5 Great Family Activities To Do In Madrid
Madrid's Rio Park | © Madrid Destino Cultura Turismo y Negocio
Madrid is a family-friendly city, so it’s not uncommon to see kids present in restaurants and even bars with their families around the city. You should feel comfortable bringing your kids and teens along to just about any activity in Madrid. Here are some of the best things to do when you’ve got your family in tow.
The area along Madrid’s Manzanares River is perfect for a family outing. Children can make use of 17 different play areas featuring bridges, webs, hammocks, vines and swings all created from sustainable materials like rope and wood. If you’re with older children or teens, you can rent bikes and ride around the area. Plenty of terraces overlooking the river allow for a relaxing dining experience as you and your family enjoy the view. There’s also a beach area for sunbathing, with various fountains for little ones to splash and swim in when the weather is warm.
Madrid Rio is a great place for families | © Madrid Destino Cultura, Turismo y Negocio, 2013
Madrid’s teleferico (cable car) has been a popular family activity since 1969, carrying passengers 40 meters above the ground on a 2.5 kilometer trajectory. You can either go one-way or do a round trip between Pintor Rosales and Madrid’s huge Casa de Campo park. If you want to make a day of it, start with the cable car heading towards Casa de Campo. The ride, which is only about 12 minutes long, will give you a birds-eye view of Plaza de España, Madrid Rio, the Egyptian temple of Debod, La Rosaleda (a gorgeous rose garden), Príncipe Pío Metro Station, the Torrespaña communication tower, the Royal Palace, Almudena Cathedral and the Chapel of San Antonio de la Florida. Once in Casa de Campo, enjoy a homemade picnic or sit outside at one of the restaurant terraces. Afterwards, the kids can bike or play in the park. If you’ve got a bit of energy left, Madrid’s Zoo-Aquarium is located at the park too. After checking it out, you can either hop on the metro or take the cable car back to the city center.
The cable car at Casa de Campo | © Lori Zaino
Faunia is a nature park, similar to a zoo in that it features different groups of animals and ecosystems. With special sections dedicated to penguins, rare birds and reptiles, kids can explore and learn about nature while having fun. There are many activities and workshops such as lectures, film screenings, music, art exhibitions and walks—all related to animals and the environment. During holidays like Halloween and Christmas, the center offers plenty of exciting special events geared towards kids, and even hold day camps.
For a little nature, explore Faunia with your family | © Faunia
Matadero is a huge cultural and art center in Madrid. The center prides itself on offering exhibitions related to visual art, literature, music, cinema, design, fashion and architecture. They often have educational, kid-friendly courses related to reading, music or sports. Check out their schedule to see if you can find the perfect event for your family to attend.
The Matadero arts center is a great spot for families | © Madrid Destino Cultura Turismo y Negocio
Parque de el Capricho is a perfect for a family outing, and best of all, it’s free! Kids will love Casa de la Vieja, a house that looks like it belongs in a fairy tale, where everything is teeny-tiny and the labyrinth formed out of impeccably manicured trees and bushes. Adults will enjoy the regal gardens and the endless flower beds. Exploring the park is like a mini-adventure—you never know what you might find next.
The Casa Vieja is reminiscent of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Coffee | © Viviendo Madrid / Flickr