Having visited Lanzarote many times before having children it wasn’t until my recent visit that I realised how well the island caters for families. Not only does the island offer an average year round temperature of 22C, short flights from the UK (a very doable four-hours with even energetic toddlers) and great beaches, the island also has MANY fun attractions for kids of all ages. Here are 15 of my favourite things to do in Lanzarote with kids… (if you scroll down to the bottom there’s a video featuring all of these attractions too).
1. Take a bumpy ride on a camel
No visit to Lanzarote is complete without visiting the islands national park, often called the Mountains of Fire (Las Montañas del Fuego). Whether you are staying in a hotel or calling into the island onboard a cruise ship a visit to Timanfaya is an experience I recommend you book as a guided excursion, to fully make the most of your day.
Most of the excursion programmes offer the chance to ride a camel, (well a dromedary if you want to be absolutely correct which means only one hump not two). The guides help riders sit down on seats on either side of the hump and lead you up the exclusively reserved volcanic dunes for a bumpy ride you and your kids will never forget!
2. See a simulation of a volcano erupting
A fantastic opportunity to give your kids a geography lesson with a difference! The Timanfaya visitors centre exhibition includes a seismograph, meteosat and meteorological station which wannabe geologists will be absolutely blown away by.
3. Witness first hand the heat from the volcanic ground
Kids who thrive on hands-on interactive fun will be astounded when water poured into a 10-metre deep hole erupts seconds later as steam (like a mini geyser) and dry bushes burst into flames when thrown in a hole in the volcanic ground. If your kids are brave, they can also hold some volcanic ash, although they may not hold onto it for very long!
4. Dine on food cooked by geothermal heat
For lunch with a difference book a table at El Diablo restaurant which overlooks many of the islands 300 volcanos and unique Martian like lava fields. You can guarantee your kids will rave to anyone who will listen about their chicken lunch cooked by a volcano!
5. Drive along the ‘Route of the Volcanoes’
The ‘Ruta de los Volcanoes’ is a 14 km protected route permitted only by guided buses. The buses cannot stop along the route (so you may decide against experiencing with energetic toddlers) but older children will love driving through the moon like landscape listening to eery music and visualising themselves as characters in Planet of the Apes!
6. Explore underground lava tubes
Cueva de Los Verdes is one of the longest lava tubes in the world, formed 4,000 years ago when La Corona Volcano erupted and its lava flowed to the sea. Kids will enjoy pretending to be one of the thousands of locals who hid in the lava tubes to protect themselves from pirates in the 16th and 17th Century. They will also enjoy discovering the huge underground echoey atriums and exploring the narrow passages.
Top tip – I don’t want to give away the lava tube secret so all I will say is make sure you arrange to visit with a guide. (You cannot go inside unaccompanied). Our guide Ruth (+34 606 35 12 89) was absolutely brilliant and made our visit one of the highlights of our press trip. You also need to wear flat shoes, preferably trainers.
7. Watch a concert at Los Jameos del Agua
Los Jameos del Agua was also created by the eruption of La Corona Volcano. If you are looking for a unique place to dine check out the very cool underground restaurant and enjoy your dinner whilst watching the small albino crabs who have taken over the cavern lake. It’s also a very cool live music venue, bar and concert hall for a kid free romantic date night.
Top tip – If you wish to experience a concert make sure you visit in the autumn or winter. Unfortunately there is no swimming permitted in the pool.
8. Discover 700 different species of cacti
Jardin de Cactus was created by the islands late legendary artist and architect, César Manrique. It’s a fascinating place which kids of all ages will enjoy checking out (just tell them to watch out for prickles!) We visited towards the end of the day and watched the sunset over the 4,500 specimens of cacti. There is a onsite bar to enjoy a glass of local vino (or two) too whilst taking in the views over the entire picture perfect garden.
Top tip – Visit at sunset for incredible views and exceptional light. As a bonus, you will also avoid the cruise ship passenger crowds.
