Gran Canaria is famed for its year round mild climate, but you may get a cloudy morning one day or you may simply want to escape the midday heat if you’re travelling with young kids. So what is there to do indoors on this unique island? Gran Canaria’s wild, rugged beauty offers ample opportunity for active families. So whether you’re into surfing, cycling or hiking, you can find your niche on this sunny island. But if that all sounds too strenuous, there are miles of beaches to relax on, as well as waterparks and theme parks for the kids.
Therefore BabyBreaks has done the hard work for you, and listed our top things to do in Gran Canaria for families.
1. Casa de Colón
First, immerse yourself in the voyages of Christopher Columbus’ at this fascinating museum, which also details the Canary Islands historic influence on transatlantic shipping. The kids will love the model ships of all three of Columbus’s vessels and they can also pore over ancient maps, many from the early 16th century.
The building itself is also a beautiful example of traditional Canarian architecture, complete with pretty fountains, swaying palms and resident colourful parrots in the grounds.
Opening Hours: 10am-6pm Mon to Sat. 10am -3pm on Sundays
2. Poema del Mar Aquarium
Opened in Dec 2017 after many years in the making, this huge aquarium is home to over 350 species of marine life, some of which are on display for the first time ever in an aquarium. It boasts the largest curved window ever built, over 36 metres wide and 7 metres high – a gigantic viewing screen to marvel at all the fish.
Outside the water, the designers have used lots of plants and trees to mimic the sea creatures. natural ecosystems . The effect is you feel like you are walking through a jungle, or marshland- a really immersive experience.
Opening Hours: Open daily 9am – 6pm
3. Submarine Safari
See the underwater world from a unique perspective on this fantastic submarine experience. The kids will love the novelty of going on a submarine, and you can hope to see some amazing marine life, from tropical fish to rays and octopus, as you travel 25 metres below the waves. There are also several shipwrecks at the bottom of the ocean, which add even more interest to this unique trip.
4. Museo Elder de la Ciencia y la Tecnología
With loads of interactive areas and hands on exhibits, no wonder this museum tops the list of many families for what to do Gran Canaria with kids. Technology, the planets, chemistry, the natural world – you can explore it all here through the informative yet fun displays, that actively encourage visitors to touch, try and play. A great option for a rainy day that will keep the kids entertained for a few hours at least!
Opening Hours: Open 10am – 8pm Tuesday to Sunday
5. Museo Néstor
This compact museum showcases the work of Canarian artist Néstor Martín-Fernández de la Torre, possibly the Canary Island’s most famous artist. Marvel at his earliest work, 1900’s Marina, which he finished when he was just 13 years old. There are not only his paintings to admire but also stage and costume design as well as architecture, including the Pueblo Canario plaza where the museum is located. The museum also has beautiful gardens to explore if the weather brightens up.
Opening Hours: Currently closed for renovation but re-opening Summer 2019, check the website for up to date details
6. Find your Perfect Beach
Gran Canaria’s beaches range from golden and sandy to rocky and dramatic – in fact the island is famed for its diverse landscapes and amazing scenery. Family’s favourite beaches tend to be in the south of the island, near the popular tourist resorts.
For example, Maspalmoas offers 3.5km of golden sand, with specific areas sectioned off for families, and it is backed by famous rolling sand dunes. Likewise, Playa del Inglés and Puerto Rico are also very popular areas with numerous beaches for families.
However, if you’re after something a little less crowded, Puerto de Mogán and San Agustín are quieter and very pretty. Lastly, Arguineguín has a cool, laid back surfer vibe if you want something a little more unusual.
7. Holiday World Maspalomas
Re-opening in August 2019 after extensive renovation, this multi-purpose destination promises to offer loads of entertainment for the whole family. Fro the kids there will be fairground rides, arcade games, indoor and outdoor play areas, karaoke and bowling, plus a sports bar and casino for adults.
If your tummies are rumbling after so much fun, check out the new ‘gastro market’ full of delicious dishes from local food suppliers.
A water park is always a winning option for keeping the kids happy on holiday… and oarents too! Test your nerves on high-adrenaline flumes and rides, or relax on the lazy river as you glide on your inflatable raft, carried by the gentle current. There are separate play areas for younger children, so it’s the perfect day out for all ages.
9. Sioux City Park
Sioux City Park is currently close until January 2023 due to a a film production happening in the park
Looking for a really unique day out that the kids will love? How about playing cowboys at this immersive Wild West theme park?! Originally built as a film set in the 1970s, Sioux City Park now offers the chance to travel back in time and roleplay as you venture into the saloon, watch a bank robbery in action, and meet the town’s sheriff. Any children keen on horses will love the opportunity to ride a pony too.
10. Cocodrilo Park Gran Canaria
This unique zoo in Gran Canaria is a refuge for animals that used to be illegal stolen or left by the owners unable to look after them when they became adults. The venue is beautiful outdoor and allows families to get up close and personal with over 500 animals. Cocodrilo claims to have the largest exhibit of alligators in Europe too. A great activity for all the family to do in Gran Canaria for sure.
11. Palmitos Park
With over 20 hectares of green and gardens, Palmitos Park is a great place to to take the kids on a fantastic and memorable day by meeting plenty of animals. The park is well known in Gran Canaria and has been featured as one of the favourite family friendly attractions on the island. Expect to see lots of shows too such as the falconry or the dolphins or even a parrots show. Recent visits have expressed how well maintained this park is with a great habitats for all animals. Worth to spend at least half a day at the park.
12. Spot Dolphins and Whales on a Boat
Bored to spend another day at the pool or the beach, why not taking an half day and book a boat trip to see dolphins and whales in their natural habitat? This boat has a glass bottom so you can spot different marine species as you go along on your voyage to discover these beautiful sea creatures. This tour will take around 2 and half hours, which makes it plenty of time to take your best pictures and stop by the bar to get your favourite drink.
13. Amadores Fun Park
Located on the South West of the island, Amadores Fun Park is a fantastic place to have lots of fun on different inflatable slides and platforms that lay on the sea. The operator allows you to visit the park for a 45 minutes session if you come late in the day or simply take an entrance ticket for the day. It goes without saying that this park is for adults and children who are confident swimmers.
Address: Playa de Amadores s/n 35130 Mogán
14. Lago Taurito Water Park
Here is another water park that is worth to check on your list of things to do in Gran Canaria with your kids: the Lago Taurito Water Park. This saltwater park has a lot to offer to keep your children happy and have lots of fun. There are slides for every age such as a freefall slide, a space bowl with a tunnel finishing in the water and so much more. Beware that the water is very salty so make sure your kids know about it before they accidentally drink it!
15. Maspalomas Sand Dunes
These famous sand dunes in Maspalomas are a must see for most visitors to Gran Canaria, and there are lots of exciting ways to explore this protected nature reserve. Try a camel ride, a horse ride a jeep safari or even quad bikes. Don’t forget the suncream, and your camera!
That’s a wrap! I hope you’ve found enough ideas on what to do in the island of Gran Canaria to keep your children happy during your holiday. Gran Canaria is a great island to visit among the Canaries, especially for its white beaches and unique carnival at Las Palmas which is held annually.
Happy Holiday in Gran Canaria!
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