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Barcelona Summer Family Vacation Ideas Include Beaches, Art, and  a Spanish Galleon. Barcelona Castle ViewA Barcelona urban adventure includes beach time, cable cars, tram rides, and maybe a horse-drawn carriage plus street festivals, museum discoveries, an awesome Spanish galleon, and oh so tasty chocolate. 
Here’s the scoop. From the excitement of  Parc d’ Attraccions del Tibadabo, lively parades and sardanes during festivals to the pleasant green spaces and the enticing beaches along the coast, no two days need be the same. I have assembled a short list of some of the best places and activities meant to be shared with youngsters.
Parc Zoologic - Zoo Barcelona. Located in Parc de la Ciutadella, this vintage zoo makes an effortless outing. The garden-like setting with moats and many natural barriers comfortably contain animals and makes observation easy. Onsite find dolphin shows (until Zoo Mari opens), a train for youngsters, petting zoo, and pony rides. The zoo offers reduced rates for children and seniors. (Parc de la Ciutadella, Barcelona. Tel: 93 225 67 80 or
Parc Güell – Serpents & fairytale gatehouses. This quirky park space offers panoramic views of the city including the port as well as Tibidabo and Collserola.  Gaudi’s home is in the park and his unique creations may be seen everywhere beginning with the fairytale themed entrance pavilions.  Ornamental dragons, snakes, and suns adorn columns, viaducts, steps, and walkways. The famous serpentine bench weaves about the market square. (Olot 7, Vallacarca, Barcelona. Tel: 93 219 38 11 or

Montjuïc Castle – A playground with a view. The fun begins with a bus or cable-car ride to the top which includes awesome views of Barcelona. While kids don’t care about views, the landing at the top will yield a lovely castle to explore as well as magical play space in the surrounding woodland. Within the Castle, Rincón del Niño (Children's Corner) is located in one of the rooms in the Patio de Armas. It  offers child-friendly workshops and activities throughout the year. Bonus Points: Not far from the castle's drawbridge entrance is a children's playground with two super-long slides that will thrill young kids. Castle admission is free; closed Mondays except public holidays. (Carretera de Montjuïc 66, Barcelona. Tel: 93 329 86 13 or

Museu Europeu d’Art Modern – Modern art adventures for kids. Located in the beautiful Palau Gomis, on the back streets of the Barrio del Born, the European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM) showcases works from some of the best figurative artists in the world. Bonus Points: Throughout the year MEAM collaborates to offer family-friendly workshops and unique activities for children ages 5 to 12. Topics and activities span from Art Nouveau and Surrealism to works of the 20th and 21st centuries. Each child will then get the opportunity to create their own piece of art.  Advance registration is essential. (Barra de Fero, 5 Barcelona. Tel: 93 319 56 93 or

Museu d'Idees i Invents de Barcelona (MIIB) - The Museum of Ideas and Inventions.Museum of Ideas and Inventions in Barcelona This new center for inspirational designs and inventions is a rewarding place to share with young children. The museum has been organized into five collections, the best being - “Corner of the Absurd” - a showroom for entertaining but useless inventions. The museum has a kids’ zone with comfortable cushions where children are invited to sit, think, discover, and invent. Checkout the comical videos in the restrooms. Workshops for kids are offered throughout the year. Here’s the deal.  children younger than four admitted free. (Ciutat, 7, Plaça Sant Jaume, Barcelona. Tel: 93 332 79 30 or

Museu Blau – The Blue Museum. Located in Parc del Fòrum, this new facility offers families hundreds of ways to share in the wonders of our world. This edgy science center combines popular science, natural phenomenon, and environmental issues in a comfortable learning space. The major exhibition “Planet Life” presents a journey through the history of life including the evolution of our planet. There’s a unique learning space reserved for children younger than seven with hands on sessions scheduled throughout the day.e. Here’s the deal. Free admission first Sunday of every month and each Sunday after 3 pm; children ages 15 and younger admitted free; Combo tickets available for Museu Blau and Botanical Garden. (Plaza Leonardo da Vinci, 4-5 Parque del Fòrum, Barcelona. Tel: 93 256 22 20 weekdays and weekends 93 256 60 02 (Museu Blau ticket office) or

Museu Maritim - Barcelona Maritime Museum. Located on Drassanes near the Columbus statue, this seaside museum has oodles of boats and models of boats. Its is the place to absorb Barcelona's rich maritime history. Featured at the museum is a full-size model of a Spanish galleon as well as other vessels and interesting maritime artifacts. Purchase a combo ticket and visit to the Santa Eulalia Schooner berthed nearby. Activities for children include "Galiots!" - Life in the galleys conducted the 3rd Saturday of month; call ahead to reserve a space. English audio guide available; open daily. Here’s the deal. Children less than six years of age admitted free; 20% discount with Barcelona Card. (Avenue de las Drassanes, near bottom of Rambla, Barcelona. Tel: 93 342 99 29 or
Fundació Arqueològiica Clos Museu Egipci de Barcelona - Egyptian Museum of Barcelona. Located on (Valencia near Passeig de Gracia, this small museum offers visitors a glimpse of ancient Egypt with hundreds of artifacts on display.  It is organized in three main exhibition areas and has a monographic collection on ancient Egypt that is perhaps one of the best in Europe.  Bonus Points: The museum offers workshops for children and teenagers on weekends and during holidays enabling  kids to learn more about the land of the Pharaohs. (València, 284, Barcelona. Tel: 93 488 01 88 or

Location on the planet: Barcelona is located in the province of Catalonia on Spain’s Mediterranean (northeastern) coast less than two hundred kilometres from the French border.
Content researched and posted by Nancy Nelson-Duac, Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files. Images provided by Amanda Nelson-Duac. This information was accurate at time of posting. Because things often change, we suggest that you confirm details directly with the locations before making plans. Copyright updated 2017.

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