When traveling with kids, research is very important. You need to know what’s available and options for food, and activities.
I always research a location as best as I can before I go anywhere.
I look for activities that will hold the interest of a 10 year old and a 5 year old.
Not an easy task.
Usually, the “Top 10 ten things to do in …” lists are usually filled with Museums, Exhibits and Architecture.
While that is good for different travelers, I’ve learned my family is not interested.
My Experience Going To Museums With Kids
Museums are nice, but they can be boring for the kids.
We’ve done the American Museum of Natural History in NYC and I found myself being the hype man, the promoter, trying to hype up intricate insect collections from around the world to my kids.
Me: “Oh, look Sydney, a huge dinosaur statue. Isn’t that awesome?”
I feel like I’m working and trying too hard. lol.
Plus, I want to enjoy myself as well.
We’ve gone to the Glazer Children’s science museum in Tampa Florida.
Another, activity fail for us.
Me: “Oh look Ensor, look at how electricity works…Ensor….Ensor.”
I look around and he’s playing with the paper surrounding his water bottle.
So, I usually scan lists looking for activities in a city that Does Not include museums.
One day, I would like to explore the museums in Paris, but most likely, the kids will have be somewhere else doing something that interests them. So, a guide or someone can hype me up as I try to understand the importance and greatness of my experience.
If you are in Barcelona with your kids in tow, you’ll most likely search for the “Top Ten things to do in Barcelona with your kids“.
Most likely, your’re going to be get museums, Art and architecture. If your family likes that, Barcelona is a great city for those activities.
However, if your kids are like my kids, and they would rather run, jump and play, here’s a fun itinerary for a day in Barcelona with kids.
What to do with kids in Barcelona
The beach is always a great idea for kids. Mar Bella Beach is a little ways out from (about 1 mile) from Barcelonetta beach (main city beach), but it’s worth the trip.
Mar Bella Beach is beautiful. The sand is soft and light in color. The water is a beautiful rich blue; very clean and clear. There is an expansive feeling on this beach, free from the sight of buildings and highways.
About Mar Bella Beach
The Mar Bella Beach was created during the urban redevelopment for the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992.
This beach is particularly popular with young people. It has an area for naturists and attracts a cosmopolitan crowd from all walks of life, including sports lovers and students from the nearby faculties.
Lifeguard and safety, Local Police, beach information point, cloakroom, adapted showers, adapted public toilets, children games area, sun loungers, nudist beach, beach umbrellas, drinks and ice cream kiosks, bicycle parking areas, restaurants and Wi-fi.
Sports, sailing and other activities
Beach volleyball, table tennis, skate park and basketball hoop.
Base Nàutica Municipal de la Mar Bella: Sailing trips along the city’s seafront, kayak excursions along the coastline and other activities. Catamaran excursions and beach volleyball for groups. Reservations in advance.
Complex Esportiu Municipal Mar Bella: Competition-certified running track, sports complex, grass field and fitness rooms.
VanasDive: Diving centre. It runs diving courses for beginners and PADI and SSI scuba diving certifications.
What to Know about Mar Bella Beach
- There is parking if you are driving.
- It’s one block away from a bus stop if you are taking the bus.
- The beach area has many paths built for roller skating, skateboarding, scooters, running etc.
- Beautiful Architecture.
- Climbing structure for kids on the beach/sand.
- Exercise equipment (pull up bars, etc) on the beach.
- Concrete chairs and loads of benches and seating areas.
- Lifeguards, bathrooms, showers, restaurants.
- “Cerveza beer guys” (lol) selling cans of beer, water from their backpacks for 1 euro.
- Local Police, beach information point, cloakroom, adapted showers, adapted public toilets, children games area, sun loungers, beach umbrellas, drinks and ice cream kiosks, bicycle parking areas, restaurants and Wi-fi.
- Nudist area?!
You can easily spend the entire day at the beach doing various things. This is an active day filled with running, jumping and laughing. This can include volleyball, swimming, playing in the waves, kayaking, jet ski’s, engine surf boards, paddle boarding, diving, the children’s games area, playing soccer, making sand castles, and whatever else they can think of.
