15 Things To Do In Madrid With Kids
Going on a family trip with the kids can present a few more challenges when it comes to food and sightseeing, especially if you have younger children. So how do you keep them entertained in a city that is full of culture and history like Madrid? It is actually not as hard as you think.
Although Madrid is a bustling metropolis of vibrant culture, historical landmarks, and architecture it is also full of great things for kids and the whole family to do.
But you don't want to be running after your kids and your hauling tour luggage around too, so make sure to stow it at one of our convenient Madrid bag storage locations.
15 things to do with kids in Madrid
There are so many things to keep your little (and not so little) ones entertained in Madrid we thought we'd help you out. So here are 15 great things to do in Madrid with kids.
Visit the parks
There are more than 40 parks to visit within the city limits of Madrid! You will always be able to find a place for the kids to run around, jump in one of the outdoor swimming pools, or join some local kids for a game of football (soccer). But there are a couple, in particular, you will not want to miss.
The most famous park in Madrid is El Retiro park in the city center with plenty of playgrounds, open green spaces, the incredible Crystal Palace, and a man-made lake you can go rowing on. Throughout the summer there are cultural events such as open-air art exhibitions and free concerts. Or you can simply enjoy a family picnic with the ample open green spaces of El Retiro Park.
Casa de Campo is the largest park in Madrid. Besides the football fields, tennis courts, and public pool, Casa de Campo holds an entire amusement park (Parque de Atracciones), the Madrid Zoo and Aquarium, a forest, and a lake surrounded by restaurants and bars. You can even hop on the Madrid Cable Car which will fly you over the park and city for some stunning views.
Racing is a big part of society in Madrid and there are racetracks scattered throughout the city and surrounding area. This one is primarily for the older children, but for the tracks in Madrid, you can be as young as 5 years old. Prices vary; the more expensive ones also include playgrounds and some even have driver training.
Flamenco is the dance of Spain. Watching a performance is great fun – the way the dancers sway their arms and stomp their feet to the rhythm is mesmerizing. Madrid has many places where you can see a Flamenco show, including theaters, parks, and even restaurants.
The dance is great to watch but even more fun if you get involved, so why not take your aspiring Joaquin Cortez or Carmen Amaya for some lessons? Some performances have mini-lessons after the shows but if they don't there are plenty of schools in Madrid that teach kids as young as 3 years old. Who doesn't want to watch their little one stomping around and yelling Olé!
Museums may not be on every kid's wish list of places to visit, but there are a few worth checking out in Madrid. These are the best museums that kids will have fun at.
Robot Museum - What kid doesn't get excited watching and playing with robots? Not only do they have the world's 2nd largest robot dog collection to play with, but you will also see robots from Star Wars and the original Lost in Space.
Railway museum - Delicias station is the oldest railway station in Madrid and just happens to be the home to the Railway Museum. Great exhibits that your kids can interact with and there is a chance to ride a train too.
Casa Museo de Ratón Pérez - near Puerta del Sol is where you will find this wonderful little museum dedicated to the story of El Ratoncito Pèrez, a little mouse who is the Spanish version of the tooth fairy. Be aware the tour is conducted in Spanish only.
Prado Museum - this national museum may not seem like the best choice for young kids as it has a lot of "dark" art and nudes. However, there is a great tour designed for kids and their families that they will certainly enjoy.
Reina Sofia Museum – Again one you might not think is one for the children but with so many cool works of art from greats like Picasso and Salvador Dali, even younger kids can have a good time looking at these ones. A little tip, go in the evenings and it is free admission.
Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales - This Natural Sciences Museum, like most, really appeals to kids. There are dinosaur skeletons, interactive displays, and on the weekends' free educational workshops for kids and families.
Going to the food markets with your kids can be so much fun, especially in Madrid. With such an eclectic selection of food, your kids will either smile with delight or wrinkle their noses in disgust, either way, it is so much fun. There are so many markets in Madrid that it is easy to find one near you.
Mercado de San Miguel is one of the best, and located near Madrid City Centre means it is close to other great spots. Grab food for a picnic and head to Plaza de España or Plaza Mayor for some people watching. If you want something a little quieter, Madrid Rio, on the banks of the Manzanares River, is the perfect place to go.
You just can't go wrong taking your kids to an amusement park and just across the river from central Madrid is the huge park Casa de Campo where you will find Parque de Atracciones. This amazing theme park is divided into five zones to enjoy: La Gran Avenida, Nature Zone, Engineering Zone, Tranquility Zone, and Nickelodeon Land for the younger children. Rides ranging from big thrills to no thrills, there is music and food, you name it, this place has it.
