events to keep everyone entertained, especially the kids.

Christmas Fairs, Markets and Festivals

Get your Christmas shopping done and support local artisans. Holiday Farmers & Artisans Farmers Market, Camana Bay is on every Wednesday throughout December. Camana Bay’s weekly market is infused with Christmas cheer.

Visual Arts Society Christmas Craft Market offers handmade art, jewellery, crafts, ornaments and more for the perfect Christmas gift with a local touch. Saturday, 14 Dec. 10 am-5 pm, at the Paseo, Camana Bay.

Santa Sightings

Children in Cayman are lucky enough to have two weekly visits from Santa in Camana Bay. On Thursdays (5 pm-7 pm) throughout December little ones can have their photo taken with traditional Santa and on Saturdays (3 pm-5 pm) Santa goes Island-style with his tropical shirt and shorts.

Life-size Gingerbread Cocktail Bar

Kimpton + Seafire Resort & Spa’s life-sized gingerbread bar and house crafted from 800-pounds of spiced cookie dough, 350-pounds of icing, and 100-pounds of candy, is a sight to behold. The bar stands 12-foot tall and 15-foot long and offers festive signature cocktails for a sweeter way to toast the season. It’s open until Jan. 4.

Gingerbread Man Tea

When the magic of Christmas fuses with a child’s tea party, it’s a memorable time for the little ones. Decorate your own gingerbread man and indulge in finger sandwiches and a tower of delectable sweets. The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Dec. 14 - 15 and 20 - 24.

Luna del Mar Christmas Party

The Christmas celebration at Kaibo’s Luna del Mar with DJ Eden playing under the full moon is an unmissable event. Enjoy an incredible three-course sharing feast served under the stars, followed by dancing on the sand. All roads lead to the scenic north coast on Friday Dec. 13, 6 pm – 11 pm.

Christmas Lights

Decorating private homes with thousands of twinkling lights and creating beautiful Christmas scenes is a source of immense pride in Cayman. Take an evening drive around the island and enjoy stunning nativity scenes, plus Santa, snowmen, reindeers and a whole lot more. Top homes to check out include the Crighton family home on Shamrock Road, and the Bodden sisters’ home on South Sound Road, across from Sunset House.

National Trust Christmas Lights Bus Tour

The tour includes visits to modern and traditional homes decked out in Christmas decor for the holiday season, singing of Christmas carols and a true Cayman Christmas experience. Limited spaces on Friday Dec. 20.

Christmas Moonlight Movies

Families can enjoy a classic Christmas movie shown on a giant screen on the Crescent in Camana Bay, Saturday, Dec. 14.

Christmas Church Services

Being a predominantly Christian country, you’ll find no shortage of church services at this time of the year.

Christmas Day Lunch

If you love over-indulging on Christmas Day then the Cayman Islands is the best place in the Caribbean to do so. From sumptuous brunches, traditional turkey lunches, sushi and Australian fare, there’s no shortage of choice on Christmas Day. Most restaurants offer bottomless champagne or sparkling wine too. But book early as restaurants fill up quickly. Keep an eye on the event calendar as Christmas brunches are added.

New Year’s Eve

Those looking to ring in the new year will find a huge range of party options from beach parties and black-tie events to live music and gourmet dinners. Alternatively get a bunch of friends together and decamp to Seven Mile Beach to watch the magnificent fireworks displays at midnight.

Here are some of the nicest restaurants and their menus to enjoy on Christmas Day.

Catch in West Bay has one of the most amazing views overlooking the sea in the Caribbean. On Christmas Day there is an array of appetisers, including shrimp, calamari, oysters, tuna sashimi, yellowfin tuna, Cayman style beef steam buns, escovitch fish, quinoa salad and broccolini with cottage cheese, roasted grapes and almonds. A selection of entrees includes grilled seafood skewers, stuffed turkey breasts with mash and gravy, grilled vegetable skewer and grilled beef with pineapple and peppers. Delicious sides are sautéed callaloo, roasted cauliflower, shells and cheese, creamed corn and Cayman style potatoes. If there is enough room after all that for desserts, try either pink guava cheesecake, pistachio and strawberry macarons or a mint chocolate brownie. Price is $79 plus gratuities per person which includes food, Prosecco and selected cocktails.

Agua is in the heart of Camana Bay, on the waterfront with an outdoor deck overlooking the island. Dine under sea grape trees lit with fairy lights. A beautiful ambience often enhanced by the groovy tunes of Danny Loops on guitar.

On Christmas Day there will be a family style lunch served to the table for everyone to share. Course after course of freshly prepared dishes. All you can eat, bottomless champagne or wine. 11:30am-2.30pm. $125pp plus gratuities or $85 alcohol free. On New Year’s Eve there is a set menu. It includes a complimentary glass of Moet Chandon, $125 per person plus gratuities. Two hours seating per table. Dinner service starts at 5pm with a la carte menu until 8pm.

Grand Old House is long established as one of Grand Cayman’s finest restaurants. It overlooks the sea on South Sound and always has a marvellous brunch on Christmas Day. There is also a seafood boat loaded with the best the sea has to offer. There will be live action stations where chefs customise dishes. The buffet is not vegan but there will be a variety of vegan options, from the salad buffet, to a bunch of vegan curries. For desserts the chefs will be whipping up some new master pieces that promise to be impressive and delicious. Food only is $69.95 and with endless bubbles $86.95. Kids (4-12) are $34.95.

For those venturing to East End, Tukka is a magnet on Christmas Day for antipodeans living in Cayman as it is Australian owned. There will be a twin carving station, soup, breads and a breakfast pastries section, cold buffet and salad buffet. There is a hot breakfast buffet and mixed entrée hot buffet with pasta, rice and potato dishes. The dessert selection is extensive which includes warm bread and butter pudding. Tukka is open from 10:30am-4pm. Price is adults $39 and kids (5-12) it’s $19.50. Bottomless bubbles, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet $29 (served for two hours).

The Wharf is another stunning seafront quality restaurant to enjoy your Christmas Day at. Its executive chef Christian Reiter, together with his international team of highly trained and experienced chefs bring many new and exciting culinary specialties to The Wharf, which uses the best and freshest ingredients to prepare a wonderful selection of international and local cuisine to savour. The Wharf boasts it serves the best Australian certified Black Angus beef and other unique dishes on the menu include the freshest lobster, Cayman turtle steak and its signature dish, the basil and pistachio nut-crusted sea bass. Having a pastry chef on the team ensures a delectable choice of traditional and new creations of home-made desserts and cakes.

All the hotels and other restaurants offer splendid Christmas Day choices. This is the perfect opportunity to enjoy that special meal in tropical sunshine!