Parent and child at the beach

Family holidays in Spain


Hands-on museums

It isn’t always easy to get the kids interested in going to a museum during a family trip. But what if the museum has activities designed for children and they can interact with everything? Science museums are perfect for this. We have plenty in Spain, like the entertaining CosmoCaixa science museum in Barcelona with its “Universe Gallery”, taking you on a journey from the Big Bang to the evolution of animal species, and its “Flooded Forest”, recreating an Amazon ecosystem. More examples? The Príncipe Felipe Museum in Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences, where you can conduct interesting experiments.In Andalusia, the Granada Science Park lets you see human DNA, play with a gyroscope, or experiment with light and sound in its “Perception” gallery.

Tenerife Science Museum

In the city of A Coruña in northern Spain, you can visit the Casa de las Ciencias science museum; Domus, the world’s first interactive museum of human beings; and the Aquarium Finisterrae. And on Tenerife (Canary Islands), at the Museum of Science and the Cosmos, you can learn everything from how your own body works to what stars do.

Toy museums and sweet museums

Did you know that the Prado Museum in Madrid usually has activities for families and children, including a children’s tour? And some museums just happen to be about children’s favourite things. For example, toy and game museums. There are many in Spain, such as the Valencia Toy Museum in Ibi (Region of Valencia), or the Catalan Toy Museum in Figueres, where you can see Salvador Dalí’s favourite childhood toy.Another thing children usually love is sweets. Spain has specialist museums like Chocomundo, in Estepa (Seville, Andalusia), said to be the country’s largest museum of chocolate.

Educational activity in the Prado Museum in Madrid

Amusement parks and water parks

We’ll guess that hearing the words “roller coaster” brings a smile to your child’s face. Spain has amusement parks to suit all tastes. The most famous is probably PortAventura World, an hour’s journey from Barcelona. This enormous complex includes the attractions of PortAventura Park (with one of Europe’s highest roller coasters), Caribe Aquatic Park, and Ferrari Land.Amusement parks in Madrid include Parque Warner, where you can see the famous Looney Tunes characters in action. A few more unusual theme parks: for example, Terra Mítica in Benidorm (dedicated to Mediterranean cultures) or Isla Mágica in Seville (a voyage to 16th-century cities, the Amazon jungle, and pirate lairs).Are you visiting in summer and looking for something cooling? Try a water park, like Siam Park (on Tenerife, Canary Islands), one of the largest and best rated in Europe, with attractions ranging from nearly vertical slides to a river ride with tropical fish, a floating market, and the world’s largest wave pool.

Tutuki Splash ride at Port Aventura

Up close with animals

Some more places you’ll love? Cabárceno Nature Park, in Cantabria, is a spectacular natural setting where animals are free to roam and experiences include going into the elephant and rhinoceros enclosures. Another highly recommended wildlife park? Bioparc Valencia is also an immersion zoo, offering a journey through African wildlife.Another very interesting biopark is Lacuniacha, in the Aragonese Pyrenees, where you can follow a mountain trail to see the endangered European bison. How about sleeping with sharks? You and your family can spend the night at the Oceanogràfic in the City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia, the largest aquarium in Europe. An unforgettable experience!

Giraffes in Cabárceno Natural Park

Walking among volcanoes and other experiences in nature

Would you like to see some amazing scenery? You could go to Tenerife (Canary Islands), an island full of volcanoes, including Mount Teide, the tallest mountain in Spain and the world’s third highest volcanic structure. It’s such a unique landscape, you’ll feel as if you were on the moon. You can take a cable car to the top of the mountain, go on a guided tour of the Teide Observatory and take part in astronomical activities at night. And while you’re on the island, take the chance to go on boat trip to see whales and dolphins.In different places in Spain there are also adventure parks set deep in forests. Another unusual idea? Taking an environmental cruise in Arribes del Duero Natural Park or Lake Sanabria Natural Park. At Lake Sanabria you can interact with the biologist divers of the International Biological Station and watch what happens underwater, and also enjoy a cider tasting.

