One of the major seaside resorts of the Costa del Sol, Marbella is an exciting destination, lined with endless, clean, sandy beaches. A combination of old and new, the city has a fascinating “Casco Antiguo” – or Old Town – to visit, as well as a more modern shopping area with high quality clothing and other items on sale. Restaurants, bars and coffee bars line the streets and beach promenade, offering something for every taste – but what can Marbella offer in the way of entertainment for the children? Read on to learn the top 12 things for kids to do in Marbella.
1. Best beaches for kids in Marbella
Marbella has a huge selection of great sandy beaches, but be aware that some of these, like the beach at Cabopino, are used by naturists and not suitable for the kids. Playa Fontanilla is a good option, as it is close to the city centre, just past the Marbella Marina, and offers plenty of facilities including cafés, shops, restaurants and access to public toilets.
Nagüeles beach is also popular with families, with loads of facilities for visitors along with the chance to hire a pedalo for fun on the water and water sports for the older children. This beach is part of Marbella’s “Golden Mile” and is easily accessible from the centre. As a bonus, celebrities tend to head to Nagüeles, so keep the camera handy! Probably one of the most enjoyable beaches for kids, however, is Funny Beach. Read on to find out more.
2. Funny Beach Marbella amusement park
Funny Beach is fun not only for the kids, but for the whole family. At this amusement park you can enjoy the fun of gokarting for both kids and adults, or older kids can head out to sea on a Jet Ski or Flyboard, or practice their skills on the Wave X ramp. Adults and older children can also enjoy a trip on a range of inflatable boats, like the Banana or Air Stream IV, while the smaller kids will have fun on the pedal boats. For groups of children, little ones can have the time of their lives on a colourful Bouncy Castle.
Funny Beach Marbella
Address: A7 km 184,4, Marbella
Price: from 10 USD
Opening Hours: Closed in winter.
Duration: around 3 hours required.
Contact: +34 952 823 359
Website: Funny Beach Marbella
3. Nature at Lago de Las Tortugas (Turtle Lake)
Turtle Lake is a popular destination for the whole family, with its many trees, lush foliage and glorious mountain views. It is, of course, also well known for its famous inhabitants, the turtles themselves. The lake is situated in Nueva Andalucia in Marbella and is home to many water birds as well as the curious and fun turtles. Children can swim in the lake and it is the perfect spot for a relaxing picnic in the shade on a hot summer’s day. Strolling around the lake, you can cross the 20 metre high dam wall, which dates back to 1890.
Lago de las Tortugas
Location: Nueva Andalucia
Opening Hours: Open all year around.
Near by Food: Barbeque or picnic on site.
Website: Lago de las Tortugas
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4. Bulevar San Pedro Alcántara children's playground
The boulevard in San Pedro Alcántara has grown over the years and now offers three playgrounds for the kids, with padded hills to climb, wooden horses to ride and swings. Older children can enjoy the zip line in the area. The boulevard is also perfect for biking and rollerblading, with a 3km, well-marked track. There is also a fancy, architectural bridge which curves to match the waves and mountains of the Marbella coastline, offering beautiful sea and mountain views and stretching over a series of paddling pools for the kids to splash around. In the same area, children will thoroughly enjoy themselves at Happy Days Costa del Sol.
San Pedro Alcántara Boulevard
Address: Av. Luis Braille, 29670 San Pedro Alcántara
Website: Bulevar San Pedro Alcántara
5. Happy Days on the Costa del Sol
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Located at the Marbella end of the San Pedro Alcántara boulevard, Happy Days Costa del Sol offers a 9-hole mini golf course, where kids can challenge their parents to an exciting round, plus an all-year-round ice skating rink. Once the kids have had their fill of the fun, they can tuck into authentic American burgers and hot dogs at the Happy Days airstream trailer diner, along with local Spanish treats. The American-style diner also features large screen televisions for parents to relax and watch live sports broadcasts. Dads can also enjoy an original game of “football pool” on the site.
Happy Days Costa del Sol
Address: San Pedro de Alcántara Boulevard, Avenida Luis Braille Marbella 29670
Price: from 6 USD
Contact: +34 693 745 454
Near by Food: American style diner on site
Website: Happy Days Costa del Sol
6. Barbeque or picnic in the Parque Vigil de Quiñones
The Vigil de Quiñones Park is the perfect spot for a day out for the whole family. Enjoy a barbeque or picnic using the facilities on hand, while relaxing in the shade of the indigenous trees in the park. There is also a cafeteria and children’s playground area in the forest park, along with a football pitch, boules court and a multi-use court. The park is located a short distance from the Marbella city centre and is free to visit.
