Do not plan to spend more than two to three days in Marbella. There are very limited attractions and activities that can keep children (especially teens) engaged. That said, while on a family vacation, here are some of the interesting things to see and do in Marbella
Aventura Amazonia is an activity center located between Marbella and Fuengirola. This is suitable for all ages, including adults. I have taken my teenaged nephew and he enjoyed his outing. From what I saw and heard, they maintain high standards with regard to safety. I am sure your teen aged daughter will love the zip lines.
There are five routes, the fifth level is the most challenging while the first one is designed for beginners. Fifteen minutes drive from Marbella.
Parque de las Medranas
A water park where kids can try out water boarding and water skiing. Parque de las Medranas is located on a lake in San Pedro de Alcántara area and surrounding the actual lake there are lots of nice spots to relax and catch a nice view. There’s also a Mediterranean restaurant on site, so, you won’t have to travel far for a meal.
Costa Jump Trampoline Centre
Trampoline parks are becoming popular across Europe. Costa Jump, South Spain's first Trampoline Centre is near Marbella. At the trampoline center, you pay by the hour. Can easily hold the attention of your daughter for at least two hours. The Marbella center is temporarily closed, please check before planning a trip to Costa Jump Trampoline Centre.
Tivoli World between Malaga and Marbella is easily the most popular amusement park in Costa Del Sol. It is also an old theme park with many of the rides looking tired and outdated.The park is geared more for those in the age group of 8 -12-year-olds. The theme park shows its age . If you plan to go to Tivoli World, check the option of buying 'family pass' to avail discounts. The haunted house at Tivoli Worls is the star attraction.
Los Cuchillos trail
A popular hike from Marbella. You get a wonderful view of Marbella from the mountains and the hike isn’t too difficult. Some parts of the trail have a lot of overgrowth and may be a bit steep but for a thirteen year old kid, it should be fine. Young children will probably find it very difficult.
Water park with slides, rapids and other attractions that can keep a thirteen year old engaged. Aqualand Torremolinos is just 40 minutes from Marbella.
Sea Life Benalmádena
An aquarium with touch and feel pool where you can 'feel' aquatic creatures like starfish and sea anemone. At best, with some feeding sessions, can keep your teenaged daughter busy for 45 minutes.
One of the best things about Costa del Sol hotels, in general, is the in-house children's club that offer supervised children’s activities. Most of the upscale ones have English speaking attendants. I would encourage you to leave your kids in these clubs as they will mix with kids of different nations and this will be a great experience for them. Our children have absolutely loved the kids' clubs in Spanish hotels. Before you book into any Marbella hotel check the hotel website to see if there is a kids club.
Is Marbella good for families?
The answer is yes, it is as interesting as you would want it for your children!
Luis has a nice shortlist of kid-friendly activities. With regard to accommodation options, there are many, many options when it comes to hotels in Marbella. I can only speak from experience about two of them, though. The first is Marbella Playa Hotel. It has pools with slides and a waterfall and an outdoor jacuzzi, as well as access to the beach. The food in the buffet is very good, there are performances for kids at night, and a club for them to do activities and different sports during the day.
The other is Senator Marbella, which also has pools and good food, plus it has many restaurants and bars nearby. It is popular with those traveling along with children.
If you want names of hotels with a more affordable tariff, you can try Hostal Enriqueta, or maybe Hotel Iberostar if you want to be close to Puerto Banús.
Marbella is really known for its party scene but there are lots of activities and events for families, as well.
First, there are the beaches. It sounds like a no-brainer but the beaches in Marbella are a whole other experience than in the US or in other parts of Europe. They’re kept cleaner than beaches in the US. You’re not going to find a lot of trash or food tossed on the sand. The water is clearer, too, so, visiting the beaches will offer a unique experience that both parents and children can enjoy.
A side note on beaches is that several of them are nudist friendly and not appropriate for children. You’d want to double check this before heading out with your family as many of them are not officially declared as a nudist beach. Playa Fontanilla and Nagüeles beach are both kid-friendly.
If your child is into nature, head to Turtle Lake. The lake is surrounded by trees, bushes and it’s home to a (you guessed it) ton of turtles. There are also water birds who visit the lake frequently and it’s open for swimming. This spot is perfect for a lazy afternoon of swimming and grilling. You can find Turtle Lake in Nueva Andalucia.
Another family-friendly option is the sand dunes and watchtower at Dunes de Artola. It’s a nice place for the family to explore. The Blue Flag beach at the eastern end has a life guard and first-aid if needed, though packing your own first-aid is always helpful.