The Dora the Explorer backpack is ready. Electronic devices charged and packed. A lot of excitement, races around the house, the occasional squeal …we’re going on our first family holiday!
It’s the first time we’re travelling with small children on a plane and we’re a little stressed. All we want is to relax while the kids enjoy themselves. Enjoy a little couple time, but also enjoy quality time with the kids. Is all this actually possible?
Judging by the departure lounge, full of babies and children of all ages, we’ve chosen the ideal destination. We’re going to spend ten days in Lanzarote. We’ve chosen the island for its volcanoes, beaches, food and cultural options, to name a few, but above all for the range of entertainment options for the little ones (the ‘chinijos’ as they call them in Lanzarote).
What are the best things to do in Lanzarote with kids? It’s the perfect place for kids to have the best time ever. Read carefully and start planning your days now.
1.Be Captain Nemo in an underwater Atlantic adventure
Camera? Ready We’ve brought the reflex because Lanzarote southern bays promises to be the closest we’ll ever get to paradise. They’re gorgeous, with turquoise waters and perfect for paddling.
The bikinis and shorts are on. Towels and caps in the backpack. We all carry our own: baseball cap for him, classic sun hat for me and visors for the kids. We don’t need much more other than our ID and wallet: a trip aboard the Atlantic Adventure awaits us, a glass-bottom boat that shows the amazing wildlife that lives along this coast.
These waters are perfect for whale and dolphin watching as there are plenty of nutrients available and the water temperature is ideal for their development. To see dolphins in the wild, swimming so close to the boat and looking really pleased to see really opens our eyes and brings a smile to our faces.
The sea breeze, beer, sangria and water at the onboard bar. This is so amazing we never want it to end! Just then we sense the tantalising aroma of roast chicken and chips, but in the meantime, we’re going to plunge into these crystal-clear waters. The boat has laid anchor and we have some time to explore the beaches of Papagayo.
My husband grabs a snorkel (they provide them on the boat) and he ends up convincing me to so the same. This time he’s right: I see fish of all shapes and colours, while a guide points them out and names them. The Canary damselfish is my favourite: it has a fluorescent blue stripe that reminds me of the planet Pandora.
We pay a couple of euros to ride a banana and head towards the shore with the kids. The water is so calm that we’re there within seconds. The kids run wild along the shore and play in the sand until lunchtime. There’s still some time left to have a paddle in a kayak. We eat on board then enjoy a little rest to digest our meal. This is the life…
If you want to live an adventure with children in the sea book here the -> GLASS BOTTOM BOAT ATLANTIC ADVENTURE <- that leaves Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from the pier of Playa Blanca in Lanzarote.
2.Rancho Texas: the old Wild West… in the Canaries.
What is a Western saloon doing in Lanzarote?
It’s a home from home!
Just look what Felipe V proclaimed a few centuries ago:
“I publicly declare that, should there be families in these islands that would like to go to Cuba or Texas, then may they volunteer to do so of their own free will.
Did you know that seven families from Lanzarote embarked on the adventure and emigrated to America, and founded San Fernando in Béjar in 1731? We know this thanks to Rancho Texas Park, who spent years gathering information about these settlers that fled an island in the merciless grip of hunger.
We told this story to the kids, in our own words, and now they are even more excited about visiting Rancho Texas and to see a cowboy perform with his lasso and whip, “He’s dressed like a cowboy, just like I do!”, one of my boys shouts. Well, almost. We tell them that, apart from wearing a cool hat and boots with spurs, the cowboys were in charge of transporting animals in the United States. This was a highly skilled job that required endurance and extraordinary strength.
We see birds of prey, tepees and an artificial lagoon on which we can sail in a canoe in total safety. Rancho Texas has also created a mine where the kids can go looking for gold nuggets (fake, of course) which they can later exchange for gits in the souvenir shop- We move swiftly on because we want to see the Komodo dragon that lives in the 1200 sq. m area devoted just to reptiles.
So, if you’re wondering “what excursions can I do with kids in Lanzarote”, there’s one excellent idea for you. There are water chutes, Andean condors, macaws, horned owls, Harris hawks, little owls and an Incan cockatoo that seemed to constantly be doing the Samba. Pumas, armadillos, iguanas, Appaloosa horses…the kids are delighted!
We’re thinking of going back again on Friday night to have dinner and watch the cabaret with country music, and the kids can go on a pony ride accompanied by the park cowboys.
Here you can find different tickets to enjoy a day in the Rancho Texas with your family:
3.Paella aboard a catamaran and a swim in Papagayo.
This is a great excursion for all the family because:
- The kids can play to their hearts content
- The sunset from the south of the island is spectacular
- The bays are sheltered by Los Ajaches, a smooth 15 million-year of volcanic massif that has been eroded over time to leave a smooth mountain range.
- It’s a historic site, as the Normans set foot here for the first time in the 15th century, marking the beginning of the conquest of the Canary Islands.
It’s not unusual to see people practising yoga, celebrating a birthday or simply contemplating the full moon. Entire families come and spend the day here.
And we’re going to indulge in these turquoise waters from a catamaran! The perfect vessel for admiring the ins and outs of this coastline, carved in tones of blue, white and yellow.
We divide up into pairs – mother and son, father and daughter – and jump into the water from the bow of the boat. It’s a dream come true. An excursion to enjoy some real quality time with the kids.
I decide to chill out on a giant inflatable (with SPF 50, because while you don’t notice how strong the sun is in the sea breeze, it really can burn). The perfect spot to take in the breath-taking views of Isla de Lobos and Fuerteventura, while savouring the delicious paella prepared on board. The kids play pirates while we enjoy a drink as the sun sets. What a day! We return to the port and the bus takes us back to the door of our hotel. We’re going to sleep like a log tonight!
If you want to know more about this excursion, check —->BOAT TOUR I LOVE PAPAGAYO <—– with a stop at Papagayo beaches, water sports and food included on board.
4.Go-kart racing and cinema under the stars
OK, so water-based activities are king in Lanzarote and they’re a big favourite with the kids. But who can resist racing on a go-kart circuit that’s adapted for the whole family? Today we’re going to Lanzarote Karting in San Bartolome. The circuit has been built on a hillside and has been designed to provide fun slopes, curves and straights so that drivers can have fun in total safety.
Lanzarote Karting has cars with different engine capacities to suit all ages and levels of experience. You’ve never driven before? No problem. It doesn’t matter. The go-karts are powerful, but also very safe and easy to manage. My daughter wants to be Lewis Hamilton. My son thinks he could easily be George Russel.
After a day full of adrenaline, we’re going to shift down a gear or two in the evening and relax with a good film in a very special cinema: it’s an open-air cinema on a rooftop with spectacular sea views. Before the film starts, we try out the Skyride Lanzarote, a superb flight simulator that takes you over volcanoes with an exciting cinematographic system. The shriek my husband let out when he got a burst of air in his face was priceless!
We have yet to try the Oceandive Atlantic, a fantastic immersion experience for those of us who aren’t divers but love nature. This 6D simulator give us the chance to submerge into the Atlantic Ocean, swim with whales and discover shipwrecks (there are quite a few around the Lanzarote coastline).
Now that’s what I call a unique experience. Time to relax in the most comfortable cinema seats we’ve ever sat in. There are blankets (if it gets chilly), cushions, earphones as well as a food service. Drinks, paninis and nachos for enjoying this open-air film. We couldn’t ask for more! Well, actually…there is one more thing. More holidays like this.