9. Ride the slides at Lanzarote’s biggest water park
Aquapark Costa Teguise has lots of attractions for kids, especially younger kids with fun toddler slides and shallow pools. Older kids will enjoy racing down the Aqua Racer (see below) and the thrills of the Kamikaze, Black Hole and Hydrotub rides. In the summer season the park also offers zip lining, paint balling and an adventure park circuit for racing electric cars and so even kids who are not particularly fond of the water are well catered for here.
Top tip – We visited on the last day of the season (park closes mid Nov to beginning of April for maintenance over the winter every year) and to be honest we didn’t see the park at it’s best. It was however a great time to visit to avoid the crowds as we had the park to ourselves. Make sure you pack swimsuits, towels. Lockers are provided for a small extra fee and refreshments are available on site.
10. Get up close to birds of prey and crocodiles
Rancho Texas, is a zoo and water park which puts on several shows daily featuring birds of prey, sea lions, dolphins and cockatoos. I absolutely loved Rancho Texas. It’s a immaculately maintained park with beautiful cactus gardens, a variety of animals, entertaining shows and a water park. (Which although much smaller than Aquapark Costa Teguise has something to offer kids of all ages with a big water play area, huge pool and fun water slide).
Top tip – Take sun hats for kids. I found there was very little shade at both the birds of prey show and the dolphin show. It’s also worth visiting on a Sunday as this is when the popular Teguise market takes place so the park is often quiet so make the most of it!
11. Have a hug with a sea-lion
Rancho Texas offers the unique chance to interact with sea lions. Kids from 7 years old can get in the water with the creatures, give and receive kisses and even enjoy a hug! Awwww.
12. Shop and watch a movie under the stars
I’ll be honest I was dubious about our visit to the Biosfera Plaza and didn’t think that a shopping complex could have much to offer for kids… how wrong I was! The plaza is set over 5 floors, 3 floors of shops (Zara through to local handicraft stores which are perfect for picking up unique souvenirs), the 4th floor is a food court and perched on top is the coolest cinema I have ever seen.
The Starlight Open Air Cinema offers two shows daily – a classic film and a new release. Kids will love their own buzzer to call the waiting staff for refreshments and parents will enjoy having a sneaky cocktail whilst watching the sunset over Puerto del Carmen.
Top tips – Next to the cinema is a crazy golf range which is currently being renovated and will soon reopen with dinosaurs and dino special effects. Great for little dino fans. Every Sunday evening there is live music at the shopping complex which kids will love bopping along to.
13. Fly over volcanic craters (with your feet firmly on the ground)
Kids (and big kids!) who are interested in the islands volcanic landscape will love the 6D cinema simulator experience which takes riders on a journey around the island. The video was shot by a small plane and drone and includes unique footage of whooshing in and out of volcano craters and along the waves of the ocean.
14. Enjoy the beach… year round!
With more than 3,000 hours of sun annually and a year round average temp of 22C it’s a beach day nearly every day in Lanzarote. The best beach for families is the La Garita (north of the island) with golden sands and gentle slopes. Wannabe surfer dudes will enjoy watching the wave riding pros at Famara (in the north-west).
15. Tantalise the taste buds with tapas & paella
And last but certainly not least, as experiencing new foods is one of the main reasons my family and I love about travelling… It would be a crime to visit Lanzarote and not try the traditional cuisine or make the most of the unique dining experiences. If you fancy dining in a cave, sipping cocktails in a swish hotel with incredible views or a retro dinner of hot dog under the stars check out this post – Where to eat in Lanzarote, 5 unique restaurants on the island.
So there you have it. 15 fabulously fun and unique things to do in Lanzarote with kids. If you have other recommendations to add please pop them in the comments below.
Further reading for visiting Lanzarote with kids
Reacquainting myself with Lanzarote – Ten years on
Review: Hotel Grand Teguise Playa, Lanzarote – A Modern Mother
Volcanoes in Lanzarote the Best Day Ever! – Actually Mummy
The Cactus Garden in Lanzarote – Extraordinary Chaos
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