Located on the Tibidabo mountain from which it gets its name, this amusement park is the oldest of its kind in Spain, having opened in 1905. There are fun rides for younger children as well as for the more thrill-seeking, including rollercoasters, carousels, and an automaton museum – a collection of antique automated puppets that were nearly bought by Walt Disney back in the 1950s.
Tibidabo Amusement Park, Plaça del Tibidabo, 3-4, Barcelona, +34 932117942
If your little ones like to swim but you’re worried about the waves, the Port Forum bathing area offers the perfect compromise. A specially designed outdoor pool built into the side of the port, it offers easy access points for getting in and out of the water, as well as a wall separating the bathing area from the open sea.
The Barcelona Bosc Urbà is an urban jungle consisting of zip lines, bungee jumps and bridges located on platforms over 6 metres (20 feet) high. There are colour-coded routes for a variety of age groups, from just three years old to adult.
Bosc Urbà, Parc del Forum, Barcelona, +34 931173426
A trip to the Chocolate Museum is a sure-fire way to make anyone with a sweet tooth happy, regardless of their age. The museum offers a history of the Catalan capital’s relationship with the cocoa bean and includes chocolate statues of famous places and people. For added fun, sign up to one of the affordable workshops and learn how to make your own chocolate lollipops.
The Chocolate Museum, Carrer del Comerç, 36, Barcelona, +34 932687878
A state-of-the-art science museum, CosmoCaixa is a far cry from the dusty old museums that make kids yawn with boredom. In addition to the permanent exhibitions, including a planetarium, a geological wall and an Amazon-inspired wet forest containing frogs, reptiles and piranhas, there are regular temporary exhibitions relating to science, history, astronomy and technology.
The CosmoCaixa, Carrer d’Isaac Newton, 26, Barcelona, +34 932126050
One of the most famous designs by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, the Park Guell sits on the outskirts of Barcelona. It was originally intended to be a revolutionary new housing estate, but today is a public park, meaning you can get up-close-and-personal with the revered architect’s work while letting your kids enjoy the outdoors and the great views of the city from the heights of the park.
The smallest and closest of Barcelona’s hills, Montjuic can still be a challenge for those with shorter legs. Make it easier, and much more fun, for them by hopping on the Montjuic cable car and riding to the castle at the top. You can enjoy spectacular views of the city and the harbour before enjoying a stroll through the public gardens on the way down.
If you’re prepared to travel out of the city for a day, PortAventura is one of the best amusement parks in Spain – indeed, it was recently voted 10th best in the world – and can be accessed from Barcelona via a direct train in an hour and twenty minutes. There are water slides, roller coasters, themed rides and adventure parks as well as a spa and wellness retreat for adults.
Located just outside the National Palace and Plaça Espanya, the Magic Fountain is one of the city’s most unique monuments: an all-singing, all-dancing water fountain. The fountain was built for the 1929 International Exhibition and was extensively modernised for the 1992 Olympic Games. There are over 3,000 water jets, which spurt out water to the rhythm of Disney film tunes and pop songs while colourful lights illuminate the water.
The Park de la Ciutadella is a popular place for picnics owing to its green spaces and beautiful water fountains and other architectural features. There are usually street performers as well as people playing music, practicing acro-yoga or playing ball games, making for a fun and relaxed atmosphere. The proximity to the El Born neighbourhood makes it easy to find food and drinks within minutes.
If you thought being a parent meant having to miss out on the live music fun, think again. Brunch in the Park is a live-music event organised every other weekend throughout the springtime, and attracts some of the biggest live acts of today. For those with kids, the Petit Brunch organises fun activities for little ones so that adults can enjoy the show.