Parque Warner Madrid, (Warner Brothers Park) is situated just outside Madrid and has over 40 thrill rides. Getting there is easy too, by public transportation. You will also be able to pose with and get autographs from all your favorite Looney Tunes characters.
Hot air balloon ride
This may not be the cheapest activity to do with your kids, but what an experience it is! Being able to rise about the city of Madrid in a hot air balloon provides you a view you will not get anywhere else. And there are well over 50 companies to choose from. If you can't afford a balloon ride, check out the observation deck at Faro de Moncloa, a 360-degree view of the city from over 300 feet up, and it's pretty cool too.
Zoo & botanical gardens
Once again we head to Casa de Campo. It is where you will find the Zoo Aquarium de Madrid. It is the largest zoo in Spain and one of the few in the world that includes giant pandas. There are over 6000 animals from 500 different species to check out.
A few others you might want to visit are Faunia, a smaller zoo and botanical garden but with nice interactive programs and komodo dragons! Burrolandia is a wonderful rescue center where your children can meet and interact with burros and a host of other friends.
Eating the delicious food of Madrid is great, but learning to make it with your kids takes it to a whole new level of fun. There are several cooking schools in Madrid that offer cooking classes for kids and their families but if you can find one or just can't get it scheduled there is an easy solution, the internet. You will find most rental places have a kitchen of some sort and it is very easy to pick up all the ingredients that you will need at any of the local markets.
Spending time with family is a big part of Spanish culture, and a family that cooks together stays together.
If you are visiting Madrid in the summer you will really want to find somewhere to cool down, what better place than a water park? Thrilling water rides, lazy rivers, and even splash zones for the little kids are available at Parque Warner Beach, Aquopolis Villaneuva de la Canada, and Parque de Attracciones.
There are also little splash areas in many of the public playgrounds for your kids to cool down in.
There are two big football (soccer) teams in Madrid, Real Madrid and Athletico Madrid. Real Madrid is the most successful team not just in Spain, but in Europe too. Watching a match at the Real Madrid football stadium is an incredible experience. If you happen to be there when the teams play each other, the atmosphere is beyond insanity. Your kids won't care who scored, they will just go crazy cheering.
The Royal Palace
The sheer grandiose of the Royal Palace of Madrid will leave your kids in awe. There are different types of guided tours to really get the best out of your time there. Amazing art, suits of armor that were worn by kings, and over 3,000 rooms (although you don't get to visit all of them), it is a palace straight out of a fairy tale.
Not many palaces are open to the public like this one, so take advantage of it.
Looking for some outdoor fun indoors? Then you need to check out the Madrid SnowZone inside the Xanadu shopping centre. It doesn't matter the time of year or what the weather is doing outside, you can head indoors and ski, snowboard, or sled down the hills on real snow. It is a great time for advanced skiers or first-timers alike.
Xanadu also offers mini-golf, go-karting, 3D cinemas, Little World for younger kids, and a whole lot more.
Hop on, Hop off bus
Taking long tours may not be an option so a hop on, hop off bus tour might just be the thing for you and your kids. You won't have to walk a lot and you can take breaks whenever needed. The buses go to all of the main tourist attractions in the city and you can spread it out over a few days.
The bus companies also offer discounts for a lot of the attractions in the city too.
Zoo Aquarium de Madrid has fantastic shows with dolphins and sea lions that are the highlight, but there are over 300 other species too, including sharks to check out. And it is a part of the zoo, so your kids are going to love it even more!
The Atlantis Aquarium has amazing programs for kids. There are touch tanks and kids can help prepare the food and feed some of the animals. And the walkthrough underwater tubes will make their eyes widen in wonder.
What are the best family activities in Madrid?
The best activities in Madrid for your family will obviously depend on what your kids like, but there are some pretty easy choices too. Going to the parks in Madrid is quite possibly your best choice for family fun, as they offer you a wide variety of activities like amusement parks, playgrounds, zoos, and nature areas. And the kid-friendly museums will delight, entertain, and educate the children while allowing mom and dad to soak up some culture too.
Madrid With Kids
It doesn't matter what city you are in or what you actually end up doing. The absolute best thing to do with your kids is to spend time with them. But if you are lucky enough to visit Madrid, you are sure to find an activity that any kid will have fun doing.