Tips from a Local: Best Things To Do in Madrid with Kids

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Photo courtesy of Keryn Means of Walking on Travels

This article was written by Dr. Almudena Cros, of Across Madrid, an art historian educated in Britain who has extensive experience teaching art, history and culture to different age groups in Italy and Spain.

With its blend of culture and beautiful places to relax and play outdoors, Madrid has plenty to offer those who want to soak up local culture. Just few days in the city provides families with opportunities to learn about art and participate in both artistic and athletic activities together.

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Photo courtesy of We3Travel

Things To Do in Madrid with Kids

Outdoor Activities

Retiro Park

One of Madrid’s most popular destinations for outdoor fun is Retiro Park.  Right in the center of the city, its 350 acres contain some 15,000 trees. The park features a lake with rowing boats for hire, and, along its  shores, plenty of street entertainers will captivate your child’s attention. On the weekends you will enjoy puppet shows, face-painting, magic shows, and balloon sellers.  The locals love this park, too, so plenty of enthusiastic parents travel from all over Madrid by subway carrying their kids’ bikes and other sports equipment, making the Retiro Metro stop pretty crowded on Sunday mornings.

Lake Near Crystal Palace

A nice alternative to the sometimes-crowded central lake is the smaller lake near the Crystal Palace, where you can feed the ducks, black swans and fish.  The walk from the central lake to the statue of the Fallen Angel is a pleasure in the heat of the summer — the shaded path is truly relaxing, and it is bike-friendly.

Parque Juan Carlos I 

Further away from the city center to the northwest, but easily accessible by public transportation, the Parque Juan Carlos I offers all sorts of activities free of charge: electric tourist train, bikes on loan, and guided walks.  It features a canoeing lake, lots of playgrounds, sculptures, olive groves, sport fields and a skating area.  There is also a themed garden dedicated to the 3 main religions that coexist in Spain: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Another fun and unique idea, offered by Across Madrid, is a three-hour tour that introduces families to the history and traditions of Madrid. Children will feel like they are on a treasure hunt as they watch out for bears, lions, and all sorts of heroes and historical creatures.

Across Madrid offers three family-friendly walking tours in Madrid

For more information, head to AcrossMadrid.com or click here

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Photo courtesy of the Wolfe family

Indoor Activities

Pintaencopas Pottery Workshop

If your children are aged 8 and over, and you are staying in Madrid for at least 4 days, this pottery-painting café offers a few hours of creative fun.  You can choose from over 100  different pottery pieces, with prices starting at €13 for a mug. Once you have decided on an item, you can take your time decorating it while you enjoy a hot drink. The painted piece must remain in the shop to be finished in the oven, but it will be ready for pickup 3 days after your visit. The family-friendly environment provides a nice break from busy sightseeing and is a great way to rest everyone’s feet while children create a unique souvenir, the perfect alternative to the commercial keepsakes sold elsewhere!

Note: under 8-years old are welcome but only in the mornings.

Museo del Ferrocarril 

This great museum is located in Paseo de las Delicias, 61 (Metro Delicias). It contains a superb collection of steam, diesel and electric engines, lots of railway models, and  even a miniature train circuit with rides available on Saturdays. While you’re there, enjoy a reasonably-priced snack and drink in the elegant 19th  century cafe-wagon.

Museo del Prado

This world-class museum is home to the Spanish royal collection of paintings, and although it can be overwhelming to try to take it all in, hiring an Art Historian to guide your family through the exhibits will ensure that it is a fun learning experience for everyone; Across Madrid tours at the Museo del Prado keep children engaged, as they learn about the highlights of the collection. They also offer a guided visit to the National Archaeological Museum.

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Relevant Links:

Best things to do and family hotels in Spain with kids on Ciao Bambino

Best things to do and family hotels in Madrid with kids on Ciao Bambino

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