Iceland with Children

Iceland is a magical destination for families, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and adventure. This guide covers everything you need to know for an unforgettable family vacation in Iceland, including what to see, where to go, what to eat, and tips for a 14-day travel plan.

What to See

  • Reykjavik Family Park and Zoo: Located in Laugardalur Valley, this amusement park and zoo offers fun rides and farm animals, perfect for young children. It’s an action-packed day of entertainment and learning.
  • Golden Circle: This classic route includes Þingvellir National Park, the Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss Waterfall. The geological wonders and natural beauty make it an educational and enjoyable trip for kids.
  • South Coast: Explore black sand beaches, glaciers, and waterfalls such as Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. A highlight is the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, where boat tours offer close encounters with icebergs and seals.
  • Blue Lagoon: A geothermal spa suitable for all ages, the Blue Lagoon provides a relaxing and unique bathing experience. Children aged two and older are welcome, with safety measures in place for young visitors.
  • Videy Island: Accessible by ferry from Reykjavik Harbour, this island features historical ruins and diverse bird species, making it an ideal spot for picnics and exploration.

Where to Go

  • Reykjavik Botanical Gardens: Open year-round and home to over 5000 plant species, these gardens are perfect for nature walks and learning about Icelandic flora. Don’t miss the Flóran Garden Bistro for refreshments by a koi pond.
  • Reykjavik Ice Skating Rink: Located near the botanical gardens, this indoor rink offers skate rentals and is a fun activity for the whole family.
  • Snaefellsness Peninsula: Known for its stunning landscapes, the peninsula features rock formations, the iconic Kirkjufell mountain, and marine life observation points.
  • Perlan: A unique landmark in Reykjavik, Perlan offers interactive exhibits about Iceland’s glaciers, northern lights, and more. The observation deck provides panoramic views of the city.

What to Eat

  • Icelandic Hot Dogs: A local favorite, these hot dogs are made with a blend of lamb, beef, and pork, served with a variety of condiments and crispy onions. They are a must-try for families.
  • Flóran Garden Bistro: Located in the Reykjavik Botanical Gardens, this café offers delicious refreshments in a beautiful setting, perfect for a relaxing break.
  • Lava Restaurant at Blue Lagoon: This restaurant offers a special children’s menu, ensuring a delightful dining experience for the whole family.

Parks and Attractions for Children

Geothermal Swimming Pools: Reykjavik’s geothermal pools, included with the Reykjavik City Card, feature kiddie pools, toys, and slides, providing hours of fun for children.Reykjavik City Library, located close to the harbor, houses books in multiple languages and hosts special events such as crafting and art workshops.

The Kolaportid Flea Market, open on weekends, is a great place to find unique souvenirs, trinkets, and authentic Icelandic wool sweaters.

Whale watching tours, available from Husavik, Akureyri, or Reykjavik, offer an exciting opportunity to observe these majestic creatures up close. The best season for whale watching is from May to September.

Best Time to Visit

The summer months provide mild weather and extended daylight hours, making it ideal for outdoor activities. Average highs are around 15°C (59°F), making it perfect for family exploration and camping.

Approximate 14-Day Travel Itinerary

Day 1-2: Arrival and Exploring Reykjavik

  • Explore Reykjavik, including the Family Park and Zoo, Botanical Gardens, and Ice Skating Rink.
  • Visit Perlan for interactive exhibits and panoramic city views.

Day 3-4: Golden Circle Tour

Spend two days visiting Þingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss Waterfall.

Day 5-7: South Coast Adventure

Explore the black sand beaches, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, and Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.

Day 8: Videy Island

Take a ferry to Videy Island for a day of historical exploration and bird watching.

Day 9-10: Snaefellsness Peninsula

Discover the Bardur Giant Man rock sculpture, Kirkjufell mountain, and Arnarstapi Cliffs.

Day 11-12: Blue Lagoon and Reykjavik Museums

Relax at the Blue Lagoon and explore Reykjavik’s museums, including the Viking Museum.

Day 13: Whale Watching

Join a whale-watching tour from Reykjavik or another coastal town.

Day 14: Departure

Spend the final day shopping for souvenirs and enjoying Reykjavik before your flight home.

Tips for Travelers

  • Iceland’s weather is unpredictable, so bring layers, waterproof jackets, pants, warm hats, gloves, and sturdy waterproof shoes.
  • Renting a car provides flexibility to explore at your own pace. Book in advance for the best rates and availability.
  • Use the Reykjavik City Card. This card offers access to multiple attractions and public transportation, saving money and making travel easier.
  • When traveling with kids, plan for regular breaks and have snacks and activities to entertain them.
  • Choose tours that cater to children to ensure safety and enjoyment for the whole family.
  • Participate in local events, try Icelandic foods, and learn about the culture and history for a richer travel experience.

Iceland offers endless opportunities for families to create lasting memories. With careful planning and a sense of adventure, your Icelandic family vacation will be a trip of a lifetime.

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