Festivals Made For Children

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Iceland is known to have wide range of cultural activities, there are numerous festivities that all-family can enjoy, but there are also lists of festivals made for children. These events take place to gather the youth beautiful youth in Iceland and visitors are also welcome to participate. Literature plays an important part in building youth’s minds into better citizens as well as future candidates for leadership in Iceland. Cultural arts keep the young minds to focus on what is good and not to the dangers of future. Icelander kids are well rooted in their culture, which is why Iceland never runs out with fun events and festivities that are culture themed. As a matter of fact, they have preserved their culture in the same way they did with their nature. Attending such events with your kids in Iceland will get your children value more what is right such as; literature, arts, music and religion. Many of these events participants are international young artists that can bring inspiration to everyone both young and old.

Children Culture Festival – There are three aspects of this event and they are; children’s culture, culture for children and culture with children. This festival is one of the festivals that are made and are focused to children and those becoming of age. It is a week long celebration of music, arts, and cultural activities. The children are the once being highlighted as artists and it is giving a huge impact to every growing kids in Iceland. The festival includes; activities for children like theater workshops, visual arts, puppetry, circus, dance activities, music, film and storytelling. The institutions such as schools, libraries, theaters, museum and those with cultural aspects are full forced to give the event life. There are almost 150 programs and special events that you and your kids will be an audience of. This festival is celebrated in Late April.

International Festival of Children’s Literature – Another addition to the festivals made for children is the International Festival of Children’s Literature which is held biennially in the Nordic House in Reykjavik. The festival is traditionally named after Moorland where the Nordic House Stands. There are special focus of each event and are pointing out to Moorland like; Cat in the Moorland (in 2001 when it started), Magic in the Moorland (2004), then came; Kids in Moorland (2006), Ghost in the Moorland (held in 2008), Pictures in the Moorland (2010) and the latest is Food in the Moorland (2012). In this festival, children from Iceland and abroad are participating to reading, panels and literary programs, author discussions, lectures by scholars, exhibitions and workshops as well as culture programs.

Young Art Festival – As this festival focuses on young people who acknowledge their talents, this can be a great inspiration for your kids even if they are still on the development in discovering their own talents. Commonly called as Unglist, this is a unique and awesome experience to any growing up kid because it can bring out the best in them. The program is packed with music, fashion, photography, design, paintings, theater, and all concepts that are art related. This is definitely one of the festivals that are made for children aspiring to step on music and arts. This is held annually in November.

When it comes to culture and arts, Iceland is never at the end of the list. This is how they build their character and how they keep on smiling from every challenge they face. Indeed a country with so much to treasure and one of what they value most are their children. The Icelander parents way in developing their kids to be a better person is through these festivals made for children.


Children friendly restaurants in Reykjavík

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In Reykjavík you find a great selection of restaurants. Whatever you are looking for, you will find it. Posh, fusion, sushi, traditional - the possibilities are endless. When on holiday with children, you want a child friendly restaurant where all members of the family can enjoy their meal. Here are a few ideas for families with kids.

Grillhúsið

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Grillhúsið has three restaurants in Reykjavík. One in Tryggvagata in the city center, Sprengisandur by Reykjanesbraut and at the Kringlan shopping mall. They offer a great selection of sandwiches, burgers and more, and they also offer special kids menu for a reasonable price. Grillhúsið is a family restaurant where you can get either eat in or do take away.

KFC

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Everyone knows Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). In Iceland they have 8 restaurants, thereof 3 in Reykjavík (Faxafen, Þjóðhildarstígur, Sundagarðar). Playground, kids menu and all the usual KFC treats.

Hamborgarabúlla Tómasar

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Hamborgarabúlla Tómasar, or Búllan like it´s called, is a popular small burger place by the Old Harbor in Reykjavík. It´s know for it´s juicy burgers and great atmosphere. A place you can´t miss out on if you are a burger fan! A great place to drop in to grab a burger with the family.

Asia

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Asia is family run restaurant with Vietnamese / Chinese food. It´s located in the city center (Laugavegur main street). They offer good food for a reasonable price and smaller portions for kids. Thee atmosphere is really friendly and the staff greets you with a smile.

Metro

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As you can neither find McDonalds nor Burger King in Iceland, Metro is the closest thing you get to it. The concept and food is the same. Kids boxes, toys etc. You will find one Metro place in Reykjavík at Suðurlandsbraut and another in Kópavogur, next to Smáralind Shopping Mall.

Hamborgarafabrikkan

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Hamborgarafabrikkan is one of the most popular burger places in Iceland. It´s located just outside the citry center (about 5-10 minute walk from Hlemmur Bus Terminal), at Turninn Höfðatorgi. You can´t miss it - its the only class tower building in the area. They are famous for their burgers and they have great kid´s menu. A perfect place for the whole family to enjoy a meal.

Nings

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Nings is a well know Chinese eat in / take away place. It´s know for good food and popular amongs athletes as they have a special health menu. The one in Reykjavík is located at Suðurlandsbraut. Relaxed atmosphere, kid´s menu, good and healthy food.

IKEA

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In IKEA you will find a child friendly restaurant with a playing area. A special menu for kids and good selection of food so everyone should find something they fancy. IKEA is located in Garðabær, a bit out of the city center but a good choice for families with kids.


Reykjavík with kids

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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

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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

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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.

Skating

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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.

Ice cream

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

Other ideas

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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.