As well as enjoying sun-filled family days on the beach, splashing in the clear Mediterranean waters, there’s plenty to do right across the island that will keep the kids entertained. Malta’s capital, Valletta, has museums, artwork and historic buildings at every turn, but there’s only so much sightseeing kids can cope with! Here are some of the best activities to build into your time spent in Valletta with your loved ones to prevent boredom from kicking in.
This museum provides the ideal opportunity to show children how much toys have evolved over the decades. The museum was opened in 1998 by founder Vincent Brown. Vincent’s passion for preserving old toys started when he decided to keep a box of toys a friend was throwing away. The toys were not up to present health and safety standards, so instead of giving them to his own children as he had originally intended, Vincent restored them and started a collection of his own. His love for vintage toys grew rapidly, and after visiting a similar museum in England, he decided to open The Toy Museum in Valletta. Collections include vintage Dinky, Corgi and Matchbox cars, dolls, train sets and farmyard animals. A nostalgic experience for parents and grandparents and a real eye-opener for the kids of today.
This theatre takes you on a unique journey of Malta’s rich history and culture in the form of a spectacular 3D show. The auditorium not only treats visitors to moving seats, air blasts, water spray and even leg ticklers while watching the film, but is also available in 17 different languages (there are a few non-moving seats for those who are a little unsure). The 20-minute footage takes you on a fast-paced journey, bringing some of Malta’s finest history to life.
It’s difficult to believe that this tranquil garden is actually located in Malta’s vibrant capital. Away from the bustling main road of Republic Street, the Upper Barrakka Garden offers the perfect location to take a break. With plenty of space for children to burn off some energy in the fresh air, it is also a good spot to enjoy a picnic while admiring the surroundings. The gardens have uninterrupted panoramic views of Europe’s only natural harbour, sitting in front of the Three Cities of Senglea, Vittoriosa and Cospicua. The Saluting Battery can be seen from these gardens and this is also based at the entrance Valletta’s famous attraction of the Upper Barrakka lift.
Malta Fun Trains run in the most visitor-orientated areas across the island, including Valletta and are a great source of entertainment for children and adults alike. The trains are perhaps a preferred and more structured method of seeing the city than the horse-drawn carriages which can be quite pricey. The Fun Trains are trackless, running on wheels, they have the same pick-up and drop-off points and there are regular tours all year round, with more frequency during the warmer months. With a guided commentary on your journey, including stop-off points for photographs along the way, this is an enjoyable way for all ages to see Valletta.
Using state-of-the-art technology, The Malta Experience is an auditorium-based audio and visual attraction. Available in 15 languages, the 45-minute long educational show brings 7,000 years of Malta’s history, both entertaining and tear-jerking, to life. The site also includes a gift shop for that perfect souvenir and a bistro and, since its opening in 1980, has welcomed over 4 million visitors through its doors. Registered as a Quality Assured Visitor Attraction with the Malta Tourism Association, this is one experience not to be missed.
Valletta Waterfront today is probably most known for its 19 warehouses that run along the water’s edge. These Baroque warehouses were originally used as stores built by Grand Master Pinto and 250 years later, they have been restored to provide a hive of activity in the form of restaurants, offices and shops. The area is completely pedestrianised and is a great place for kids during the weekends and public holidays, with free entertainment in the form of animators, balloon modelling, face painting, bouncy castles, puppet shows and more. With plenty of activities to keep the kids amused, the adults can enjoy refreshments and a bite to eat too, all in the same vicinity.