Reykjavík with kids
Reykjavík is a child-friendly city. It´s not like other capitals in the world where kids can´t go out and play on their own. You see kids on every corner, all days of the year, playing. There are also many fun places to visit and here we will give you a few ideas what might be fun doing with your kids on your holiday in Reykjavík.
The Domestic Zoo & Family Park
The Domestic Zoo & Family Park is located in Laugardalur. It is divided into two parts. When you enter the park, you enter the Domestic Zoo. There you find all the Icelandic animals and can see then up close. These include the Icelandic horse and during summers, they offer kids a short horse back ride. Foxes, cows, goats, sheep, pigs, crabs, seals and many other animals are to be found in the zoo. When you´ve walked through the zoo, you cross an bridge and then you have entered the Family Park. During summer you will find it buzzing with life with all sorts of entertainment but during winter it´s a bit calmer. Nevertheless it´s a fun place to visit with a big pirate ship, slides and much more. Laugardalur is nicely located just outside the city center and accessible by bus, bike and car. It´s a great choice for a family morning/afternoon in Reykjavík.
Indoor Tivoli & amusement park
Smaralind Tivoli is located in the mall, Smáralind, in Kópavogur. It´s on two floors and you will find all sorts of games and entertainment there for all ages. Ævintýragarðurinn is located in Skútuvogur, Reykjavík where you find a large area for energetic kids to play. A 5 floor paradise with slides, balls and swings, jump castles and much more. They also have a corner for the youngest where they can play safely while the older ones jump and run.
Local kids love skating and go skating on the pond in the center in winter. Kids love walking/skating on the pond which might be a good idea one winter day in Reykjavík. Just make sure thought the ice is well frozen so nobody will fall through the ice! You will also find an indoor skating hall in Laugardalur where you can skate without getting cold.
Icelanders love ice cream and you´ll find many great places in Reykjavík selling many kinds of i cream. Valdís ice cream store is located at Grandi (close to the Old Harbor) where you will find a great selection of ice cream and sorbets. Ísbúðin Hagamel is one of the most popular ones in Reykjavík and people often drive across town to get their favorite ice cream there. Ísbúðin Háaleitisbraut is also very popular and worth visiting. Yo-Yo has a few stores in and around Reykjavik and they sell ice cream made from yogurt. The one closest to the city center is close to Snorrabraut. No matter where you go really, you´ll get a delicious ice cream!
The Northern lights
To see northern lights is truly adventurous and it is always breathtaking seeing them dancing in the sky above you. Kids, just like adults, find them magical – like straight from a Disney movie. As the northern lights are only in the evening and at night, when it´s dark, we would rather recommend a private tour or a self drive, instead of a scheduled tour, especially if you have young kids, so you can head back home whenever you want.
Árbæjarsafn museum is a great place for curious kids and adults who want to get to know Icelandic history. Here you can learn all about the old times, see how people used to live, enjoy Icelandic delicacies in the café and play outside in the playground. Árbæjarsafn is located outside of the city center but is easily accessible by car, taxi or bus. It really takes you back in time to visit the museum and you will be amazed when you realize that many great grandparents of our generation lived in mud huts! The evolution has been incredible in only a few decades.
Viðey island is just outside of Reykjavík. It takes only 5-10 minutes to take a ferry over the island where you can walk and enjoy the lovely scenery the island has to offer. The Imagine Peace Tower is located on the island and you can walk towards it to take a look. Viðeyjarstofa offers a lovely café where you can enjoy your cup of coffee and enjoy the peace of the island. Kids love the boat ride and find it awesome to be able to run around, up and down the hills, completely free.
Swimming, Floating & The Blue Lagoon
Icelanders are known for their swimming pools and geothermal spas. In Iceland, each and every child has to learn how to swim from the age of 6 to the age of 16. It´s a part of every school´s timetable. You never find the pools in Iceland empty, whether it is morning, noon or evening. People either go swimming or relax in the hot tubs. Many pools also offer steam baths and the latest trend is the cold tub. There are both indoor and outdoor pools in Reykjavík, but most of them are outdoors. The water is nicely warm so you won´t get cold, not even on a cold winter day. The Blue Lagoon is a gem for every family member and kids won´t be disappointed with a drip to the lagoon. In Keflavík you will find Vatnaveröld, an indoor pool-paradise with slides and toys. Floating is also a nice option where you float in the lagoon and fully relax. It is a fun experience for kids to be able to float without moving a muscle.
Víkin Maritime Museum
Víkin Martitime Museum is a wonder world for kids. The museum isn´t only filled with great pictures and history, it also has a room decorated like a ship. Just outside the museum you will find the coast guard ship, Óðinn. It is a great adventure to visit the ship and to see the cannons, the presidential suit and all the interesting sites on board. The guide will tell you all about its history and show you around this beautiful ship. The museum is located at Grandagarður, not far from the Old Harbor. Fun for kids at all ages and parents enjoy it too!
The list is long and above are only a few ideas mentioned. Here are a few more: Bowling, go to the movies, the Archery Center, Nauthólsvík geothermal beach, the Grótta area, a light hike on Mountain Esja, sea angling during summer and whale watching throughout the year