You wouldn’t necessarily put city breaks and kids in the same basket. The idea of trailing around museums and art galleries with kids in tow isn’t most people’s idea of a relaxing break. Madrid might be the one exception to this rule. The capital city of Spain is chock full of great activities that parents and children can enjoy together. From theme parks to zoos, amazing food, and handmade toys, it’s a brilliant family city break destination. Here are some top tips for an amazing family holiday in Madrid.
Buy some hand-crafted toys
There’s no Lego or Action Man here – the city is full of adorable, hand-crafted toy shops. Many of them focus on educational and developmental toys, such as El Lobo Feliz, and kids are encouraged to spend time choosing their toys themselves. Cute little toys, books, and even bedroom furniture make great little souvenirs, and a promise of a visit to the toyshop is also great bribery material when the little ones are starting to get tired.
Don’t miss the Parque de Atracciones
Madrid’s main amusement park is a great day out for the whole family. Their attractions range from small rides for tiny kids to white-knuckle rollercoasters for the older ones (and dad). With bars, restaurants, shows and street performers, you’re certainly not going to get bored.
Be sure to plan ahead
Like with any holiday involving the family, planning ahead is what takes much of the stress out. Having a general schedule for things to do over the coming days can help to ensure you don’t miss anything out, but also allows you to plan transportation and rest times in advance too. Be sure to book your transportation from Madrid airport to city hotels before you set off so you can avoid boring waits at the airport.
Kids will be wide-eyed to see the incredible range of animals they have at Faunia, a zoo just outside Madrid. The whole zoo takes only around four hours to explore, so it’s great for small kids who’ll get tired easily. Enjoy the peacocks that roam the ground, and get up close and personal with the penguins. The zoo also encourages interaction between kids and animals, so stroking a sea lion or feeding a donkey isn’t out of the question.
Try the local cuisine
The food in Madrid is incredible, and fairly accessible for even fussy children. The Spanish take their kids everywhere, so it’s not frowned upon to bring your children into a bar or restaurant, as long as they’re fairly well behaved. Because this is seen as the norm, they’re usually well catered for in the local establishments, so children’s menus are commonplace, making it far easier for children to explore the new flavours that accompany Spanish cuisine.
While a city break might not be your first choice of family holiday, be assured that Madrid is the perfect destination for children. They could even visit the stadium of Real Madrid, visit an aquarium, or see some live kid’s theatre. You could be there a month and still not exhaust all of the amazing family-friendly sights and attractions.