Madrid is a big, busy city with lots going on. It’s full of green space which is excellent to tire young ones out. But more than that it has places which are specifically there to keep the children happy.
Madrid is great to visit with kids
You’ll head out of the city slightly in a few different directions, but nothing too far. You’ll see some nature and some man-made attractions but each will be new and exciting for kids of all ages. You’ll probably still want to fit in some other general tourist attractions around the kid centered activities so check out some other inspiring Madrid itineraries for more details on those.
7 things to see and do with children
1. Parque de Atracciones
This is Madrid’s amusement park offering everything from roller coasters to water rides and 4D cinema amongst other things. The park is good for children of all ages but younger kids will probably be especially excited by the Nickelodeon exhibit.
Faunia is a different kind of amusement park focused on nature. The park covers about 14 hectares and is divided into separate areas for each ecosystem; things like jungles, savannahs, etc. You won’t find big animals here but plenty of birds, monkeys and lizards. Many of the animals wander freely.
3. Chamberí Station
A ‘ghost staion’ which will be great fun for the kids to explore was one of Madrid’s original metro stations. It’s been reopened in recent years as a museum of memorabilia from the past including much reproduction of the original station. This is a great spot where kids will enjoy the open space and different vibes and mom and dad can learn a bit about the story of what was here. Admission here is free.
4. Teleférico de Madrid
The Madrid cable car is lots of fun for kids, so long as no one has a fear of heights! Take it up to casa del campo where you have amazing views and a kids play park. From there you can head back down or head over to Madrid’s amusement park.
Tickets cost just €5.90 return, anyone under 3 years of age rides for free and tickets can also be purchased in family packs, check online for combinations.
5. Flamenco Show
If you’re headed to the south of Spain you should save this for that area but if Madrid is your only stop than certainly don’t miss out on a flamenco show. The kids will love the colorful outfits, loud noises and fast dancers. There are plentiful options for where to go to catch a show from big halls to small bars. Most places have a drink include, some will also do dinner.
6. Football tour
This tour is lots of fun for kids of all ages, but it’s particularly intriguing for any aspiring football stars or simple fans. You can tour both Atlético de Madrid stadiums, the retired Vicente Calderón Stadium as well as the working Santiago Bernabéu stadium.
7.Bernabeu Stadium Tour
Also check the schedules of the Atlético de Madrid team on their website, perhaps even more exciting than a stadium tour is watching the teams in action on the field. Tickets should be purchased in advance for both the tour and games, all can be bought on the websites.
Additional Madrid attractions loved by children
Warner Bros Movie Park : This is a good backup, a typical theme park that cannot go wrong. It is outside Madrid but accessible by Metro.
Sabatini Gardens : Around Royal Palace, this is a nice place for kids to run around and take a break. It has a hedge maze that kids love. The Royal palace has the armory room which is a big hit with children.
Museu de America : A nice option with activities, to visit on a hot or rainy day.
Retiro Park : Hire a boat on the lake after a long day at the Art Walk nearby. Also a nice place for the family to relax.
Madrid Zoo and Parque de Atracciones : These are both located on the grounds of Casa de Campo. But frankly, Warner park is a better choice according to me.
Botanic Gardens : Near the Prado, a relaxing place to cool off between trips to the museums. The garden also has a treasure hunt activity for children (Misterio en el Botánico)
Caixa Forum : If your kids like to use there hands and feet, there are many interactive exhibits at Caixa Forum.
Parque el Capricho : Not a crowded, typical tourist destination. This is an interesting place for children to walk around ducks and swans, and wooded paths.
Wax Museum : Based on popular movies and characters, this museum has a crime and torture section for older kids and adults as well (it is gory)
Aviation Museum : Vintage planes are housed here and they are flown every month on the first Sunday at 1pm.
Playgrounds and parks : Madrid is full of parks and playgrounds, you can stop at any one whenever you are tired. e.g.: Plaza de Oriente, Paseo de Prado, Plaza Santa Ana.
In addition, children will enjoy the day trips out of Madrid. It gives them a chance to be out in the open and run around freely.
