Around the outskirts of Madrid with children

  • Alrededores de Madrid con niños
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  • Alrededores de Madrid con niños
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If you already know the city of Madrid and you want to take your children on a surprise trip, all around the wider Region of Madrid you will find heaps of options to have fun with the whole family. You can hop on a tourist train, discover where the Neanderthals lived, experience adventures surrounded by nature... You'll find plans for every season and you can enjoy unique experiences with your nearest and dearest right by the Spanish capital.

Surrounded by nature

Open your eyes wide and take a deep breath as you discover some of this Region's natural beauty spots. One of the best places to take the family is the Parque Nacional de Guadarrama, where you can follow the easy "Senda de las Formas" trail in La Pedriza and see if you can find rocks in the shapes of animals, including a seal and a tortoise. Other easy options? The Ruta de Los Robledos trail starting at El Paular or the Finnish Forest of Rascafría.

Another delightful place to visit is the Sierra del Rincón Biosphere Reserve, with fairy-tale forests such as Montejo Beech Wood, particularly beautiful in autumn, although visits are strictly limited and must always be booked in advance.

Or how about a picnic by the San Juan Reservoir, the dam at Pontón de la Oliva and the Campillo Lakeside Recreation Area in Rivas-Vaciamadrid.

You can find information about programmed activities to enjoy nature at any of the Region's Environment Centres.

Fun and interesting places

If you want to see a happy child, just say the words "theme park".  In San Martín de la Vega, you will find the famous Parque Warner, with live shows featuring Looney Tunes characters and superheroes like Batman.

In San Sebastián de los Reyes you will find Micropolix, an entire 'city for children', where the little ones can become fire fighters, journalists, musicians, etc., for a few hours.

If you want to see the whole of Europe without taking a plane, your best option is to check out Parque Europa in Torrejón de Ardoz, with replicas of Europe's most famous monuments. How about a photo by the Berlin Wall or the Eiffel Tower?

Another good place to spend the day all together is the Enchanted Woodland of San Martín in Valdeiglesias. Get your camera ready, because it has over 300 incredible topiary sculptures.

And if you want to bring our your child's inner researcher, take them to Arqueopinto where they can discover archaeology, or the Valley of the Neanderthals in Pinilla del Valle, where you can book a guided tour to learn all about how this species lived.  

Original activities

A trip by train? That's a safe bet! Especially if you hop aboard one of the tourist trains that takes you around Madrid. For example the Strawberry Train which goes from Madrid to Aranjuez with a crew dressed in period costume (in Aranjuez you can also take a tourist boat or go on a guided canoe tour). Other options include: The Cervantes Train that goes from Alcalá de Henares, with stewards dressed in Golden Age attire, the Arganda Steam Train, the Nature Train which takes you through the countryside from Cercedilla to Puerto de Cotos, or the Phillip II Train that goes from San Lorenzo de El Escorial, with entertainment included.

If you like the idea of a dramatised guided tour, why not try one of the tours organised around the Castle of Manzanares El Real. There are also fun Mediaeval markets in places such as Manzanares el Real, El Álamo, Navalcarnero, Buitrago de Lozoya… which offer traditional arts and crafts, puppet theatres, street theatre, etc.

And if you're looking for something a little more adrenalin-fuelled, you could try out one of Madrid's Adventure Parks to go climbing, hurtle down a zip wire, etc. Why not check out Aventura Amazonia (in Cercedilla) or De Pino a Pino (in Navacerrada), for example.

Fun culture

Who says a museum has to be boring? At the National Science and Technology Museum in Alcobendas, you can experience the world that surrounds us with all five senses. Another interesting museum is Traditional Games Park in Paredes de Buitrago, where children can discover the games their grandparents used to play.

And for keen theatregoers, there are companies that specialise in children's theatre such as Teatro Gurdulú in Leganés and Teatro Tyl Tyl in Navalcarnero.

Say yes to sport

One of the best ways of getting closer as a family is walking or cycling together. Why not explore any of the four Vías Verdes or Green Trails that traverse this region. Furthermore, the CiclaMadrid network of cycle paths allows you to cycle around Madrid's main municipalities and its natural beauty spots. If you wish, you can download an app with all the information you need.

If you're more 'aquatic', you could head to reservoirs such as San Juan, Pinilla or El Atazar (the largest in Madrid) to go canoeing, for example.

Racing fans will have a great time at karting tracks such as Asupark, Carlos Sainz Center (there is one in the city of Madrid and another in Las Rozas), and Fórmula Cero Outdoor Karting.  

And winter also doesn't mean you have to stay at home, because Madrid is even home to the ski resorts of Puerto de Navacerrada and Valdesquí. And if you want to ski in summer, you have the indoor slope at Madrid SnowZone.

Dive in!

As the temperatures rise, your children will certainly be thankful for a trip to a water park such as Aquopolis de San Fernando in Henares or Villanueva de la Cañada, with wave pools and never-ending water slides.

If you prefer to take them to natural pools and swimming areas, you could head to Las Presillas (Rascafría), Los Villares (Estremera), the San Juan Reservoir, Playa del Alberche (Aldea del Fresno) or Las Berceas Recreation Park (Cercedilla).

Seeing animals up close

Another highly recommendable place is Safari Madrid (in Aldea del Fresno), where you can drive through an animal reserve and feed the animals as they enjoy semi-freedom, as well as see exhibitions of birds and reptiles.

Other options? Burrolandia in Tres Cantos, where children can see and touch gentle donkeys; Insect Park in San Lorenzo de El Escorial where they can learn about colourful butterflies, spectacular beetles and enigmatic spiders, or the Cañada Real Nature Centre also in El Escorial, to find out more about the flora and fauna of Iberia.

 

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