Spain is a country famous for its close knit family way of life. If you have seen Spanish families out and about you may have noticed that they bring along not only their children but also the grandparents, cousins, friends, neighbours and anyone else who cares to join in.
Children are really welcome everywhere, whether it is a trip to a museum, a theme park, a local festivity or a posh restaurant! I must admit that Spain is one of the places where I can relax about my children’s “noise level”. The Spanish are a loud culture, whenever you see two Spaniards chatting you might think that they are arguing by their volume and gestures, when in fact they are just having a friendly conversation. This is a bit annoying if you are trying to have a conversation nearby. But if you have children with you, then this is bliss, as your children’s screams and shouts of joy will be drowned out by the general noise around you!
The Costa del Sol
The Costa del Sol is a fantastic place for family holidays or maybe you will do as we did, and decide to move to Spain. Here, every member of the family can have fun in the same place regardless of their age. You will find plenty of activities to suit all ages and levels of fitness. You can even find shopping centres with “nurseries” that resemble theme parks so you can spend a whole day shopping the best brands, eating delicious tapas washed down with fine wines, stop at the hairdresser for a beauty treatment and even go to the cinema to see a film in English (VO-original version) while your children are being taken care off in the playground and your mom is having her hair done, and all under the same roof! Fantastic don’t you think?
Some of the best places we visited this year with the children were:
The Tivoli world is a show and amusement Park in Benalmadena. This park is open daily from 5pm to 1am. For 6 Euros entrance fee -free for children under 1 meter- plus 12 Euros for a “Tivolino-bracelet” your children can have access to all the rides as many times as they want.
This is the largest entertainment park on the Costa -75,000 sq m, and is good for toddlers to the most adventurous thrill seeking teenagers and mummies!. There are plenty of rides to keep everybody going. If you are visiting the park with young children or grandparents, I would recommend using the Chu-Chu Train and tour the whole park without getting tired. Unless of course you want to exhaust the children so they go straight to bed while you put your high heels on to go and enjoy Marbella’s night life.
The park has very attractive gardens and fountains surrounding themes bars and restaurants like the Western Square, a replica of an Old American Western Town, where you can enjoy a Far West and Can Can show, while eating a Texas Grill. We all loved it, a fun day for the whole family.
I have a special attachment to this Zoo as I have seen it from its beginnings, when it was a pitiful zoo back in the 90s and then when it went under construction for its transformation in what is now the best Zoo I have visited in Europe.
An amazing park considering how small it is. The Zoo developers took advantage of the fine climate of the Costa del Sol to recreate one single ecosystem: the tropical forest of Madagascar, Equatorial Africa and Southeast Asia. And in June 2001, the new Fuengirola Zoo opened its gates to the public, transforming the Spanish and European concept of what a zoo could be, shattering once and for all the image of iron bars and concrete, and setting the definitive example for future animal parks. I couldn’t wait to see this Zoo and in July 2001 a month after its opening and just a couple of days after my daughter was born, we “took her” to the zoo, one of her first outings!
We go back to visit the zoo every time we can as it is always changing, introducing new species or having new animal babies born there.
Also during July and August the zoo is open at night time which gives a different perspective to the whole experience. For 33 Euros you can have access to the Zoo and dinner with an African dance show in the jungle.
La Cala de Mijas Fair
This local festivity is full of entertainment, music, food, drinks and attractions both at the beach during the day and at night time on the fair grounds. Wednesday is children’s day so all the attractions at the amusement park are half price.
Every July La Cala de Mijas holds its local festivities. This year from the 24th to the 27th La Cala de Mijas had sporting, musical, dancing and gastronomic events all day and night long. This is one of the most family orientated fairs on the Costa.
A unique park in Andalucia with a dolphin and penguin sections. It also has exotic birds from the Amazon jungle. Plenty of fun, animal shows and swing parks for the younger ones.
Other places to visit are:
The Crocodile Park in Torremolinos. A whole day adventure.
Selwo adventure Park in Estepona. A safari Park.
Sea Life Centre in Benalmadena.
Funny Beach. On the road to Marbella, this is an excellent beach for families. Apart from the obvious it offers go karts, video games and children’s rides.
Telecabina, Benalmadena. The ride includes visit to the Eagles and Andalucian Horse displays.
If you would like to know more about living in Spain, either with or without children, visit my website and contact me using the form – or see properties here. We have plenty of cheap properties to suit all budgets.