MADRID, SPAIN. The streets and avenues of Madrid are not a haven for children; cars, buses and even pedestrians can be a possible threat. For successful, and fun, family holidays in Madrid, you have to venture out of your way to find places that are both safe and enjoyable. It’s not an impossible quest, though; on the contrary, Madrid offers numerous family-friendly activities that can be done both within the city and as day trips if you have a little more time.

Swing on swings and row on boats at the RETIRO PARK

In the middle of the big city, you’ll find a green refuge. Dating all the way back to the 17th century, the park was commissioned for royalty. Now, however, it is open to all. There are numerous playgrounds for kids to play in the sand, swing on swings and more.

On a sunny day, children can also divert themselves watching a number of streetperformers. A particularly popular spectacle is the blowing of giant soap bubbles, which catches kids’ attention time after time.

You can also take a row on the Estanque – just be sure to smear your kids in sunscreen.

If you plan ahead, catch a puppet show at the Teatro de Títeres, located inside the Retiro Park. Click here for a schedule of shows.

Should the Retiro Park get too crowded for you (especially the case on weekends), check out MADbudget’s exclusive coverage of other parks in Madrid, many of which are kid-friendly, too.

Scubadive alongside sharks at the MADRID ZOO & AQUARIUM

Aquarium at the Madrid Zoo | cuellar.

Aquarium at the Madrid Zoo | cuellar.

Seeing animals up close is always popular with children. In Madrid, head to the Casa de Campo for the Madrid Zoo & Aquarium. In addition to a wide range of exhibits, ranging from exotic birds to marine lions and far-flung pandas, the Madrid Zoo & Aquarium gives you the possibility to get up close with almost all the animals.

You can find yourself “entering in Madagascar” and come face to face with lemurs. If you want to interact with antipodes, head to the “Ayer’s Rock” installation.

A highlight among younger children is the dolphin show. You’ll get a behind the scenes look of how they are taken care of, and find out all of their secrets.

Older children, in turn, may enjoy diving underwater with the sharks; note that you will need a valid diving certificate in order to do so.

For more information on the Madrid Zoo & Aquarium, visit the official website.

Celebrate with Looney Tunes characters at the PARQUE WARNER MADRID

Parque Warner Madrid | Turismo Madrid.

Parque Warner Madrid | Turismo Madrid.

For just 20 Euros, you can surprise your child with a wonderful birthday celebration at the Parque Warner (Warner Bros. Park). Celebrations take place at the Gotham City Grill, and for 50 Euros, you can even have a Looney Tunes character come congratulate your child in person.

But really, whether it’s your child’s birthday or not, a trip to the Parque Warner in Madrid is well worth it. From scooters to rollercoasters to water rides and superhero games, there’s many activities here to keep you busy and entertained.

More information about the Parque Warner at the official website.

Get an adrenaline kick at the PARQUE DE ATRACCIONES MADRID

Parque de Atracciones | Cloudman87.

Parque de Atracciones | Cloudman87.

While the Warner Bros. Park will get you access to the Looney Tunes characters, the Parque de Atracciones in Madrid is the place to go for an adrenaline kick. Rides such as “Vertigo” will literally cause you vertigo, and at others such as the “Star Flyer,” you will fly amongst the stars.

Younger children, in turn, will revel in the mini pirate experience, or the baby boats, where they ride around in circles for hours.

It’s a spectacle for children, and adults will come home happy, too.

More information about the Parque de Atracciones in Madrid at the official website.

Ride high in the sky with the TELEFERICO MADRID

Teleferico Madrid | garghe.

Teleferico Madrid | garghe.

“De Madrid al cielo” is a common phrase that you’ll hear time and again here. It literally means “from Madrid to the sky” and this is just about what you can do at the Teleférico Madrid.

Starting in Rosales, at Madrid’s largest park, the Parque del Oeste, the teleférico will take you all the way to the Casa de Campo. You’ll have a wonderful view of the whole city, the Palacio Real (royal Palace) glowing in the distance.

Getting off at the Casa de Campo is highly recommended; here, you can take a walk among nature, or have a snack at one of the many bars or restaurants.

More information on the Teleferico Madrid at the official website.

Ski like a pro and go-kart like an expert at XANADU MADRID

Xanadu year-round indoor ski slope. | ferendus.

Xanadu year-round indoor ski slope. | ferendus.

Spain holidays…for many tourists that means sun and beaches. But if you do want to go against the grain and go skiing, it’s all possible here in Madrid. Just outside the city limits, you’ll find Xanadú, a mall that transcends the regular shopping experience. It’s the only place in Spain where you can ski year-round at an indoor slope.

In addition, you’ll find a go-kart track so get ready to race until you drop. Younger children will enjoy the play area and once everyone gets hungry you can dine at the food court, which resembles the food courts of the United States. All of that, in addition to 200+ shops, of course. Come with plenty of time to play.

More information on Xanadú at the official website.

Water and more water at AQUOPOLIS

Aquopolis Water Park Madrid | Turismo Madrid.

If skiing isn’t your thing, no problem. At Aquopolis, a water park in the outskirts of Madrid, fun is divided into three categories: infantile, moderate, and high emotion. You can pick and choose from rides of all three, depending on your preference.

Coast down slides, and sit back in air-filled donut rings. There’s something here for all tastes. Again, be sure to stock up on sunscreens and hats. Weekends in the summer are particularly crowded.

More information on Aquopolis Madrid at the official website.

Saving money with the BONO PARQUE

You’ll be glad to know that cheap holidays with kids are possible here in Madrid. If you plan on visiting a number of the above parks and attractions, consider purchasing a “Bono Parque.” Starting at 79 Euros per person, you’ll get access to all of the parks below:

  • Parque de Atracciones de Madrid
  • Zoo Aquarium de Madrid
  • Selwo Aventura (Estepona, Málaga)
  • Selwo Marina (Benalmádena, Málaga)
  • Delfinario (Costa Daurada)
  • Aquópolis Villanueva de la Cañada (Madrid)
  • Aquópolis San Fernando de Henares (Madrid)
  • Aquópolis Sevilla
  • Aquópolis Torrevieja
  • Aquópolis Cullera
  • Aquópolis Huelva
  • Teleférico de Madrid
  • Teleférico de Benalmádena (Málaga)

Find out more about the Bono Parque at the official website.