1. The Magic Fountain
Located just in front of the National Museum of Catalunya (MNAC) on the foothills of Montjuïc, the Magic Fountain is one of the city’s most iconic attractions and great fun for all the family. The ‘magic’ of this fountain is that it performs a show of light and dance in sync with music. The fountain appears to come to life, and will ‘dance’ along to some of the greatest classics of all times, from Disney favourites to pop anthems. There’s even a special slot each day entirely dedicated to children, playing all their favourite theme tunes, so be sure to check the schedule for full details.
2. Tibidabo Amusement Park
The Tibidabo Amusement Park has been keeping children old and young entertained for generations and holds a special place in the memory of many locals. Opened in 1901, it’s the oldest attraction park in Spain and the third-oldest in Europe. Although the rides have been updated throughout the years, this is very much a place for good old-fashioned fun, with attractions such as crash cars, carousels and rollercoasters offering unrivalled views of the city – the park is located at the very top of the Tibidabo mountain it gets its name from. For something a little different, check out the automaton museum – these quirky figures were early attempts to create machines that could move like humans – and were nearly purchased by the famous Walt Disney in 1957 but the park refused.
3. Open sea swimming at Parc del Fòrum
If your little ones like to swim and are growing a little bored of the pool, then why not take them down to the open-air swimming area at Parc del Fòrum? The area here has been designed to make it easy for swimmers to access the water and swim lengths in a safe, comfortable environment. If your kids are a little older and feeling adventurous, why not swim them out to one of the four open-water swimming lanes which range from 0.7km to 1.2km and are clearly indicated for maximum safety. Throughout the summer, a number of free activities are organised including races, snorkelling and under-water exploration.
4. A Chocolate Workshop at the Chocolate Museum
Fun, educational… and delicious! What more could you ask for? Barcelona’s Chocolate Museum is dedicated to telling the history of chocolate production and consumption since its arrival in Europe centuries ago. But instead of just taking a tour of the museum – which explains the whole process from cocoa bean to chocolate bar – why not sign up for a workshop and put your knowledge to practice? Some activities are only for children – with activities adapted to each age range – while others are designed for the whole family to get stuck in with. This is an original and interesting way to allow your children to get creative and have fun with all their senses.
5. Explore the Barcelona Urban Forest
Thought that a city holiday meant there wouldn’t be any adventure? Think again. The Barcelona Bosc Urbà or ‘Urban Forest’ is the city’s premier inner-city adventure park and climbing centre. There are three circuits to choose from depending on age and difficulty: for little ones there are monkey-bars to swing from, nets to climb across and wobbly floors to overcome, while at the other end of the spectrum you may find yourself needing to overcome your fear of heights as you zip-wire through the skies. Located around the Parc del Fòrum, this is a veritable concrete jungle which promises plenty of adrenaline and laughter.
6. Take the Gaudí Experience
If there’s one name best associated with Barcelona, it must be that of Antoni Gaudí, the Catalan architect who designed the breathtaking Sagrada Família, the Casa Batlló and of course the Park Guëll. However if your kids aren’t ones for wandering around staring at walls for hours on end then you’ll be pleased to know that the Gaudí Experience allows adults and children to discover the artist’s world in a fun, interactive way. The highlight is the 4D audiovisual experience which allows you to explore Gaudí’s world and see some of his most iconic creations like you’ve never seen them before. Located just outside the famous Park Guëll, why not take the kids to play in the park afterwards (entrance to the non-monumental zone is free) to let off any leftover energy and see Gaudí’s work in real life?