Barcelona is a good city to visit with children of all ages; there are a wide range of activities for all tastes and budgets and the weather can normally be relied upon not to spoil things!
The Catalan capital has numerous parks often with specially adapted – and therefore safe – play areas. At the weekend these areas are particularly popular with local families: as a Mediterranean city, much of daily life takes place outside the home.
The Park of the Ciutadella (Parque de la Ciutadella) is the largest park in central Barcelona. The park is extremely popular with the locals and most weekends you’ll find some event or other, from organic food fairs to musical bands. There is also a boating lake with small rowing boats for hire. Watch out for the parrots, relative newcomers who maraud overhead chasing off the local pigeons. Bikes can also be hired in the park.
For more information: Park of the Ciutadella
Within the park, you’ll find the Zoo of Barcelona now more than one hundred years old. Sadly, the star of the show, Copito (Snowflake), a rare albino gorilla, died recently, but his decedents live on and visitors can continue to enjoy the big collection of felines and mammals and a reptile zone, with five hundred examples, that is considered one of the best of Europe. The zoo has a complete program of activities designed for the youngest members of the family in which they can learn to respect and take care of the environment. It also has restaurants, a children’s play area, and a picnic area.
For more information: Zoo of Barcelona
For children keener on life in the oceans, don’t miss the chance to visit the Aquarium of Barcelona in the Port Vell area, near to the Ramblas. It is both fun and educational and full of all kinds of marine life but especially species native to the Mediterranean.
For more information: Aquarium of Barcelona
If you want to spend a day in an amusement park and at the same time to enjoy some impressive views of Barcelona, visit the Amusement Park of Tibidabo. The park is perhaps a little old-fashioned, having enjoyed its heyday in the fifties and sixties but it represents an entertaining day out for young children, and adults and children alike can enjoy the spectacular views over Barcelona.
For more information: Amusement Park of Tibidabo
Attractions for children also include a fabulous three-dimensional cinema, the IMAX Port Vell. Located in the port near to the Aquarium it has three different screening formats: Imax, Imax3D, and Omnimax, all of which provide a pretty amazing viewing experience.
For more information: Imax Port Vell
About one hour from Barcelona, in the heart of the Costa Dorada, you’ll find one of Europe’s best theme parks, Port Aventura. Huge, with several themed areas and numerous hair-raising attractions you could easily spend the whole day here and not get through everything. Although not cheap, it definitely offers a great day out for families with children.
For more information: Port Aventura