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Kid-Friendly Barcelona

by Barbara Rogers

Apr 25, 2019

Gekaskr – Dreamstime.com

Age Specific / Kids

Art and architecture may not be your kids’ favorites when you’re traveling, but Barcelona might just win them over. Who can resist Antoni Gaudí’s buildings with skull balconies or chimneys that look like Darth Vader? But, there are more kid-pleasing things to do in Barcelona besides delight in the playful buildings of Barcelona’s favorite architect. Here are five winners for young travelers.

 

The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc

Four thousand lights illuminate the fountain as more than 100 hydraulic valves spout water in time to music for a spectacular sound-and-light show. The streams of water seem to perform a ballet as they rise and fall with the music. This is no small fountain — its basin is more than 150 feet in diameter (that’s half a football field!). You’ll find it in the plaza in front of the Palau Nacional, and shows are Thursday through Sunday during the summer months and Friday and Saturday in winter. It closes from early January through mid-February.

 

Spanish Village (Poble Espanyol)

Like the Magic Fountain, this little Spanish Village began as a feature of the 1929 World Exhibition, held in Barcelona. Its picturesque little streets, lanes, courtyards and houses are grouped around a Plaza Mayor, its diminutive main square, and the buildings represent those in different regions of Spain. In its shops, artisans work in leather, glass, pottery and textiles; it’s a good place to buy souvenirs. There are frequent festivals and performances, so it’s a lively place to explore.

 

Tibidabo Amusement Park

For more than a century the carousels, rollercoasters, bumper cars, flying chairs and old-fashioned tram high above the city on Montjuïc delighted kids. At Tibidabo they can explore a Mystery Castle, see performances in the open-air theater or ride in the Avio, a replica 1928 airplane that rotates around a tower and hangs out over the edge of the mountain. Pick up provisions at a market and come for a picnic — much of the park is free

 

Tibidabo Park attractions in Barcelona, Spain.

Tibidabo Park attractions in Barcelona, Spain. Photo: Vitaliybilyak – Dreamstime.com

 

Chocolate Museum (Museu de la Xocolata)

The Barcelona Confectioners’ Guild created the Museum of Chocolate in the former Convent of Sant Agustí, itself a beautiful and historic building with a Gothic cloister. Along with learning about the history of chocolate in Aztec cultures and later in Europe, you’ll see how it is transformed from cocoa beans to confections. There are mouthwatering examples of chocolate art, and, of course, a shop you won’t be able to get the kids out of.  In the café you can taste Xocoatl, the cocoa drink of the Aztecs. There are chocolate workshops in English, by reservation.

 

Barcelonetta Beach

It’s hard not to love a city with a beautiful 3,000-foot-long, white-sand beach just a few steps from some of its most popular tourist attractions. Spain’s famed Costa Brava begins with a bang here. The beach is clean and there is plenty of sand for castle-building or just soaking up the sun. Kiosks sell food and rent beach chairs and umbrellas, along with water sports equipment, and there’s a giant shimmering fish sculpture by Frank Gehry.

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