Crete is renowned for its glorious weather, making it a popular place to visit. However, if you are trying to avoid the peak holiday visiting times and are unfortunate with a rare rainy day, you may wonder how you can entertain your children without using the pool or the waterparks.
Here are some activities (from babies and toddlers to teens) for you to while away some time until the sunshine returns. If you are looking for all weather activities, visit this post on Hersonissos, Crete
Aquaworld Aquarium and Reptile Rescue Centre in Hersonissos.
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Aquaworld is Crete’s first aquarium which displays local sea life and reptiles from everywhere. Many of the animals were injured, rescued or unwanted pets and are now living there permanently.
It’s an interactive aquarium where many of the animals can be held – so great photo opportunities. Animals include, octopi, iguanas, geckos, snakes, lizards, chameleons, tortoises etc.
Open 1st April until 31st October every year
Monday to Saturday open 10:00. Last entry 17.15
Entrance Price: Adults & Teenage Children 6€ – Young Children 4€
The first thought for many people is the CretAquarium in Hersonissos; it is a great place to explore the underwater world.
We marvelled at the Sand Tiger Sharks and how effortlessly they moved around. Looking at the skeletons, we could see the many layers of teeth they have, and why their grip is so ferocious. Walking through the atmospheric corridors (perfect for strollers and any little ones wanting a nap on the go) we enjoyed the calming effect of the jelly-fish and anemones.
A bonus for kids is the interactive drawing area. Children can draw their own picture, use a simple machine to then see it displayed as a cartoon on a large screen.
The aquarium has a lovely little restaurant attached with fresh healthy alternatives too.
My 5-year-old and 2 year old enjoyed the afternoon here and asked to go around it twice! The biggest draw for them were the two biggest tanks – just so much to look at! You will need about an hour to complete it and perhaps a bit longer if you plan to stay for lunch. (We ate before we came at a solitary taverna on the coast, about 2 minutes drive away.).
For the purpose of reviewing, we were given complimentary entrance.
The Aquarium is open 365 days a year.
Winter Opening Times
Daily 9.30 in the morning till 5 in the afternoon
Summer Opening Times
Daily 9.30 in the morning till 9 in the afternoon
General Entrance Fee 8€
Children 0-4 years old Free Entrance
Children 5-17 years old 6€
Individuals with disabilities – free
Skotino Cave, in the Gouves area, is where the worship of the Goddess Artemis (Dina) took place. It hosts an impressive range of stalagmites, stalactites, and massive limestone formations.
Church ruins were found in one of the cave rooms. This is definitely something for the older kids as it can be very slippery in places. Bring a torch if possible. There are no facilities.
There is no admission fee and no guard.
There are several escape rooms around Crete, including Escape 13, ClueWars in Chania, and the Escape Atlantis room at the Labyrinth Park. I’ve experienced one in the UK, and LOVED it. Check with individual places for their age requirements. Younger children are allowed in with adult. Prices do vary by group size.
Drive Around The Hills And Villages
Even on a gloomy, rainy day, you can explore so much. We had such a day and visited quaint traditional villages in the hills. Some of the views are just breathtaking and you almost feel like you are as high up as the Grecian Gods. The hills above Hersonissos are easily and quickly accessible and perfectly doable with young kids. We opted to visit a small local village Avdou Chersonissos.
First stop was a small olive oil factory called Assargiotakisisyannis complete with local produce and then a wander around a living traditional village. Kids will enjoy tasting the oil and stretching their legs around the village.
My 5-year-old was really fascinated by how olive oil was produced, which surprised me a little! As it had just been raining, many small frogs were out- which were a great source of delight to my little ones!
Many of the old historic building are no longer in use, but signs tell you what they used to be. You instantly feel transported back in time – to a life that was slower paced and less frenetic.
A little drive further brings you to Lassithi and the Homo Sapiens Museum. The view, even on a rainy day is breathtaking. You truly feel like you are up in the heavens looking down.
Conveniently, a local business and restaurant (apparently the best coffee in Crete) are situated next to this photogenic spot. Essentially it is an open air museum transporting you through the evolution of man – beginning in the caves towards modern day.
It doesn’t take a long time to visit each stage ( allow 20-30 mins to visit) but it was interesting nonetheless.
My eldest enjoyed the hands on and visual explanation of how bread was made. From the wheat fields, to the grinding stage ( you can have a go at this bit) to preparing and placing in the oven.
Both girls enjoyed visiting the caves and seeing how man lived. My husband marvelled at how long ( or short) man lived for. Hint: At one time 25 years old was considered old age! It’s €3 for entry and to take photos
On the way back down from the hills, we stopped in Mochos, which has a picturesque village square full of restaurants.
We visited the restaurant Lithos and I can quite honestly say it was the best meal we had our entire time in Crete. Nikos, the owner, cooks beautiful, authentic Cretan dishes. We devoured them almost as soon as they were delivered to our table- so all I have is a photo of dessert! Well worth a visit if you are in the area!
You can explore traditional Cretan life in the open air Lychnostatis Museum. It’s a very hands-on museum and children are welcome to interact with many of the artefacts.
Sitting right on the Bay of Malia, you can enjoy lovely views out to sea as you explore the museum. Although it is open air, there are many buildings you can seek some reprieve from the rain, and it is not far to walk from one to the other.
Visit Lychnostatis from 09:00 – 14:00
Closed on Saturdays.
For the period November 1 – March 31 require pre-arrangement.
Adults: 8 €
Students: 4 €
Children (4-12 years’ old): 3€
Audio-guide : 2 €
Films: 1 €
Guided tours: 1 €
There are many other smaller museums too. Including folk museums which present traditional life of Crete or private initiatives such as the War Museum of Askifou or the excellent Wooden Sculptures Museum in Axos.
Finally, remember that Crete has a huge diversity of climate so itmay bee raining on one side and sunny on the other!
Did you experience a rainy day in Crete? What did you do?
This post is in collaboration with the tourism board of Hersonissos, who paid for our entry for some of the above attractions and provided us with car hire to explore. As always, my opinions are my own.