Lanzarote Family Holiday Tips: Top Fun Things To Do With Kids In Lanzarote
Timanfaya National Park – Camel rides, volcanoes, and food cooked by the heat of a volcano.
- Camel Rides – Begin your visit with a camel ride at the Timanfaya Visitors Centre and release your inner Lawrence of Arabia. The camels have seats on, so two of you can ride one camel at a time. If you are a family of 3 or 5, not to worry, as sandbags can be added to the other seat and the weight is then distributed evenly. The ride is about 20 minutes long and treks up the multi-coloured lava ‘sand’ – giving you great opportunities to view the spectacular volcanic landscape. We saw several babies and tots being held by their parents on their camel ride too. Currently the costs are €6 per person/€12 per camel.
- Free Visitors Centre –The free visitors centre offers fascinating facts about volcanoes and how peridot ( a green semi-precious stone) is found in the lava balls which exploded at various times from the 300 volcanoes on the island. ( It is widely available to buy in small bottles or as jewellery around the island) At certain points of the day, a simulated volcano explosion can also be experienced. ( Great for ages 6 and above but perhaps a little scary for tiny tots.) Personal cars are not allowed in the park in order to protect this UNESCO protected site, but on-site buses or official tours can take you around to explore this incredible landscape. However, you are not allowed to disembark at any time.The earthy coloured dunes give way to seas of lava, punctuated with lava bombs and occasional thorn bushes. It’s easy to believe you are on another planet and the perfect geography lesson for kids!
- Enjoy a meal cooked by a volcano – An absolute highlight of visiting these Fire Mountains is either packing your own sausages and preparing a BBQ where the source of heat is directly from the volcano. If you don’t wish to bring your own, eat at El Diablo where the viewable furnace also uses the natural heat to cook your food. It’s not every day you can say your meal was cooked by a volcano!!
- Interactive Opportunities – Other hands-on and visual activities are available which both kids and adults will enjoy. If you are feeling brave, you can hold some lava granules which are taken just 10cm down. This is not one for little ones, as yes they are VERY hot. Watching the guide pour water into a hole, resulting in the earth ejecting a huge jet of stream was also very memorable. Further demonstration of the heat is shown with bushes put into another hole and just a few seconds later catching ablaze. The kids observing this were beside themselves with excitement. I think pretty much every school covers volcanoes as a topic, and a visit here is a brilliant way to compliment that learning.
Walk Inside A Lava Tube or Two!
- Cueva de Los Verdes -Continuing with the volcano theme, a visit to Cueva de Los Verdes and Los James del Aqua is also a fascinating experience. Both are part of the same lava tube. At Cueva de Los Verdes, the tunnel is one of the longest on the planet. Descending down into the depths, you can witness how the lava flowed and the power it must have wielded. Some parts can be quite narrow and most adults will have to duck their heads at a couple of points, but otherwise, it’s fairly accessible. Clearly, strollers and wheelchairs are not suitable, and small children may need to be carried on occasions. These caves have a little surprise towards the end, which completely and utterly floored me. I would love to say more, but I really wouldn’t want to ruin the experience for you! Have you experienced it before?
- Los James del Aqua -The caves at Los James del Aqua, are a short walk from the other caves and offer a slightly different experience. These caves host the House of Volcanoes designed by César Manrique, where many concerts are held. A stylish restaurant and bar are on site too, utilising old ship driftwood and natural materials from the island. The result is breathing and magical. A blend of white, blue green and black, punctuated with bright flowers, transforms this lava tube debris into an area of such beauty. It’s quite possibly one of the most romantic settings I’ve seen. I would still bring children to visit here, because the main attraction is the natural lake, where albino blind crabs live. Plus a drink at sunset in this magnificent volcanic setting is definitely a memorable occasion for all ages. Unfortuantely, the modern pool in the picture below, is just for looking at as swimming has been been banned for several years due to its over popularity!
Pirates are deeply entwined with Lanzarote’s history, with many pirates coming to the island to look for slaves. The local people hid in the lava tubes to escape capture and being ripped apart from their families. Kids will love the Museo de la Pirateria where the narrow corridors display famous seafarers such as Sir Francis Drake and the rooms of this fortress ( Castillo de Santa Barbara) display replica weapons guns and cannons.
Cool Off In A Water Park at Aquapark Costa Teguise
- Aquapark Costa Teguise -Ok, what kid doesn’t enjoy a water park? Aquapark is the biggest water park in Lanzarote, offering a toddler area, various water slides, and 9 swimming pools. After overcoming a few nerves, I did make it down the colourful slides – it wasn’t anywhere near as scary as I first thought! In peak season during the summer months they have a cinema and paintball too. The park opens in March and closes early November. There are plenty of sunbeds and many offer cover from the sun. Top tip: Don’t forget to bring a towel as none are available to hire.
Sandcastles on the Beach.
- Playa Caleton Blanco is a hidden gem on the north coast. The sand is also most white and nestled close to shore are natural pools created by the tide. There is no car park here.
- Playa de las Cucharas is a little busier but has plenty of amenities.
- Playa Blanca is one of the most well known, and is more touristy but family friendly.
- Playa de la Cera is one of the Papagayo beaches and is hard to access unless you have a 4×4 or are happy to hike a little bit. However, the trek is well worth it.
- Playa de Mujeres is another busy beach in Papagayo but it’s also one of the largest.
Shopping – Yes, it can be fun for everyone!
- Biosfera Plaza Shopping Centre is a modern open air shopping centre overlooking the old town of Puerto del Carmen. It’s blend of local and international shops, including a supermarket and ATM facilities. Every Sunday near sunset, a local walking band play and parade around the centre and I defy anyone not to have toe-tapping moment. What really stood out for me not only the local family artisan shop Arteguise, where you can not only purchase ready-made designs, but also choose and design your own jewellery, but also the Rooftop Terrace Starlight Open Air Cinema. By day, it is a great place to relax and admire the sea-view but at dusk it transforms into an open air cinema with a mixture of the latest movies and classics – inclding family friendly movies.You do need to pre-book. Once there, a set of headsets are handed out with options for various languages. Choose to recline on one of the comfortable chairs or bean bags with a blanket, order food and drink directly to your seat and enjoy the movie. A virtual 6D indoor cinema with 5 seats is also on site – with special effects like water and snow. (We experienced the China one- it was brilliant!) Coming soon is a ball pit for toddlers and the mini-golf is currently being transformed into a Jurassic Kingdom with interactive parts. Perhaps this is the ultimate space for Mums to leave the kids with their Dads and experience a bit of me time shopping and then enjoy a family movie?
“We all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine.”
Well not quite, but how about exploring all the sea has to offer with a submarine ride? If this is a little too adventurous, there are also many glass-bottomed boats dotted around the island, which you can rent and explore at your own pace. For a suggested 7 day itinerary for Lanzarote with kids, see here.
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Disclosure: This trip was sponsored by Visit Spain in return for honest reviews. They had no influence over what was written or the choice of content.