Family in Teide National Park, Tenerife
Tyrannosaurus Rex, Dinópolis, Teruel

In search of dinosaur footprints

150 million years ago, these enormous creatures ruled the earth, and incidentally left a lot of footprints for us to see today. La Rioja, Soria, Asturias, and Teruel are some of the best places in Spain for finding dinosaur tracks. For example, Teruel has Dinópolis, a large theme park divided into 7 centres scattered around the region. You’ll see life-size replicas of these titanic creatures, and the skeleton of the Turiasaurus Riodevensis, Europe’s largest dinosaur.In Soria and La Rioja you can follow the Ichnites Routes to see footprints, and visit educational museums and adventure parks. And in Asturias, the Jurassic Museum is shaped like a dinosaur footprint, with great views of the coast, and a children’s play area. You’re going to feel like authentic palaeontologists.

Themed trains

Another fun way to keep the children entertained, which adults like just as much, is a trip on a tourist train. There are several in Spain, including luxury trains with trips over several days like the Transcantábrico and the Al Andalus, but we have some options which children find fascinating, with actors in character playing out scenes. They all start from Madrid and return the same day. For example, the Strawberry Train takes you to the nearby town of Aranjuez and its Royal Palace, with ladies in 19th-century costumes bringing you strawberries during the journey.There is also the Cervantes Train to Alcalá de Henares, where the trip is enlivened by actors presenting some of the most famous scenes from the famous novel Don Quixote. More options? The Philip II Train will take you to the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial with actors in costume as characters from the court of King Philip II; and the Medieval Train to Sigüenza is a fun way to discover a historic town and travel accompanied by troubadours.

 The Strawberry Train

Farmers for a day

What do you think of the idea of the family spending a few days in a country guesthouse or on a farm? We can suggest a few areas with interesting agrotourism options. For example, the inland region of Navarre has a wide range of country guest houses where you can look after a vegetable garden, see how grains are harvested, look for wild berries, or milk sheep. In Euskadi (the Basque Country) in northern Spain you can have a family holiday on a farm, where the owners will show you how they make wine, cider, or cheese; and in Asturias you can visit the Cider District and go to craft, jewellery, or woodworking workshops. The Ceres Ecotur website has plenty of sustainable activities to choose from in rural areas all over Spain.

Girl with a cow. Agrotourism

Quirky places

What would it be like to star in a western? You can find out in Almería (Andalusia), the setting for legendary movies like “A Fistful of Dollars”, where the whole family can swagger around like cowboys in the Wild West in film-set villages, the Oasys Mini Hollywood theme park, and Fort Bravo.Would you be surprised to hear there is a whole town inside Madrid which is run by kids? This is Micropolix, a huge enclosed space where children are firefighters, journalists, musicians, and much more.Also close to Madrid are Parque Europa (with replicas of famous European buildings) and Bosque Encantado (a park with over 300 topiary sculptures). In Barcelona, Poble Espanyol has life-size copies of real buildings, streets and squares from different parts of Spain, and you can see artisans working in their workshops.

Parque Europa, in Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid)

Destinations, accommodation and activities with the Family Holiday Seal

If you are also looking for specific destinations, accommodation and activities, such as cruises, which are especially adapted for families, we recommend visiting this website with various options awarded a Family Holiday Seal. For example, if you want to travel with your kids to a seaside resort with lots of leisure activities and long sandy beaches, they suggest places like Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Canary Islands), Mojácar (Andalusia), Cala Millor (Mallorca), Alcalà de Xivert-Alcossebre or Peñíscola (both in the Region of Valencia). With these ideas you’re sure to find the family holiday of your dreams, or even better, your children’s dreams, and have a peaceful stay in Spain.

Children in Cala de la Fosca, Girona
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