Must-try Madrid Restaurants for kids
Tommy Mel’s is an American style dinner just of the Gran Via in central Madrid, and while you may feel guilty for having a break from the Spanish food, the kids will love this vintage style joint. Milkshakes are sure to please as well as burgers and other comfort food basics on the menu.
Chocolateria san Ginés is a Madrid establishment and serves some of the best churros con chocolate in town. The churros are a tradition in the ciyty so allow a bit of indulgence amongst the family. You can make your way here 24 hours a day 365 days a year, whenever you’re in need of a sugar pick me up.
Baby deli, out by El Reitro Park has become quite famous recently for its organic products. The Madrid spot is one of a handful around the world. They offer workshops for kids of different ages as well as healthy choices in their café for kids and parents. You’ll also find natural cosmetics and toys on sale here.
Kid friendly Hotels in Madrid
Gran Via Capital is an excellent choice for families as they offer large two, three and four bedroom apartments with kitchen facilities in a building with a rooftop pool in an excellent, central location just off of the Gran Via.
Only slightly farther from center, with a quieter location is Sercotel Suites Viena. Also offering kitchen facilities you’ll be in a room rather than an apartment and you’ll find it a bit less luxurious but the price more affordable.
Best things to do in Madrid with kids
Prado for Families tour
The Prado museum can be great for children too. One of the world's finest collections of European art can be different and be engaging for your child - you can sign up for special tours of Prado that are designed with children in mind.
The Prado children’s guides have an art of keeping children engaged with stories behind the art and artists. There are many operators offering museum tours designed for children. I have recommended Across Madrid to many of my friends and clients.
Stroll down Madrid Rio
Madrid Rio, a man-made sidewalk developed around the river Manzanare, is a great place for families to stroll, as there are activities to keep children and adults engaged.
At Madrid Rio, you will find zip lines, slides, riding toys and children's playground scattered throughout the park. There are also classic playground things like swings and riding toys.
Faunia - a zoo with a difference
Faunia is home to 3,000 animals of 300 different species housed in six different ecosystems.
Micropolix - jobs for kids
Micropolix is an indoor city with neighborhoods where the children get jobs, make money and get to do things. Very engaging and educative for kids under the age of 12.
Parque de Atracciones - Skip it!
Parque de Atracciones features as a prominent attraction for children in most guidebooks. In my opinion, it is just another global amusement park you could have got to anywhere in the world. It is a better idea to skip Parque de Atracciones and go somewhere more local instead.
Madrid Railway Museum (Museo del Ferrocarril) is an interesting place to spend an hour or two with family.
Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
If your kids are soccer buffs, Santiago Bernabeu Stadium is an attraction you can't miss while visiting Madrid. Go for the tour of the stadium which will allow your children to step into the locker rooms, and walk through the tunnel to the field. There's plenty to see for the Real Madrid fan as well as for those who are wondering what all the fuss is about!
Teleferico Cable Car
Teleferico Cable Car is a gondola ride that starts in the city centre and flies you out over the city and across Casa Campo the largest park in Madrid.
A popular outing (especially among expats) is Grey Elephant, a children activity center in La Latina neighborhood. If your child is cranky after series of museum visits, you can take your child to Grey Elephant. Do call them before you go as English speaking attendants are not available always.
If your child is the outdoorsy type, a trip to Madrid Rio is recommended. Madrid Rio (Salón de Pinos zone) has 17 children play areas, catering to different age groups and interests of the child. In summer, you can take them to Argenzula Park, the 'beach' within Madrid Rio.
If you are visiting Museum of Romanticism (I would recommend, especially for their courtyard cafe) walk down to the nearby Lobo Feliz, Madrid's most popular toy store.
Getting around Madrid with children
Transport around el centro isn’t needed, you can do most of that on foot. However, many of your destinations are a bit in one direction or another so a transport pass could be a good idea. You can purchase tourist cards for specific numbers of days at any of the stations in Madrid. Passes for children under 11 can be purchased at a discounted rate.