However, we went in early May when it was too cold for us to swim. We watched in awe as a few kids and adults hastily took off their clothes (they had bathing suits on) and rushed into the waves.
It was a windy day, so the waves were crashing onto the shore.
I tightened the strings on my sweatshirt, made sure the kids were bundled up, before heading to the skate park.
La Mar Bella Skate Park is a classic skate park. The obstacle course is for beginners up to advanced users. There are usually many people there, from toddlers to adults skating in the park and perfecting their skills.
It’s adorable to see the little toddlers with their helmets and knee pads going down the little ramps. You can tell they look at the adults and dream of the days they can tackle the big ramps.
People use scooters, bikes, skateboards and roller skates. Anything with wheels and no motor.
A Professional Quality Skate Park in Barcelona!
A free public skate park on the Beach in Barcelona, the Mar Bella Skate Park is a professionally designed, public skate park for locals and tourists alike.
Thanks to Sergi Arenas (park designer), Sergi Carulla, Oscar Blasco, the entire construction crew, the city council of Poble Nou and the city of Barcelona for creating a world class skate park on the beach in Barcelona, where the next generation of skaters in Barcelona can take the sport and the Barcelona skate scene to the next level.
The Mar Bella Skate Park in Barcelona was designed with every level of skateboarder in mind. There are various elements and different areas for skate boarders of varying skill levels and styles. At the upper level of the skate park there is a street skate area with stairs, rails and banks. At the other end, closer to the beach, is the pool area, with a smaller pool area for beginners and a larger bowl section for the more experienced skaters. Connecting the two parts is the snake a serious of humps designed to promote flow and generate speed.
La Mar Bella Skate Park Inauguration video (In Spanish)
The kids brought their scooters. At first, they were apprehensive. They were intimidated by the course. But, in time they started on the smaller ramps and built up their courage.
They didn’t want to leave.
That is an activity win in my book.
But wait, the day wasn’t over yet.
I wanted to see The Guardians of The Galaxy 2 movie that was just released. I loved the first Guardians of The Galaxy and was excited for the second installment.
FYI, Baby Groot is the best!
So, we walked up the beach to the Yelmo Cines Icaria movie theater.
Yelmo Cines Barcelona show Version Original Movies in Barcelona. That means, whatever language the movie was filed in, is the language showed in the theater with Spanish subtitles.
The theater is located on the lower level of the El centre de villa Mall. There is a supermarket, restaurants and retail stores.
I don’t know if it is allowed, but we bought food from the supermarket and the pizza shop (really good pizza), placed it in our backpack and watched the movie. Shh, don’t let them know.
I also bought a falafel from the restaurant next to the theater, but it was awful. The falafel was cold and the wrap was stale. eww.
They included a sweet desert (baklava) which was good, but the falafel, terrible.
I still ate it, but did not enjoy it. hehehehe.
Tips for a successful day out with your kids in Barcelona:
- Buy A T-10 metro card from the train stations or a Tabacs Store (Tobacco shop), if you are planning to take public transportation. A T-10 Card gives you 10 rides for apx. $10.00.
- Use Google Maps to map you from where you are, to the Beach. Google will give you the best bus or train option with directions to the correct stop, and the apx. trip time.
- Bring snacks. There are not many stores on or around the beach for sodas or snacks. It’s better to bring these items with you. Bringing snacks saved frustrations with the kids being hungry. Plus, we were going to the movies and we didn’t want to sit at a table service restaurant for a full fledged meal.
- Bring a sweatshirt, etc for comfort. It’s usually cooler and windier on the beach than in the city.
- Be prepared for sand. It sounds obvious, but somehow, kids have the ability to get an unreasonable large amount of sand in their shoes. So, plan accordingly. Take their shoes off before getting on the sand or knock it out before you continue on your journey.
- Pack a backpack or bag with water, juice and snacks. You will feel more prepared with gear.
- Bring Your camera. There are great picture opportunities.
- Pay attention to the public transportation schedule. The last bus was at 10:25 PM. If you are out later than 10:25 PM, you may need to take a taxi back home or head to the train station. The trains run later than the bus but the services ends around midnight during the week and around 2:00 am on the weekends.
The beach, skate park and movies. A perfect day for a day out in Barcelona with your kids in tow.