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 are the best things to do with the kids on this unique island? Let’s find them out!
Part of the Canary Islands, Gran Canaria is the 3rd largest island of the archipelago after Tenerife and Fuerteventura. The destination is a true favourite among lots of families in Europe because of the great weather you can have all year round.
Its proximity with the African continent makes Gran Canaria a perfect kids friendly holiday destination for February Half Term or October Half Term. But of course, there is nothing wrong to visit the island in the Summer too. In fact it might be a little bit cheaper if you choose carefully your departure dates.
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 I have done the hard work for you, and listed our top things to do with kids in Gran Canaria. Vamos!
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.
Address: 35001 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Spain
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.
Address: Muelle del Sanapú, 22, 35008 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Spain
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!
Address: Muelle Sta. Catalina, 35008 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Spain
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.
Address: Calle Francisco González Díaz, 4, 35005 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Spain
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, Maspalomas 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-opened 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.
Address: Holiday World Maspalomas, Av. Touroperador Tui, 35100 Maspalomas, Las Palmas, Spain
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.
Address: Carretera Palmitos Park, Km 3, 35100 Maspalomas, Las Palmas, Spain
9. Sioux City Park
Sioux City Park is currently closed to the public 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.
Address: Barranco del Aguila, s/n, 35100 San Agustín, Las Palmas, Spain
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.
Address: Ctra General Los Corralillos, Km 5.5, 35260 Agüimes, Las Palmas, Spain
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.
Address: Barranco de los Palmitos, s/n, 35109 Maspalomas, Las Palmas, Spain
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!
Address: Urbanización, C. Alhambra, s/n, 35138 Taurito, Las Palmas, Spain
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!
16. Hangar 37
If you are on holiday in Gran Canaria with teens with self-confidence, they will love participating in battles at Hangar 37. This unique venue is a huge park where different teams fight to each other with what they call Airsoft balls (much lighter than plastic balls and more precise than traditional paintball).
Once you are entering Hangar 37 with the military equipment and weapon, you are exploring with your team different places in order to find the enemies. The game is truly realistic and feels like you are playing Call of Duty in real life.
Hangar 37 is a great activity not to be missed about the favourite things to do with teens in Gran Canaria.
Address: Ctra. Gral. del sur GC-50 Km45, 35107 San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Las Palmas, Spain
17. Ocean Fun Park
Here is another fun attraction to do with confirmed independent swimmers. Ocean Fun Park is an inflatable water park set up on Playa de Amadores in Mogán. Your kids will be able to play in different slides and jump on these platforms tirelessly.
There are 2 adults lifeguards always watching what’s going on at the park. So it is great to have this supervision whilst children have a blast at Ocean Fun Park. Expect your children to spend probably less than 1 hour before going to back to the beach.
Address: Playa de Amadores, 35130 Mogán, Las Palmas, Spain
18. Agaete Piscina Natural
If you are looking for a little hidden paradise in Gran Canaria, look no further than the Agaete Piscina Natural. Located on the North West of the island, you will find an incredible calm natural swimming pool called ‘Las Salinas’.
Make sure to come at low tide so you can easily swim without big waves disturbing you and your children. Also, bring your kids wet shoes so they can easily walk around without hurting their feet.
And finally, check the weather forecast at your hotel before heading to the North as it could be quite windy sometimes.
Address: C. el Muelle, 17, Agaete, Las Palmas, Spain
19. Cactualdea Park
You might have bored your children by visiting a botanical garden but spending time exploring Cactualdea Park will be the opposite. This gigantic cactus park is a perfect place to relax and wander around at your own pace.
You will be surrounded by the largest collection of cacti in Europe and there will an opportunity to even drink Cactus juice. Delicioso!
To make your visit even more magical and Instagram friendly, you will meet friendly animals such as donkeys, peacocks or ducks.
TIP: If you haven’t booked your accommodation in Gran Canaria yet, have a look at the Villa de Cactualdea which is located minutes away from the park
Address: C. Tocodomán, s/n, 35470 Las Palmas, Spain
20. Camel Safari Park La Baranda
After a water park, a cactus park, why not visiting a Camel Park! Situated inland in the North of Maspalomas, Camel Safari Park is your ticket entry to ride a camel and know everything about this mammal.
You can choose different rides including food (Barbecue food) and transport. If you call the organiser, they can even collect you from the hotel and bring you back after the ride.
Did you know that the one hump animal lives on average 40 to 50 years?
If you fancy a lunch after the ride, you can stop by the restaurant where you can find fresh salads, sandwiches and much more.
Address: Carretera hacia Fataga k.m.12, 35108 Fataga, Las Palmas, Spain
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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