Parque Vigil de Quiñones
Address: Av. Cánovas del Castillo, 31, 29601 Marbella
Website: Parque Vigil de Quiñones
7. Dunas de Artola o Cabopino - sand dunes with a historic tower
For a more exciting beach experience, take the kids to the Dunas de Artola (Artola dunes), located on the only beach along the coast that is not backed by an urbanization. The kids will enjoy exploring the natural dunes and also a visit to the Torre Ladrones watch tower, placed there during the 19th century to stop smugglers sneaking ashore. The Blue Flag beach at the eastern end has a lifeguard and first aid point, with other facilities close by and is accessed via the A7 coastal road at the Cabopino turnoff.
Dunas de Artola o Cabopino
Address: 29604 Marbella
Website: Dunas de Artola o Cabopino
8. Los Cuchillos Walk for the older kids
Families with older children can enjoy a hike on the Los Cuchillos trail, with wonderful views across the mountainous scenery, the sea and Marbella itself. While some of the walk is a little overgrown, and it can get a little steep, the walk is relatively easy going. The family might get the chance to view the local ibex in their natural surroundings, as well as the indigenous pine trees. To get to the walk, take the Marbella/Ojén exit from the A7 motorway onto the A355. Head towards Ojén and turn at the sign for Refugio de Juanar. The walk begins at the entrance of the car park.
Los Cuchillos Walk
Address: Map(s): IGN 1:50000 Marbella 1065 (15-45)
Duration: around 3 hours required.
Website: Los Cuchillos Walk
9. Parque de las Medranas - park with lake and water sports
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
The Parque de las Medranas is situated on a lake in San Pedro de Alcántara and is a great place for the older kids to brush up on their wakeboarding skills, without the need of a boat. The Wakeboard Center Marbella, run by Cable-Ski Marbella, is open almost all year round and offers a cable ski system, allowing 9 people to ski at the same time. A restaurant on the site offers a Mediterranean menu, with spectacular views across the lake along with tasty cocktails.
Address: Parque de Las Medranas s/n, 29670, San Pedro de Alcántara
Price: from 15 USD
Opening Hours: Monday To Friday: 11:00 to 14:30 | 16:00 to 18:30 Saturday and Sunday:11:00 to 15:00 | 16:00 to18:30
Contact: +34 952 78 55 79
Near by Food: Restaurant on site.
Website: Cable-Ski Marbella
10. Children's playgrounds in Tres Jardines park.
The Parque de los Tres Jardines (three gardens) forest park in the San Pedro de Alcántara area of Marbella is a wonderful place for kids and attractive for adults too. The park consists of three varied garden areas including a Mediterranean garden, an Arab garden and a sub-tropical garden, with various species of plants. There are three playgrounds for the children. One for older kids offers climbing frames and a zip wire while a second has seesaws and swings for the little ones. Both playgrounds are surrounded by grassy areas with picnic benches. A third playground offers a sand pit, roundabout and swings for the little ones, along with some climbing frames and trampolines.
Parque de los Tres Jardines
Address: Corner Carril de Picaza/Carril de El Potril, Marbella
Opening Hours: 9am - 6pm
Website: Parque de los Tres Jardines
11. Mundo Mania fun center near Marbella
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Mundo Main is one of the newer attractions near the Marbella area (Estepona). It’s guaranteed to keep the kids entertained for hours. It’s located near the Los Flamingos Golf Course. There is a pleasant cafe on the fun center’s premises, which serves excellent meals so parents and those just too tuckered out to play any more can wait in comfort.
Kids love the pool tables, air hockey. tennis, trampolines, slides and more. Outside, are the water features, pools and fountains.
Address: Camino Brijan De 53-75, 29688, Estepona, Spain
Website: Mundo Mania
12. Fuente de la Virgen del Rocio fountain park
Visiting the Fuente de la Virgen del Rocio in the evenings is delightful and kids will fall in love with lit-up fountains in gorgeous colors. It is next to a bakery and cafe, so you could make a meal of it. Close to the Old Town, the gardens of Alameda park are small, but the fountain certainly will keep the kids amused for a while.
Visitors can throw some coins in the pretty fountain and a make wish, which is the traditional thing to do. Lit up by old-fashioned street lamps at night, the tiles depict old Spain, combining art with beauty.
Fuente de la Virgen del Rocio
Address: Paseo Maritimo | Parque de la Alameda, Marbella, Spain
Make merry in Marbella
In conclusion, Marbella is the perfect destination for the whole family, with so much to see and do, families will definitely return. Marbella is easy to access on the coastal highway from Málaga International Airport (51.1 kms away) by rental car, bus or taxi and offers a great range of hotels and holiday rental accommodation suitable for kids of all ages.