Whether you are from Jamaica, or you are a tourist, there are many fun things that can be done in Kingston on the weekends; even with a small Budget. The perception that many people have is that if you really want to have a good time, you would need to spend a lot of money. Below are 5 activities you can do in Kingston that can be tailored to your needs and will suit any budget.
1- Go to the beach
Going to the beach is an amazing way for many people to hang out together. It could be used as not only a family activity, but you can use it as a way for friends to come together to hang out. If you are in a relationship, you can also consider going to the beach, as it is an affordable and simple activity; which can double as a romantic getaway. If you are a solo traveller, you can still go to the beach alone, after all, solitude is essential to one’s well-being. It is perfect for relaxing or just sightseeing.
The awesome thing about beaches anywhere is that they are very easy on your pocket. Some beaches may charge a fee which is used to maintain the property, and the cost to enter should not exceed $500 JMD ($3-$4USD). The only concern you would have is food, gas money if you drive, or taxi/bus fare if you do not. Overall, a trip to the beach should cost less than $3000 JMD ($23-$24 USD) per person.
2- Go clubbing/partying
Ladies are usually more fortunate than men, as many parties/clubs tend to offer incentives for women. The usual stuff is a 2 for 1 deal, or free before a certain time. As a woman that is something that you may use to your advantage, especially if you are travelling as a group (Men, sorry!). Most parties/clubs offer drink inclusive entrance fees, so if you have to pay, you can drink the drinks that are provided and you will be sure to have a good time- still in that budget. Some clubs take into consideration tertiary level students and provide discounted prices for them to attend their parties once you can present a valid ID. Be sure to ask about it while you pay! On average prices start at $1000 JMD ($7-$8 USD), but can get as high as $5000JMD ($38-$39USD).
3- Try the local movie theatres
This is my personal favourite, as it can be done alone or in groups. The food is affordable, and the ticket prices also provide an ease to your pocket. Palace Amusements is the name of the movie company here; in Kingston, you have the option of visiting the Palace Cineplex located in Liguanea or Carib 5 in Cross Roads. They offer half price special on Mondays and Tuesdays, so most times the movies are sold-out on those days. On weekends, however, there is much freedom, as the auditoriums are less packed, and the chance of the movie being sold out is lessened. Since you would have paid more for the tickets on the weekend, you can make up for this by saving on food with one of the food combos that are sold by the theatre. I personally prefer going on weekends, as there tends to be more of a calm surrounding the general environment. Depending on what you order, a night at the movies on a weekend should cost you no more than $2500 JMD ($19- $20USD). Tip: They offer discounts to Senior citizens and tertiary students who can provide valid IDs, feel free to ask the cashier at the Box Office for more information when buying your ticket.
4- Dining Out
If you are a foodie (like I am) then get ready to gain a few pounds. My favourite places to go for food are Chilitos and Papine Delight. Chilitos is a fusion of Mexican food that is cooked with a Jamaican twist; the prices are extremely affordable and they have a special for every day. It is the perfect spot for hanging with friends or family; they also do take out service if you are not dining in. A great meal usually costs from $1000 JMD-$1500 JMD ($8-$12USD); however, it could be less based on what you order. Papine Delight is an authentic Jamaican restaurant, with prices that start as low as $380 JMD ($3USD). My favourite meal is their curried goat- with rice and peas. My dad is a Chef by profession, and I had him rate the food, he agreed that it was great! A next great place is Pita Grill, they are opened 24/7! How awesome is that? The food is great and so are the prices, so be sure to check them out if you need a late night snack.
5- Visit the local museums or parks
There are several places that can be visited that are either free or cheap.
Devon House is one of the most frequented places as it provides a very secure but cheap chill spot; you literally don’t have to buy anything, or you can just buy some ice cream. Couples, friends, families all take to the lawns of Devon House to spend time with each other. They have amazing ice cream at great prices, and they offer specials on certain days. Be sure to ask about it!
The Bob Marley museum is another great place to visit. The entrance fee is the same for locals and foreigners, $25 USD for adults and $12 USD for children. Students of all levels pay $5 USD once a valid Jamaican ID is shown.
The Emancipation Park is very well kept and is free to visit. There is security present, and the venue can be used for many activities. From picnics to exercising, to dates, to relaxing, this venue provides an escape for persons who wish to engage in fun activities on the weekend.
You may have seen by now that there is a trend. Always travel with your ID, and ask about any specials that may be happening on that day, or any other days. Please keep in mind the prices listed above and the exchange rates are subject to change.
I hope you found this article to be helpful! Hope you enjoy discovering or rediscovering Kingston!