Spanish Holidays Costa del Sol With Children
Costa Del Sol, Spain
Spain is a country well known for its family orientated way of life. If you have ever seen Spanish families travelling surely you 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!
Family Ready To Enjoy The Local Festivities
The Costa del Sol
The Costa del Sol is a fantastic place for family holidays. 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 My Children
- Tivoli World
- Fuengirola Zoo
- La Cala de Mijas Fair
Tivoli world is a show and amusement Park in Benalmadena. This park is open daily from 5 pm to 1 am. 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 to use 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 nightlife.
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.
Free Fall (70m) Tivoli Ride
BioParc Fuengirola Zoo
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.
BioParc Fuengirola Zoo
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.
La Cala de Mijas
- La Cala de Mijas
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.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 Andalucia and Costa del Sol will lead you straight to the very best this region has to offer.
Selwo Marina in Benalmadena.:
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.
- Megabowl and Sports Bar in Marbella at the Cañada Shopping Centre. 22 lane bowling Centre with video games and sports bar with two giant screens. Full facilities for very young children and the disabled. Another great opportunity to leave your husband with the children enjoying themselves while you go and do some serious shopping.
- Mijas Pueblo. Enjoy a donkey ride, or visit a miniature exhibition and bring your camera for the best views on the Costa.
- Parque Aquatico Mijas. A bit expensive -16Euros for adults and 11Euros for kids- this is another all day entertainment place. Not only pools and slides, but also water aerobics, rock climbing, mini golf and special shows to keep every body entertained. To lower the cost, you can bring your own picnic to the park, there are plenty of picnic tables and shady corners to have a siesta after lunch!
- Aqualand, Torremolinos. A massive park covering more than 70,000 sq. m. of surf beaches, lagoons, water rides and twisters. Bring along your picnic or eat in one of the restaurants.
Summer Schools on the Costa del Sol
If you are planning to spend a long holiday in the Costa or you are a new resident there, you might want to consider putting your child's name down for one of the numerous summer schools. You can choose from basic nurseries to specialized classes like yoga or pilates for the older ones. Some schools are:
- Aloha College Summer School. This school offers activities for children from 3 to 14 years old. Children can join for 1, 2, 3 or 4 weeks. An ideal choice if you have just moved to Spain and want to acclimatize your children.
- International College San Pedro.
- Calahonda International College.
- Costa Kinder Care's Summer club.
- Club del Sol Summer Tennis Camps.
- Waterbabies, run swimming classes for babies and children up to 7 years old.
Whatever you choose do not forget safety measures, especially around swimming pools. Unfortunately drowning is the 3rd cause of accidental death among children under five. It can take as little as 60 seconds for a child to drown; there is NO substitute for supervision. When children are in a pool make sure to maintain visual contact with them, and never leave a child alone in the water.
For babies, keep in mind that a disposable nappy filled with water, weighs about as much as a brick! Use the special "swimmer nappies".
Enjoy your holiday!
- Beach holidays with Toddlers
To enjoy a beach holiday with toddlers you will need to take into account a few points. First of all, always pack plenty of sunscreen. A high protection is a must.
© 2008 Wendy Iturrizaga
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